Equality and diversity

We incorporate equality into our core objectives, making every effort to eliminate discrimination, promote equal opportunities and foster good working relationships between different people.

We are required to consider all individuals when carrying out their day to day work, in shaping policy and in delivering services. This is in line with the public sector Equality Duty introduced by the Equality Act 2010.

Specific duties

We are transparent about how we respond to the Equality Duty, as required by the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011. This involves setting clear equality objectives and publishing information on our efforts to achieve them.

Diversity strategy

The diversity strategy sets out our ambitions for equality and diversity between 2013 and 2016, both in relation to staff and in delivering services to the public.

This strategy builds on our learning to ensure that, as a department, we continue to champion equality and diversity in all we do, whether it concerns our staff or the wider public.

Read the progress report for 2010 to 2013.

Equality objectives

To support delivery of the Home Office business plan to cut crime, control immigration and stop terrorism - and to meet the requirements of the public sector Equality Duty - the department has devised specific equality objectives.

The objectives have addressed equality issues across the breadth of our functions and the services we deliver. There is a commitment to work with stakeholders throughout and to tackle the issues that are most pressing for the department.

We will not discriminate on grounds of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender, gender identity, marriage and civil partnerships, part-time working, pregancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work.

Employment monitoring report

The employment monitoring report (EMR) is produced to provide an annual update on how we are performing against the monitoring of statutory duties to our employees. This report aims to:

  • enable us to determine whether processes and procedures are successfully providing equality or opportunity for all employees
  • consider ways to improve any weaknesses in data collection and data quality

External benchmarking

Setting external benchmarks helps to assess our performance in achieving our aims. In 2011 we achieved ‘Gold’ standard on race, disability and gender, and won the Stonewall Index 2011.

We were also recognised in The Times Top Employers for Women in 2012 and 2011. The award recognises the department as a workplace where women can thrive and our wider commitment to promoting diversity across the public and private sector.

Staff support networks

While external benchmarks are important, we also recognise the immense value that staff support networks can add to our workplace and also to our public policy.

These networks provide direct support to their members through ongoing training and advice. They provide insight on the diversity of our people and run events to keep staff aware of how to respond to differing needs.

As an internal resource they have been instrumental in understanding how we can better engage with our stakeholders and the communities we serve.

Our internal networks take on an important critical role, which helps to keep us focused on creating an inclusive and engaged department. This role is increasingly more important in an environment of reducing public expenditure.

We formally recognise and support the following staff support networks:

  • THE NETWORK - for minority ethnic staff
  • Home Office Disability Support (HODS)
  • Spectrum - for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff
  • a:gender - the cross-government network for transgender, transsexual and intersex staff
  • Home Office Women

We also recognise a number of faith-based informal networks, which provide invaluable insights into religion and belief. These networks include:

  • Home Office Christians
  • Home Office Islamic Network
  • The Hindu Connection
  • Home Office Sikh Association