Our responsibilities under the law
As a public authority the council, and other bodies, have responsibilities under The Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force in the UK in October 2000, to:
- promote and protect individuals' human rights. This means treating people fairly, with dignity and respect while safeguarding the rights of the wider community
- apply core human rights values, such as equality, dignity, privacy, respect and involvement, to all organisational service planning and decision making.
The HR Act applies to certain local authority services such as Community Safety, Education, Employment, Environmental and Planning, Fair hearings in determining civil rights; Gypsies and Travellers; Licensing and Registration - taxis, theatres, public entertainment, street trading, residential homes, etc, and use of personal data.
For further information on key issues and articles relating to human rights visit: www.equalityhumanrights.com
Equality Act 2010
Wolverhampton Council has a proud history of meeting its legal requirements on equality, and the Council is committed to continuing this trend in line with the current legislation in this area: the Equality Act 2010 (the Act).
The Act brings together all the legal requirements on equality that the private, public and voluntary sectors need to follow, replacing all previous equality law such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
The Equality Act 2010 requires public authorities and other bodies that provide a public function to consciously consider the need to eliminate victimisation and harassment, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it. As a Council, we have to be able to demonstrate that we have done this.
For further information on the Equality Act 2010 please see the Downloads section or visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
Equality Advisory & Support Services (EASS)
The Equality Advisory Support Service is a free helpline for individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination. Their specially trained advisers can explain your rights within two areas of law, the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Should you feel that discrimination has occurred at work, when using services, within an education setting or, when renting property the helpline can explain how the law works and suggest to you the best way to use your rights. The service can also provide some practical support should you find an initial complaint of discrimination has been unsuccessful.
Some examples of the types of issues advised on:
- A disabled individual who was trying to update banking details through the use of an interpreter at his local high street bank.
- An individual who has been victimised by a pub landlord because he has inferred that a member of his staff was acting unlawfully by racially abusing a fellow customer.
- An individual who was unhappy about the way that the younger clientele at work treated him and spoke to him because he was an older person.
- A Trans individual, who had transitioned from male to female, who worked for a security company and reapplied for a security pass only to discover that the process for renewing her pass had disclosed the fact she had undergone gender reassignment surgery.
- A pregnant woman who was advised by a leading restaurant chain to breastfeed her baby in the toilet and not in the restaurant as she was causing offence.
Equality Advisory & Support Services (EASS) are an accessible and inclusive service which means they are able to support a wide variety of different languages and we are able to provide advice to Deaf members of society through our partnership with the Royal Association for Deaf people.
Some service users will require the support of a lay advocate in order for them to understand the advice they are given. The partnership with VoiceAbility & their trained advocate will provide one to one support for individuals with a learning difficulty or disability.
EASS are able to support an individual to resolve their issue using alternative informal dispute resolution, as opposed to issuing a claim in the county court or the employment tribunal; needless to say, recognising situations where issuing a claim may well be the only option. In some instances, EASS may write to a service provider on behalf of a client in order to initiate a resolution.
It is important to remember that EASS we will work with you to decide the best course of action for you to take in resolving your issue. EASS will support you to achieve the best possible outcome.
The EASS helpline does not provide legal advice - for more information on this please refer to their Legal Advice policy.
- Contact EASS Advice Line: 0808 800 0082
- The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm and, Saturday 10am - 2pm.
- TEXTPHONE:0808 800 0084
- Email via website:equality advisoryservice.com
- Post: FREEPOST EASS Helpline FPN 6521