Equality and diversity
West Suffolk Council is committed to taking effective action to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in all that we do as an employer, a service provider and as a community leader. We believe that all people are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. We are determined to ensure that both our employees and everyone entitled to use our services receive fair and equitable treatment. We are committed to working with our partners and communities to promote good relations and to combat prejudice, discrimination and harassment.
Equality and our strategic priorities
Our Strategic Priorities 2024-28 is the key document which outlines our priorities and actions for 2024-28. The plan clearly highlights the importance of equality and diversity in the delivery of our work.
The purpose of this scheme is to clearly define how we will meet our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 across West Suffolk. Additional information outlining our approach to Equality Impact Assessments and supporting information relating to the Family Test is also available:
- West Suffolk Equality Scheme 2021
- West Suffolk Equality Scheme –Appendix A: Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) Guidance
- Additional guidance – The family test
Equality in employment
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of employment and are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all staff. Assessment for recruitment, selection, and appraisal, training and career progression purposes is based entirely on the individual's ability and suitability for the work.
From 2005, we participated in the Double Tick Scheme, whereby all applicants with a disability who meet the essential criteria for a vacancy are guaranteed an interview, with a focus on ensuring that essential criteria is job focused and required to do the job and is not disproportionate to the role. We also provide adaptations and aids for new staff when required and support our staff to continue in employment with the council.
The scheme was replaced in 2016 by the Disability Confident Scheme and, since that time, we have remained a Level 2 employer, a recognised award given to organisations which can demonstrate their commitment to employing people with disabilities, by providing written evidence on how we have continued to meet the commitment and requirements of this award.
We have a number of policies in place to encourage a modern and efficient workforce. We are committed to monitoring employment and recruitment to ensure equal opportunity of employment. Data about our workforce can be found on our Open data and transparency page.
Equality impact assessments and analysis
We carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) where appropriate. The purpose of an EqIA is to help us ensure that we do not discriminate and, where possible we promote equality. EqIAs prompt a series of questions to make sure that we think carefully about the likely impact of our work on people and take action to improve our services where possible.
EqIA findings are reported to staff and councillors so that they can understand the consequences of making decisions and/or changes to the way services are delivered. We carry out EqIAs on service and policy decisions which impact on our communities and customers.