Portsmouth City Council is committed to an Equalities and Diversity Policy covering colour, ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender and gender reassignment. An important part of this commitment is encouraging companies bidding for council services to practise equalities and diversity in their employment and service delivery.
The council provides a wide range of services to residents, visitors and businesses. In some cases services are provided directly by council employees, but often services are provided by our business partners.
The people to whom these services are delivered come from all sections of society – men and women, young and old, people with disabilities, gay men and lesbians, and people from all ethnic groups, faiths and religions. As such, the services provided to them should be geared to their diverse needs, no matter who actually delivers them.
This is known as responsible procurement.
It is law not to discriminate on the grounds of race, sex and disability in the provision of goods, facilities and services. The council expects its business partners to comply with all the relevant legislation, incorporating these as a requirement in all its contracts. Here are the laws in question:
- Race Relations Act 1976 and Amendments 2000 – outlaws discrimination in all council functions, including procurement
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Amendments 2005 – requires anyone who provides goods or services to comply with its provisions no matter how many people they employ
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Amendments 1986 – outlaws discrimination on grounds of gender, although not currently a statutory duty on local authorities, it is consistent with the council’s Equalities and Diversity Policy.
Read the directive to all local authorities in the documents section below.
Procurement approach to equality and diversity
As part of the tender evaluation and contracting processes, the council will take into account a potential contractor’s approach to equalities in terms of its employment practices and service delivery, which will also be monitored and managed during the life of each contract.
The council monitors a contractor’s compliance with equality and diversity issues in two ways:
- before awarding a contract – by asking equalities questions either prior to or during the tender process. If responses do not satisfy the council’s criteria, the firm may not be shortlisted or awarded a contract
- after awarding a contract – by including contract conditions on equality in all council contracts, and by monitoring a contractor’s performance and compliance with those conditions.
For more information about equal opportunities in employment contact the Equalities and Human Rights Commission or the Low Pay Commission.