Equality and Diversity Plan 1

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Executive Summary

Equality and Diversity Plan

   Equality and Diversity Strategy

   Equality and Diversity Policy

   Corporate Equality and Diversity Action Plan 2005-06

Race Equality Scheme

   Race Equality Action Plan 2005-08

Disability Equality Scheme

   Disability Equality Scheme Action Plan 2006-09

Gender Equality Scheme

   Gender Equality Scheme Action Plan 2007-10
Rugby Borough Council   Diversity in Action
Rugby Borough Council                                           Diversity in Action

Executive Summary




Councillor Craig Humphrey
Leader of the Council



Welcome to Rugby Borough Council’s Equality Plan.
Agreed by Cabinet, this Plan will provide guidance and support to our employees to deliver
services in a fair and appropriate way and, as an organisation, it assists us to work
towards equality of opportunity and tackle disadvantage and discrimination.

The Council is committed to delivering equal access to services and employment
opportunities. As a large employer we will lead by example by sharing best practice.

Our Equality Plan is important to us all: manager; elected Members and employees. It
sets out the direction for the Council on equality and diversity and how we will work to
eliminate discrimination, promote equal opportunities and good relations within and outside
the Council.

Our aim is to:

       work towards mainstreaming equality and diversity
       demonstrate good leadership, honesty and responsiveness
       put the customer first
       provide good value for money
       value diversity, social justice and community cohesion
       work in partnership and deliver the Community Plan.

The Plan has a built-in process for measuring progress through the Equality Action Plan;
we will be conducting self assessments against the Equality Standard and assessing the
impact of our services to customers as part of the way we manage our performance within
the Council.
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Equality and Diversity Plan
The Council has adopted the Equality Standard for Local Government.

The Council’s Corporate Equalities Scheme consists of two main documents as follows:

1.     Corporate Equality and Diversity Policy
This Policy sets out the Council’s vision and commitment to ensure equality of opportunity
for all in employment and access to the services that it provides.

The key aims of the Policy are:

       treat everyone with dignity and respect
       ensure every resident and service user has equal access to high quality services
       create fair and just employment practices, which are free from discrimination
       ensure all residents, service users, employees and our partners in the community,
       are encouraged to make their contribution to improving our services
       integrate equality into everything we do.

In delivering this commitment, Rugby Borough Council acknowledges:

       the legal framework and our duties in relation to equality
       that various types of discrimination and equality exist
       that discrimination, harassment or victimisation will not be tolerated within the
       workplace or in the community
       that comments/complaints are welcomed as an opportunity to examine the quality
       of service we provide.

To maintain the effectiveness of this Policy, Rugby Borough Council will ensure:

       that all Members and staff play their part in challenging discrimination and in
       implementing the corporate Equality and Diversity Policy
       that we consult with a wide range of individuals, partner’s staff and community
       representatives
       that we monitor and measure our progress in relation to the Council’s equality and
       diversity aims and objectives.

2.     The Equality and Diversity Strategy/Action Plan
This Strategy/Action Plan is the Council’s main delivery mechanism for meeting equality
related issues in employment and service delivery.

It takes full account of the Council’s responsibilities arising from the Race Relations
(amendment) Act 2000, and the Equality Standard for Local Government.

Some of the key issues are:
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

      why equality of opportunity is crucial and the main national drivers, which underpins
      the work of Rugby Borough Counci

      provides a profile of Rugby

      defines the concept of “mainstreaming” and how the Council will integrate equality
      into everything it does

      highlights that equality and diversity is everybody’s business, and explains specific
      roles and responsibilities of various people within the Council

      provides a description of the two main policy and planning tools which guides the
      Council’s work in relation to equality and diversity, these are the Race Equality
      Scheme and the Equality Standard. It also explains the purpose of the Equality
      Impact Assessments and how this will keep improving Council services for
      everyone

      provides an insight about the arrangements that are in place for monitoring the
      workplace: service provision for complaints in relation to discrimination, victimisation
      and harassment, including the reporting of racist incidents

      describes the performance indicators the Council uses to measure its performance.
      Each Department will be expected to set and review equality related targets and an
      annual action plan will be produced and delivered

      provides information about how the Council will publish results and information
      about the progress it is making, and how this will be communicated to the public
      and to staff.

The Council recognises there are some sections of the public who may find it more difficult
than others to access information. We will aim to provide information in a range of
languages and formats, on request.

The Strategy demonstrates that the Council is committed to providing training and
development opportunities for employees and Elected Members to ensure that they have
the knowledge and skills to deliver the Equality and Diversity Strategy.

We welcome comments about the Equality and Diversity Strategy/Action Plan at any time.

3.    The Action Plan
The Action Plan sets out in detail the actions the Council intends to take over the next 12
months. The overall aim is to integrate equality and diversity into everything it does. This
Action Plan will be reviewed annually. Some of the major targets and objectives contained
within the action plan are as follows:

      generic equality objectives
      access to service and information
      leadership and corporate commitment
      service delivery and customer care
Rugby Borough Council                                          Diversity in Action

      employment and training.

4.    Conclusion
Ensuring equality, recognising diversity and promoting good community relations are legal
and moral duties placed upon the Council, its employees and Elected Members. The
Equality and Diversity Policy, Strategy and Action Plan are designed to help the Council
meet these duties.
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Equality and Diversity Strategy
FOREWORD

Following the Best Value Review, which was carried out in 2004, this Equality and
Diversity Strategy builds on our existing work in promoting social inclusion, tackling
discrimination and implementing equal opportunities generally and our specific duties
under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

The Strategy outlines what we aim to achieve in relation to equality and diversity; how it is
going to be done and the timescales for targets to be achieved.

This Strategy supports our vision and commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity for
all, which is specified within the Council’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

We will continue to respect and value our differences and our similarities, to be a tolerant
society and support equality of opportunity for all. We will do this by encouraging
participation and in consultation with our stakeholders, community representatives and
organisations and local strategic partners.

Our policies have a major impact on people’s lives and communities, therefore we should
ensure they are attuned to the needs of diverse groups and help to address social
inequality and make sure our services are used by the whole community.

Our success in implementing the Strategy will be measured by the overall impact we make
on the wellbeing of people in Rugby, by delivering services that are accessible and
appropriate to the varied needs of the population we serve, and having a highly skilled
workforce which is representative of all sections of the community.

This Strategy represents a genuine desire and commitment to action from our Elected
Members and staff. It will be developed and modified over time to help achieve ongoing
service improvements and especially address the equality aspects. This will be done in
consultation with all our stakeholders including community representatives, organisations
and partners.

This Strategy presents Rugby Borough Council with a challenging equality and diversity
agenda. However, it will bring benefits to the people in Rugby.
Rugby Borough Council                                               Diversity in Action

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Equality of opportunity is essentially in creating a fairer society where everyone has the
same chance to fulfil their potential, to participate fully in the economic and social life of the
community and have access to the services they need. This is backed by legislation
designed to address unfair discrimination.

Equality of opportunity is summarised in terms of equal access, equal treatment and equal
outcomes.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing differences in their broadest sense. This means
understanding how people’s differences and similarities can be mobilised for the benefit of
the individual, the organisation and society as a whole.

In addition to the clear moral case for equality outlined above, there is also a strong
business case for investing in equality and diversity. Managing diversity effectively can
lead to greater employee creativity, innovation and flexibility. Some of the key factors that
have enabled organisations to do this are:

       high profile leadership
       integrating equality and diversity as key corporate policy drivers
       clear, defined roles, responsibilities and accountability
       ongoing resources and support, particularly in relation to training and development.

Equality is not a minority issue: it is important for everyone and directly or indirectly affects
the whole population. The population of the UK is ageing and is becoming ethnically
diverse. More than 50% of the population are women, around 14% have disabilities and
around 7% are from black and ethnic minority groups. There has been a recent expansion
of countries joining the European Union, which gives citizens of the new member states
the right to live and work in the UK. This will further diversify the religious, cultural and
ethnic mix.

It is part of the vision for a cohesive Europe that its entire people are treated with equal
respect and worth.

Rugby Borough Council has an important role to play in helping to achieve equality in
society. We are a large employer and provide services within the community.

Currently, the major drivers for improving Rugby Borough Council’s response to equality
and diversity are:

       the legislative framework for equalities, including race, gender and disability.
       the Government’s modernising agenda, that requires the mainstreaming of equality
       issues into every aspect of service delivery and employment
       the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, and the statuary obligations
       under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which also requires local
       authorities to produce a Race Equality Scheme
       the generic Equality Standard for Local Government, which requires local
       authorities to measure their progress in implementing all equality and diversity,
       issues
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

      the various audit and inspection requirements through which the Council must
      demonstrate progress and continuous improvement.

Rugby’s Position

Profile

Rugby Borough Council is one of five local authorities in Warwickshire, covering 87,949
acres. It has a population of 87,543 that represents 17% of the population in
Warwickshire. It is widely regarded as a pleasant place to live, with strong communication
links, well-integrated mixed community, low unemployment and good community facilities.

The 2001 census indicates the population is made up of a 50/50 split between males and
females, 21% are aged 60 plus.

Minority ethnic groups account for 6.1% of the population.

For many years the Council has committed itself to a policy of equality of opportunity and
has implemented a number of initiatives in support of this. One of these is through its
Social Inclusion Strategy, which seeks to achieve overall improvement for everyone, but
quickest improvement for those who are most deprived or disadvantaged. The Council
acknowledges that the equality and diversity agenda is continuously developing and there
is always room for improvement.

Rugby Borough Council’s specific equality and diversity aims, which are included in the
Equality and Diversity Policy that has been produced in conjunction with this Strategy, are
to:

  Treat all people with dignity and respect, recognising the value of each individual
  Ensure that every resident and service user has equal access to high quality services
  Create a fair and just employment practice that is free from discrimination
  Ensure that all residents, service users, employees and our partners in the community
  are encouraged to make their contribution to improving our services
  We will not discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, colour,
  ethnic or national origin, creed or religion, age disability, gender, marital status,
  income or being lesbian, gay or bisexual
  Provide local people with better information about the services we provide, and how to
  access those services
  Ensure people know what to do if they are not satisfied with services they receive
  Integrate equalities into everything we do

The ways in which we will strive to deliver on these equality and diversity aims are set out
in the following sections of this Strategy.
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Mainstreaming Equality and Diversity

The term mainstreaming when applied to the principles of equality and diversity means the
Council will make this an integral part of everything we do, from planning and development
strategies and policies, to actual delivery of services to the people of Rugby.

We aim to achieve this by:

        building equality and diversity into the performance management process
        including this Strategy and key priorities in the Council’s service planning process
        producing and delivering an annual Equality and Diversity Action Plan, which will be
        the key for linking corporate equality and diversity priorities with service delivery
        activity

Who is Responsible for making this Strategy work?

The effective delivery of equality and diversity is everyone’s business, but specific
responsibility lies with Elected Members, senior officers and line managers.

Elected Members will:

        provide leadership: an effective scrutiny role and promote equality and diversity on
        the corporate agenda
        ensure resources are available to discharge the Council’s legal responsibilities in
        supporting equality of opportunity.

Chief Officers Management Team will:

        model the standards of behaviour and conduct they expect from their managers and
        staff
        provide direction and endorse equalities strategy, policy and practice.
        encourage the integration of equalities into all aspects of departmental work
        actively promote equality issues/action within departments.

Managers will:

        demonstrate commitment to equality by promoting it within their everyday roles – for
        themselves and for their staff
        identify training needs
        monitor the effectiveness of equalities policies and programmes in their areas
        encourage the provision of appropriate information, instruction and supervision.

All staff will:

        be encouraged to demonstrate commitment to equality in the performance of their
        duties and in their professional relationships with services users and colleagues
        support managers in the development and implementation of equality
        undertake appropriate training on equalities to meet their duties
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Elected Members and officers will be assisted in discharging their responsibilities by
specialist staff including Human Resource Officers, Learning and Development Officers
and the Equality and Diversity Adviser.

The Council is responsible for ensuring that its policies and decisions reflect the principles
contained within the Race Equality Scheme and this Strategy. The Corporate Overview
and Scrutiny Panels will monitor and check that the principles are being applied whenever
they scrutinise any aspect of a service.

In addition, the Council expects that any clients or contractors carrying out work on behalf
of the Council will comply with the principles set out in its Equality and Diversity Policy.

Delivering Equality and Diversity within the Council
The two main policy and planning tools that will help the Council deliver equality of
opportunity in employment and service delivery are the Race Equality Scheme (RES) and
the Equality Standard for Local Government (Equality Standard).

The Race Equality Scheme (RES)

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 requires local authorities to prepare and
publish a RES. Schools are also expected to have a Race Equality Policy in place.

The RES must show how the Council is meeting its duties to eliminate unlawful racial
discrimination and to promote race equality. It must also set out an action plan for
improvement for change, together with clear targets to measure progress and details of
desired outcomes. This will be revised annually after consultation with black and minority
ethnic and other communities.

The Council’s effectiveness in promoting race equality will be recognised by

       monitoring the workforce and ensure people from ethnic minorities are treated fairly
       assess how its policies and programmes could affect ethnic minorities and deals
with any possible adverse impact
       monitor how policies and programmes are put into practice, to ensure they meet the
needs of people from ethnic minorities
       have a publicly stated policy on race equality.

The Council’s progress will be scrutinised through an annual report presented to Cabinet.

The Equality Standard for Local Government

The Equality Standard was developed by a group of national organisations namely: the
Employers Organisation for Local Government, the Commission for Racial Equality, the
Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission and the Audit
commission.

It is a tool designed to help Councils assess the progress they are making in relation to
their commitment to equality and diversity.
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

Rugby Borough Council adopted the Equality Standard in 2003. Unlike the RES the
Equality Standard is not a statutory requirement, but is similar in the way that it is
designed. This Strategy and Action Plan is part of the Council’s approach to implementing
the Equality Standard.

The Equality Standard complements the RES and equality issues to include gender and
disability in particular. The Equality Standard provides five level generic frameworks that
will be used to address the Council’s legal and management performance obligations
under equality legislation.

We are committed to achieving level 2 of the Equality Standard by March 2006.

By progressing through the Equality Standard, we will be able to provide evidence to
demonstrate that improvements have been made in relation to access to services and that
we have a fair employment policy in place. Progression will be achieved by undertaking a
self-assessment against each level of the Standard and being externally validated.

Equality Impact Assessments

Equality Impact Assessments are the process by which a Council determines whether
there are any discriminatory effects or outcomes or any unmet needs in its services, and
employment practices.

We will carry out impact assessments for all our services to collect data to determine
whether everyone, who could use our services, does so and they are able to access them
equally.

Where gaps or imbalances are found, action plans will be developed to rectify any
discriminatory outcomes or unmet needs.

Impact assessments and action plans will be published on an annual basis. These are the
core of this Strategy and will not be a one-off response to the Equality Standard, but a
continuing part of the Council’s work.

Training advice and guidance will be provided for all managers about how to conduct
effective impact assessments. The Equality and Diversity Adviser will provide ongoing
support. Service managers will be responsible for checking that appropriate assessments
have taken place.


CONSULTATION: The Public and our Partners
The Council is currently compiling a Customer Service Strategy that will include customer
feedback procedure.

The Council strives to involve and consult all sectors of the community on a wide range of
policies, plans budgets and proposals. Consultations are undertaken by public meetings;
area committees; conferences; seminars and via the Council’s website. We aim to make
the consultation process more accessible by offering translation and interpretation services
for those who need them.
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action


Rugby Borough Council also consults with specific community groups namely:

Youth Council; older people; people with disabilities; Black and ethnic people.

The Council also endeavours to identify and make contact with individuals or groups who
may feel excluded, or who do not have the opportunity to participate in the consultation
process.

We will consult and communicate with staff on equality and diversity issues through staff
forums.


MONITORING PERFORMANCE
Monitoring the Equality and Diversity Strategy

As part of the Impact Assessment process the Council will assess the extent of existing
monitoring within each of its relevant functions and policies and identify areas that need to
be included, especially in relation to gender and disability. It is essential that we are able
to assess not only whether the actions set out in this Equality and Diversity Strategy are
being effectively implemented, but also whether these actions are improving access to,
and the quality of services to service users.

We have established targets and performance indicators, which will be integrated into
service plans, a number of equality performance measures will be used as part of service
reviews, external inspections and auditing processes.

Monitoring Council services and workplace for complaints, racist incidents and
incidents of victimisation/harassment.

The Council welcomes complaints as well as compliments and comments; this provides
the Council with the opportunity to identify areas for improvement and can enhance
service delivery/provision. All complaints are treated in the strictest confidence.

Each department has a customer feedback co-ordinator, who deals with customer
complaints in the first instance, acknowledges and records the information, which is then
passed onto the relevant responsible officer.
Departmental teams review all complaints /feedback as a key tool in achieving its aims.
The numbers of complaints, together with details of the types of complaint made, are
reported to Cabinet and the entire Panels six monthly.

Procedure for staff

No form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation will be tolerated in the workplace.
Any member of staff, who experiences a racist incident at work, or any act of victimisation
or harassment due to their gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion/belief, should
follow the procedure within the Council’s Harassment and Bullying Policy.
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Identifying and recording Racist incidents within the Community

Rugby Borough Council is committed to ensuring that the recommendations from the
Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (1999) and the guidelines contained within the Home Office
Code of Practice on reporting and recording racist incidents are fully implemented
throughout Rugby.

Multi-Agency Working

The Council works with the following groups:

       Rugby Racial Harassment Project
       Stratford Against Racism
       Community Against Racism WDC
       Partnership Against Racism
       North Warwickshire Borough Panel

Membership also includes Warwickshire Police Authority, Primary Care Trusts Victim
Support, Crown Prosecution Service, registered social landlords, Citizens Advice, BME
Organisations, faith groups and County Council departments. The Panels operate a
“sharing of information Protocol” to ensure that victims’ confidentiality is preserved.

Monitoring the workforce for equality of opportunity.

The Council is committed to equal opportunities and by improving its monitoring systems
will be able to demonstrate that its workforce reflects the community it serves. As a large
employer it is vital that we fulfil our responsibilities and set a good example to other
employers in the area.

We have a specific duty under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 to monitor our
workforce in a variety of ways. Equal Opportunities monitoring form is included in
recruitment packs to enable this data to be collected for analysis.

As part of this Strategy/Action Plan we aim to collect more detailed statistical information
from point of application through to offer of employment.

We will develop workforce equality targets using the Equality Standards criteria for
employment and training as the benchmark, and Best Value Performance indicators as the
mechanism for focusing attention on equality in employment and service provision.

Outcomes will be published against equality related performance indicators in the Best
Value Performance Plan annually. These results will form the basis of consultation and
feedback on how Rugby is doing and how we might improve monitoring and results.

Publishing the results of Equality Impact Assessments, Consultation and
Monitoring

Rugby Borough Council wants people to understand the reasons for its decisions, and
what improvements have been made to ensure the integration of equality and diversity into
policy and practice. We also want to provide people with information that assists them to
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

raise questions about the quality of decisions and raise issues that need to be addressed
in the future. We plan to communicate by:

       Best Value Performance Plan
       Corporate Plan
       Service Plans
       Departmental Briefings
       Newsletters
       RBC Publication scheme available via the Website

Public Access to Services and Information

We are committed to providing, where possible, equal access to our services and to
information that it provides.

Rugby Borough Council has a number of staff members who have second language skills,
who can be called upon to interpret as and when the needs arise. There is also an
interpreting service we can access to translate information in varied formats such as large
print when required. Our website meets all the requirements for dyslexia and colour
blindness.


TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
In order to support this Equality and Diversity Strategy, all staff need to have appropriate
training in equality and diversity awareness/issues. We have identified training providers
to provide training for Elected Members and all employees to ensure they have the
necessary skills and knowledge to undertake their responsibilities and be equipped to
deliver high quality services that do not discriminate unfairly.

Training will need to be adequately resourced to meet the ongoing need for equality
awareness and customer care training for staff and members. The Equality Standard
particularly focuses on the requirement for race, gender and disability awareness training.

Other training needs to be considered are:

       equipping complaints officers to handle monitoring and investigation of complaints
       that may be of a discriminatory nature
       equipping managers in the necessary skills and behaviour to engage confidentially
       with equality and diversity issues
       building in competencies in equality and diversity issues into the Review and
       Development process
       including in the Induction Programme awareness of the Equality Standard and Race
       Equality Scheme and their responsibility under this Strategy
       ensuring that training programmes can be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of
       staff working part time and variable shift patterns.
Rugby Borough Council                                         Diversity in Action

As we progress through the Equality Standard there is a requirement to have robust
information and monitoring system. Therefore, monitoring systems will need to be in place
so that managers and staff who will be operating the systems can collect relevant data.

This Strategy will run from August 2005 and reviewed annually. As part of this ongoing
process we welcome comments at any time.
Rugby Borough Council                                              Diversity in Action

Equality and Diversity Policy
INTRODUCTION
Rugby Borough Council is committed to equality in the services it provides to the
community and in employment. This Policy is endorsed and applies to all Rugby Borough
Council employees and Elected Members.

Equality of opportunity in service delivery is about people’s right to a fair and equal service,
which does not disadvantage any particular group, for example, on the grounds of age,
race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental
impairment.

Valuing diversity recognises that people have different needs, by serving the community
and valuing the contribution of our workforce, we aim to improve the quality of life and
wellbeing of the population.

Rugby Borough Council’s vision and commitment will be implemented, monitored and
reviewed through our Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan.

Everyone has a part to play in making this Policy effective, in all aspects of the work they
are engaged in. Everyone also has a duty to report any discrimination occurring, to enable
appropriate action to be taken.

Our Commitment

The Borough Council commits itself to the general principles of fairness and equality. We
will seek to apply these principles by challenging and eliminating discrimination, where it
exists: by ensuring high levels of public satisfaction with our services, by all our
communities and creating a diverse workforce.

Our Equality and Diversity Aims are to:

       treat all people with dignity and respect, recognising the value of each individual.
       This applies to everyone who has contact with the Council, including Elected
       Members, residents, service users, staff contractors, visitors and job applicants
       ensure public services and employment opportunities are equally available to all in
       a fair, open and safe environment
       support the development of strong secure, self reliant and confident communities,
       free from unlawful discrimination and prejudice
       provide information on Council services, policies and practices in a variety of ways,
       so as not to exclude any group of clients, prospective clients or customers
       promote the needs of people with special needs and provide services in appropriate
       ways as identified through consultation with those groups
       increase awareness of the needs of particular groups of people, amongst staff and
       in the wider community.
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

       work towards reducing the extent to which vulnerable groups and individuals are
       disproportionately affected by crime, violence, discrimination and a sense of
       insecurity
       continue the work on being an Equal Opportunity Employer and build a workforce
       which reflects the diversity of the local community
       develop service delivery monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that our
       Equal Opportunities policies and objectives are effectively delivered
       ensure all Council policies and practices take account of the needs of our diverse
       workforce and communities
       ensure that service plans meet the social inclusion and diverse needs of our
       workforce and services provided by the Council

The Legal Framework

Rugby Borough Council accepts their legal responsibilities in relation to equality, including
the requirements of the following legislations: -

       Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Including the Gender [Reassignment] Regulations
       1999)
       Race Relation Act 1976 and (Amendment) Act 2000
       Race Relations Act Regulations 2003
       Human Rights Act 1998
       Disability Discrimination Act 1995
       Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
       Religion or Belief Regulations 2003 (Employment)
       Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003 (Employment)
       Protection from Harassment Act 1997
       European Directives and Amendments to UK Legislation as they come on stream

We will ensure that our policies and procedures are compliant with the codes of practice
and guidance published by national equality bodies, such as the Equal Opportunities
Commission, the Disability Rights Commission, and the Commission for Racial Equality.

Discrimination

Discrimination occurs when a person or group of people are treated less favourably than
others. For example, unfair treatment might present itself as racism, sexism or disablism;
discrimination of this kind can be direct, indirect, intentional or unintentional which
individuals, groups or institutions can enact. Everyday operations can be a source of
unintentional discrimination.

Rugby Borough Council acknowledges that at an institutional level, prejudices can become
embedded within organisations through policies, practices, procedures and criteria for
decision making. This can result in the exclusion of some people in favour of others,
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

leading to unequal treatment, inequitable distribution of opportunities, power and
resources, which in turn could deprive some people of better life experiences.

At an individual level, a person may hold negative attitudes about other people or groups.
These attitudes could result in inappropriate discriminatory behaviour or outcomes, which
the Council finds unacceptable, and will take steps to make sure the working environment
and services provided are free from discrimination.

The Council endorses the social model of disability, the aim of the social model is the
removal of barriers to include disabled people in employment, access to goods, facilities,
services and premises,

Achieving Equality and Valuing Diversity

To achieve our equality and diversity aims we will:

      create and implement a Corporate Equality and Diversity Strategy in relation to
      employment and service delivery
      adopt the Equality Standard for Local Government, incorporating the Council’s
      Race Equality Scheme
      provide appropriate training and development in Equality and Diversity Awareness
      for staff and Council members
      aim to create a workforce profile, which reflects our diverse community
      consult and seek the views of our communities and service users to assist in the
      development of our Equality and Diversity Agenda
      positively promote equality of opportunity within Rugby as part of the Council’s
      community leadership role
      work with our partners in the statuary, voluntary and private sectors to ensure the
      best outcomes for the people of Rugby
      review, audit and report progress annually of our achievements.

Equality and Diversity in Service Provision

We will aim to:

      provide appropriate, accessible and effective services and facilities to all sections of
      the community
      provide clear and accessible information about our services in a variety of formats
      and languages, when they are requested
      challenge, review and monitor our services, working practices and resource
      allocations to ensure that they do not discriminate, and identify where
      improvements can be made
      ensure that all employees understand what equality workforce culture in service
      provision means
      ensure that community representatives are consulted with and involved in the
      planning and delivery of services
Rugby Borough Council                                              Diversity in Action

       ensure that all service users have equal access to our corporate Complaints
       Procedure by making it available in a variety of formats and languages, when
       requested
       carry out Impact Assessments to monitor the effects of our policies and procedures
       on services to ensure social inclusion is being achieved.

Equality and Diversity in Procurement and Contracting

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 outlaws discrimination in all Government
functions, and we will ensure that our procurement and contracting practices comply with
legislation by:

       as far as possible ensuring that contractors, suppliers, volunteers and partners are
       aware of our position on equality and are clear about their obligation to provide
       services that are free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation
       ensuring our selection and tendering process positively address and include
       equality considerations that are in line with above-mentioned procedures
       recognising and promoting the application of the commission for Racial Equality and
       Local Government Association guidelines on Race Equality and Public
       Procurement, in line with Rugby Borough Council’s own contracting procedures
       ensure training in equality issues is provided for all staff involved in procurement.

Equality and Diversity at Work

Rugby Borough Council is a major local employer, and therefore we have a key role to
play in tackling inequality and discrimination. In order to ensure that equality underpins all
aspects of our employment policy we will aim to;

       eliminate unfair treatment and discrimination through human resources policies and
       activities
       provide training and development opportunities equally to all staff
       ensure that employees receive fair and equal treatment in relation to their
       employment, regardless of whether they are full time, part time or temporary
       recognise that employees have the right to work in a safe and harassment free
       environment
       create an appropriate balance between work and home commitments, in order to
       maximise employment opportunities for all
       wherever possible, make reasonable adjustments to enable the employment and
       redeployment of staff with disabilities, as required by the Disability Discrimination
       Act
       make staff aware of their personal responsibility to follow and support the Equality
       and Diversity Policy.
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

Consultation

We will consult with a wide range of individuals, partners and community representatives
in order to make appropriate decisions in relation to the range and accessibility of the
services we provide. Wherever possible we will identify and make contact with individuals
and groups who are perceived as disadvantaged or marginalized within the community,
and who might not otherwise be able to be involved in the normal consultation process.

Our Responsibilities

Within the Council, all Elected Members and staff have a part to play in challenging
discrimination and in implementing this policy:

Equality and Diversity Champion - Identify an Elected Member to become the Equality
and Diversity Champion to take forward the equality agenda,
Councillors are responsible for leading the Equality and Diversity Agenda, providing a
scrutiny role, prioritising resources and community leadership generally,
The Chief Executive and Directors are responsible for the overall management and
strategic direction of the Equality and Diversity Agenda,
Heads of Service and Departmental Management Teams are responsible for ensuring
the implementation of this Policy in their Service Areas, and in their planning process.
They should identify any discriminatory practices, include equality targets in their Service
Improvement Plans and develop criteria for success
The Equality and Diversity Adviser will be responsible for advising the Council on
employment and service delivery issues and liaising with community groups to identify and
eliminate discriminatory practice and keeping equality and diversity issues on the agenda
Unions and Staff groups have a responsibility to represent the views and concerns of
staff on equality and diversity issues, and in supporting the continuous improvement of
equality policy and practice
All Staff have an individual responsibility for promoting and delivering equality in the
workplace and in serving the community. This expectation will be communicated to all new
staff via the induction process.

Monitoring and Reporting Progress

An Action Plan will be developed and updated annually to review, monitor and evaluate
the Equality and Diversity Policy, procedures and practices, both in service delivery and
employment, from an equality perspective, to ensure that they conform to this Policy, as
well as legislative and other external requirements, and in line with being a best practice
employer.

Where we ask employees and service users to provide us with personal information, this
will only be used to improve access to and the quality of the services we provide. In order
to succeed in this we require the co-operation and understanding of our staff and service
users, and in line with data protection and freedom of information guidelines.

Conclusion

We believe that the Council should reflect all the communities and people it serves in both
employment and service delivery. By implementing this Policy, the Council recognises its
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

responsibilities and its leadership role within the community and aims to be a leading
organisation in the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity within Warwickshire.
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                               Diversity in Action
Corporate Equality and Diversity Action Plan 2005-06
Specific Activity                 Measurable Outcome           Achievable Milestones      Responsible Officer    Timely Delivery   Progress
The Council to adopt a            Draft Equality & Diversity   Have draft document for    Equality & Diversity   End June 2005
comprehensive Equality and        Policy                       consultation               Adviser/Quality &
Diversity Policy, Strategy and                                                            Performance
Action Plan that will drive the                                                           Manager/Head of
Authority forward with regards                                                            Performance and
to the Diversity agenda that                                                              Development
incorporates the views of
Unions and employees
                                  Draft Equality & Diversity   Have draft document for    As above               End June 2005
                                  Strategy                     consultation
                                  Draft Equality & Diversity   Have draft document for    As above               End July 2005
                                  Action Plan                  consultation
                                  Consult Unions and           Feedback received from     As above               End July 2005
                                  employees on draft Policy,   Unions and employees
                                  Strategy and Action Plan
                                  Present draft documents      Consult on draft to gain     As above             August 2005
                                  to Management Team           feedback on policy for
                                                               suggestions for final policy
                                  Present to Cabinet for       Final document with          As above             September 2005
                                  adoption of Policy,          appropriate endorsement
                                  Strategy and Action Plan     from Cabinet
                                  Promote and embed the        Publish Strategy, make       As above             October 2005
                                  Equality and Diversity       available to Members,
                                  Policy and Strategy          employees and wider
                                                               community via website
                                                               and Intranet
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                 Diversity in Action

Specific Activity             Measurable Outcome           Achievable Milestones          Responsible Officer      Timely Delivery    Progress
                              Access resources for         Identify training provider     As above                 October 2005
                              basic training on Equality   to provide awareness
                              & Diversity awareness for    training for staff and
                              all employees and            Members.
                              Members
                              Develop a range of           Informing Members and          Equality and Diversity   Ongoing/Annually
                              appropriate training and     staff to keep them up to       Adviser/Employee
                              development resources,       date with legislation          Development Officer
                              linked to Council
                              development strategy
                              Review and monitor/          Ensure Council’s policies      Human Resources/         December 2005
                              employment procedures        and procedures meet with       Heads of Services/
                              to ensure the Council’s      current legislation            Equality and Diversity
                              workforce more                                              Adviser
                              representative of the
                              population it serves
The Council to adopt a        Draft Race Equality          Promote race equality          Equality and Diversity   October 2005
comprehensive Race Equality   Scheme ready for             scheme, throughout             Adviser
Scheme                        consultation                 Council and share best
                                                           practice with local
                                                           strategic partners
                              Present draft Race           Consult on draft to gain       As above                 November 2005
                              Equality Scheme to           feedback on policy for
                              Management Team              suggestions for final policy
The Council to adopt a        Draft Disability Equality    Mainstream disability          Equality and Diversity   March 2006
comprehensive Disability      Scheme ready for             equality into employment       Adviser
Equality Scheme               consultation                 and service provision by
                                                           liaising with disabled
                                                           people, staff and service
                                                           users in consultation and
                                                           action planning
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                            Diversity in Action
Specific Activity                Measurable Outcome         Achievable Milestones      Responsible Officer    Timely Delivery   Progress
                                 Present draft Disability   Consult on draft to gain   As above               Early 2006/07
                                 Equality Scheme to         feedback on policy for
                                 Management Team            suggestions for final
                                                            policy
The Council to undertake         Impact Assessment          Impact Assessment          Equality and Diversity January 2006
Impact Assessments of its        training for Heads of      training complete          Adviser/Quality and
services                         Service                                               Performance
                                                                                       Manager/Head of
                                                            Commence Impact            Performance and        March 2006
                                                            Assessments for key        Development
                                                            impact services
                                 Promote equality and    Achieve Equality              Equality and Diversity April 2006
                                 outcomes for staff and  Standard Level 2              Adviser
                                 service users in Rugby,
                                 improving the equality
                                 standard for Local
                                 Government for Rugby to
                                 level 2


           Work/stage complete

           Work in progress

           Work behind schedule
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

Race Equality Scheme
Rugby Borough Council is committed to ensuring that race equality is part of everything we
do. By improving the way we work and provide services to our communities by recognising
and respecting differences, we aim to promote understanding and good relations between
people of different backgrounds and experiences. We believe racial equality should be a
central part of everything we do both as service providers and an employer in Rugby.

Following the Government Inquiry by Sir William McPherson into the murder in 1993 of a
black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, the Inquiry adopted the concept of institutional racism,
which was defined as:

            “The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate
          and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or
           ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and
               behaviour, which amount to discrimination through unwitting
           prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which
                            disadvantage minority ethnic people.”

The McPherson Report published its findings in 1999 and the outcomes from the Inquiry
led to important changes in the development of race relations in Britain. The Government
has developed key targets and legislation to ensure that public authorities make race
equality a central part of services they deliver.

One of the actions resulting from these changes was the introduction of the Race
Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which strengthened the scope of section 71 of the Race
Relations Act 1976 and imposed wider duties on public authorities to positively promote
race equality.

The General Duty
The General Duty (set out in section 71 (1)) requires public authorities to:

       eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
       promote equality of opportunity
       promote good relations between persons of different racial groups

This general duty is supported by specific duties, which form the steps, methods or
arrangements by which the general duty can be achieved. They are a means to an end,
and not an end in themselves. One of these specific duties was to develop and publish a
Race Equality Scheme by 31 May 2005.

This is the Council’s second Race Equality Scheme. The first version was published in
2002/03 in conjunction with our partners, namely other local authorities in Warwickshire,
Police and Primary Care Trusts. Updating the Race Equality Scheme has given the
Council an opportunity to review the approach it has taken in light of its ongoing work on
the Equality Standard for Local Government and development of a Social Inclusion
Strategy, as well as considering the findings on equalities priorities from consultation with
members of the public and local Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) organisations.
Rugby Borough Council                                              Diversity in Action

A Summary of our Scheme

A Race Equality Scheme is designed to be a realistic action plan and timetable for
achieving the general duty under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and say how
we intend to carry out each of the specific duties. Identifying functions or policies that are
relevant to the general duty and reviewing them within three years, and preparing a
publishing a Race Equality Scheme by 31 May 2005.

The Specific Duties

Authorities are expected to meet two specific duties in order to comply with the general
duty (section 2(2) statuary code of practice) these are:

To prepare and publish a Race Equality Scheme – setting out how they intend to fulfil their
obligation under the general duty by:

       assessing which of its functions and policies are relevant to the general duty
       setting out its arrangements for assessing and consulting on the impact of its
       policies on the promotion of race equality
       setting out its arrangements for monitoring adverse impact on race equality
       setting out its arrangements for publishing the results of assessments, consultation
       and monitoring
       setting out its arrangements for ensuring Black and minority ethnic communities
       have access to information and the services it provides
       setting out its arrangements for training senior managers and staff on issues
       relevant to the duty of promoting racial equality.

Public authorities must state the functions and policies they have assessed and prioritised
as being relevant to the general duty of promoting race equality. They should also detail
arrangements for assessment of their prioritised functions

All authorities with more than 150 full time staff, are also required to monitor by racial
group the number of staff who:

       receive training
       benefit or suffer detriment from performance appraisals
       are involved in grievances
       have disciplinary action taken against them; or
       end employment with the authority (whether as a result of dismissal or some other
       reason).

Publishing the Results
Local authorities must set out their arrangements for publishing the results of any
assessments, consultation and monitoring they do to identify adverse impacts on race
equality.
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

In order to be accountable and to demonstrate the results of this Race Equality Scheme,
the Council will publish the results of service user monitoring of major consultation
exercises and of any impact assessments it carries out at least once a year. The Best
Value Performance Plan will incorporate as much of the activity as possible under the
Race Equality Scheme in the annual publication. The Scheme is a three-year scheme but
will be subject to annual review.

The key objective is to demonstrate progress in delivering the Scheme and increase public
confidence across all racial groups.

Rugby’s Profile
The 2001 census record a population of 87,453 and the Census has provided us with
some key features on the local population:

      6.1% of the population are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities
      these groups comprise a significant Indian majority but there are sizable
      populations of Pakistani, Afro-Caribbean and Chinese families. There is a wide
      diversity of communities and community needs.
      21% of the local population are aged 60 plus
      74.8% of local population stated their religion as Christianity
      3.6% stated a religious belief other than Christianity.
      There are 39,561 households in the Borough

The Council is committed to upholding four key principles through which we aim to:

      achieve improvement for all but with the fastest improvement for the most deprived
      ensure equality of opportunity for all
      be a customer focused organisation
      take into account the needs of future generations in our planning.

In respect of race equality, we have sought to promote the above objectives and principles
by working towards the implementation of the Equality Standard for Local Government,
which enables us to incorporate the commission for racial equality standards and meet the
requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

Developing the Rugby Scheme
Following a Best Value Review, the Council has re-enforced its commitment by employing
an Equality and Diversity Adviser, who has co-ordinated the publication of an Equality and
Diversity Policy, Strategy and Action Plan for Equality and Diversity.

Key milestones have been identified of which this Race Equality Scheme is one. We have
developed a consultation process that seeks to involve all BME communities on an area
and countywide basis.

Our Scheme outlines how we plan to meet our commitment and statutory duty to ensure
our services are delivered fairly as we promote good race relations. As well as a service
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

provider and employer, the Council has an important leadership role in influencing others,
promoting and encouraging fairness and equality and contributing to a more just and
compassionate society. The Council will strive to work with all its citizens, partners,
business voluntary and community groups to develop a shared understanding and
commitment to this objective.

By implementing our Race Equality Scheme, we intend to mainstream race equality in all
that we do. In particular we will:

       measure the impact of our policies and practices, and take steps to remove any
       adverse impact on any/all racial groups
       increase the satisfaction levels of services users across all racial groups
       increase the satisfaction levels of employees across all racial groups
       reflect within our workforce, the communities which we serve.

We will manage our workforce in a way that ensures we get the best from their diversity,
valuing their experience as individuals and integrating fairness and equity into every
aspect of employment practices. The Council will do this by recruiting, developing and
retaining the most talented people and valuing the varied skills and experiences people
bring to Rugby. The Council is developing more imaginative and open ways of recruiting
and retaining a diverse workforce.

The Race Equality Scheme In Operation
Overall responsibility for carrying out the decisions of the Council lies with the Chief
Executive who is responsible for ensuring the Council meets the requirements of the
general duty.

The actions set out in this Scheme will impact on everyone who lives and works in Rugby.
The Borough’s diversity is the key to the development not only of this Scheme but also to
the Council’s other policies and services.

The specific duties of the race relations (Amendment) Act require us to:

Monitor existing functions and policies for any adverse impact and act on the results

Assess and consult on the potential impact of proposed policies

Publish results of the monitoring, assessments and consultations(in the Best Value
Performance Plan, and via the website)

Ensure that all sections of the public have access to information about Council services
and to the services they require

Train staff responsible for managing and delivering the Scheme

Review employment policies and practices.
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action

The Council’s response to these duties

Impact assessments of existing service provision and policies

The aim of the assessments will be to find out whether our services are meeting the
requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) 2000 Act and are appropriately taking
into account the needs and concerns of people from different racial and other groups in the
community, and what they think about our services provision.

In order to achieve this we must:

      agree a method for assessing proposed policies
      set up methods and procedures for consulting those who will be affected by the
      policies
      analyse the data and the results
      publish the results of the impact assessments
      introduce a procedure for revising proposed policies in the light of the assessment
      and consultation
      review policy proposals, if necessary to meet the general duty

The law says we must list in the Race Equality Scheme, the functions and policies that are
relevant to the general duty to improve race equality, and review the list every three years.
In practice, we should:

      select an assessment method (ie, equality impact assessments)
      decide how relevant each function and policy is to the general duty
      use the results to prioritise functions and policies
      build race equality into the work of each function
      address all relevant functions in due course
      review functions and policies within three years.

Whilst not all policies and functions will impact on the general duty, we will be rigorous in
our approach to impact assessment. We already consult with BME groups and have a
countywide model to effect this consultation. We acknowledge the need for consultation to
be timely, open and inclusive. However, additional consultation will be appropriate
depending on the individual function or policy. The Council recognises that different
groups will have different needs, cultures and customs, and that the needs and aspirations
of these groups may differ between rural and urban localities, and will take appropriate
measures to ensure full participation in consultation meetings by considering issues such
as:

      the appropriateness of the venue
      the time of day at which it is scheduled to take place
      ensuring the venue is accessible to BME women, people with disabilities and older
      and young people.
      how the meeting is to be run
      use of appropriate language.
Rugby Borough Council                                                 Diversity in Action

When consulting with Black and Minority Ethnic communities (BME), we will ensure:

       the consultation is central to informed decision making
       consultation leads to increased confidence, and improved policy making
       it has a clear purpose
       there is prompt analysis and reporting of the results

We will use a range of consultation methods including:

       consultation meetings
       focus groups
       reference groups
       survey/ questionnaires
       public scrutiny exercises.

Publishing the Results
We are duty bound to set out our arrangements for publishing the results of any
assessments, consultations and monitoring we carry out to establish whether policies have
an adverse impact on race equality. This means:

       increasing public confidence in the organisation to show that we are open to
       scrutiny
       producing specific reports on each assessment, consultation and monitoring
       exercise
       protecting the confidentiality of individual monitoring data
       making summaries of the results widely available
       using existing publications and publishing methods.

We will specifically publish:

       the Race Equality Scheme
       a summary of all assessments, monitoring and consultations
       consultation outcomes on proposed policies.

Individual reports on impact assessments will be available on request

Staff Training

In order to ensure all staff and Members have the necessary skills to carry out the general
and specific duties we have started by commissioning a basic Diversity Awareness
Programme for all members and staff, this will be followed by an ongoing programme to
continue to assess staff knowledge and skills and identify gaps.

Specific duties in Employment

We are required to monitor by racial group:

       staff in post
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action

       applicants for employment, promotion and training
       staff who receive training
       staff who benefit or suffer from performance appraisals
       staff who are involved in grievance procedures
       staff who are the subject of disciplinary action
       staff who end their service with us

We are required to have systems in place to undertake this monitoring analyse data for
patterns of inequality, take action where unjustifiable disparities are identified, produce and
publish annual results

We currently record this information, but are aware we need to tighten up the process, and
have a streamlined system throughout the Council. With this in mind, we are currently
looking at Human Resource Management Systems, which include the ability to record,
monitor and publish the results. We will build on our existing framework and analyse
patterns and trends to effect improvement in our recruitment procedures from advertising
positions to take up of employment.

Procurement

All departments follow the Council’s Strategy on procurement, to ensure the Council meets
its aims to:

       Ensure that service providers receive assistance to comply with their legal
       obligations for non-discrimination
       Acknowledge and encourage good companies who work for Local Authorities
       Secure contracts that provide quality, value for money and equal opportunity for the
       citizens of Rugby

Partnership

We will ensure that through joint working with partners from the public, private and
voluntary sectors that we continue to meet our legal obligations to promote race equality
under the general duty. In particular, we will work closely with our partners in the
Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership.

Complaints

Customer feedback about service delivery is an important way of monitoring equality of
outcomes, and provides an opportunity to review services and put things right if necessary.

The Council aims to resolve all complaints in a fair and transparent way to the mutual
satisfaction of all concerned. Complaints will follow the Council’s “Customer Feedback
Procedure”. A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction, however made,
about the standard of service or lack of action by the Council or its staff, or by a person or
body acting on behalf of the Council, affecting an individual customer or group of
customers.

Allegations that Council staff, Elected Members and or contractors have behaved in a
racist manner in carrying out their duties will be treated very seriously, and will be
Rugby Borough Council                                           Diversity in Action

investigated by Senior officers by recording the nature of the complaint, the ethnic/racial
identity of those involved and how the complaint was received. All complaints of a racial
nature will be monitored, and reported under the best value performance indicators. (BVPI
174 & 175).

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Council’s complaints process, s/he
will be informed of the procedure for taking the complaint to the Commission for Racial
Equality (CRE).

Council staff will also provide assistance for any member of the public who has difficulty
making a complaint due to problems with language or a particular disability. We will
arrange an interpreter where appropriate, and arrange a home visit if a person is unable to
attend the Council’s premises, due to a disability.

We keep all complaints confidential to be fair to everyone concerned and we will not treat
anyone unfavourably as a result of their complaint.

Outcomes

By adopting and implementing the Race Equality Scheme, the Council hopes to realise the
following outcomes:

      changes in workforce representation
      service user satisfaction
      employee satisfaction/perception
      changes in service outcomes
      changes in public confidence
      improved community relations.
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                Diversity in Action
Race Equality Action Plan 2005-08
Specific Activity            Measurable Outcome                    Achievable Milestones           Responsible Officer      Timely Delivery
Develop Race Equality Scheme Putting Race Equality on              Consult with Members,           Equality and Diversity   February 2006
which reflects Rugby profile Council Agenda                        Employees and Unions on draft   Adviser
                                                                   Scheme
                                                                   Draft document reported to                               February 2006
                                                                   Management Team
                                                                   Final document with final       Equality and Diversity   March 2006
                                                                   endorsement from Cabinet        Adviser
Promote Race Equality Scheme Ensure participation of local         Identify and engage with        Equality and Diversity   April 2006
and share best practice with    strategic partners in              partners                        Adviser                  (subject to call in)
local strategic partners        consultation and action
                                planning with regards to service
                                delivery
Commence, coordinate and        First annual departmental        Report proposed timetable for     Equality and Diversity   March 2006
deliver impact assessments for impact assessments completed      programme of impact               Adviser
Race Equality on all aspects of                                  assessments to Management
service delivery, including                                      Team on all Council services
policies                                                         policies, plans and strategies
                                                                 First service area (TBC)          Equality and Diversity   April 2006
                                                                 assessed (other areas to be       Adviser
                                                                 included after approval by
                                                                 Management Team)                  Head of Service
                                  Complete assessments of Race Publish results of impact           Equality and Diversity   May 2007
                                  Equality for targeted services assessments and proposed          Adviser
                                  on all aspects of service      action plans for targeted
                                  delivery including policies    services and Council policies     Head of Service
Establish regular dialogue with   Changes to public confidence   Gain feedback from a range of     Equality and Diversity   Mid-term of each
community groups to plan          and service outcomes and       community groups                  Adviser                  action plan
service improvements              improvements to community
                                  relations                                                        Head of Service
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                  Diversity in Action

Specific Activity                  Measurable Outcome              Achievable Milestones             Responsible Officer       Timely Delivery
Monitor, collate and report        Ensure Council’s policies and   Identify information required for Equality and Diversity    Ongoing quarterly
ethnic monitoring on               procedures meet with current    monitoring                        Adviser                   monitoring
recruitment and                    legislation
retention/training and promotion                                                                      Head of Service
                                                                   Pilot data collection to establish                          January – March
                                                                   baseline data and workforce                                 2006
                                                                   profile to ensure effective
                                                                   processes and systems are in
                                                                   place
                                   Data is used to inform future   Monitor recruitment and staff      Equality and Diversity   June 2006
                                   policy, target setting. Report  development for race equality, Adviser                      Ongoing
                                   outcomes to Personnel,          and report regularly (6 monthly)
                                   Management Team and             to Management Team                 Head of Service
                                   Members.
To propose methodology to          Better informed decision       Develop options for recording      Equality and Diversity    Dec 2006
record and analyse the take up     making and policy development minority group take up of           Adviser
of services by ethnic origin                                      services and consult with
                                                                  services                           Head of Service
                                                                  Produce Corporate standard for                               January 2007
                                                                  recording and analysing data
                                                                  for minority group take up of
                                                                  services.
Promote the ability to provide     Ensure a clear understanding   Make all staff and departments     Equality and Diversity    February 2006
information in range of            on service provisions and how aware of interpreting and           Adviser
languages spoken throughout        to access these by minority    translation service, used by
the Borough                        communities                    Council and how to access this
                                                                  service
                                                                  Promote this service through       Equality and Diversity    March 2006
                                                                  website, posters, leaflets and     Adviser
                                                                  community contacts
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                   Diversity in Action

Specific Activity               Measurable Outcome                 Achievable Milestones               Responsible Officer      Timely Delivery
Development of equalities web   To allow staff and service users   Create web page in user             Equality and Diversity   March 2006
page                            access to information and          friendly format accessible to       Adviser
                                reports.                           staff and communities, linking to
                                                                   community support groups any
                                                                   other agencies
Improve the equality standard  Promote equality of outcomes        Achieve Equality standard Level     Equality and Diversity   April 2006
for Local Government for Rugby for staff and service users in      2                                   Adviser
to level 2                     Rugby


Further implement Equalities  To progress the work of the          Achieve Level 3                     Equality and Diversity   March 2007
Standard for Local Government Equality Impact Assessments                                              Adviser
                              and work towards levels 3 and
                              4

                                                                   Achieve Level 4                                              March 2008
Rugby Borough Council                                           Diversity in Action
Disability Equality Scheme
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 gives public authorities a statuary duty to promote
equality of opportunity. The aim is to help provide fair and accessible services and to
improve equal opportunities in employment for disabled staff and members of the public.

It establishes a general duty which requires that, in its functions, Rugby Borough Council
must have due regard to the need to:

       promote equality of opportunity (between disabled people and other people);
       eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act;
       eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disabilities;
       promote positive attitudes towards disabled people;
       encourage participation by disabled people in public life; and
       take steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities, even where that
       involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people.

In addition there are five specific duties imposed on the Council:

1.     To produce and publish a Disability Equality Scheme demonstrating how we intend
       to implement the general and specific duties and how we will report on them.
2.     To involve disabled people in the development of the scheme.
3.     The scheme should also include a statement of:

              the way in which disabled people have been involved in the development of
              the scheme;
              methods for impact assessment;
              steps taken towards fulfilling the general duty (the action plan);
              the arrangements for gathering information in relation to employment and,
              where appropriate, the delivery of training and our functions; and
              arrangements for putting the information gathered to use, particularly in
              reviewing the effectiveness of the action plan and in preparing subsequent
              Disability Equality Schemes.

4.     To deliver the action plan within three years of the scheme being published and put
       into effect the arrangements for gathering and making use of the information.

5.     To publish a report containing a summary of the steps taken under the action plan,
       the results of information gathering and how we have used the information

The purpose of Rugby Borough Council’s Disability Equality Scheme is to ensure we
promote equality for people with disabilities and challenge discrimination against them.
Equality of opportunity is the overarching goal for disabled people within the Disability
Discrimination Act. The objective of this goal is that disabled people should have full
opportunities and choices to improve the quality of their lives and be respected and
included as equal members of society. Attitudinal and environmental barriers can be a
huge disadvantage and an emotional concern to people with disabilities. When buildings,
services and employment practices are designed in a way that fails to take account of the
particular circumstances of disabled people, this leads to social exclusion.

                                             36
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action
The aim of the Disability Equality Scheme is to facilitate removal of barriers for all disabled
people, this includes people who might not automatically identify themselves as disabled,
but who face discrimination in their everyday life because of their impairments. This
Scheme aims to address issues for people with physical and sensory impairment, deaf
people, people with learning difficulties, people who use mental health services and people
with hidden impairments.

The Disability Equality Scheme sets out the overall policy objectives for improving and
addressing disability inequalities, and the action plan for delivering improvements to
access services.

The action plan will bring together the key priorities and the work programme that will
support equality for people with disabilities and an inclusive and accessible Council.

The Scheme has been developed by involving people across the Borough, Council
employees, residents, service users, voluntary and community organisations contributing
their time and expertise to help refine and develop the Scheme.

We recognise that the Disability Equality Scheme has to be a ‘living’ policy to be effective,
and will review and monitor the action plan annually. All action plans, guidance and
standards set out in the Scheme are subject to monitoring and assessment against the
Equality Standard for Local Government.

We have developed this Scheme to help us to:

       meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and set out our plans to
       improve disability access to employment and services;
       ensure we are taking the needs and views of people with disabilities into account
       when we design and deliver services and develop policies ;
       continuously monitor and improve the way in which we deliver services to people
       with disabilities; and
       meet the principles of the social model of disability.

The Social Model of Disability

The Social Model was developed by disabled people in opposition to what came to be
known as the Medical Model of disability, the key difference between these two models is
the location of the ‘problem’. In the individualistic Medical Model, disabled people are
unable to participate in society as a direct result of their impairment. This Model explains
the difficulties faced by disabled people in their daily lives as individually based functional
limitations.

A Social Model approach states that physical and social barriers disable people with
impairments. The ‘problem’ of disability results from social structures and attitudes, rather
than from a person’s impairment or medical condition. This approach has influenced a
rights-based view of equality for disabled people and represents the key to understanding
and implementing the Disability Equality Duty. The aim of this is to understand and
dismantle the barriers that exclude and limit the life chances of disabled people on the
basis that services should be available and accessible to all.



                                               37
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action
Following the Social Model should result in a better environment for all service users and
the entire community and better access for disabled people and service users generally.
Focusing on the barriers disabled people face, highlights changes organisations need to
make.

Mainstreaming is the phrase used to describe the integration of equalities into policy
development, implementation, evaluation and review. Within this framework, each part of
the organisation accepts its own responsibilities for promoting equality of opportunity and
challenging discrimination. Equality is the responsibility of all officers, who must consider
equality issues in their work.

Rugby Borough Council has made the promotion of equality a systematic approach
throughout the organisation through its Equality Plan. All staff are responsible for ensuring
their work takes into account the specific needs of target groups, and that it is:

       anti-discriminatory;
       involves equality target groups in planning and evaluation;
       provides priority to actions and resources to those in greatest need.

It follows that if disabled people are to be able to join in mainstream society, which is in
line with their human rights, the way society is organised must be changed. Removing
barriers that exclude (disabled) people who have impairments can bring about this change.

Barriers can be:

       prejudice and stereotypes;
       inflexible organisational procedures and practice;
       inaccessible information;
       inaccessible buildings;
       inaccessible transport.

Disabling barriers experienced in the past can continue to have an adverse effect
throughout a person’s life.

The Equality Standard

Rugby Borough Council has implemented the Equality Standard for Local Government.
This means that we are continually accessing all our policies, practices and procedures to
determine whether they have adverse impacts on any section of the community. We have
been assessed to be at Level 2, and striving for continuous improvement to reach level 3
by the end of 2007/08.

This Disability Equality Scheme will contribute towards the specific strand for disability in
the shaping and development of the Equality Standard process.

Equality Impact Assessments

An Equality Impact Assessment is a systematic way of finding out whether a policy or
proposed policy, service or strategy will have or has an adverse impact for any particular
group or sector of the community. The process is designed to tackle the long-term
challenge of removing institutional discrimination from the public sector, and ensure that

                                              38
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action
policies, services and strategies are not impacting in a discriminatory way. The process
has two parts:

       Part One: Screening – a brief overview service assessment to identify areas of
       concern;
       Part Two: Full Assessment – an in-depth service assessment which focuses on
       areas of concern and actions to improve equal access.

The screening process has been carried out in every department within the Council and
we are currently using the feedback forms to gain more information to determine which
services require a full assessment. The next stage is to conduct the full assessment and
where necessary to produce action plans to improve service provision.

Employment

The recruitment process at Rugby Borough Council requires applicants to complete an
equal opportunities form in which they indicate whether they have a disability. We are
holders of the two ticks symbol, which is a recognition given by Jobcentre Plus to
employers who have agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the
employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees. We also
offer assistance to applicants to complete the application form.

The five commitments are:

       to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for job vacancy
       and consider them on their abilities;
       to ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss at any time, but at least once a
       year, with disabled employees what can be done to make sure that they can
       develop and use their abilities;
       to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in
       employment;
       to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate levels of
       disability awareness needed to make these commitments work; and
       each year to review the five commitments and what has been achieved, plan ways
       to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress
       and future plans.

By using the disability symbol in advertising vacancies, it makes it clear to job applicants
that we welcome applications from them, we are positive about their abilities and value
their contribution.

Democratic Participation

Democratic participation for disabled people is an objective that we are keen to meet, we
aim to achieve this by:

       proactively approaching/consulting disabled people on how they would like to be
       involved in the democratic process;
       ensuring that disabled people are continually involved in the decision making
       process from policy to detail of operation. To promote a culture where disabled
       people actively seek engagement through local partnerships and a committees;

                                              39
Rugby Borough Council                                          Diversity in Action
      ensuring Public meetings are held in fully accessible venues and at times to suit
      community members; and
      ensure that appropriate communication is in place, to enable disabled people and
      other members of the community to access and understand public documents.

Involvement and Evidence Gathering

Involvement ensures disabled people are engaged in a meaningful way, which allows
them to influence the public bodies decision-making process. As part of the development
of the Disability Equality Scheme we wanted to find out from people with disabilities what
barriers they faced in accessing services, to enable us to capture this information a
questionnaire was developed (which we consulted disabled groups on). Asking people
about the accessibility of services provided by Rugby Borough Council. Information we
have received which apply to the Police and Warwickshire County Council has been
passed onto the relevant departments.

The survey was carried out in a variety of ways in order to capture as many responses
from people with disabilities as possible. Local community groups and organisations were
contacted and visited to inform members about what the questionnaire was for and to gain
their views. The survey was also published on the Council’s website and was available for
completion on-line. We also canvassed the views of a number of people from whom a
questionnaire was not an accessible format.

Organisations consulted included: -

Rugby Race and Disability Forum
Warwickshire Disability Forum
Rugby Disability Forum
Rugby Mind
Warwickshire Association for the Blind x 5 groups
Re Work Provides support and services for people who have suffered form Mental Health
conditions)
Bloxham Centre (providers of services for people with Learning Disabilities) x 6 groups

Of the respondents 100% identified as disabled people, 22% identified as somebody with
a physical disability, 35% Identified as people with sight and hearing impairments, 14% as
people with a learning disability and 19% as people with mental health needs.




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Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action
The Equality Duty survey asked respondents to identify their main areas of concern, the
areas identified were as follows and will form the basis of our Disability Action Plan:

     Crime and Disorder 64% of respondents were unhappy with crime and disorder in
     town

     “Police station closed at night and weekends”
     “Police do not respond, police station too far from town centre, should be a police box
     in town centre, do not feel safe to go out after 4pm and at night
     People with learning disabilities harassed and abused. Crime increasing

     Town Centre Parking 51.5% of respondents were unhappy with town centre parking:

     Not enough parking spaces in town, blue badge system abused, disabled parking
     bays not wide enough. Lack of parking provision for mini buses e.g. library and
     museum not enough blue badge spaces. Car park surfaces pot-holed and uneven,
     ticket machines frequently out of order.

     Environmental Health- Noise Nuisance, pollution, pest control: 38.2% of
     respondents unhappy with noise especially at night, street lighting poor, pavements
     cluttered and dangerous, advertising boards in town centre hazardous, overhanging
     trees, dog fouling on streets, fast food litter cement works, litter salt gritting. Not
     enough toilets in town, incomplete cycle ways

     Transportation- Buses, Taxi 29.4%

     Not enough buses for critical points of interest i.e. leisure centre etc.
     Lack of wheelchair accessible vehicles, buses not accessible to wheelchair users,
     taxi drivers need training to be patient and not become annoyed, taxis charges are
     higher for people with disabilities, for putting wheelchair in boot etc. Bus services are
     being cut without notice, bus shelters too small, need seats. Last rural bus 5pm

     Leisure & Sports Centres 20.6%

     No communication re leisure passes etc, staff need training, toilets dirty, changing
     rooms not big enough, not enough for wheelchairs, water cold. Lifts to enable access
     to saunas and steam rooms

     Refuse Collection and Recycling 20.6%

     Not enough recycling collections, you only collect what you can sell, instead of what
     can be recycled, recycling not available to all- inequality, too many bins and boxes for
     recycling. Bins left on pavements all day

     Housing Allocations 17.6%

     Not enough housing for people on low income, shortage of disabled adapted houses,
     no provision for people with learning disabilities

Feedback will be given separately in regard to concerns raised that fall outside the
responsibility of Rugby Borough Council, and work completed or in progress.

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Rugby Borough Council                                              Diversity in Action

A questionnaire was circulated to all employees to capture their views on how we as a
council support its employees with disabilities. Findings were:

Of those who responded 70% were aware of the support available to employees with
disabilities:

Main concerns were around accessibility to all areas of the Council offices
The needs for lift and swing doors
Disabled car park spaces in car park
Guidance for managers re disabilities
Training for all staff
Lights as well as bells placed around the building in case of fire
Microphones in Council Chamber

Gathering and analysing evidence is an important element of the overall disability equality
duty, but is not an end in itself. The focus of the duty is to bring about greater equality for
disabled people in society. The evidence gathering and involvement process is a means
of deciding where action is most needed, taking action, reviewing its effectiveness and
deciding what further work needs to be done.

This Disability Scheme is built on six core areas:

       Building Access and the Built Environment – including access to Council premises
       and other facilities that the Council provides;
       Communications – including how we communicate with our customers and staff and
       providing information in accessible formats;
       Training – regular targeted training and information for all staff so we are able to
       provide a better service and ensure our staff fully understands their responsibilities
       in relation to the Disability Equality Scheme;
       Service Delivery – to include making better use one stop shop solutions to enable
       easier access for all;
       Employment – including recruitment and retention of all staff including people with
       disabilities, and strive to become an employer of choice;
       Democratic Participation – including encouraging and supporting disabled people to
       be able to take part in the democratic process.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

The Council’s Disability Equality Scheme and Action Plan will be the subject of continuous
monitoring. The individual action plans that underpin the scheme will have monitoring
systems attached so they can be measured for effectiveness. The scheme itself will be
evaluated and reviewed in its entirety at a minimum every two years in December.




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Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                               Diversity in Action
Disability Equality Scheme Action Plan 2006-09
Specific Activity             Measurable Outcome                    Achievable Milestones                     Responsible Officer     Start Date   Due Date
                              To make Rugby a safer place for all   Implement Rugby Crime and Disorder CDRP Manager                   Dec 06       Ongoing
                              residents with a disability           Action Plan to reduce incidents of crime
                                                                    and monitor its effectiveness over time
         CRIME AND DISORDER




                              To enable residents/visitors with a   Promote the work of town rangers (BID) CDRP Manager               Dec 06       Ongoing
                              disability using town centre to reportwho liaise with Police to make
                              incidents and get assistance if       residents/visitors feel safer in the town
                              required
                              To ensure residents/visitors with a     Promote awareness of Community            Public Spaces &       Dec 06       Mar 07
                              disability feel safe to go out in Rugby Safety Wardens who are on duty from       Community Safety
                              at night                                (3pm-11pm) by means of leaflets,          Manager
                                                                      posters, websites, to enhance the
                                                                      quality of life for Rugby
                                                                      residents/visitors
                              Ensure disabled people are              Use positive images of disabled people    Equality and Diversity Jan 07      Ongoing
                              accepted for the value they add to      in publicity, promote positive image of   Advisor/Media and
                              society, and reduce incidents of        disabled people in both internal and      Communications/Hu
                              harassment                              external publications                     man Resources
                              To ensure sufficient numbers of         New car park planned for Chapel Street    Parking Manager        Dec 06      Dec 07
                              parking bays for disabled people are which will include disabled parking bays
                              available in the Town
                              To eliminate the abuse of the Blue      The decriminalisation of parking          Parking Manager       Dec 06       Ongoing
                              Badge System within Rugby               enforcement will enable Rugby Borough
      Town Centre




                                                                      Council to ensure proper use of the
                                                                      Blue Badge System by requiring people
      Parking




                                                                      to show identification
                              To eliminate the abuse of disabled      To assist in reducing abuse of disabled   Parking Manager       Dec 06       Ongoing
                              parking bays within Rugby               parking bays, vehicles not displaying a
                                                                      Blue Badge will be issued with a
                                                                      parking fine



                                                                                    43
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                              Diversity in Action

Specific Activity         Measurable Outcome                       Achievable Milestones                     Responsible Officer     Start Date   Due Date
                          Improve the parking provision at the     To identify suitable parking provision    Parking Manager         Dec 06       Jan 07
                          Library/Museum for people with           close to the site to ensure that the
                          disabilities (including mini-buses)      facilities are accessible to community
                                                                   groups
                          To ensure the availability of the        Work with CDRP to combat noise and        Head of             Jan 07           Ongoing
                          noise nuisance service is inclusive to create a better environment for             Environmental
      ENVIRONMENTAL




                          all residents (in particular people with residents of Rugby and promote the        Health/CDRP
                          a disability)                            reporting facility for noise nuisance     Manager
                          Improve street lighting and uneven       Promote use of dedicated number and       Highways            Jan 07           Ongoing
                          pavements throughout the Borough reporting facility via posters, leaflets          Department,
                          to ensure a hazard free environment and website to escalate replacement of         Warwickshire County
      HEALTH




                          for people with disabilities             lights and pavement repairs               Council
                          To improve the provision of toilet       Refurbish Clock Tower toilets to make     Town Centre         Apr 07           Dec 07
                          facilities within the Town for people all toilets accessible to everyone           Management
                          with disabilities
                          To increase the availability and         Five new taxi licences to be advertised   Transportation          Jan 07       2007/08
         Transportation




                          number of taxis accessible to            by end of 2006 which must be              Services Manager
                          wheelchair users                         wheelchair accessible. To be phased in
                                                                   during 2007/08
                          To promote disability awareness          All new taxi licenses will only be        Transportation          Jan 07       Ongoing
                          amongst taxi providers, ensuring         granted to drivers who have undergone     Services Manager
                          equality for all users                   Disability Awareness Training and to
                                                                   promote training to current taxi firms
                          Promote Leisure Pass facility,           Revamp Leisure Pass Scheme in             Community Sports        Feb 07       Ongoing
    Leisure and




                          ensuring information is available in     consultation with disability groups       and Recreation
                          different formats, to assist in ease of                                            Manager
    Centres




                          completion
    Sports




                          To make all leisure and sports           Conduct audit of all facilities to        Leisure Centre          TBA          TBA
                          facilities accessible for people with    determine alterations required to make    Manager
                          disabilities                             accessible to all and identify costs



                                                                                44
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                              Diversity in Action

Specific Activity        Measurable Outcome                       Achievable Milestones                        Responsible Officer Start Date   Due Date
                         Promote the assisted pull out service    Increase promotion of service in             Head of Engineering Jan 07       Ongoing
                         available to frail, elderly people and   different formats and via website and        Works and Economic
                         people with disabilities                 media to enable people to access             Development/
      Refuse and




                                                                  assisted service                             Equality and Diversity
      Recycling




                                                                                                               Advisor
                         To improve the recycling facilities      Identify cost efficient way to increase      Head of Engineering TBA          TBA
                         within Rugby to ensure the recycling     scheme for all residents                     Works and Economic
                         scheme is accessible by all (in                                                       Development
                         particular people with disabilities)
                         To reduce the “red tape” in applying     Investigate the current procedure for        Equality and Diversity TBA       TBA
         HOUSING




                         for housing adaptations by people        referrals/approval by Occupational           Advisor, WCC Social
                         with disabilities                        Therapists to improve application            Services
                                                                  process


                         Improve access to all Council owned Conduct a DDA Access Audit to identify            Building Control      TBA        TBA
                         buildings for people with disabilities work required to improve access for all        Manager/Access
                                                                  and produce an action plan for works         Officer
                                                                  required to make DDA compliant
      Building
      Access




                         Ensure safety of all staff/visitors with Deliver refresher training to fire wardens   Health and Safety     Jan 06     Ongoing
                         a disability in Council owned            for evacuation procedures                    Advisor
                         buildings at all times (eg, fire
                         evacuation)
                         To eliminate the communication           Arrange for all staff to receive             Equality and Diversity Apr 07    May 07
         Communication




                         barrier between staff and people with appropriate training in effective               Advisor/Learning and
                         disabilities                             communication techniques with disabled       Development Officer
                                                                  people




                                                                                  45
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                            Diversity in Action

Specific Activity     Measurable Outcome                          Achievable Milestones                        Responsible Officer Start Date   Due Date
                      Improve availability and accessibility      Ensure policies are impact assessed in       Equality and Diversity Jan 07    Ongoing
     Assessments
                      to all services for all service users (in   relation to all diversity strands,           Advisor/Quality and
                      particular people with disabilities)        especially disability and include disabled   Performance
                                                                  people in the development of policies        Manager
     Equality




                                                                  and procedures
     Impact




                      Ensure meeting venues are                Carry out an audit of accessibility of          Principal Committee   Feb 07     Ongoing
                      accessible to people with disabilities venues and use feedback sheets to                 Officer
      Participation
      Democratic




                                                               inform improvements
                      Ensure all members of the public (in Liaise with community groups who                    Principal Committee   Feb 07     Sep 07
                      particular people with disabilities) are represent disabled people to highlight          Officer
                      able to attend meetings and              barriers and how these can be
                      contribute to the democratic process overcome




                                                                                 46
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action
Gender Equality Scheme
Introduction
Overview of the Scheme

This scheme has been written to ensure that the needs of men, women and transgender
people are taken into account in the Council’s service delivery and employment functions.
It sets out the Council’s legal duties as well as providing information on our current
practices in relation to gender equality and arrangements for consultation. In writing this
Strategy, the Council will consider;

   The differing experiences of men and women in the Rugby area
   The experience of male and female employees
   How to make services more effective

The Scheme also includes a three year action plan which sets out the practical steps we
will take to meet our duties and promote gender equality.

The General Duty

The general duty applies to the Council when it carries out its functions. The Council must
give 'due regard' to the need to:

   Eliminating unlawful discrimination
   Eliminating harassment
   Promoting equality of opportunity between men and women

The Specific Duties

Under the specific duties of the Act, Rugby Borough Council must prepare and publish a
Gender Equality Scheme showing how it intends to fulfill the general and specific duties
and setting out its gender equality objectives. The Council must, in preparing a scheme:

   consult employees, service users and others (including trade unions)
   take into account any information it has gathered or considers relevant as to how its
   policies and practices affect gender equality in the workplace and in the delivery of its
   services
   in formulating its overall gender equality objectives, consider the need to have
   objectives to address the causes of any gender pay gap
   ensure that the scheme sets out the actions the authority has taken or intends to take
   to –
    gather information on the effect of its policies and practices on men and women, in
      employment, services and performance of its functions
    use the information to review the implementation of the scheme objectives
    assess the impact of its current and future policies and practices on gender equality
    consult relevant employees, service users and others (including trade unions)
    ensure implementation of the scheme objectives



                                             47
Rugby Borough Council                                              Diversity in Action
    implement the scheme and their actions for gathering and using information within
     three years of publication of the scheme, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable
     to do so
    review and revise the scheme at least every three years
    report on progress annually

Understanding Gender Equality

The term 'sex' is used to describe biological differences between women and men. The
term 'gender' refers to the wider social roles and relationships which structure men's and
women's lives. Gender inequality exists in all aspects of society and refers to lasting and
embedded patterns of advantage and disadvantage.

In order to achieve actual equality of opportunity, it is necessary to recognise that in
certain circumstances women and men, because of their sex or gender roles, are not in
the same position. In some circumstances it may therefore be appropriate to treat women
and men differently, if that action is aimed at overcoming previous disadvantage.

The promotion of equal opportunities between men and women requires public authorities
to recognise that the two groups are not starting from an equal footing and identical
treatment would not be appropriate.

In addition, the gender equality duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the
need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment against transsexual people in
the fields of employment and vocational training.

Having due regard means that the weight given to the need to promote gender equality is
proportionate to its relevance to a particular function. In practice, this principle will mean
public authorities should prioritise action to address the most significant gender
inequalities within their remit, and take actions which are likely to deliver the best gender
equality outcomes.

Local Context
About Rugby

Rugby Borough covers 138 square miles in the heart of England, encompassing the town
of Rugby and 39 parishes. Although the population level has remained steady over the
past 30 years, the outcome Regional Spacial Strategy will see the population increase
from 91,000 to well over 100,000 by 2026.

Topic                                              Male %                    Female %
Population    England                               48.7                       51.3
Population    West Midlands                         48.9                       51.1
Population    Rugby                                 49.6                       50.4
In Employment                                       74.9                       62.4
                                                                    Data from National Statistics




                                              48
Rugby Borough Council                                               Diversity in Action
About the Council

Rugby Borough Council is currently subject to major organizational change, restructuring
to ensure it is able to deliver first class services for local people. This is reflected in the
Council’s purpose:

“To take the lead and work with others to improve the prosperity, environment and
quality of life for all who live and work in the Borough.”

Equality and Diversity at Rugby
Rugby Council is committed to mainstreaming equality in Council services and in
employment and both our Corporate Plan and the Community Strategy make specific
reference to how we can make services more effective for all local people.

Rugby’s Corporate Strategy commits us to;

“Deliver quality and cost effective services which are accessible and known about.”

This is supported by the 2027 vision of the Sustainable Community Strategy for Rugby:

Ensuring “people from all backgrounds feel they have a stake in their local community and
are engaging in community life.”
                                                                                     (2027 Vision)

This comprehensive Equality and Diversity Policy aims to:

   Treat everyone with dignity and respect
   Ensure every resident and service user has equal access to high quality services
   Create fair and just employment practices, which are free from discrimination
   Ensure all residents, service users, employees and out partners in the community are
   encouraged to make their contribution to improving our services
   Integrate equality in everything we do

The Equality Standard for Local Government aims to encourage the integration of the
equality strands of disability, gender, race, sexuality, age, and religion and faith into local
government policy, focusing on service delivery and employment and pay. The Council is
committed to progressing through the levels of the Equality Standard, currently level 2.
This Scheme has been written to compliment and co-ordinate with the equality work we
are doing to achieve this, as outlined in our Equality and Diversity Action Plan.

Delivering Gender Equality
Collecting and Using Information

In line with Rugby’s Corporate Equality and Diversity Policy/Scheme and Action Plan, the
Council regularly collects and monitors information on equality issues. The main process
being through rigorous equality impact assessments which takes into account the need to
eliminate discrimination and harassment across each of the equality strands including
gender.


                                               49
Rugby Borough Council                                             Diversity in Action
However, the monitoring arrangements for workforce monitoring are currently limited due
to the absence of a joint HR/Payroll system. The implementation of this system over the
next 12 months will result in further actions being added to the Action Plan to accompany
this Scheme as required.

Assessing Impact

The impact on gender equality of the Council’s existing and new policies and practices is
already assessed through the Council’s equality impact assessment process. The results
of completed impact assessments which have gender implications have been incorporated
into this scheme and action plan. Actions arising from completed impact assessments are
to be incorporated into departmental service plans and therefore progressed as part of the
Council’s core business.

Consultation

Rugby Borough Council recognises the importance of engaging key stakeholders in
consultation for this Gender Equality Scheme in order to understand the key gender
equality issues.

Consultation with Elected Members and employees has taken place by means of a survey
to establish their understanding of gender equality issues relating to Council services and
policies. External stakeholders were also consulted. The responses gathered are
attached at Appendix A.

In summary, the survey responses indicated that there is a distinct variance in how men
and women are perceived to benefit from certain Council policies, for example, it is thought
that women are at an advantage when accessing benefits relating to flexible working, part
time hours, parental leave and that men are thought to be at an advantage relating to
promotion, progression and higher salaries. Therefore, whilst the majority of Rugby
Borough Council employees believe that the Council is committed (82.2%) to gender
equality and that the Council policies are written to treat both male and female employees
equally, there are those that doubt the implementation of the policies are consistent across
the organisation. With the HR/Payroll system being implemented during 2007/08, better
monitoring of these opinions will be undertaken and action taken where necessary.

The public survey indicated that there was a lack of awareness and knowledge in respect
of how the Council promotes gender equality and also that men and women do suffer from
stereotyping of roles and needs.

In both cases it is evident that better promotion is required regarding the Council policies
and procedures.

The Gender Equality Action Plan addresses these findings.

During the development of this scheme the Joint Union Consultative Committee have been
asked for their comments.




                                             50
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action
Reporting and Reviewing

The progress of this scheme will be regularly monitored through the Council’s performance
management system, Covalent, which produces reports on the status of all the Council’s
targets. This will ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed into the Council’s core
business and staff are clear about lines of responsibility. As with our other equality plans,
the progress of the scheme will also be reported regularly to the Leadership Team and
Cabinet.

The entire scheme will be reviewed on an annual basis and a report on progress produced
and published on the Council’s website.

Procurement and Partnerships

The gender equality duty applies to all services which are procured by the Council and we
will work to ensure that equality considerations are built into this process through both the
procurement equality standard and staff training.

Rugby Council is also part of a number of partnerships in the local area, such as the Crime
and Disorder Reduction Partnership, and the Local Strategic Partnership, through which a
number of functions are carried out. The Council will endeavour to ensure that equality
statements are included in all partnership documents and that gender equality is promoted
in relevant initiatives.

Employment

The Council currently has systems in place to ensure that gender equality in employment
is achieved. There are policies in place which cover flexible working, managing leave for
parents and carers, managing pregnancy and return from maternity leave, grievance and
disciplinary procedures, redundancy and retirement. The recruitment process also
includes monitoring by gender at each stage and covers discrimination on the grounds of
gender reassignment. Support for part-time workers is also provided.

Equal Pay

Rugby Borough Council is currently undergoing a major restructure and as such has
delayed the Single Status Salary Review. It is planned that this work will be completed
during 2007 and will ensure that the pay of male and female employees is equal for the
role they deploy.

The gender break down of staff is as follows:

Male                  46.3%
Female                53.7%
Top 5% Female         30.43%

Harassment

The Council is committed to eliminating harassment including sexual harassment and
eliminating discrimination against, and harassment of, transsexual staff and potential staff.


                                             51
Rugby Borough Council                                            Diversity in Action
Training

A comprehensive programme of equality training for Council staff started in February and
March 2006 and include specific training on gender equality and how staff can implement
this in their day to day work.

An impact assessment of Human Resources Training and Development Policy
recommended that monitoring of work based training opportunities be introduced in order
to gain a strategic understanding of the equality profile, including gender of employees
given training.

Gender Equality Objectives

The Council has identified a number of gender equality objectives through information
gathered on current performance, completed equality impact assessments and feedback
from the consultation process, as demonstrated in this Scheme. The aims and objectives
identified support the Council’s corporate priorities as set out in the Council’s Corporate
Plan 2006/07, and will enable us to meet our duties under the Gender Equality Duty.

Objectives

   Gain a greater understanding of the issues affecting women and men in Rugby
   Increase accessibility of Council services and information to women
   Ensure housing provided by the Council is safe and secure
   Continue to promote equality of opportunity in employment
   Ensure Procurement procedures meet the Gender Equality Duty
   Review this Gender Equality Scheme every three years

Action Plan

The following action plan outlines the steps the Council will take to achieve our objectives
over the next three years, 2007-2010.




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Rugby Borough Council                                                                                         Diversity in Action
Gender Equality Action Plan 2007-10
Specific Activity              Measurable Outcome         Achievable Milestones     Responsible Officer    Timely Delivery   Progress
Develop Gender Equality        Putting Gender Equality    Consult with Members,     Equality and Diversity March 2007
Scheme which reflects the      on the Council Agenda      Employees and Unions      Adviser
Rugby profile                                             on draft scheme
                                                          Draft document reported                          May 2007
                                                          to Leadership Team
                                                          Final document with final                        25th June 2007
                                                          endorsement from
                                                          Cabinet
Promote Gender Equality        Work with existing         Identify and engage       Equality and Diversity
Scheme and share good          partners and explore       partners, gain feedback   Adviser
practice with internal and     partnership working with   from a range of
external partners              other organisations and    community groups
                               community groups to
                               ensure effective service
                               delivery
Commence, coordinate and       Screening                  Departmental impact     Equality and Diversity June 2007
deliver impact assessments                                assessments completed. Adviser
for Gender Equality on all     Prioritise                 Ensure that no services                        July 2007
aspects of service delivery,                              discriminate through    Lead Officer
including policies             Review                     gender                                         August 2007

                               Complete Review                                                             Oct 2007

Review Gender Equality         Ensure that the Gender     Report progress made      Equality and Diversity April 2008
Scheme                         Equality Scheme is         against action plan       Adviser
                               meeting its objectives




                                                                   53
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                                Diversity in Action

Specific Activity            Measurable Outcome               Achievable Milestones      Responsible Officer      Timely Delivery   Progress
Implementation of the        Provision of accurate and        Procure new system         Karen Pollard            To be confirmed
HR/Payroll system            timely monitoring
                             information regarding
                             Council workforce, which         System implemented         HR                       End 2007
                             will ensure equality of
                             opportunity and access
                             Review part-time and job         Conduct analysis of % of   HR                       Dependant upon
                             share practice and               part time employees in                              HR payroll
                             identify any barriers with       the Council by gender                               system
                             a view to removing such                                     Equality and Diversity
                             barriers wherever                                           Adviser
                             possible
Conduct Single Status Salary Establish any pay                Start review               Karen Pollard            Until Aug 2007
Review                       differences between men
                             and women in respect of
                             work of the same or
                             equal value                      Complete review            West Midlands LGA        Oct 2007
                                                                                         (To be confirmed)

Ensure that Gender Equality       Employees will have a       Review feedback from       Equality and Diversity June 07
is integrated into the delivery   good understanding of       Equality and Diversity     Adviser
of the Equality and Diversity     how gender equality         awareness training
training                          impacts upon all relevant
                                  aspects of service                                     Employee
                                  delivery, their                                        Development Officer
                                  employment and their        Produce an Equality and    Equality and Diversity Oct 2007
                                  responsibilities            Diversity training         Adviser
                                                              programme to include
                                                              Gender equality            Employee
                                                              component                  Development Officer


                                                                        54
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                             Diversity in Action

Specific Activity              Measurable Outcome             Achievable Milestones     Responsible Officer    Timely Delivery   Progress
Promote Council policies and   Increased awareness of         To work with HR to        Equality and Diversity Aug 2007
procedures                     Council policies and           identify methods for      Adviser
                               procedures to employees        promoting policies and
                               and improve perceptions        procedures                HR
                               of how they are
                               considered to benefit one
                               gender over the other i.e.
                               maternity, paternity and       Addition to equalities
                               parental leave,                web page to support the
                               opportunities for both         new Gender Equality
                               genders to take a more         Scheme
                               active role in looking
                               after their children (‘work-
                               life’ balance)
                               Promote and increase           Work with Media team to   Media                  To be confirmed
                               awareness of the               increase awareness                               (work with
                               Council’s Gender                                         Equality and Diversity strategic
                               Equality Scheme, to                                      Adviser                consultation)
                               gender specific
                               community groups and
                               the general public around
                               the Borough




                                                                        55
Rugby Borough Council                                                                                              Diversity in Action

Specific Activity             Measurable Outcome          Achievable Milestones        Responsible Officer      Timely Delivery   Progress
Equal Opportunities           Increased number of         Promote “non-traditional”    HR                       Aug 07, ongoing
                              male and female             job opportunities to the
                              applicants, applying and    public i.e. local press,     Equality and Diversity
                              being appointed for roles   Council website, career      Adviser
                              that have traditionally     fairs, schools etc, by
                              been occupied by the        monitoring % variance of
                              opposite gender             males and females
                                                          applying for wider variety
                                                          of roles




        Work/Stage Complete



         Work in progress



         Work Behind Schedule




                                                                    56
Rugby Borough Council                       Diversity in Action


      If you or anybody you know requires this or any
       other Council information in another language,
         please contact us and we will do our best to
     provide this for you. Braille, Audio tape and large
     print versions of this document are available upon
                   request, please contact:




                       Sarah Gibbons
                Equality and Diversity Advisor

                   Rugby Borough Council
    Business Transformation (Quality and Performance Unit)
                          Town Hall
                      Rugby CV21 2LB
                  Telephone 01788 533533
                     Fax 01788 533565




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