Equal opportunities

Our commitment to equality and diversity

We are committed to making sure that in Highland:

  • People are, and feel, free to live their lives without harassment and discrimination, and can take part in community life
  • People benefit from public services in a fairer way and are able to have their say about them
  • There is an organisational culture where everyone is treated with dignity and respect

Equality outcomes

On 12 May 2021, the Council agreed a revised set of Equality Outcomes for 2021 - 2025 which includes outcomes for the Education Authority and the Licensing Board. These reflect our priority areas for equality work and will help us to eliminate discrimination and advance equality and foster good relations.

Mainstreaming equality

The Highland Council, incorporating its role as an Education Authority and Licensing Board, publishes a mainstreaming equality progress report every 2 years which sets out how we build equality into our work. The reports demonstrate examples of activities across the Council, and our work with partners, to ensure that our services are fair and accessible. The reports include a range of case studies and information on our role as an employer.

Pay gap information and equal pay statement

As an employer, Highland Council is committed to closing the gender pay gap and to addressing occupational segregation. The Council's revised Equal Pay Statement 2023 has been published along with information on the Gender Pay Gap and Occupational Segregation.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous equality legislation with a single Act which aims to provide a simpler more effective legal framework to tackle discrimination and disadvantage.  The Act applies to everyone, both in the public and private sector.

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act also introduced a new Public Sector Equality Duty. This duty requires that in carrying out its work the Council gives due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advance equality
  • Foster good relations between different groups

The Act also asks key public bodies to publish a set of equality outcomes and to publish reports on progress to meet the duty.
Further information about the Equality Act 2010 can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Equality Impact Assessments

Equality impact assessments help us to consider how our policies, actions and services may affect some communities or groups of people differently.

This process supports our legal duty to give due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality, and promote good relations, and to put into place measures that will reduce potential barriers and enhance equality of opportunity.