News and Events
The Act is intended to consolidate the many
existing strands of discrimination law into one single
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
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
- 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
For more information about this conference, please contact the
Corporate Equality and Diversity Team at E&D@worcestershire.gov.uk.
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
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
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 E&D@worcestershire.gov.uk.
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:
- Equality and Human Rights
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
Interfaith holy days and festivals Calendar.
We are not responsible for the content of external sites.
This page was last reviewed 17 September 2012 at 13:10.
The page is next due for review 16 March 2014.