Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)


St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion in the employment of its staff, the way in which services are provided for the public and eliminating unlawful discrimination.

The Council recognises its statutory duties under legislation in terms of service provision and employment and aim to meet them by complying with this policy.


This policy’s purpose is to:

1. Provide equality,fairness and respect for all in our employment,whether temporary,part-time or full-time and for those who use the services provided.

2. Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of:

• age;
• disability;
• gender reassignment;
• race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin);
• religion or belief;
• sex;
• sexual orientation;
• marriage and civil partnership; and
• pregnancy and maternity;

3. Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination.This includes in:

• pay and benefits
• terms and conditions of employment
• dealing with grievances and discipline
• dismissal
• redundancy
• leave for parents
• requests for flexible working
• selection for employment, promotion, training or other development opportunities

Council Commitments

Service Delivery

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council is committed to equality of opportunity in the provision of services and access to its facilities.

The Council will achieve this by:
• recognising and accepting that particular individuals or groups are denied equality
through direct or indirect discrimination either intentional or unintentional.
• providing regular training for all Councillors and employees, so that they have a good
understanding of the diverse needs of different people.
• delivering services which are relevant, of the highest possible quality and accessible.
• providing clear information about our services and facilities and where necessary making
them available in a variety of formats.
• ensuring that our complaints and feedback procedures are accessible and effective.
• assessing the impact of and monitoring its services to ensure that they do not
discriminate and identify where improvements can be made; and
• ensuring that all employees understand what their roles and responsibilities are in
relation to equality in service provision.


St Stephen Parish Council is committed to providing equality of opportunity. All employees will have a part to play in achieving this and the Council will ensure that individuals are aware of their personal responsibility to follow and support this policy.

The Council will achieve this by:

1. Encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense.

2. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.

This commitment includes training councillors and all employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.

All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

3. Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities.

Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.

Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

4. Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

5. Make decisions concerning staff based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).

6. Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.

7. Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them regularly, and considering and taking action to address any issues.


This equality, diversity and inclusion policy is fully supported by:

Council and Committees – Strong leadership is essential to ensure that this policy is embedded at strategic and service delivery levels of the Council. Whilst the Full Council will be ultimately responsible for implementation and review of this policy, day to day implementation and monitoring will be the responsibility of the Staffing Committee in respect of staffing and performance management issues and the Finance & General Purposes Committee in terms of Council facilities.

Councillors – Councillors, by way of the corporate body, have overall responsibility for the direction and scrutiny of this policy and will ensure that the principles of fairness and equality guide the decision making process.

Employees – All employees must:

  • (i) co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equal opportunity;
  • (ii) report any suspected discriminatory acts or practices;
  • (iii) not persuade or attempt to persuade others to practice unlawful discrimination;
  • (iv) not victimise anyone as a result of them having reported or provided evidence on discrimination;
  • (v) not harass, abuse or intimidate others on account of their race, gender etc;
  • (vi) not pressurise job applicants in an attempt to discourage them from applying or taking up a post.

Breaches of Policy

Any breach of the Equal Opportunities Policy will be dealt with through the relevant legislation or appropriate disciplinary procedure. Serious offences, such as harassment and victimisation, may be treated as gross misconduct.


Internal – Any councillor or employee who has a concern regarding the application of this policy should make use of the Council’s grievance disciplinary policies and procedures.

External – Any member of the public, including prospective employees, wishing to raise a complaint should do so, in writing, to the Clerk within 15 working days, at the latest, of the alleged incident.

[Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 1st May 2024 under minute number FPC89/24. Due for review in 2027.]