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Accessibility, equality and diversity

The Council's approach towards equalities & diversity

The Council is committed to promoting equality and diversity and meeting its duties as a community leader, service provider and local employer.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 replaced a large number of previous equality laws with a single Act.  This has helped to simplify the law, remove inconsistencies and make it a lot easier for organisations and individuals to understand.  It strengthens the law tacking discrimination and inequality across all of the ‘protected characteristics’ set out in the Act. 

The Council must have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Improve equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

Protected Characteristics

The ‘protected characteristics’ set out in the Act are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
  • religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
  • sex (men, women, boys, girls and transgender)
  • sexual orientation

The duty applies to marriage and civil partnership too, but only in relation to the first aim (to eliminate unlawful discrimination).

The Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty is part of the Equality Act.  It applies to public sector organisations, like councils. It says that we must meet the needs of all individuals in the way we work, when shaping policy, delivering services and in relation to our own employees.

Specific duties require us to set clear and measurable equality objectives and publish information about our performance that is available to everyone. 

What St Albans City & District Council is doing

Here are some of the specific things the council are doing which help us to meet our duties.

  • We publish our Inclusion Strategy which sets out our vision and objectives for the next 3 years
  • We produce a community profile and ward profiles to help us understand the diversity in our communities and to identify any inequalities
  • We have an Inclusion Partnership group, which sits under the Strategic Partnership, and leads on identifying issues and needs relating to deprivation, equalities, diversity and social inclusion and working in partnership to take appropriate action
  • We actively work with the local voluntary and community sector to support those organisations to meet the diverse needs of our communities including making sure community funding reaches those who need it most. 
  • We use Equality Impact Assessments to inform our planning and decision making and to ensure our policies do not disadvantage any group and that there is fair access to services
  • We raise the awareness of all newly elected members and staff of the Equality Act and the Council’s duties under it by providing training and regular updates. 
  • We promote equality of opportunity as an employer and seek to have a diverse workforce reflecting the makeup of our local community
  • We carry out an equal pay audit every 3 years. 
  • We work with AccessAble who surveys services and buildings in the district to provide guides for people with disabilities. 

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