Equality Groups

Equality and Diversity

A range of information including advice and support on the protected characteristics (sometimes known as the equality groups) can be accessed   by using the links below.


The Equality Act 2010 strengthens and harmonises all previous legislation into a single Act and provides greater protection against discrimination to anyone covered by the Act.   Public bodies such as Fife Council  must now comply with both the general duty and specific duties - (called the Public Sector Equality Duty).

Equality Act 2010
Equality Act 2010 Guidance

The general duty requires public authorities to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination/harassment
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Foster good relations across all protected characteristics

Find out more about the Equality Act at the link below. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have published the following booklet.

Equality Act 2010 - Handbook for Advisors

Public Sector Equality Duty in Scotland

Equality Act 2010 - Specific Duties (Scotland)

From 27 May 2012 the Equality Act 2010 - Specific Duties (Scotland) or Public Sector Equality Duties came into effect.

This requires local authorities to:

  • report on mainstreaming the equality duty
  • publish equality outcomes and report progress
  • assess and review policies and practices
  • gather and use employee information
  • publish gender pay gap intormation
  • consider award criteria and conditions in relation to public procurement
  • publish in a manner that is accessible

British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015

British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 To promote the use of British Sign Language including by making provision for the preparation and publication of a British Sign Language National Plan for Scotland.  Public authorities were required to prepare and publish their own British Sign Language Plans.  Fife Council, in partnership with NHS Fife and Fife College, produced their BSL Plan in 2018.  It is available in the Publications section.  

Equality Evidence

See below for further information on the Equality Evidence Framework and Toolkit for Public Authorities - A framework to help public authorities to gather and use equality evidence.

Equality Evidence Framework
Equality Evidence Toolkit


Age discrimination affects many people.   Young workers may be underpaid or belittled.  Older people may miss out on jobs because of their age. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits age discrimination.

It's unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise a person because of their age 

  • in employment, 
  • in higher education and 
  • in providing recreational & training facilities.  

Within communities negative attitudes, stereotyping and myths exist with young and older people.  The council are aware of this.  People's needs can be overlooked due to these misguided attitudes and beliefs. 

We recognise that we need to deliver services in a variety of ways including:

  • Ensure the services we deliver and services delivered on our behalf are :
    • appropriate and relevant to the needs of people of all ages
  • Ensure people are able to live active, independent and healthy lives
  • Help and enable people to contribute as full members of their communities
  • Supporting learning and development throughout life
  • Provide help and support to enable people to remain in their own homes for as long as they feel they are able to stay.

For further information please use these links:

Education and Children’s Services – Provides  quality education and social work services to children, young people and families and in relation to criminal justice.

Health and Social Care  - responsible for arranging social care services for people and communities in Fife.

Employee Information  Providing information on all employee services and policies.

Jobs and Careers – details about recruitment and supported employment.

Links to other organisations/services:

Age UK (Scotland)
Fife Forum
Young People's Rights - Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Scottish Government - Age Equality
Scottish Government - Children, Young People & Families
Young Scot


A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which is long-term. This will have an adverse effect on someone's ability to carry out normal activities.

We've worked with disabled people for a long time providing services to the community.

We're committed to disability equality in service delivery and show responsibility to employees.  We will:

  • Continue our dialogue with the community and extend it further to promote disability equality
  • Involve disabled people when developing, implementing and reviewing our services
  • Provide co-ordinated support to disabled staff
  • Continue to make council properties more accessible for all visitors and members of staff.

Definition of disability under the Equality Act

Services we provide include: 

Useful Links and Publications: 

Gender re-assignment

Gender reassignment refers to people who propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process of gender reassignment. The umbrella term for this group is Trans or Transgender, which encompasses a wide range of people whose personal experience of their gender is different from what society might expect. This includes terms such as transsexual, transvestite and cross-dressing people. Trans people can be lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.

Under the Equality Act 2010, Trans people cannot be directly or indirectly discriminated against, nor can they be harassed.


Changing for the Better: How to include trans people in your workplace

If you require more information or support please use these links: 


Race is a protected characteristic and refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.  It includes all groups i.e. white europeans;  gypsy travellers.

It is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

It is unlawful for a person to discriminate on racial grounds against another person. For the purposes of the Act ‘race’ includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins. A racial group can be made up of two or more different racial groups (eg Black Britons).
Fife is becoming increasingly multicultural, with many languages being spoken in Fife homes and native born Fifers belong to most of the world’s main religious and ethnic groups.

Useful Publications: 

Useful Links:

Migration Matters Scotland was developed to help local authorities and their community planning partners to think about how to welcome, integrate and involve migrant communities in Scotland.

  • a Migration Policy Toolkit that aims to help . It is designed around a number of key policy areas, is fully interactive and includes a wide variety of case studies which highlight good practice that has been identified from across the country.
  • an online Migration Database, designed to be a one stop shop for research, policy papers and statistics relating to migration in a Scottish context. Its purpose is to improve information sharing and understanding between policy makers, practitioners and researchers.
  • a report of the findings from engagement activities that were undertaken with migrants in conjunction with a number of pilot councils across the country.
  • a report that was commissioned by National Records of Scotland on how councils can utilise data from the census to inform them in relation to their migrant populations.

Can be found at  www.migrationscotland.org.uk.  

Religion and belief

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of religion or belief. The Act defines religion and belief as:

  • religion - any religion or reference to religion, including a reference to a lack of religion
  • belief - any religious or philosophical belief or reference to belief, including a reference to a lack of belief

Religion or belief should be taken to mean the full diversity of religious and belief affiliations within the UK, including non-religious and philosophical beliefs such as atheism, agnosticism and humanism.

As an employer and in our service delivery we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity on the grounds of religion or belief.

Useful Publications:

Links to other organisations/services:


Sex is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, and refers to a man or a woman of any age. It does not include gender reassignment or sexual orientation, which are protected as separate characteristics.

As a Council we are committed to ensuring everyone has equal access to our services, whether service user, customers or staff.

We offer staff a range of support mechanisms including our Flexible Working Policy, which recognises that employees need a variety of flexible working options to meet their needs.

Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, and means a person's orientation towards persons of the same sex (i.e. the person is a gay man or a gay woman/lesbian), persons of the opposite sex (i.e. the person is straight or heterosexual) or persons of either sex (i.e. the person is bisexual).

It does not include gender reassignment.

It is difficult to quantify the number of LGB because of discrimination many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual people are not "out". The current estimate is that approximately 6% of our population are LGB (22,000 people in Fife (2011census figures)). This is a significant number of people who may be particularly vulnerable to hate crimes and discrimination.

As a Stonewall Diversity Champion we have made a commitment to ensure our workplace is inclusive.  By recognising diversity we can improve our workplace practices and ensure we provide better customer service.

We have a council-wide commitment to respond to all types of harassment both in the workplace and the wider community.

Please see our service - Hate Crime – Help and Support.

Useful Links:

Childline - Sexual Identity
Equality Network    
Hate Crime – Help and Support
LGBT Youth Scotland
Scottish Transgender Alliance

Transvisions - The LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Edinburgh, has produced this DVD which  features candid conversations with transgender people that challenge the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding transgender identities:

Useful Publications:

Marriage and civil partnership

Marriage Ceremonies
Civil Partnerships

Gaelic Language

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 secures the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language. The Act requires Local Authorities to prepare and publish Gaelic Language Plans that set out their responsibility to and specific steps in development of equity of Gaelic Language under their area of responsibility.

Useful Links:



Equalities Unit
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 12 42 Contact Equalities Unit online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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