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1 Draft Equality Policy 2012-2017 Consultation Workshop 17 February 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Draft Equality Policy 2012-2017 Consultation Workshop 17 February 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Draft Equality Policy 2012-2017 Consultation Workshop 17 February 2012

2 Welcome Housekeeping What equality means to us Outcomes for today 2

3 What Equality Means to Us Equality, opportunity, local choice. Effective services should be flexible, responsive and designed around diversity of interests and needs Not about one-size fits all, or starting from scratch 3

4 Outcomes from today Understand our approach to meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and specific Public Sector Equality Duty Consider and discuss the draft Equality Policy 2012- 2017 in detail Understand the next steps 4

5 The general Equality Duty Came into force in April 2011 Public authorities must have ‘due regard’ to the need to: eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is unlawful under the Act advance equality of opportunity foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who don’t share it 5

6 Protected Characteristics There are nine protected characteristics. These are: Age Disability Gender Gender reassignment Marriage or civil partnership Pregnancy and maternity Race Everyone is included and protected by the legislation Religion or belief Sexual orientation

7 Benefits of the Equality Duty Help public authorities avoid discriminatory practices and integrate equality into their core business Ensure services are more appropriate to users, more efficient and cost-effective Build a supportive working environment to increase organisational productivity. –More representative organisations can draw on a broader range of talent. –Using up to date equality information can lead to better decision-making and policy development. 7

8 Advice from Equality & Human Rights Commission The equality duty applies across all areas of the council’s work (e.g. service delivery, policy-making, employment, planning, procurement, statutory decision-making) It builds on previous work on the race, disability, gender duties We should take action proportionate to the relevance of an issue to equality and to good community relations Having clear leadership is crucial, including making sure all staff know and understand the responsibilities placed on them 8

9 What is the Public Sector Equality Duty? ‘Specific duties’ regulations that came into force in September 2011 1.Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty by 31 January 2012, and then annually Include information relating to protected groups – employees and people affected by policies and practices (service users, general public) 2.Prepare and publish equality objectives, at least every 4 years Its purpose is to help public authorities meet the general Equality Duty, but meeting these specific duties alone is not sufficient to meet the general Equality Duty! 9

10 How we are meeting the Equality Duty Making equalities integral to everything we do (‘Mainstreaming’ equalities) Publishing required equality information on our website Carrying-out Service and Community Impact Assessments on all policy changes and new policies Refreshing our ‘Comprehensive Equality Policy’ to include all elements of Equality Act 2010 and set our equality objectives Monitoring as part of our quarterly performance management arrangements 10

11 Equality Policy: Our Ambition Oxfordshire County Council is committed to making Oxfordshire a fair and equal place in which to live, work and visit We aim to ensure that our staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the diverse needs of customers, that our services are accessible and to encourage supportive and cohesive communities through our service delivery Our approach is based around 4 key issues: –Understanding the needs of our customers –Providing accessible, local and personalised services –Supporting thriving and cohesive communities –Promoting a culture of fairness 11

12 Equality Policy: Timetable January Publish information, and begin consultation on draft policy and objectives February Engagement as part of consultation March Cabinet and Council agree policy and objectives following consultation April Publish policy and objectives, monitoring of delivery (also deadline for schools to publish information and objectives) 12

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