Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty, at section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, requires public bodies such as the Local Authority to consider all individuals when carrying out their day to day work.

This includes consideration in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.  It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.

The Equality Duty supports good decision making - it encourages public bodies to understand how different people will be affected by their activities, so that their policies and services are appropriate and accessible to all and meet different people's needs.

Through understanding the effect of their activities on different people, and how inclusive public services can support and open up people's opportunities, public bodies can be more efficient and effective.  The Equality Duty therefore helps public bodies to deliver the Government's overall objectives for public services.

Specific Duties

As there are over 150 employees at Breckland Council the Act requires us to Icon for pdf publish a workforce profile [163.51KB] by 31st January each year.

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty 2010 (section 149) requires Local Authorities to devise and publish equalities objectives (minimum of one) by 6th April 2012.  The purpose of these objectives is to strengthen performance in general equalities duties and demonstrate that practical action is being taken to address equalities issues both inside the organisation and in the wider community. 

Our objectives are as follows:

  • Through our services and policies ensure we are compliant with the Equalities Act, 2010 through the business planning process
  • To ensure that all staff are aware of duties under the Equality Act 2010, through training and knowledge transfer
  • To complete Equality Impact Assessments when making changes to policies and services provided by the Council

Our Equality Objectives need to be looked at and commented on by community members to make sure that they are meeting the needs of the community. If you would like to comment on any of our equalities work or would like to be consulted with when they are updated please let us know by contacting us at: equalities@breckland.gov.uk.

Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act 2010, which came into force on 6th April 2011, introduced Protected Characteristics which replaced Equality Strands.

The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnerships
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation

These have been introduced as a further step to eliminate and tackle discrimination and ensure fairness within society, regardless of belief or preference.

To meet new requirements and fulfil our duties under the Act, the equality monitoring questions within Breckland Council have been revised, and updated.  These questions are widely used across the organisation in employment application forms, customer feedback and questionnaires.

Why We Monitor

Breckland Council has adopted a core set of corporate equality monitoring questions.

They were updated in 2011 to reflect the new protected characteristics that were introduced in the Equality Act 2010.

Icon for pdf Equalities Monitoring form [23.19KB]‚Äč

We are committed to Equality Monitoring in order to improve our services. We need to know which groups are using our services and the reasons why some people may not use our services. This is so that we can identify access issues and barriers to our services which some people may face in order to remove them and make improvements. We also want to make sure that everybody who accesses our services is equally happy with the outcome.

If you look at the range of legislation that the Council complies with you will see that there are primarily seven types of personal information we will ask you to provide for us so that we can adequately monitor how we provide services for you - your age, gender, your marital status, whether you are disabled, also your ethnicity, whether you hold religious views, and your sexual orientation (if you are aged over 18).

All monitoring data is classed as personal data under the Data Protection Act and will be treated confidentially. We will only use this information for statistical purposes.

It will be a great help to us if you fill in all our monitoring questions but if you do not wish to complete all of them, the ones you do fill in will be of assistance to us.

More information can be found in our Icon for pdf Equality Monitoring Leaflet [286.1KB].

Equality Impact Assessments

Legislation requires public bodies to consider whether there is any reason to believe that people are, or could be, differently affected because of their age, sexual orientation, gender, racial group, religious beliefs/faiths, or if they have a disability.

Breckland council is fully committed to these principles and conducts equality impact assessments when considering any major decisions.

If you have any questions about the Council's Equality Impact Assessments please e-mail  equalities@breckland.gov.uk.

Last updated: 16/04/2020 16:08:02