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Equality, diversity and inclusion policy


Norfolk County Council is committed to providing equality of opportunity for Norfolk's people and communities. We respect and value difference in the county and across our workforce, and we want everyone to feel included and able to play their part in making Norfolk a great place to live, learn, work and visit.

We do not tolerate unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation in service delivery or employment on the grounds of any protected characteristic:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity

We will not treat anyone less favourably than any other, on the grounds of any protected characteristic, except when such treatment is within the law and determined by lawful requirements. In adopting the aims of this policy, we will:

  • Promote equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Promote understanding, tackle prejudice and foster positive relations between different communities
  • Make reasonable adjustments for disabled people
  • Take steps to remove barriers or inequalities that may already exist
  • Promote a workforce culture that values and respects difference
  • Engage with local communities fairly and proportionately
  • Encourage people who share a protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation is disproportionately low.

Accessibility and inclusive design

We are committed to providing public services and a workforce environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their ability or disability.

When reviewing or redesigning our public services or workforce environment (or any building, product or service in that environment, such as premises, technology, information, communication and culture) we will be guided by the following:

  • Provide the same means of use to enable access for all users: identical whenever possible; equivalent when not
  • Avoid segregating or stigmatizing any users
  • Provisions for privacy, security and safety shall be equally available to all users
  • Ensure dignity in use for all users.

Reasonable adjustments for disabled people

Where something the Council does places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we will take all reasonable steps to try to avoid that disadvantage. This may mean changing the way we work, providing extra equipment or removing physical or other barriers.

Discharging our responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty

When exercising our public functions, we will have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

At least every four years, we will publish one or more equality objectives.

We will maintain and publish annual information which shows our compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Equality impact assessments

Equality assessments should be undertaken at the design stage of planning and commissioning, to enable equality and accessibility to be routinely considered.

In particular, as part of the assessment, guidance should be sought on the minimum and maximum access considerations that could be applied to any given initiative - to enable decision-makers to consider the most reasonable approach in the circumstances, taking all relevant factors into account - such as available resources; demand and future proofing.

It will not always be possible to adopt the course of action that will best promote equality, diversity and inclusion for all. However, equality assessments enable informed decisions to be made, that take into account every opportunity to minimise disadvantage.

Staff professional development

All new staff undertake induction training which includes a module on behaviour and conduct expectations (standards at work). E-learning modules are also mandatory for all staff.

Staff can access these modules via Oracle Learn.

Who this policy affects

This policy affects elected members and all workers including employees, consultants, temporary workers, agency staff and other third parties working on behalf of Norfolk County Council. It also applies to suppliers, sub-contractors and agencies in our supply chain.

This policy applies to (but is not limited to) the planning, design, operation, construction and delivery of services, the provision of goods, facilities and services, exercising of public functions, recruitment and selection, conditions of service, benefits, facilities and pay, training and development, opportunities for promotion, conduct at work, employment policy, procedures and guidance, and termination of employment.

We expect all staff to take responsibility for familiarising themselves with this policy and conducting themselves in an appropriate manner. Staff are expected to engage proactively in the implementation of this policy.

Relevant legislation

In implementing this policy we will have regard to our legal obligations under relevant legislation, including the Equality Act 2010 and Public Sector Equality Duty.

Relevant NCC policies

A number of HR policies are in place to provide further guidance about specific topics. This includes:

  • Transgender Policy and Procedure P305a
  • Guidance on disability and reasonable adjustments G312d
  • Bullying and Harassment Policy P308
  • Conduct and Behaviour policy P319
  • Recruitment and selection policy P108
  • Carers policy P226
  • Maternity policy P208
  • Adoption policy P208a
  • Paternity policy P208b

Members of staff can find these on myNet.

Our Modern Slavery Statement describes the steps we have taken during the year to deal with modern slavery risks in our supply chains and business.


This policy will be made available via Norfolk County Council's website and intranet.


We will continually review this policy and any other associated codes of practice and guidance in line with legislation and best practice.


We regard any breach of this policy as a serious matter to be dealt with through agreed procedures and this may result in disciplinary action.

We encourage anyone who has a complaint concerning a breach of this policy to bring this to the Norfolk County Council. See Make a complaint for more information.

Further Information

For further information please contact:

Read our equality, diversity and inclusion policy (easy read version) (PDF) [2MB].