Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Tackling inequality so no-one is left behind is our guiding principle. We commit to being a fair, compassionate and inclusive council that genuinely values difference and makes everyone feel safe and they belong. We will be open and transparent with residents and staff on our intentions and will take responsibility to achieve them.

All residents should have the same chances for a high quality of life and feel they belong in their communities. We will champion our most vulnerable residents, including those who may suffer from prejudice or discrimination because of who they are or their circumstances.

We are committed to supporting all Members and staff to feel they belong at the council and have opportunities to succeed. We will work with staff to identify and remove barriers that get in the way of inclusivity and diversity.

We take a zero tolerance approach to bullying, discrimination and harassment. Members and employees are expected to behave in ways that help us support residents, partners and council colleagues. We will hold Members and staff to the high standards required, dealing decisively with instances of discrimination.

How we’ll meet our commitment

Focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion is vitally important to improve the experiences of residents and staff and ensure no-one in the county is left behind. We also have a legal responsibility under the Equality Act 2010. We aim to eliminate discrimination, increase equality of opportunity and foster good relations across people from all groups protected by law*. To do this, we will:

  • Proactively look for potential discrimination and work with residents and partners to co-design services so they are inclusive, accessible and fair;
  • Eradicate bias in our employment practices, including recruitment, and support staff to carry out their responsibilities under this commitment;
  • Facilitate and embed Employee Reference Groups for staff from protected groups to have a safe space to engage the council’s leadership on equality issues;
  • Develop a workforce that reflects Surrey’s diverse communities;
  • Ensure all contractors providing goods and services on our behalf share our commitment;
  • Influence other employers and partners to work with us on this agenda through joint initiatives to tackle inequality;
  • Use complaints feedback to identify unfair treatment and take steps to correct this.

*Protected groups cover Age, Disability, Sex, Gender Reassignment, Race, Religion and belief, Sexual orientation, Marriage and civil partnerships, Pregnancy and maternity. Carers are protected by association.

Further reading

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