Policy Statement

Harrogate Borough Council is committed to equality in both employment and service provision. The council recognises the diverse nature of the district and endeavours to ensure that employees, potential employees, contractors, partners, clients and customers are treated with dignity and respect. The council opposes all forms of discrimination and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly on the grounds of sex, marital status, gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion or belief, responsibility for dependents, social or economic status or criminal record. Every possible step will be take into account the of the diverse nature of individuals and ensure that they are treated fairly and decisions on service provision and employment are based on objective criteria.

Scope

This policy statement confirms the council's commitment to ensuring equality of access and opportunity and will apply to all employees, service users and providers. This will include the council's customers, contractors, employees and all others who are involved in the business of the council.

Access to services

The council values the diversity of the community and visitors to the district and wants its services to be accessible to all. In doing so the council will strive to ensure fair and equal treatment by seeking to ensure that the principles of fairness and equality of opportunity underpin all its policies, procedures and practices.

The policy statement applies to employment, service provision and policy:-

Employment

The council is committed to ensuring:-

  • that all employees have equal access to jobs within the council
  • that all employees have equal opportunities for training, career development and promotion
  • that all job applicants are treated with fairness, dignity and respect at every stage of the recruitment and selection process and in the terms and conditions of employment
  • that all trainees, secondees and consultants are treated with fairness and dignity
  • that employees are trained in diversity and equality awareness
  • that we monitor all recruitment activity to discover whether we are receiving applications from all sections of the community and to ensure that the recruitment and selection process is carried out objectively
  • that employees whose actions contribute to a breach of any part of this policy are subject to the council's disciplinary procedure
  • that all employment policies and procedures comply with the law and spirit of this policy
  • that we maintain a work environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and bullying

Service Provision

The council is committed to ensuring:-

  • that all of the services we are responsible for, whether provided by our own workforce, in partnership, or on our behalf, are made available to all service users with due regard to the principles of equality and fairness
  • that all service users are treated with fairness, dignity and respect
  • that our service managers regularly monitor the service impact on equalities and take appropriate action
  • that all contractors directly supplying us with goods or services or executing works for, or on our behalf, comply with the equal opportunities legislation

Policy

Our commitment

We will ensure that equal opportunities and the principles of fairness underpin all aspects of policy, procedure, service development, consultation and decision making.

Responsibility for the policy

Overall responsibility for the policy lies with members and its implementation rests with the Chief Executive.

Chief Officers and Heads of Service are responsible for the implementation of the policy in their own service areas.

The Head of Organisational Development and Improvement is responsible for:

  • corporate employment issues within the scope of the policy
  • specialist advice
  • training
  • monitoring the employment aspects of the policy

Employees have the responsibility both morally and legally not to discriminate against individuals or groups in the course of their duties and in the course of their employment.

Communication of the policy

The policy will be placed on the internet and the intranet and the policy statement (paragraph 1.) will be included in the Employee Handbook. A copy will be made available to all applicants for jobs via a link on the intranet.

The council is committed to the implementation of this policy statement by:-

  • acting in accordance with all relevant legislation and codes of practice
  • making sure that all employees, partners and contractors are aware of this policy statement
  • developing and training our members and employees to help them recognise equality issues and further understand their role and responsibilities in achieving equality
  • including equality in all management processes so that it becomes integral to the workings of the council
  • Developing effective auditing and monitoring procedures for services and employment and reporting, at least once a year, to members, employees and the community on how we put this policy statement into practice
  • Promoting the principle of equality and diversity

Monitoring and Review

The council will monitor its equality policies and procedures to ensure that they support the council's commitment. The Equalities Group will review the council's progress in maintaining its commitment towards equality in employment and service provision.

Complaints/Customer Feedback

If you have any complaints or comments about the council services you can inform the council by the referring to our complaints procedure.

Alternative Formats

This document is available in alternative formats and can be obtained by contacting CustomerServices@harrogate.gov.uk.

Page last updated 07/06/2016