Equality and diversity
Our equality commitment
We are committed to ensuring that equality is a part of everything we do.
From the money we spend and the people we employ to the services we provide.
Our Barnet Plan for 2021 to 2025 sets out our aims for the next 4 years
We want Barnet to be an inclusive borough, where everyone’s hopes and aspirations can be made real.
Our diverse communities allow people of many different ethnic backgrounds, faiths and life experiences live side by side.
We will support our communities to thrive in an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination.
We want to ensure people are not held back by poverty and that our success is shared.
These principles are key to how we work as a council and our Barnet Plan.
Equalities, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Policy 2021 to 2025
The Barnet Plan for 2021 to 2025 is committed to considering equalities in all that we do.
Our EDI Policy sets out how we will achieve this.
As a local authority we have legal duty to include equalities.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010 and brings separate pieces of legislation into a single act.
The act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.
Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act Section149 introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which requires the council to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
These are sometimes referred to as the 3 aims of the general equality duty.
The Act explains that advancing equality involves:
- removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The equality duty covers the nine protected characteristics which are as follows:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- sexual orientation
Publication of equality information
As part of the public sector equality duty, we have a duty to publish equality information about our employees and residents who share a protected characteristic.
We must also prepare and publish equality objectives.
In line with the Public Sector Equality Duty, we have an overarching Strategic Equalities Objective (SEO) which was updated in 2021 and is included in our Equalities, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy 2021 to 2025.
The SEO states:
"All our communities will be treated equally, with understanding and respect. Both our council and our borough will be places where diversity is celebrated, and inequality is actively tackled, where people have equal opportunities and equal access to quality services".
Progress against our SEO is monitored in our Equalities Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan.
This is integrated in everything we do to ensure equalities are embedded in all council business.
The action plan is a living document and will be continuously updated.
Barnet Annual Equalities Report
Each year the council publishes an Annual Equalities Report.
This outlines the key activities we have undertaken to address equality diversity issues within our local communities and as an employer.
Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs)
Equality Impact Assessments (EgIAs) (ODT, 78KB) are a way to make sure our individuals and teams think carefully about the likely impact of policies or procedures, strategies, functions and services.
It identifies any unmet needs and provides actions to improve services.
It assesses and records the actual, potential or likely impact of significant change, on different groups of people in a:
The consequences of policies and projects on particular groups are analysed and anticipated.
This is so any negative consequences can be removed and opportunities for equality can be taken.
We may also consider the impact of the proposal on other groups not protected under the Equality Act including:
- socio-economic groups
Publishing Equality Impact Assessments
Equality Impact Assessments are attached to each committee report where there is a public decision on significant changes to policy or services.
A list of meetings including agendas, reports and minutes are available on our democracy homepage