Equality, Diversity and Cohesion FAQs

1. What is Equality?

Equality is about treating everyone according to their needs. It is not about treating everyone the same because this would be very difficult as different people will have different needs but it is about treating people fairly.

2. What is Diversity?

Diversity is about recognising people are different and have differing needs The term diverse groups can be used to describe people who have something in common such as age, disability faith or religion, race, sexual orientation, sex (gender) and or gender identity (see also protected characteristics).

3. What is Cohesion?

Community cohesion is the term used to describe the situation whereby, as a result of understanding and respect between different communities and a sense of identification with a wider community, it leads to a strong, inclusive and healthy society.

4. What are objectives?

Objectives are the term used to describe what Liverpool City Council wishes to achieve in relation to a particular aspect of its work. For example, if the council wants to achieve a modern and diverse workforce then this is an equality objective. In order to achieve this objective we will usually need to identify and take a number of actions over a period of time and these are outlined in our Action Plan

5. What are the protected characteristics?

The protected characteristics are those equality or diverse groups who have protection under the law. The protected characteristics are:

  • Age - This refers to a person of a particular age (for example. 23 year olds) or range of ages (for example. 18 - 30 year olds).
  • Disability - A person with a disability is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
  • Gender reassignment - This involves the process of transitioning from one gender to another.
  • Marriage and civil partnership - Marriage is a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couple’s relationships are legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'.  Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
  • Pregnancy and maternity - Pregnancy refers to being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
  • Race - The protected characteristic of Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
  • Religion and belief - Religion and belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism).
  • Sex (Gender) - A man or a woman.
  • Sexual orientation - This protected characteristic refers to a person's sexual attraction, whether it is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.

6. Why are they important?

The protected characteristics are important because people from these groups may have particular needs that we need to be aware of. These groups are protected under equalities law. 

People with these characteristics often tend to be discriminated against, directly (on purpose) or indirectly (unwittingly, unintentionally), or harassed, because of those characteristics, which is illegal.  We must take steps to ensure this does not happen.  

7. Why do we monitor?

Monitoring is about collecting information that will help us make sure services are meeting peoples’ needs.

It is important that this monitoring information is collected in a planned, organised and routine way. It will help us to know if our services are performing well and if they are reaching all those who need to access them. 

Collecting monitoring information can help us to:

  • Improve services.
  • Make sure those who need to access services are accessing them increase life chances.
  • Raise educational attainment.
  • Improve neighbourhoods.
  • Promote citizenship and respect with society.

8. What do we monitor?

We monitor our staff and customers. Race, Sex (Gender), and disability information are captured and additional information on religion and belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership will be collected where relevant.

Monitoring information is collected, used and stored in a confidential way and all those who do not wish to provide monitoring information are encouraged to tick the ‘prefer not to say’ option on the monitoring form.  

9. What is the Staff Diversity Forum?

The Staff Diversity Forum is a 'two way information and consultation channel' as well as being a proactive forum for our employees who have a personal interest in or experience of equality issues relating to race, age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief. The purpose of the Forum is for employees to:

  • Support the development and implementation of equality frameworks throughout the organisation.
  • Raise equality issues with management and assist in finding solutions.
  • Work towards achieving greater equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace

The Forum will also act as a consultative body for management on issues of equality and diversity.

If you want to know more about the Diversity Forum or are interested in joining please email diversity.forum@liverpool.gov.uk .

10. What is the Corporate Access Forum?

The Corporate Access Forum is coordinated by the Equal Opportunities Service and chaired by Councillor Richard McLinden, Deputy Chair Adult Social Care & Health, and Deputy Manager for Liverpool Association of Disabled People (LADP).  The Forum consists of disabled people from key community organisations and council officers and was set up as a communication and consultation forum on environmental access issues.

Through the Forum disabled people are able to engage directly with council officers and developers in order to influence design and implementation of major regeneration projects in the city.  For more information about CAF, please contact us.

The group's minutes can be viewed on the council's internet page.

11. What is an Equality Impact Assessment?

Equality Impact Assessments, or equality analysis as they are now referred to in Government equality guidance, are a useful tool to enable public bodies to assess the implications of decisions on communities.

Good equality analysis will help organisations to tackle inequality and target resources efficiently.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) are carried out in order to anticipate and evaluate what impact an existing or proposed policy, procedure or practice will have on particular groups of people, or those with protected characteristics.

Where a negative or adverse impact is identified, we must take steps to remove or reduce that impact wherever possible.

An EIA should be carried out when a new service or a significant change to an existing service is introduced, and/or where there are decisions involving areas of public concern

For more information about LCCs work towards achieving equality and inclusion please contact us.