Fairness and tackling inequality are at the heart of our values as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2015-18. We believe that everyone should get a fair chance to succeed in Sheffield.
We recognise that some people and communities need extra help to reach their full potential and we will provide extra help where it is needed. We will also make sure that a core offer of services is available to everyone in the city.
We aim to provide excellent, accessible services that meet the needs of all our residents, visitors and our workforce.
We are also committed to tackling inequality in a variety of ways, such as through our commitment to the Fairness Commission Principles, the Tackling Poverty Strategy and the Cohesion Framework.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
Our 'Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy' sets out our equality commitments to the people of Sheffield and our staff and how we will meet them. This document is available to view and download.
Annual Equality Report
Our Annual Equality Report is an overview of how we are meeting our statutory equality duty. It summarises our actions and progress on improving equality, in the way we serve the people of Sheffield and how we behave as an employer.
It includes more detailed information about some areas where we have identified some persistent challenges such as:
- hate crime
- workforce diversity
- domestic and sexual abuse
- financial exclusion
- attainment and absence
The examples throughout the report are only a selection of the ways in which we work to improve equality and to meet the equality duty. The full report is available to view and download.
Our Annual Workforce Equality Report goes together with the Annual Equality Report.
Under the specific duties of the Equality Act 2010 we must set equality objectives every 4 years.
Our objectives are:
- to be a leader and a guarantor of equality and fairness for the city
- to ensure our budget, policies and processes are implemented fairly
- to foster an accessible, inclusive and positive working environment for our staff
- to ensure our services are fair and accessible and customer experiences are positive
- to advance equality, inclusive and fair practice within our partners and supply chain
- to foster a safe, cohesive and accessible city
- to strengthen voice and influence of under-represented communities within the city
- to advance health and wellbeing within the city
- to advance economic inclusion within the city
- to advance aspiration and learning opportunities and skills
Our objectives for 2014-18 were designed to link into the city’s Fairness Commission, the Corporate Plan and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. You can view and download these policies.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. This includes the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 which came into force in 2011.
The PSED covers councils and other public sector organisations such as the Police, health and schools. It also applies to organisations we contract with who are carrying functions on our behalf.
The General Duty has 3 aims. It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations
This means that we must think about these 3 things in all that we do as an employer, when we deliver services ourselves and when we commission services from others.
Having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity involves:
- removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by persons
- taking steps to meet the needs of persons that are different from others
- encouraging people to participate in public life or activity in which participation is disproportionately low
Having due regard to the need to foster good relations involves the need to:
- tackle prejudice
- promote understanding
The steps involved in meeting the needs of disabled people involve taking account of a persons’ impairments and making reasonable adjustments. Compliance with the duties may involve treating some persons more favourably than others.
The Act sets out specific protected characteristics which are:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race (ethnicity, colour and nationality)
- religion or belief (includes no religious belief)
- sex (men, women and other)
- sexual orientation
- marriage and civil partnership (only in relation to eliminating discrimination)
Everyone shares more than one characteristic, so the Act protects everyone.
There are also some Specific Duties. These are:
- publish equality objectives every 4 years. See our Equality objectives
- publish information annually to demonstrate compliance with the General Duty. See our Annual Equality Report
- publish information relating to their employees and others affected by their policies and practices, such as service users. See Annual Workforce Equality Report
- publish information in a way that is accessible to the public
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)
One of the ways we assess the effects of our proposals, policies or projects on different people within the city is to carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs).
We ensure all proposals, including those in the budget, projects and policies, have appropriate EIAs. The annual budget has an overview EIA that summarises potential areas of impact. This EIA and the individual service EIAs are focussed on the impact on the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.
In addition, we also use the EIA process to assess the impact on other issues such as financial exclusion and poverty, voluntary, community and faith sector, carers, cohesion and health and wellbeing.
Why we carry out EIAs
There are several reasons why we carry EIAs. They aid good decision making, help ensure that the services we provide are fair and accessible to all and they help us meet our Equality Duty.
Our proposals, policies, and projects will affect the people and communities of Sheffield and there is the potential for our services to have unseen barriers or to affect some customers or residents disproportionately, even if this is not our intention.
When we carry out EIAs & who we consult
We carry out an initial EIA for proposal, policies and projects and a full EIA where we think there may be a disproportionate impact on some people.
We consult those people who are likely to be impacted by decisions or changes to policies.
You can download the full Budget Report 2017-18, which includes the overall EIA report and the list of Budget related EIAs for 2017-18, from the ‘Cabinet Agenda for 15 February 2017’.
Completed EIAs are available for various policies, projects, proposals and decisions. Contact us for more information or to request an EIA.
For many services we can see, from a customer's home address, who uses the services across the city. However, we know a lot less about whether certain age groups, disabled people, or people from specific ethnicities or sexual orientations are accessing services that would help them.
Equality monitoring helps us to ensure that services are accessible. Recording personal circumstances allows us to analyse how well we are meeting our commitments to different groups of customers. Research such as the Census provides a profile of the population of Sheffield that enables us to compare who requests and receives services against the data we collect. It helps us to:
- understand why our services do not meet their needs
- improve delivery of services making it easier for all groups of customers to access services
For example, we have used the information you give us to:
- write easier to understand information for different people, e.g. people with a learning disability or literacy problems
- adapt buildings so they are accessible for people with impaired mobility
- have more tailored consultations and information available
- increase the number of services that can be accessed 24 hours online for those who find it difficult to contact us during office hours
You can view and download our monitoring form, guidance and information leaflet.
Equality & diversity: our city, customers, workforce and partners
Sheffield is a diverse city in many ways and information about the city, its people and its neighbourhoods is important to help plan and prioritise resources including providing evidence for Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs).
Visit our ‘Sheffield’s profile’ page to find out more information about our city’s profile, including Community Knowledge Profiles for ethnicity, disability, LGBT, and gender.
For many services we can see from a customer's address who uses the services across the city. However, we know a lot less about whether certain age groups, disabled people, or people from specific ethnicities or sexual orientations are accessing services that would help them.
Customer monitoring helps us to ensure that services are accessible and that we are not unintentionally discriminating against some groups. Recording personal circumstances allows us to analyse how well we are meeting our commitments to different groups of customers.
See the Annual Equality Report or service reports such as translation and interpretation data for customer information.
Workforce diversity is important to us. In the same way we promote equality of opportunity for our city, we want to give individuals in our workplace the same opportunities to achieve their potential free from barriers, prejudice and discrimination.
You can view and download and our Annual Workforce Equality Report.
We work closely with our partners and other private and public sector organisations in Sheffield to ensure that we deliver effectively the needs of our customers.
We ask our 3 large partners that provide services on our behalf to be a part of our Strategic Equality Board and report to us on equality:
- Capita (revenue and benefits)
- Veolia (waste services)
- Amey (roads and highways)
You can view and download their equality and diversity reports. We also ensure our other partners that we work with and their supply chain comply with the Equality Act 2010 via procurement procedures and contract monitoring. You can also find relevant annual equality reports and information from other public sector organisations in the city, such as the police, NHS and universities.
Equality Hub Network
The Equality Hub Network is a voice and influence network for Sheffield’s often under-represented or seldom heard from communities of identity.
The Network is intended to complement existing locality arrangements, such as Local Area Partnerships and Tenants and Residents Associations (TARAs).
The Network brings together individuals and organisations – voluntary, community, and faith (VCF), public sector and businesses. People in the Network work together to make a real difference in reducing inequality in Sheffield. The Network promotes good relationships and understanding between people.
Anyone interested in equality, diversity and fairness is welcome to attend meetings or events or sign up to the newsletter.
Equality awareness events
We organise or support groups to organise various equality, diversity and inclusion events throughout the year to raise awareness of and advance equality. This also helps us foster good relations between people. Anyone can get involved with these events.
We are working in partnership to support the ambition to become a fairer and accessible city.
We’re doing this through:
- reasonable adjustments
- access guides
- access card
- carer card
- accessible Information Standard
- disability confident
Visit our Accessibility page for more information.
Stonewall Equality Index
To improve on LGBT equality, we work with Stonewall, a leading LGBT organisation, in a number of ways.
We are part of the Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme and take part in their Workplace Equality Index.
Since the Workplace Equality Index began we have been in the Top 100 Employers in the UK. Currently we are ranked top in the public sector in the Yorkshire & Humber region.
We are also a Stonewall Education Champion and take part in their Education Equality Index. We are one of only three local authorities that have been in the Top 10 of the Index since 2011.
More information can be found on our Stonewall Equality Index page.
Hate crime and hate incidents
Hate crimes and hate incidents are acts of hostility or violence directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
Hate crimes and incidents are based on prejudice against a person’s (actual or perceived) disability, race, religion/faith or belief, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
Hate crimes and incidents can be harassment, discrimination or victimisation, such as racial harassment, homophobic or transphobic abuse.
A hate crime is a criminal offence where the law is broken. A hate incident is an incident that is not criminal offence.
If you have witnessed or experienced a hate crime or hate incident, you don’t need to know if it is a criminal offence or not to report it. If you are distressed and want something done about what happened, it’s always best to report it.
Report hate incidents and hate crimes to South Yorkshire Police:
- report online
- ring 999 for emergencies
- ring 101 for non-emergencies
If you do not want to contact the Police directly, you can report hate incidents and hate crimes to Crimestoppers or to a 3rd party reporting centre.
More information about hate crime and 3rd party reporting centres is available on the South Yorkshire Police website.