The council's equality and inclusion commitment to you

Suffolk County Council is committed to providing services that are fair and accessible for everyone.

We have a commitment to meeting our duties as specified in the Equality Act 2010 which requires us to take a proactive approach to equalities and inclusion.

We also have a responsibility to ensure that organisations we commission, to provide services on our behalf, take the same positive approach to equality.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous legislation and created a single legal framework, providing clearer, streamlined law that is more effective at tackling disadvantage and discrimination.  This Act protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

Protected characteristics

The Act protects us from being treated less favourably because of certain characteristics. These are known as protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

The Act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty, which is set out in the Equality Act 2010, requires us to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between different groups
  • foster good relations between people from different groups

It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

The Equality Act also says that public bodies must pay 'due regard' to equality. This means that we must:

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people

The Act also states that meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities.

It states that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others.

Equality Impact Assessments

Undertaking Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) on new and/or revised policies or services is an effective way of identifying any positive or negative impact that the change may have on different people, according to their protected characteristics. This enables us to demonstrate that we have paid 'due regard' in coming to our decisions.

The law does not mean that no changes can be made, even if they have a negative effect on people. However, we must demonstrate that we have considered the impact that could happen and what steps we have put in place to mitigate against any negative impacts.

Our EIAs are available on our Policies and Procedures database by searching for Equality Impact Assessments.

Our commitment to you

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to publish our equality information on an annual basis. This includes demonstrating to you how we are delivering against our corporate equality objectives. We reviewed our equality objectives in January 2022 and between now and 2026 we will:

  1. Deliver on the Race Equality Plan
  2. Embed the Public Sector Equality Duty principles into our service delivery, commissioning and contract management processes
  3. Take actions that will promote a culture of inclusion so that staff, Councillors, stakeholders and partners feel part of an organisation that is safe and inclusive and where people can bring all aspects of themselves to work

You can read the Council’s EDI vision statement below:

SCC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Statement 

2022-2026 

Suffolk County Council is committed to being an inclusive organisation, supporting everyone so that they can reach their full potential.  

We value the things that make us the same as well as the things that are different about us and we will promote a culture of inclusion, recognising and celebrating difference and acknowledging the benefits achieved by having a diverse workforce.

Every individual recognises they have a responsibility to embed equality into everything we do, making our services and our places of work inclusive.  

We are committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion and to delivering our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and our WE ASPIRE Values.  

We recognise that discrimination can occur and we will work together to eliminate it.

We hold ourselves accountable for making positive change through commissioning and co-producing with communities in Suffolk, ensuring their voices are heard and valued.  

We are committed to undertaking activities and reporting progress that demonstrate how SCC is addressing the barriers to inclusivity, tackling inequality and promoting inclusion.

Equality reports

Our published equality reports provide information about the: 

  • profile of our workforce
  • activities that have been undertaken across the organisation in the last year to support our equality objectives and embed equalities into all areas of work

Download our equality reports:

Top 10 projects we are working on

  1. Disability Leadership status, Level 3 award – currently being externally assessed
  2. Disability Strategy
  3. Menopause Awareness
  4. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement 2022
  5. Supporting our Staff Networks, including launching a new Deaf and Hearing Loss Network
  6. New Equality, Diversity and Inclusion logo alongside an EDI Communications Strategy
  7. Bring your whole self to work project. As part of our EDI objectives we are working on encouraging our staff to bring their whole selves to work, should they wish to do so. This means staff can talk openly about their protected characteristics, creating a more open and accepting culture
  8. Increasing co-production by linking up with local partners through the Engaged Communities Group, NHS and beyond to inform our EDI work
  9. Supporting and increasing the number of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion champions across the organisation
  10. Working on actions identified in our Workforce Equality Report, 2022 and Gender Pay Gap report

Accessibility

Read about how we make the information on our website as accessible as possible. 

Interpreting and translating services

Suffolk County Council use INTRAN to provide our translation and interpreting services.

We use interpreters or translate information where someone would be at risk if they are unable to understand English. In other situations we will do so where appropriate and in response to identified need.

For any queries, or for more information, please contact

Adria Pittock, SCC Equalities Officer:

adria.pittock@suffolk.gov.uk

Gita Banerji, HR Equality Lead:

Gita.banerji@suffolk.gov.uk