Equality & Diversity - Bideford College Online

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Equality & Diversity - Bideford College Online

Reference: Status: Approved By: Date: Revision:

Curriculum Governors

7 October 2009

BC/GEN/016 Approved

001

Personnel Governors

7 October 2009

Equality & Diversity

POLICY (SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME)

BIDEFORD COLLEGE

INTRODUCTION

Our aim at Bideford College is to provide an

educational service for Bideford, and its catchment

area in North Devon, that recognises and respects

the diversity of the local population, and which

develops an organisation that embraces diversity in

its broadest sense both in service delivery and as an

employer. We also recognise that the growing

diversity of our local population and workforce

enriches the society in which we live and work.

Bideford College is also a major employer in North

Devon and the employment elements of this policy

are important to all our staff and we will ensure that

no staff are discriminated on the grounds of their

race, disability, gender (including gender identity),

age, sexual orientation or by religion or belief.

Bideford College takes its duties under the different

discrimination legislation seriously and has been

working hard to develop diversity into the culture of

the organisation. The legislation from which we

accept and operate our duties in this respect

currently includes:

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005

The Equality Act 2006

Green Paper: A Framework for Fairness:

Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great

Britain - A consultation paper (June 2007) leading

to the Equality Act white paper in 2008.

There has also been recent legislation covering:

Age

Religion and Belief

Sexual Orientation

As a public body Bideford College will look to

incorporating all aspects of equality and diversity into

a Single Equality Scheme, a commitment from which

we plan to meet our duties under the new equality

legislation.

EQUALITY AND DISCRIMINATION

This policy recognises that the following areas of

discrimination and prejudice need to be

acknowledged, supported, and acted upon. Bideford

College is committed to challenging all forms of

discrimination and prejudice.

Age

It is unlawful for your age to be the cause of less

favourable treatment in your workplace or at school

(Age Discrimination Guidance, Oct. 2007)

Religion and belief

Your religion or belief, or those of somebody else,

should not interfere with your right to be treated fairly

at work or at school. Aspects of discrimination and

prejudice on religious or belief grounds may be

legally considered as ‘hate crimes’ (Racial and

Religious Hatred Act 2006, Equality Act 2006).

Disability

If you have a physical or mental impairment, you

have specific rights that protect you against

discrimination. Employers and schools are obliged to

make adjustments for you.

Gender

Women, men and transgender (gender identity)

people should not be treated unfairly because of their

gender, because they are married or because they

are raising a family.

Race

Wherever you were born, wherever your parents

came from, whatever the colour of your skin, you

have a right to be treated fairly.

Sexual Orientation

Whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or

straight should not put you at a disadvantage.

Aspects of discrimination and prejudice on sexual

orientation grounds may be legally considered as

‘hate crimes’.

A BIDEFORD COLLEGE EQUALITY AND

DIVERSITY ACTION PLAN

Associated with this policy document is a

comprehensive action plan which outlines the

strategic areas for development, review and

monitoring. It also says which groups within the

College are responsible for aspects of monitoring.

EQUALITY IMPACT AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT

(EINA)

The purpose of an Equality Impact and Needs

Assessment (EINA) is to improve the work of the

College by making sure it does not discriminate and

that, where possible, it promotes equality. It is a way

to make sure individuals and teams think carefully

about the likely impact of their work on people in the

Bideford area and take action to improve policies,

strategies, and projects, where appropriate.

The ‘Equalities Bill’ lays a legal responsibility on the

College to assess strategies, policies and functions,

and to set out how we will monitor any possible

negative impact on equality groups. At the time of

writing we are legally required to assessment the

impact against race, disability and gender. It is good

practice though to extend the assessment to include

all the 6 equality groups – age, disability, gender,

race, religion and sexuality.

There is a focus on assessing the impact on certain

groups of people known as equality groups. By

anticipating the consequences of policies and

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Reference: Status: Approved By: Date: Revision:

Curriculum Governors

7 October 2009

BC/GEN/016 Approved

001

Personnel Governors

7 October 2009

projects on these groups we can make sure that, as

far as possible, any negative consequences are

eliminated or minimised and opportunities for

promoting equality are maximised.

An EINA form has been provided to help with this

process and offer a checklist of issues and actions to

consider. It has to be completed prior to any

implementation of strategy, policy or function. If you

have to carry out an EINA you can contact the

member of the Governing Body/College staff

responsible for the implementation of this policy to

provide you with some support if needed.

BACKGROUND TO THE SINGLE EQUALITY

SCHEME

On 26 June 2008 Harriet Harman, Leader of the

House of Commons and Minister for Women and

Equality, announced the new Single Equality Bill. The

current equality laws have been vitally important, and

over the last ten years the Sex Discrimination Act

1975, Race Relations Act 1976, and Disability

Discrimination Act 1995 have been strengthened and

expanded. New laws have also been introduced to

cover discrimination on grounds of religion or belief,

sexual orientation and age.

But this means that the legislation has become

complex and difficult to use. Replacing it with a single

piece of legislation should provide simpler, more

consistent anti-discrimination protection. In addition,

today’s social, political and legal conditions and

expectations are now very different than they were

when the current laws were created. A new equality

act should meet these new conditions and

expectations, and proclaim that rights to equality and

protection against unfair discrimination are an integral

part of our constitution.

In February 2005 the government announced the

arrival of the Discrimination Law Review (DLR). The

aim of the DLR was to consider the opportunities for

creating a clearer and more streamlined equality

legislation framework. The DLR initially ran alongside

the Equalities Review, which published its final report

in February 2007.

The Government’s DLR team published a green

paper in June 2007, setting out its recommendations

for a single equality act for Great Britain. There was

then a period of formal consultation with

stakeholders, whose responses are now being

considered by the government team, as they work

towards an equality bill, and eventually, the act itself.

“The best course now is for the government to

introduce a Single Equality Act to consolidate all

these diverse provisions, to make sure that unless

special reasons exist there are common standards

across all the different areas of discrimination.”

TAKEN FROM THE GOVERNMENT EQUALITIES

OFFICE FACT SHEET

CREATING A FAIRER SOCIETY

The Government is committed to creating a fair

society with fair chances for everyone. For society to

be fair people must have the chance to live their lives

freely and fulfil their potential. To achieve this we

need to tackle inequality and root out discrimination.

Equality not only has benefits for individuals but for

society and the economy too. A more equal

workforce is a stronger workforce. A more equal

society is one more at ease with itself. To help us

create the equal and fair society we all want to see

we will introduce an important new package of

measures at the heart of which is a new Equality Bill.

WHAT THE EQUALITY BILL WILL DO

The aim of the Equality Bill is to fight discrimination in

all its forms and help to make equality a reality for

everyone. Specifically the Bill will:

Strengthen the law by:

Banning age discrimination in the provision of goods,

facilities or services. This is not about stopping older

people enjoying free bus passes, it is about tackling

unjustifiable age discrimination where it has negative

consequences. There will be further consultation on

this and a transition period before it is implemented.

Increasing transparency: for example, by banning

secrecy clauses which prevent people discussing

their own pay. We cannot tackle inequality if it is

hidden. Greater transparency will help us to tackle

persistent inequalities like the gender pay gap which

stands at 21%.

Ensuring public bodies report on equality issues such

as gender pay and ethnic minority and disability

employment in their organisations. This will show us

where more needs to be done.

Extending the scope for positive action. This is a

chance for employers to make their workforce more

diverse when choosing between two job candidates

of equal merit. A head teacher, for example, may

decide to appoint a man if there were no male

teachers in the school. This would benefit boys who

would gain a role model they can relate to.

Extending the period during which women-only

shortlists are allowed. This will help to increase the

representation of women in Parliament and elected

bodies.

Strengthening enforcement, for example, by allowing

tribunals to make wider

recommendations in discrimination cases. This will

enable the whole workforce to benefit from

improvements after an individual wins a

discrimination claim.

FACTSHEET

Streamline the law by:

Distilling nine pieces of legislation into a single Act. A

clearer legal framework for equality will be easier to

understand and implement, particularly for

businesses at a time when resources are stretched.

Creating a single new Equality Duty on public bodies

to tackle discrimination, promote equality of

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Reference: Status: Approved By: Date: Revision:

Curriculum Governors

7 October 2009

BC/GEN/016 Approved

001

Personnel Governors

7 October 2009

opportunity and encourage good community

relations. The new duty will cover race, disability and

gender, as now, but also include age, sexual

orientation, gender reassignment and religion or

belief, replacing the three existing, separate duties

with a single, more effective framework.

Simplifying the definition of disability discrimination so

people are clear whether they are protected.

Support wider work to promote equality which

includes:

Ensuring the public sector has due regard to

equality when buying goods and services. Every

year £175 billion is spent by the public sector on

goods and services supplied by the private sector.

This purchasing power can be put to good use to

improve equality.

Providing additional funding to support the work

being done by trade union equality

representatives who help to create a more equal

workforce.

Advice and guidance from ACAS, and information

on the Business Link website to help employers

understand what equality means for their

workforce, and to improve working life for

everyone.

The work of the Equality and Human Rights

Commission which provides advice and guidance

on equality issues.

Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiries

into the financial sector and construction industry

which will look at persistent inequalities in these

sectors and make recommendations based on

examples of best practice.

Helping to increase the number of ethnic minority

women councillors. There are only 149 ethnic

minority women councillors in England. Better

representation will ensure that the voice of ethnic

minority women is heard, and local councils better

reflect the communities they serve. We have set

up a cross-party Taskforce chaired by Baroness

Uddin to take this work forward.

Considering how Parliament could be more

representative of society as a whole. A Speaker’s

Conference has been set up to consider and

make recommendations on how to improve the

representation of women, disabled people and

people from ethnic minority communities in the

House of Commons. The public sector Equality

Duty will not be an absolute duty to take action but

will require public authorities to consider and

address equality issues in all their functions,

insofar as is relevant and proportionate.

Taking steps to understand other forms of

inequality, and the role they play in determining

people’s chances in life. Factors like family

background, educational attainment, where you

live, and the sort of job you have can influence

your chances in life as well as things like gender,

ethnic background, and whether or not you have a

disability. We set up the National Equality Panel

in 2008, chaired by Professor John Hills of the

London School of Economics, to analyse these

factors as well as the links between them. By

better understanding these links we will be more

able to tackle the problems where they exist. The

Panel will report in 2009.

ASSOCIATED POLICIES/PROCEDURES

Bideford College EINA

Disability Equality Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy

Equality & Diversity Action Plan

Gender Equality Policy

Race Equality Policy

REVISION HISTORY

001 Original document

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