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Our equality and inclusion commitment statement

We aim to continuously improve the standards of service we provide to the community we serve. We recognise the importance of, and are committed to promoting equality and inclusion in the provision of our services and to our employees. We are committed to encouraging equality and inclusion amongst our workforce and to eliminating unlawful discrimination. We aim for our workforce to be truly representative of the community we serve and for each of our employees to feel respected and to be able to give their best.

We recognise our legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. Specifically, the public sector equality duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunities and to foster good community relations, and have an engaged, fairly treated and motivated workforce. In particular we oppose and are committed to eliminating all forms of unfair treatment at work based on: age, disability, sex, race or national origin, religion and belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, political opinions, trade union activity or membership and lack of trade union activity or membership.

In working to protect and keep communities and individuals safe from fire and other emergencies, we recognise that people’s needs may be different and that some will be more at risk than others of fire and other emergencies. We aim to target our services and resources to protect the whole community and to reduce the additional risks faced by some. In developing appropriate services, we will work to engage and involve our communities.

We aim to promote equality, fairness and respect for all of our employees.

Throughout 2016, we are re-invigorating our work to promote equality and inclusion across the Service.

In February, an Equality and Inclusion Task Group was set up which includes representatives from staff, managers, trade unions and a Fire Authority Councillor. The group has the responsibility of steering equality and inclusion work across the Service and making recommendations to the management team and Fire Authority.

In March, the workforce and community data was collected and analysed to develop a comprehensive workforce profile, which will be published shortly. Information on community profiles will continue to be collected and analysed as this work progresses.

This information was used to help us to form our draft equality and inclusion priorities for the next three years. The Task Group involved over 50 members of staff and managers in developing the draft equality and inclusion priorities that are published within our Annual Report.

Prior to consulting on our draft equality and inclusion priorities, work has been undertaken to identify groups who work with communities around issues spanning all of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act: age, disability, sex, race or national origin, religion and belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.

The consultation will take place across eight weeks during the summer months and we will use engaging ways of consulting and involving communities in this work.