Equality and diversity

Our approach to equality and diversity

The London Borough of Harrow, prides itself in being one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse boroughs in the country. We have many people of many backgrounds and experiences living side by side.

It is the richness of this diversity, and the positive impact that it has, that we believe helps make Harrow such a great place to live, work and visit.

Our vision for Harrow is built on recognising the needs of our communities. We promote inclusion, cohesion, fairness, and justice.

As a community leader, we will continue to bring communities together. Whether they be other public partners such as the Police and Fire Brigade, or residents who want to make a difference in their communities. We're striving to achieve this vision for our borough.

In serving a diverse population, the Council aims to make sure people have equal opportunities. This extends to:

  • residents
  • service users
  • employees
  • elected members
  • stakeholders
  • partner organisations
  • visitors

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010  came into force on 1 October 2010 and brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. Combined, they make up a new Act that will provide a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. For more information, see Equality Act 2010.

The Act covers nine Protected Characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex and sexual orientation

As an employer, we are committed to employing a diverse workforce. This helps us to understand and relate to the community we serve.

Workforce Profile Report

The council produces their annual Workforce Profile Report each year.

This report provides an overview of the diversity profile of the council’s workforce and how this compares with the population of Harrow and the London average. The data in this report helps to inform the council’s workforce planning and decision-making processes in relation to levelling up the council’s offer for under-represented groups. 

The report also helps to shape the development of workforce initiatives, to further improve the representation of minority groups within the Council, to ensure more inclusive processes and practices across the organisation. As a service provider, we are committed to ensuring our services are open, fair and accessible. We do this by taking into consideration the needs and requirements of our diverse community. We will continue to improve our services through the use of:

  • a robust Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) process – where all council staff receive full training to undertake an assessment. 
  • engaging with and listening to our communities and service users through resident surveys and the consultation process.

As a procurer of goods and services, we will continue to ensure our commissioning processes are fair for everyone. Moreover, that those delivering a service on our behalf share our commitment to equality and diversity.

Our Principles and Values

Our Equality of Opportunity Policy is underpinned by a number of principles and values. These are to:

  • Make sure our equality policies support employment and service delivery for our diverse communities.
  • Make sure our services respond quickly and are truly accessible to our service users.
  • Work in partnership with the Trade Unions and workforce. Plan, develop and maintain good communication and information solutions. This supports us to deliver cost effective and accessible services and enable appropriate work-life balance for staff.
  • Ensure our workforce has the skills required to deliver a high quality service. This is achieved through effective recruitment, selection and development of employees.
  • Encourage partnership and participation in the development and application of our policies, practices and services.
  • Work actively to eliminate all forms of unlawful discrimination, both direct and indirect that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Adhere to section 149, with particular reference to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which imposes a ‘Duty’ on public bodies to:
    • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act
    • Advance equality of opportunity between different groups
    • Foster good relations between people from different groups.

View our Equality of opportunity policy.