Equalities and diversity



As a society, if we are to effect meaningful change and begin to tackle deep-rooted inequalities, we must start by trying to understand the problem as best as we can. That is why Waltham Forest Council are currently gathering evidence on the structural inequalities which many of our residents face. This evidence base is to be published early this year in a ‘State of the Borough’ report.

As evidence is gathered, the Council will work with all voices in the community to open dialogue and co-create our objectives to make the borough a fairer, equal place. Throughout 2021 the Council will develop an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy, co-created by residents by sharing their expertise and lived experience to help the Council tackle structural inequalities.

Until the new EDI Strategy is produced later this year, the Council’s existing 2015-2020 Equality Objectives will remain in place. If you would like to be involved in the dialogue and consultation around our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, please continue to check this webpage as we will publish a way of contacting the Council to get involved in due course.

To help us deliver our policy and meet our duties, we are:

  • promoting equal opportunity for all
  • opposing all forms of discrimination, intolerance and disadvantage by reducing inequalities that limit people’s life chances
  • making sure our workforce reflects the diverse communities of Waltham Forest at all levels
  • providing inclusive, accessible and excellent services to all

Our policy statement applies to all nine protected equality characteristics under the Equality Act 2010:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, religion or belief
  • sex and sexual orientation

This page summarises how we are complying with our public sector equality duty (PSED) under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. The PSED includes a general equality duty and specific duties.

General equality duty

Public sector organisations must consider the needs of the general equality duty such as:

  • 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

Specific duty

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 Click to get info

Our equality objectives for 2015-20 are to:

  • 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

For further information on the rationale for these objectives, please see the supporting evidence document and monitoring framework (PDF).

The framework provides us with a clear strategy for monitoring the progress towards our new equality objectives, and provides us with a baseline from which to measure the direction of travel. A report on progress will be produced by the end of January each year.

Our equality information Click to get info

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.

The information at the links 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.

Statistics and key borough information

Waltham Forest joint strategic needs assessment 2014-2015

Equality Analysis

Equality Analysis (EAs) is a way of considering the effect of these decisions on different groups protected from discrimination by the Equality Act.

Reports that require cabinet decision are 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.

See reports and EAs

Workforce Information

We produce a quarterly human resources scorecard which provides details of the council's workforce.

It 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

Workforce Equality Scorecard September 2020
Workforce Equality Scorecard March 2016
Workforce Equality Scorecard March 2015
Workforce Equality scorecard March 2013 to March 2014
Workforce Equality scorecard March 2012 to March 2013
Workforce Equality scorecard March 2011 to March 2012
Workforce Equality scorecard March 2010 to March 2011
There is additional information on employment and our staff networks in our equalities review.

Waltham Forest Council is a Disability Confident employer and as such, we encourage our suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident too.

Click here for more information on our approach to inclusive people management and recruitment

Dignity code Click to get info

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 Click to get info

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.