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

The Equality of Opportunity Policy explains how Cornwall Council intends to:

  • promote equality
  • tackle discrimination and harassment

The full policy can be found below: 

We should have an Equality of Opportunity Policy for 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.

This Equality of Opportunity Policy demonstrates our commitment to put this right. It will help us to make sure that everyone has equal access to services and employment. It will also help us to raise the quality of life of everyone who lives and works in Cornwall.

Specific Duties

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

  • end unlawful 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:

How do we make sure we get it right?

It's about making sure the council provide the kind of services that are needed, in a way that 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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