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Equality and Diversity

News and Events

The Act is intended to consolidate the many existing strands of discrimination law into one single Act.

 The majority of the Equality Act provisions were introduced in October 2010 with the rest being phased in over 2010-13. So what exactly will be different from previous anti-discrimination legislation?

A fundamental difference is that new groups are now provided the same levels of protection from discrimination across all the protected characteristics and all sectors. Below is a summary of key changes:
  • Protecting people from discrimination in the recruitment process. The Act makes it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants questions about disability or health before making a job offer, except in specified circumstances.
  • Protecting people from discrimination because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic, For example, the Equality Act will protect people care for a disabled child or relative. They will be protected by virtue of their association to that person.
  • Protecting pregnant women and mothers from discrimination. The Equality Act makes clear that mothers can breastfeed their children in places like cafes and shops and not be asked to leave. The Act also prohibits schools from discriminating against pupils who are pregnant or new mothers
  • Extending the equality duty to require the public sector to take into account the needs of all protected groups (except marital and civil partnership status). The new Equality Duty will require public authorities to consider the needs of all the protected groups in, for example, employment and when designing and delivering services. Although timescales for this Duty are to be confirmed with the government.
  • Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
  • Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
  • Extending protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.

For a more comprehensive list of changes visit the Government Equalities Office website and/or the Equality & Human Rights Commission website.

Successful LGB&T Conference Followed by Sad News

Our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGB&T) Staff Network Group organised our second LGB&T conference at the end of February 2010, which was held in the council chamber and coincided with national LGB&T History Month. The conference had a great buzz, due to the enthusiasm of the attendees, the variety of the speakers and the wonderful performance by Gazebo, an educational theatre company. Feedback received from the 119 attendees was very encouraging and positive.

Having deemed the conference a success, the news that the keynote speaker, Kristian Digby - host of BBC One’s To Buy or Not to Buy programme - had died unexpectedly, a week after his visit to County Hall, came as a huge shock. Our Corporate Equality and Diversity Programme Manager, Rukhsana Koser, commented: "Myself and the LGB&T Network were so pleased that Kristian agreed to speak at our event. 

The talk that he gave to attendees was both inspirational and passionate and drew from his own personal experiences. To hear of his death, just a week later, was very sad and a big shock".

The conference aimed to raise awareness of the life challenges faced by LGB&T people and give attendees an opportunity to explore the barriers facing the LGB&T community and understand ways our council can remove these for staff and our service users.

For more information about this conference, please contact the Corporate Equality and Diversity Team at

Disabled Employees' Network (DEN) Conference 2010

‘Ability not disability’ was the key message at a conference hosted by the Council's Disabled Employees’ Network at the end of January 2010. The conference explored the potential barriers to disability employment and career progression for disabled people at the County Council, and celebrated our progress in widening the employment and work experience opportunities we are providing.

The conference, held in the Council Chamber at County Hall, was well attended by network members and around 70 managers who wanted to engage with the issue of disability in the workplace. Sandy Bannister, who led the network in organising the event, said: "We were very pleased with the number of attendees and the variety of service areas represented. The workshops produced some interesting and exciting suggestions for the future".

The vision of the Disabled Employees’ Network is to support the council in developing a workplace where we all view disability as simply one of the ways in which we are all able but different from each other. The conference, the first of its kind for our council, offered positive and practical suggestions for ways to achieve this vision.

Five years ago only 1 per cent of Council staff were known to have a disability. This proportion has now increased to about 4.5 per cent. Although this is a significant improvement, it still means that potentially economically-active disabled people are significantly under-represented in our workforce.

Trish Haines, our Chief Executive, opened the conference and commended particular service areas that have offered work experience and employed people through the Paid Training Placement scheme. "It’s important that our organisation leads by example," said Trish, "by offering alternative routes into employment for disadvantaged people in the county. I’m encouraged to see that there are colleagues across the council who have joined us through disability employment schemes, but I’d like to see more."

For more information about this conference, please contact the Corporate Equality & Diversity Team at Posters and Leaflets.

The Council has designed and published a number of posters and leaflets with the aim of raising awareness amongst staff and residents of particular issues.  Follow the link to find out more about our Campaign Posters.

What Day is it Today?

Find out what festivals and events are being celebrated around the world.

Past News, Events and Articles

To read about some of our previous events and news articles, follow the link to the Archived News pages.

To read some of our archived articles and newsletters covering a number of themes related to equality and diversity, follow the relevant link below:

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
    Works to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.
  • Plain English
    A website of an organisation who have been fighting for crystal-clear communication since 1979.
  • Worcestershire Racial Equality Council (WREC)
    The WREC assists people who believe they have been discriminated against, or who experience difficulty in using mainstream services because of language and cultural differences.
  • BBC Interfaith Calendar
    Interfaith holy days and festivals Calendar.

We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 9 July 2013 at 15:14.
The page is next due for review 5 January 2015.