This page sets out our approach to promoting equality and diversity within our borough and provides the key documents which support our work.
We aim to represent, serve and employ people as equals, valuing the diversity of their contributions and aspirations, no matter who they are or what their circumstances.
We will promote equal opportunity and good community relations respecting and valuing the diversity of people in the borough. Our public statements, services and employment practices will reflect this commitment.
Equality Act 2010
The act came into force in October 2010, replacing all existing anti-discrimination laws and extending protection across a number of “protected characteristics”.
These are: race, gender, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, and marriage and partnership. Rochdale Borough Council has also specifically added service and ex-service personnel and those with caring responsibilities. The act applies across a range of services and public functions including local government.
Public Sector Equality Duty
From April 2011 the Public Sector Equality Duty requires us, as a public body, to have due regard to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out our activities.
We have a duty to consider all individuals when carrying out our day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to our own employees.
The council’s agreed equality objective covers workforce data, realignment of corporate service plans, our plans for community engagement and importantly it assists in informing Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs). Our objective is:
“Promoting equality by knowing our diverse community and understanding its changing needs.”
This objective enables us to be aware of new communities and changes in, for example, the age structure of our communities. We can then plan services and prioritise our efforts around the gaps in our intelligence especially relating to the protected equality groups to ensure that we understand their needs. This approach delivers compliance with the act and duty.
Equality and diversity policy
Our equality and diversity policy - No Matter Who - sets out our organisation’s commitment to observing and implementing the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Our public statements, services and employment practices will reflect this commitment. We'll promote this policy and expect respect for it from citizens, users of council services, partner agencies, elected members, council employees and our contractors.
Equality and diversity data
Our approach is supported by the collection and analysis of data from a variety of sources. We have added two additional protected characteristics of carers and armed forces personnel. Some data is incredibly hard to collect, isn’t collected nationally or as a single approved source and so we have to be flexible and inventive around what we can gather and how we use it. Here is a brief look at how data availability breaks down for the protected characteristics:
Equality Impact Assessments
Considering how the council positively contributes to the advancement of equality and good relations, leads to better informed decision-making, policy development and the more effective and cost-effective delivery of services. This makes good business sense and implementing this duty effectively helps to increase customer satisfaction with public services.
Good EIAs are the key to understanding how different people will be affected by the authority’s activities. They allow the council to consider the ways in which services are delivered and how these and any changes might impact on various groups and individuals who use a service. Barriers can be identified and ways to reduce those barriers agreed. Our EIA documents can be accessed here:
Workforce equality information
We are seeking to ensure that the composition of our workforce reflects our diverse local community and to offer equality of opportunity in employment. To comply with the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty we publish equality information for our workforce. The following reports illustrate our progress and show how our workforce diversity has changed. All data reported is based on figures excluding schools.
The council has started to incorporate an assessment of how it complies with the equality and diversity duty into its business planning process. It has used the Local Government Association Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG) to develop a self-assessment approach linked into the formulation and adoption of its Corporate Plan and its associated Directorate and Service Plans. We will publish our self assessment template here in due course.
You might want to take a look at the Diversity Calendar if you're planning any meetings or events. It lists the dates of major religious days and festivals and health-related awareness-raising days as well as local events.
Hate crime definition
In line with recommendations from the Police and Crime Commissioner's research and consultation report on Hate Crime (December 2015), the council adopts the definition of hate crime as: "… a criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal or protected characteristic or perceived characteristic."
Furthermore, the council adopts the definition of a hate Incident as: "…a non crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal or protected characteristic or perceived characteristic".
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has devised a working definition of Anti-Semitism to highlight how Anti-Semitism manifests itself in the 21st century. The council has adopted this definition.
"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."