Equalities and diversity
The Council is committed to pursuing its equalities agenda to create a fair and equal society in Waltham Forest and ensure its tradition of tolerance and understanding between communities.
Our Equality and Diversity Policy Statement
To help the Council deliver its policy and meet the legal equality duties the Council has committed itself to:
- Promoting equal opportunity for all
- Opposing all forms of discrimination, intolerance and disadvantage by reducing inequalities that limit people’s life chances
- Ensuring our workforce reflects the diverse communities of Waltham Forest at all levels
- Providing inclusive, accessible and excellent services to all
The Council's policy statement applies to all nine protected equality characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Public Sector Equality Duty
This section is intended to show how Waltham Forest Council is complying with its Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. The PSED consists of a general equality duty and specific duties which are imposed by secondary legislation.
General Equality Duty
In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to 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
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
A public authority is required to:
- Publish sufficient information by 31 January each year to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty across its functions
- Prepare and publish objectives that it reasonably thinks it should achieve to meet one or more aims of the general equality duty with a review at least once every four years
Our Equality Objectives
The Council's Equality Objectives for 2015-18 are:
- Continue to promote and celebrate a cohesive borough ensuring that our community gets on well together
- Promote the opportunities for all members of our community to benefit from local regeneration and growth
- Use greater insight about our community to shape service delivery, including better understanding and managing the impact on protected groups
- Advance the equality of opportunity for all staff, by having a diverse workforce that reflects the community it serves
The framework provides us with a clear strategy for monitoring the progress of our new Equality Objectives.
The 2015 figures provide us with a baseline from which to measure the direction of travel. A report on progress will be produced on an annual basis.
1 Continue to promote and celebrate a cohesive borough ensuring that our community gets on well together
|Jan 2017||Expected direction|
|Proportion of residents who feel that people from different backgrounds get along with one another||78%||Up|
2 Promote the opportunities for all members of our community to benefit from local regeneration and growth
|Jan 2017||Expected direction|
|Percentage gap between under-achieving groups and their peers||LAC 35.1% Boys 8% Disadvantaged 18.3%||Down|
|Number of New Homes Bonus beneficiaries recruited to apprenticeships opportunities within growth employment sectors||TBC||Up|
|Number of European Social Fund beneficiaries, previously unemployed or economically inactive, moved into jobs and sustaining employment for 26 weeks||TBC||Up|
3 Use greater insight about our community to shape service delivery, including better understanding and managing the impact on protected groups
|Jan 2017||Expected direction|
|All key decisions are informed by a robust Equality Analysis, including clear actions to mitigate any negative impacts||Informed by qualitative analysis||Up|
4 Advance the equality of opportunity for all staff, by having a diverse workforce that reflects the community it serves
|Jan 2017||Expected direction|
|Percentage of top 5% of earners who are women||56.6%||Stays the same|
|Percentage of top 5% of earners who are from a black or minority ethnic group||21.1%||Stays the same|
|Percentage of top 5% of earners who are disabled||6.6%||Stays the same|
Percentage of staff who:
The purpose of publishing equality information is for the Council to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty across all its functions.
Publishing equality information should enable service users, staff, the Commission, regulators and other interested parties to assess the equality performance of the Council.
It explains how and why we have reached certain conclusions and made certain decisions. And provides a clear picture of how the Council has complied with the general equality duty and it will make the Council's decision-making more transparent.
The Council has attempted to provide a comprehensive picture as possible, at the same time recognising that there may be areas for development which the Council will seek to address. The information below was refreshed in December 2014 and will be reviewed regularly.
Our Equality information
Information to identify equality issues
This section includes a range of information which the Council has used to help understand and identify key equality issues as they relate to our services and functions. It includes information about Council employees, residents and service users. The information also helps demonstrate the effect of Council activities on people with different protected characteristics as well as details and results of various engagement activity the Council has carried out. In addition, there is information on how the Council complied with its previous statutory equality duties (including outcomes).
The link below provides comprehensive information about the size and composition of the population of Waltham Forest. Also included is information on the following: age, gender, population turnover, ethnicity, religion, recent arrivals, languages spoken, family types, disabled people and LGBT. In addition, it sets out information across key themes such as deprivation, health, employment and housing as they relate to the protected equality characteristics. Detailed demographic information on a ward basis is also provided along with the most significant issues affecting the population.
- Statistics and key Borough Information
- Borough context 2013
- WF Supporting People Strategy
- Housing Needs Survey
- Waltham Forest Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2014-2015 (Refresh)
- Local Economic Assessment
- Muslims in London Research
- LGBT Research - full report
- LGBT Research - Executive Summary
- LGBT Research - Executive Summary Design Version
Information about steps taken to have due regard to the aims of the general equality duty
Public authorities are responsible for making a wide range of decisions. Equality Analysis (EAs) is a way of considering the effect of these decisions on different groups protected from discrimination by the Equality Act. There are two reasons for this. First, to consider if there are any unintended consequences for some groups, and second, to consider if the policy will be fully effective for all target groups. Often EAs will need to draw on service needs, statistics and engagement.
At Waltham Forest Council all reports that require cabinet decision is supported by Equality Analysis. Cabinet normally meets once a month, and the following link allows you to see Cabinet Agenda, Reports and respective Equality Analysis by date.
There are also EAs undertaken for non-Cabinet decisions where relevant, and work is in progress to ensure that these are also published.
Waltham Forest Council produces a quarterly Human Resources Scorecard which provides details of the Council’s workforce. For the purposes of publishing information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty, this information has been further expanded and disaggregated to show the breakdown of the Council's workforce across the protected equality groups as far as possible. It also includes:
- The number of women in top 5% of earners
- The number of minority ethnic staff in top 5% of earners
- The number of disabled staff in top 5% of earners
- Equality groups by pay band
- Equality groups by training
- Equality groups by grievances and disciplinary
- Gender and Disability by Occupation Groups/li>
Workforce Equality scorecard March 2011 to March 2012
There is additional information on employment and our staff networks in the Council's Equalities Review
The Dignity Code is a national initiative launched by the National Pensioners Convention. Brought to the Council by the Waltham Forest Pensioners Convention, the code calls for a number of measures such as the provision of advocacy services and care to be adapted to the needs of the individual.
Older People's Charter
Waltham Forest Council is committed to supporting older residents to live happy and healthy lives. To demonstrate this commitment we have developed an Older People’s Charter.
Information on services and other functions
Access to services or participation rates for people with the different protected characteristics
Data on access to services as well as take up by different protected equality groups is contained within individual service Equality Analysis (see above)
Customer satisfaction and perceptions
The Council undertakes regular, demographically representative, resident insight surveys 3 times a year. The findings will be reported and made available on our website in a user friendly way and a link will be provided here shortly, the key findings are also available in the performance reports that are published as part of the Council's Cabinet process.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Government Equalities Office
- Press For Change - Trans Equality
- ELOP and lesbian and gay community centre
- Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum
- Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
- London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
- PACE: Promoting Lesbian & Gay Health and Well-Being
- Refugee Council
- Runnymede Trust
- Women in London
- Work and Parents Taskforce
- Women's Resource Centre