As a provider of services and community leader it’s important that East Devon District Council staff and councillors understand about equality and diversity and how to operate in a non-discriminatory and inclusive way. Employees and others working on behalf of an employer can be held personally liable for acts of unlawful discrimination where an employer has taken all reasonable steps to prevent such an act.
Everyone who uses services, facilities and information provided by the council should be treated in line with this policy. This includes service users/customers, members of the public, partners, contractors, employees, workers and councillors.
The Strategic Management Team ensures good governance of the organisation and has overall responsibility to ensure this policy is consistently applied and taken into account when setting strategic direction and reviewing performance.
Strategic and Service Leads must ensure staff are aware of the policy and trained to meet its requirements and that equality is clearly incorporated in to policy, design and delivery of services and functions, where relevant.
All staff and councillors must comply with this policy and breaches may lead to disciplinary action. We expect our staff and councillors to adhere to the following five principles:
- Ensure acceptable behaviour.
- Respond to complaints and incidents in a positive and pro-active way.
- Provide access to services, facilities and information.
- Recruit and employ people fairly.
- Meet specific needs.
Contractors, Suppliers and Consultants are expected to meet equality standards within contracts and service level/delivery agreements. We will not award contracts if a commitment to equality and fairness is not demonstrated and breaches may lead to termination of contracts. Organisations doing business with us are welcome to adopt our equality policy for their own use.
Volunteers (although not specifically protected under the Equality Act 2010) are expected to comply with, and be treated in line with, the spirit of this policy.