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Fairness and opportunity for all

What is equality and diversity?

It is about fairness and opportunity for all. Giving everyone an equal chance to fulfil their potential.

It means providing: 

  • equality of opportunity
  • equal access to services
  • fair and proportional treatment

Protected characteristics

The Equalities Act 2010 protects us all against discrimination on the grounds of nine protected characteristics.

The nine protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability (physical, learning and mental)
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief (including those who have no faith)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

You are protected if you are discriminated against because you are perceived to be, or are, associated with someone who has a protected characteristic. For example, if you experience discrimination when caring for a disabled child or relative.

Equality of Opportunity Policy

Our Equality of Opportunity Policy explains how we as a Council intend to:

  • promote equality
  • tackle discrimination and harassment

The full policy can be found below: 

We have an Equality of Opportunity Policy to address the following reasons:

  • Oppression, disadvantage and discrimination exist in society
  • Some people are unfairly denied equal access to services or employment (or both)
  • Discrimination and disadvantage have undermined the quality of life for many people in Cornwall
  • People often experience multiple-discrimination.                                           

Our Equality of Opportunity Policy demonstrates our commitment to tackle these reasons. It will help us to make our services and recruitment processes accessible to everyone.

Specific Duties

We have a legal duty under the Equality Act to track and report on our compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Introduced by the Equality Act 2010, it has three aims:

  • eliminate discrimination
  • advance equality of opportunity; and
  • foster good relations between different groups of people.

This process is monitored by The Equality and Human Rights Commission. You can view our latest return below, which includes our workforce data.

How do we make sure we get it right?

It's about making sure the council provide services that are needed, in a way which does not exclude anyone.

The council does this by:

  • assessing the impact of its services on their staff and customers,
  • by involving them in its decision-making
  • and making sure its policies are fair and inclusive

This is important in creating an organisation which is truly inclusive and reflects the communities it serves.


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