All of us could, at some point in our lives, be vulnerable to discrimination through having a 'protected characteristic'. By law these protected characteristics are defined as age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
We have to comply with the general equality duty and:
We have to set and publish equality objectives at least every four years. These objectives must help us to meet our general equality duty. If we identify an opportunity to add extra objectives we will do so.
We will report on our progress every year.
For more information about our previous equality objectives, see our progress towards our equality objectives for the period to May 2016 [498kb].
To meet our responsibilities we need to understand more about our employees and our communities. We have produced a North Yorkshire equality profile [147kb] which gives a high level picture of our population, broken down by protected characteristics. We have also gathered information about our employees. See our equalities monitoring report 2013-15 [657kb] as an example of the employee information we gather.
Our Data North Yorkshire site provides access to statistics for North Yorkshire. You can access this system free of charge.
We do detailed research to help us plan the right services for our communities. An example of this is the joint strategic needs assessment which we do with partners. This work helps us identify the health and wellbeing needs of people in North Yorkshire so that we can plan to address these needs.
We plan services to make sure they meet the needs of people with protected characteristics effectively, within the money available.
The strategies, plans and policies section of our website sets out the key plans for the council's work. They all help us meet the needs of our communities. Particularly important for showing how we support vulnerable people are:
We use equality impact assessments to try to make sure we deliver services fairly. These assessments help us consider the needs different people have and make sure that we can meet these needs. The assessments will often include the views of people who use the service. We also consult people about what we are doing.
Our services are also subject to external inspections. For example, the Care Quality Commission inspects residential care and home care and OFSTED inspects the children's services which the council provides.