Equality and Diversity

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is a local authority incorporated under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. Like other Scottish local authorities, the Comhairle is a “most purpose” authority, with duties and powers covering a wide range of activities. We want all our citizens to be able to use our services and join in with the life and work in the Western Isles.  Equality is about everyone having access to: Public services; jobs; Independent living; education; and public life and the democratic process.

The public sector equality duty (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) (or general duty) in the Equality Act 2010 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) (“the Act”) came into force in 2011. It means Scottish public authorities must have 'due regard' to the need to: eliminate unlawful discrimination; advance equality of opportunity; and foster good relations. In 2012 Scottish Ministers made regulations that placed specific duties on Scottish public bodies to help them meet the general duty. These are also known as the Scottish Specific Duties (Opens in a new window or downloads a file). Our What is Equality? (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage provides a summary of the Act and the specific equality duties.

As the Comhairle is a listed public authority subject to the specific equality duties it is required to publish a mainstreaming report (which includes employee information); equality outcomes, prepared using involvement and evidence; gender pay gap information; and a statement on equal pay and occupational segregation in relation to gender. The reports are made available to the public on our Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and Equality Policies, Plans and Performance Reports (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpages.

Before we make decisions about our services, we look at evidence to see if there could be any good or bad effects on people’s equality and human rights; and sustainability and the environment. We then think about how to improve the service. This is called an impact assessment. The tool we use is called an integrated impact assessment (IIA). The Comhairle is required to make available and publish all the results of its impact assessments (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

There is a link to external resources that you may find of benefit on our Useful Links (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage.

If you have any queries about Equality and Diversity, please contact us by email at: equalities@cne-siar.gov.uk or enquiries@cne-siar.gov.uk; telephone: 01851 600 501; or post:

Human Resources and Performance
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road
Isle of Lewis

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us by using contact SCOTLAND-BSL