Within our Workforce
To find out the statistics on various aspects such as age, gender and ethnicity of our staff, please see our Employee Equality Report – March 2018.
To find out the Gender Pay statistics of our staff, please see our Gender Pay Gap Report.
Supporting staff through Forums
We support three staff networks providing advice and support to staff and the wider organisation. They include the Disability & Carers Staff Forum (DCSF), OUTreach (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender staff network) and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Forum.
Each network supports their members through events, by raising awareness of issues and contributing to the development of Council policies and the business agenda on equality and diversity.
Benefits of Staff Forums
Benefits for members:
- source of support information and guidance
- support personal development of members
- allow for sharing of experiences
- empower staff by increasing knowledge
- build confidence amongst network members
- offer a safe, mutually supportive environment to discuss and address issues
Benefits for the wider organisation:
- provide support for the organisation on equality and diversity
- help ensure better policy making
- provide role models for progress
- increase sense of belonging and commitment to the organisation
- contribute to better motivated staff
- demonstrate Council’s commitment to equality and diversity
Disability & Carers Staff Forum (DCSF)
The DCSF is open to all staff and offers support via discussion forums, email and at its meetings. The Forum aims to influence Council policy and decision making, and to this end, they are active in policy consultations, as well as training.
OUTreach (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Staff Network)
OUTreach points to the fact that they reach out to LGBT staff, allies, other forums, external sites, other organisations and community groups. This is partly for inclusion of LGBT staff and allies, but also to engage with and learn from the experiences of similar groups from around the borough and beyond.
OUTreach provides the opportunity for staff to share ideas and discuss new and existing policies in a safe environment. It is self-run and managed by LGBT members of staff.
It also supports the Council’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index submission helping the authority to be recognised as a top 100 employer – we are currently recognised as 82nd nationally and the 11th highest placed local authority.
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Forum
Formed in 2008 the Forum provides a valuable forum for mutual support and an opportunity for staff to share ideas and viewpoints on new and existing policies. It is self-run and self-managed by BAME members of staff.
The Forum was shortlisted for the Employee Network Award in the prestigious Race for Opportunity Awards 2012. The work of the Forum was recognised as best practice and we were the only local authority to be shortlisted in any of the Awards nine categories.
The activities of the Forum contribute towards Council’s Equality Objectives and like all Forums have support from Senior Management.
Our Diverse Community
We deliver a wide range of services to increasingly diverse communities that make up Southend.
- there are 179,800 residents in 74,700 households
- 92% are white (compared to 86% nationally)
- 18.7% of our community are aged over 65 (16.4% nationally). Of those over the age of 65 to 56% are female (ONS 2013 mid-year estimates)
- 59.8% of our community are aged between 18 and 64 (ONS 2013 mid-year estimates)
- 20% of our community have a registered disability (compared with 17.5% nationally)
- we have slightly more women than men who live in the town (ONS 2013 mid-year estimates)
- 13% of our communities come from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (including White Irish and White Other) communities (2011 Census)
- over 100 different languages are spoken in our schools
Further statistical data and analysis about our community can be found in our Southend Insights section.
Supporting our LGBT Community
We want to help raise awareness and provide support to our workforce and partners about challenges faced by the lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender local community. This is done in partnership with our LGBT Staff Diversity Forum, OUTreach.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has recently been awarded a place in the prestigious Stonewall Top 100 Workplace Equality Index. The index is an annual assessment of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff. In total, 434 employers submitted entries across the public, private and third sectors. The Council ranked 5th among local authorities who took part in this year’s index and ranked 79th overall.
We are committed to working with our partners to do all that we can to tackle hate crime and discrimination, and ensure that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are not tolerated within our workforce or community.
For more information please visit the Day Against Homophobia website or contact the Policy and Performance Officer for Inclusion.
As part of our commitment to equality and diversity we include diversity monitoring questions on questionnaires, recruitment forms, and other paperwork. The different groups that we ask information about reflect the nine ‘protected groups’ identified by the Equality Act 2010. These are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Asking about these areas helps us to make sure we are engaging with all sections of the community. We can’t change things without your help.
For more information about diversity monitoring information, and why it is so important, please see Stonewall’s Equality Monitoring booklet.
An equality analysis is a way of assessing the impact of decisions relating to a policy, service function or restructure on residents, staff and customers, particularly those with protected characteristics.
We use equality analysis to help us improve our council services, and make sure that we do not discriminate against any sections of our community as far as possible, minimise any negative consequences and maximise opportunities for promoting cohesion between local communities.
An analysis gives us the chance to identify any negative or adverse impacts and redesign our services to meet customer needs, making sure that different groups are served equally. By understanding and meeting the needs of different people we can meet needs better, ensure transparent decision making and target resources more effectively.
When undertaking an Equality Analysis, we also consider:
- socioeconomic factors
- community cohesion
We welcome feedback as an opportunity to change and improve. Please contact us with feedback or for further information.
Equality and Diversity Policies and Strategies
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 brings together existing anti-discrimination legislation such as the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. The Act sets out the Equality Duty which public bodies must fulfil when carrying out their functions.
To comply with the Equality Duty, we consider the impact on equalities when drawing up or reviewing policies and proposals which affect the way we work. This shall be embedded into our planning and decision making process and will be summed up in the Equality Analysis (EA) form. The EA form is published on our website to ensure transparency in the decision-making process.
The Equality Duty
The Equality Duty means that, when carrying out our functions, we must have due regard for the need 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. There are nine protected characteristics:
- Disability (including those associated with disabled people, i.e. carers)
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race (including ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality)
- Religion or belief (including no religion or belief)
- Sexual orientation
It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, the 9th protected characteristic covered by the Equality Act, but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination.
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Having due regard for 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 includes direct and indirect discrimination:
Equality Act 2010 – Publication of information
All public bodies including the Council are required to;
Publish information relating to people who share a protected characteristic who are
- Its employees
- People, such as service users who, affected by its policies and practices
Prepare and publish one or more equality objectives that they think they should achieve in order to meet the Equality Duty:
The Council’s information is available in our Employee Equality Report and will be reviewed annually.
Our equality objectives are listed below. These are supported by service level objectives which are specific, measurable and realistic. Progress on how we are meeting our equality responsibilities will be reported annually within its Annual Report and Corporate Plan.
- Our workforce feels valued, respected and is reflective of the diverse communities it serves
- We continue to improve outcomes for all (including vulnerable people and marginalised) communities by ensuring services are fully accessible and responsive to differing needs of service users
- Partnership working helps to support our aims and vision along with the objectives of Southend Partnerships to improve the quality of life, prosperity and life chances for people in the Borough
- The diversity of Southend is celebrated, and the Borough is an increasingly cohesive place where people from all communities get on well