Ongoing equality objectives for April 2019 to March 2022:
|Activity||Evidence (measure)||Links to Strategic Intent|
|1. Equality Reference Group continue to support and challenge services through ERG Surgeries or Scrutiny Committees, ensuring that service plans and policies include sufficient equality considerations, recognising good practice and impact of work, and helping the organisation to ‘join up’.|
Services attending Equality Reference Group Surgeries as highlighted in Equality Reference Group newsletters.
Scrutiny Committee workplans/reports.
|See good decisions being made|
|2. Impact Assessment is used to ensure DCC meets its Public Sector Equality Duties and puts people at the heart of decisions.||% of decisions to Cabinet which include a sufficient impact assessment (part of risk management).|
Devon County Council is playing its part, along with all the other local authorities in the county, in the national effort to reduce the spread of infection, provide vital support for vulnerable people and supporting local economies. The impact of the pandemic has been assessed and equality issues are being considered as part of its Pandemic Incident Management, Local Outbreak Management, and Recovery activities.
|See good decisions being made|
|3. Monitor for unacceptable behaviour (including sexual harassment) and continuously promote a culture of ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘it’s OK to say it’s not OK’.|
Unacceptable behaviour monitoring reports and number of incidents that have been resolved sufficiently. Information on equality is published annually.
Communications via staff news and Inside Devon.
|4. Involvement in events (such as Pride) and use of other channels, including social media, to engage with communities, celebrate diversity, raise awareness of equality and promote relevant DCC services, information and employment opportunities to diverse groups of people.|
Attendance at diverse community events (activities will be captured in Equality Reference Group newsletters).
DCC social media activity – Twitter, Facebook with equality/diversity elements.
Information displays at DCC sites.
|5. Support and promote the Staff Diversity Reference Group and LGBT+ Staff Network, ensuring members have a voice and can influence policy and practice.|
Feedback from members.
LGBT = lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans.
In addition, BAME social care staff are invited to join a joint network with the NHS.
|See good decisions being made|
|6. Use data and information (including feedback) about our diverse communities and workforce to inform our strategies, policies and practice.|
Health and Wellbeing Profile includes equality and diversity aspects.
Impact Assessments include good equality data.
Consultations reach out to diverse groups. Forums for participation are inclusive.
See good decisions being made (Smarter Devon)
|Activity||Why is this needed?||When||Evidence (measure)|
|7. Review and implement new equality learning and development options for staff and introduce cultural competency guidance alongside improvements to general awareness training|
We need to continue to ensure staff are competent at meeting people’s needs, reducing inequalities and eliminating unlawful discrimination.
Budget limitations have, over the years, meant that our focus on equality training has reduced and we need to reverse that.
We have developed an LGBT toolkit and identified a need for a cultural competency toolkit.
|January 2019 to December 2020|
‘Cultural competency’ guidance published as part of Diversity Guide.
A new and comprehensive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Essentials e-learning package is now available for all staff and is mandatory (on joining and once every two years).
Deaf Awareness e-learning is also available.
We are now exploring advanced development activities including an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advanced e-learning package which will cover topics such as unconscious race bias, and BAME ‘reverse mentoring’.
|8. Review and update the Equality Policy to ensure DCC sets out a clear message of its commitment to equality and staff expectations.||Our equality policy was last published in 2012 and our organisation has changed a lot since then, we need to ensure it is aligned to our new structures and ways of working. A refresh is needed from time to time to re-engage staff in understanding expected standards of work.||April 2019|
|9. Review and report on progress against the BSL Charter, including access to interpreting/BSL video.||Devon County Council led the development and implementation of a Devon BSL Charter. The Devon Charter has been replaced by a national Charter from the British Deaf Association and we would like to align to the national Charter. The Charter helps us ensure that Deaf people can access our services and information.||April 2019 to December 2019 (on hold due to coronavirus pandemic)||BSL Charter audit published.|
|10. Review interpreting/translation provision for foreign language.||We have a contract for British Sign Language interpreting, but foreign language has always been on an ad-hoc basis due to low usage. In the past, we have supported the development of local interpreting provision. Although still relatively low spend, with increasing usage arising from work such as supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, we need to review our provision so that people who do not speak English can access our services and information through us having access to cost effective and good quality interpreting services.||September 2019 to March 2020 (on hold due to coronavirus pandemic)||Review of foreign language interpreting/translation provision underway but completion now estimated July 2021.|
|11. Devon County Council becomes a Breastfeeding Positive organisation (initiative led by Public Health)||Breastfeeding has many proven public health benefits and as a local authority we have a remit to promote public health. A breastfeeding mother may need to feed her baby or express breastmilk every four hours. This not only maintains nutrition for her baby and protects her milk supply but also prevents her from becoming unwell due to complications caused by static milk. In addition to their rights under the Equality Act 2010 to be able to breastfeed in public spaces, we need to ensure that mothers visiting DCC and staff returning from maternity leave are able to breastfeed and express milk safely and comfortably.||September 2019|
Breastfeeding Statement published.
Maternity policy and New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment includes consideration of breastfeeding mother’s needs.
Breastfeeding statement is part of the Induction Checklist.
|12. Encouraging employment of disabled people, including those with learning disability, mental health conditions and neuro-diversity (autism etc.)|
The Ready When You Are campaign is encouraging businesses to become “Disability Confident”.
A Disability Employment Hub will build on the success of the Ready When You Are campaign in order to support employers and businesses to provide meaningful employment opportunities for people with a disability or long-term health condition. It will include training, a support network for employers and online information and resources.
144 businesses have signed up to the Disability Confident initiative via the Ready When You Are campaign.
On #PurpleTuesday 2019 we will be unveiling details of our new employer support service (the Disability Employment Hub), which we plan to launch early 2020.