Annual Statement of Equality 2019

1. The Public Sector Equalities Duty (PSED)

The Council is subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which is supported by specific duties. The general equality duty requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by or under the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

Having due regard means:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low

There are nine protected characteristics contained within the Act; Age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership.

2. Equality Objectives

Our vision states that we want people to reach their potential and be able to use our services in a way that meets their needs. We aim to engender an inclusive approach as a community leader, service provider and employer of choice. The commitments outlined in this document apply to Councillors and staff. It also sets standards for partners who deliver services on our behalf. Under the Equality Act (2010), we are required to prepare and publish one or more objectives to show how we will achieve the aims of the public sector equality duty.

SNC’s equalities objectives aim to strengthen performance relating to the Public Sector Equalities Duty. We are focused on achieving specific outcomes that have an important part in enabling the Council to demonstrate compliance with the PSED.

SNC’s equalities objectives are published in our Equalities Statement (2016 – 2020). Information on how we are meeting our objectives is contained within section 4. Link: https://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Equalties_Statement_2016.pdf

3. South Norfolk District - Population Profile

Under the Equality Act (2010) we publish information about how we comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty. This must include information about people who share a protected characteristic, who are our employees and people affected by what we do.

We collect information about the protected characteristics of people that use our services and our employees, only where this is relevant to what we do and the decisions we take. Population statistics are provided below.

Population

South Norfolk is mostly an affluent district, with pockets of deprivation – this is a similar profile to Norfolk County. The total population of South Norfolk is estimated to be 137,400 (ONS, 2019) with 59,036 households (Valuation Office Agency, 2019). There is predicted to be an average of 2.26 people per household (ONS, 2019). 51.3% of the population are female, with 48.7% male (2017, ONS)

Age Profile

The age structure of South Norfolk is shown below, split into children, working age and over 65s. South Norfolk’s age structure is similar to that of Norfolk as a whole, and skews older than the national average.

Area People aged 0 - 15 (2017, ONS) People aged 16 - 64 (2017, ONS) People aged 65+ (2017, ONS)
South Norfolk (%) 17.9 58.2 23.9
Norfolk (%) 16.9 59 24.1
England (%) 19.1 62.8 18

 

Ethnicity

The majority (93.8%) of South Norfolk residents class themselves as ‘White British’, which is 14% higher than the national average. 6.2% or 8,200 of South Norfolk’s residents belong to an ethnic minority. This is low when compared to the national average of 20.2%. Of these, 3.3% define as BME.

Ethnic Group 2016 (%) 2016 Population
White British 93.8 124,800
All Ethnic Minorities 6.2 8,200
BME 3.3 4,400
Other Minority Group 2.9 3,900

Source: UK Data Service, ESRC (Predicted from 2011 Census)                     

Main Languages

0.8% of households in South Norfolk have no members that speak English as a main language, which has significant equality implications for the Council. In 97.8% of all households, all adults have English as a main language.

Language (2011 Census, ONS) Households in South Norfolk
All people aged 16 and over in household have English as a main language (%) 97.8
At least one but not all people aged 16 and over in household have English as a main language (%) 1.3
No people aged 16 and over in household but at least one person aged 3 to 15 has English as a main language (%) 0.2
No people in household have English as a main language (%) 0.8

 

Nationality

South Norfolk has a higher proportion of UK nationals than both Norfolk and England. The proportion of EU nationals is significantly lower than both, with non-EU nationals in line with the rest of England (and higher than Norfolk overall).

Nationality (ONS, 2018) South Norfolk Norfolk England
Population by nationality - EU nationals (%) 2.2 5.1 5.9
Population by nationality - Rest of the World nationals (%) 1.5 0.8 1.6

 

Religion

South Norfolk’s religious demographic mirrors that of the rest of the county with an estimated 62.3% of the population following Christianity and 28.7% not identifying with any religion. Percentage of residents identifying as Muslim is much lower than England as a whole. South Norfolk has a lower proportion of the population following a religion than the England average.

Religion (ONS Census, 2011) South Norfolk Norfolk England
Buddhist (%) 0.3 0.3 0.5
Christian (%) 62.3 61 59.4
Hindu (%) 0.2 0.3 1.5
Jewish (%) 0.1 0.1 0.5
Muslim (%) 0.3 0.6 5
Sikh (%) 0 0.1 0.8
Other Religion (%) 0.4 0.5 0.4
No Religion (%) 28.7 29.6 24.7

 

Marital Status

More than 55% of South Norfolk’s population is married which is 8.9% higher than the national average. Of the remaining population, 7.3% are widowed, which is most likely to be due to the age profile of South Norfolk.

Marital Status (ONS Census, 2011) South Norfolk Norfolk England
Divorced (%) 9.4 10.1 9
In a registered same-sex civil partnership (%) 0.3 0.2 0.2
Married (%) 55.5 50 46.6
Separated (%) 2.2 2.3 2.7
Single (%) 25.4 29.5 34.6

Widowed or surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership (%)

7.3 7.9 6.9

 

Health

Generally speaking, South Norfolk residents have a healthier profile than Norfolk or England. However, 7.4% of the population have long term health problems which limit their day-to-day activities (ONS Census, 2011).

Self-Reported Health (ONS Census, 2011) South Norfolk Norfolk  England
Very Bad Health (%) 1 1.2 1.2
Bad Health (%) 3.5 4.4 4.2
Fair Health (%) 13.4 15.1 13.1
Good Health (%) 35.8 36.6 34.2
Very Good Health (%) 46.4 42.7 47.2

 

Disability

0.48% of the South Norfolk adult population is predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability, which is 529 people (PHE, 2016)

11% of the South Norfolk adult population is predicted to have a moderate or serious physical disability, which equates to 8,161 people (PHE, 2016)

Sexual Orientation

There are no statistics for sexual orientation that are presented at a district level. The figures for Norfolk from the 2011 ONS Census are shown below

Area Heterosexual Gay or Lesbian Bisexual Other Sexual Identity
Norfolk 680,000 6,000 6,000 2,000

4. Promoting Equality

South Norfolk Council are active in both ensuring that we engage proactively with our communities to reduce inequalities and making our services more accessible. In the last year, multiple projects have been implemented that are ensuring that we are meeting are equalities objectives for 2016-2020, in addition to our long-term work. This section outlines how our work links to these objectives.

Cross Cutting Objectives

1) We have tackled inappropriate attitudes, stereotyping and hate crime utilising the multi-Agency Protocol on tackling hate crime and we recognise and represent those who share protected characteristics in dialogue and communications

  • District authorities have a statutory obligation to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB), this includes incidences where hate crime is an element.

2) We effectively engage with those we know are under-represented including lesbian, gay & bisexual people, transgendered people, disabled people, faith/belief/non-belief organisations and black & minority ethnic people.

  • The Pride (rainbow) flag was raised for the first time from South Norfolk House, as a symbol of commitment to the LGBT+ community
  • A new pop-up exhibition - ‘Pride of the People: Helping History Out of the Closet’ – has been touring the district, in partnership with the Norfolk Museum Service
  • The Communities Team works to support a wide range of community organisations, many of which represent members of under-represented groups
  • We actively use data collected to help improve our services and to analyse where certain protected groups may be under-represented.

3) Partnership working has helped reduce health inequalities and deprivation, including rural based deprivation and isolation

  • The South Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Strategy outlines the evidence base around health inequalities within the district, providing a strategic framework through which we deliver targeted interventions
  • SNC’s Community Connectors have ensured that a wide variety of issues can be addressed for those who are not able to access or are not aware of services, especially in rural areas
  • District Direct has been awarded funding for another year. This scheme places housing officers within discharge hubs at local community, mental health and acute hospitals, meaning that vulnerable people can be discharged more safely and can access appropriate support
  • South Norfolk Council’s Leisure Strategy clearly outlines our commitment to enabling all to access facilities, such as through our leisure passport scheme (which is designed to provide discounts for those unable to afford membership)
  • Planning policy actively takes into account the impacts of developments on health and wellbeing, such as access to services
  • The Early Help Hub commissions Evolve to provide low level mental health support for customers that are at risk of homelessness or loss of independence because of a mental health or wellbeing need

4) We have promoted a clear understanding of human rights and responsibilities

  • A joint information session (Broadland and South Norfolk) for staff led by Dee Robinson from New Routes Integration. New Routes Integration is a well-known local charity providing a wide range of support to refugees and asylum seekers in Norfolk.
  • Our elections team provides extensive support for those wishing to vote by post (or cannot access a polling station). A recent polling stations review had a focus on the accessibility of such venues
  • We will look to further develop our approach in this area following the adoption of joint equalities objectives alongside Broadland District Council for 2019-2023.

Service Specific Objectives

5) Through partnership working we have reduced overall repeat incidents of domestic abuse and increased the detection rate for domestic abuse assaults

  • Our domestic abuse worker scheme has been a revealing example of the impact that our projects can have, for both victims and the wider public sector. Over the first two years of the project, we estimate a system wide saving (comprising police, NHS, administration and other savings from the New Economy Manchester Model) of £773,136
  • Of those seen by the South Norfolk DA service (jointly funded by the OPCC and Orwell Housing), an evaluation showed that there were 23 attendances at A & E in the 12 months prior to accessing support. There was a large reduction in the number of A & E cases post this support being accessed, with just 1 A & E attendance.

6) Older people, disabled people and their families have better choice of housing options and access to appropriate housing

  • Disabled facilities grant (DFG) funding has enabled adaptations to homes in our district to enable vulnerable people to continue to live independently in their own home
  • Dementia grants have provided a means to acquire equipment for those diagnosed with dementia, allowing for personalised support for their needs
  • Council tax reductions for single home occupants
  • The handyperson service provides a wide range of support to make homes safer and more comfortable for those unable to do so themselves. There is a reduced cost for older residents
  • Partnership work and support for age-based organisations such as the South Norfolk Older People’s Forum.

7) We have addressed the Council’s gender pay gap through understanding and developing our workforce, promoting ‘non-traditional’ jobs and offering flexible working practices

  • Disability Confident Scheme - South Norfolk Council has been awarded the Disability Confident standard. We are committed to working with the Job Centre and the Department of Work and Pensions to support and promote disabled people in the workplace. This includes ensuring our recruitment process is free from discrimination and available through a range of channels, making job advertisements accessible including providing information in accessible formats if required and offering interviews to candidates who have a disability and meet the essential criteria for the role
  • Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Policy - This policy sets out the provisions employees are entitled to, both before and after the birth of their child. Employees are protected against discrimination when pregnant. The protected period, in relation to a woman's pregnancy, begins when the pregnancy begins, and ends:
  • (a) if she has the right to ordinary and additional maternity leave, at the end of the additional maternity leave period or (if earlier) when she returns to work after the pregnancy;
  • (b) if she does not have that right, at the end of the period of 2 weeks beginning with the end of the pregnancy.
  • Flexible Working Policy - This policy is in place to ensure that flexible working requests and working arrangements of South Norfolk Council (SNC) employees are managed in a fair and consistent manner. Flexible working describes a working pattern which is requested by an employee to suit their needs. Managers must ensure that all reasonable adjustments or supportive measures are considered to allow equality of access and opportunity.
  • Absence Management Policy - This policy is to ensure that the absence management of South Norfolk Council’s employees is managed in a fair and consistent manner. This policy is also to recognise and support those who are absent as a result of a disability in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
  • Gender Reassignment Policy - South Norfolk Council is strongly committed to equality of opportunity and treatment in all aspects of the Council’s activities. This policy sets out to ensure that everyone is treated with equal dignity, fairness and respect regardless of their gender identity.
  • Training and Development - Being an Investors in People Platinum accredited employer, we are recognised for our commitment to support informal and formal training interventions which are available to all employees. There will also be upcoming equalities training for all staff (bar casual and some depot roles, for whom alternative arrangements will be put in place), in the form of e-learning.
  • Joint Corporate Equalities Group - As South Norfolk and Broadland Councils are putting shared services into place, it is planned that a joint corporate equalities group be set up from January 2020 (joining with Broadland’s pre-existing corporate equalities group). This will ensure that co-ordinated work on equalities can take place, including embedding the agreed joint equalities objectives.

8) The Council’s workforce is more representative of the communities it serves and those facing the most disadvantage have been helped to gain employment, including our young people.

  • A number of students have been provided with work experience opportunities in the past year, giving their CV’s a boost for when they leave full-time education
  • South Norfolk Council has match-funded LIFT (Local Investment in Future Talent) projects, alongside the EU Social Fund. These have provided employment and skills support, often in the most rural areas
  • The South Norfolk for Jobs project, supported by the DWP and local MPs, is helping to support businesses to find local talent and give them opportunities in key locations like Norwich Research Park.

9) Disabled people have better access to leisure, sports and other community activities, to improve general health and well-being and to combat feelings of isolation

  • The recent appointment of a Community Leisure Manager has increased the number of community leisure projects in South Norfolk, as well as providing an entry route into exercise referral programmes. Exercise referral programmes are designed for those who are suffering with health, either physical or mental, where targeted exercise could have a positive impact on wellbeing, often referred by GPs
  • The lead organisation in developing the South Norfolk Dementia Action Alliance, working alongside a number of active community organisations
  • Long Stratton Leisure Centre is an active member of this group
  • Creating 81 ‘Dementia Friends’ across the organisation. This has increased awareness of dementia related issues (and how to provide support to those with dementia) across the council.

Interpretation and Translation Services

SNC subscribes annually to INTRAN, which provides Interpretation and translation services. This enables us to interact with the 2% of households without a resident speaking English as a main language.

Providing translation services allows our residents to be aware of their rights, communicate their specific needs, access public services and understand their options.

During the period September 2018 – August 2019 SNC received 21 translation booking requests in 4 languages:

  • Bulgarian (10 requests)
  • Lithuanian (4 requests)
  • Bengali (4 requests)
  • Polish (3 requests)

Collaboration

In July 2018, following an in-depth feasibility study, it was agreed that Broadland and South Norfolk Councils would work towards the goal of a single paid service. The two councils retain their autonomy, but services have been delivered by a shared team since January 2019.

A joint Equality Impact Assessment for the feasibility study was produced by South Norfolk Council’s Learning and Development Advisor and Broadland Council’s Housing, Health & Partnerships Officer. This was a fantastic opportunity to not only provide some insight as to the potential impacts of shared working for residents and staff, but also to learn about the different approaches both councils take towards their equalities work. As a result of this, further joint equality work has been taking place throughout 2019 with a commitment to a cross-council Corporate Equalities Group. Shared equality objectives and a joint Equality and Diversity policy has been developed and formally adopted.

It is expected that from February 2020, both Broadland and South Norfolk Councils will produce a joint Annual Equalities Report

5. Workforce Profile - Our Employees

Workforce Headcount

Our workforce profile forms part of the equality information that we use to help us meet our duty to eliminate discrimination and harassment, promote equality of opportunities and foster good relations between different groups within our workforce.

The data relates only to staff who are directly employed by South Norfolk Council including those who are on secondment, apprentices, joint posts with Broadland District Council and fixed term staff. They do not refer to casual staff with no fixed hours, nor Broadland District Council staff.

As of 10th September 2019, 477 individuals were employed by South Norfolk Council.

Gender/Sex

52.4% of the council’s workforce is male, which slightly differs from the general South Norfolk population which shows that 48.7% of the population are male.

22.6% of the workforce work part time, of which 77.1% are female. Our flexible working opportunities enable us to attract and retain talent and specifically helps both female and male employees to gain employment as it supports family and caring responsibilities.

This is evident when considering the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ statistics for the organisation, which states that for South Norfolk Council the gender pay gap is -0.3%. This means that our female employees (on average) are earning slightly more than male employees. A link to the full results can be accessed by clicking on this link: https://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Gender%20pay%20statement2018.pdf

Disability

The percentage of employees declaring a disability is 2.3%, of which 82% are male. It should be noted that 63.7% of employees have stated they do not have a disability and 31.9% have chosen to not report their disability status.

Race

The majority of employees (74%) have declared their race. However, for publishing purposes, we have not showed specific categories so as not to inadvertently identify any individual.

Religion and Belief

36.9% of employees recorded that they have a religion or belief, including those identifying as ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’. 29.6% of employees declared that they have ‘no religion’, with 33.5% of employees choosing not to declare their religious status.

Sexual Orientation

67.7% of employees recorded their sexual orientation. A further 6.1% of employees selected the ‘preferred not to say’ option, with 26.2% of employees choosing not to declare their sexual orientation.

Age Profile

The greatest proportion of South Norfolk Council’s workforce (when split into 10-year age bands) is aged between 45 – 54. The age range is similar to that of the overall population.

Age Number %
Under 25 53 11.1
26 - 34 89 18.7
35 - 44  108 22.6
45 - 54 141 29.6
55 - 64 78 16.4
65+ 9 1.9

 

Whilst there is no age restriction for apprentices and graduates, they traditionally attract a younger applicant which provides entry routes into the workforce in the lower age bracket. South Norfolk Council actively encourages all employees to develop (attaining Investors in People Platinum Status). It is also encouraging to see a number of employees outside of the traditional ‘working age’ bracket (18-64).

Marriage and Civil Partnership

67.7% of our workforce have stated their marital status. 29.4% have not chosen to state that information and a further 3% have stated that they do not wish to disclose that information.