When we’re making decisions, the Equality Act 2010 gives us a duty to take into account the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations between different parts of the community
The Equality Act protects people against discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics, of which there are 9:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
We are required to consider all individuals in their day to day work, in shaping policy and in providing services. This is in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) introduced by the Equality Act 2010.
We are transparent about how we respond to the PSED, as required by the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011. We set clear equality objectives and publish information on our efforts to achieve them.
Diversity and inclusion strategy
The diversity and inclusion strategy sets out our ambitions for equality and diversity between 2018 and 2025, both in relation to staff and in providing services to the public.
This strategy ensures that, as a department, we continue to champion equality and diversity in all that we do, whether it concerns our staff or the wider public.
A refreshed diversity and inclusion strategy will be published in 2021.
To support the Home Office business plan to cut crime, control immigration and stop terrorism, and to meet the requirements of the PSED the department has devised specific equality objectives.
The objectives have addressed equality issues across our functions and the services we provide. We work with stakeholders to deal with the issues that are most pressing for the department.
Participating in external benchmarks helps us to understand and assess our performance against our aims, and to establish how we could use the experience of others to increase the diversity of our workforce and the inclusion in our workplaces and the services we provide.
We have previously been awarded a place in the Stonewall Top 100 Employer’s Index (2020) and in 2021 we were recognised as a Disability Confident Leader, a prestigious accreditation which will last for 3 years.
Staff support networks
While external benchmarks are important opportunities to evaluate our progress towards our aspirations of being a model employer, we also recognise the immense value that staff support networks can add to our workplace and our public policy.
These networks provide direct support to their members through ongoing engagement, they provide insight on the lived experience of our people and run events to keep staff and line management aware of how to respond to differing needs.
As an internal resource our networks have been instrumental in understanding how we can better engage with our stakeholders and the communities we serve.
Our internal networks take on a critical role, keeping us focused on creating an inclusive and engaged department. Some of our staff support networks are:
- The NETWORK – the Home Office race equality network
- ABLE – the Home Office’s disability network
- Spectrum – for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff
- a:gender – the cross-government network for transgender, transsexual and intersex staff
- GEN – Gender Equality Network (formerly Home Office Women)
- Christian Network
- Hindu Connection
- Home Office Islamic Network (HOIN)
- Jewish Network (J-Net)
- Sikh Association