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Race and faith-based equality

How race, religion and belief are affected by the Equality Act 2010.

Under the Equality Act 2010, race is one of nine protected characteristics. Race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origin.

Prohibited behaviour includes unlawful direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, and discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, harassment and victimisation.

Segregating people because of race is a form of direct discrimination.

We have established a number of relationships to help us to engage with ethnic minority communities across Derbyshire, and with our black and minority ethnic (BME) employees.

We support a local BME community-based forum. For more information about the BME forum please contact Mick Evans, research analyst, tel: 01629 538474.

We have set up a network for our BME employees. For more information on the activities of our BME Employees’ Network please contact Helen Linacre, HR consultant, tel: 01629 538453.

For more information on reporting racist and other forms of hate crime please visit Safer Derbyshire.

We are currently reviewing our services to aid translation and interpretation. Get help with communicating if your first language is not English.

For more information about our work in relation to race equality please email: or tel: 01629 538258.

Religion and belief, including non-belief

Under the Equality Act 2010 religion and the lack of a religion, and a religious or philosophical belief constitutes a protected characteristic.

In the case of a philosophical belief, it must be:

  • genuinely held
  • a belief and not just an opinion
  • have a weighty or substantial impact on human life and behaviour
  • be cohesive, serious and important
  • and worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity or conflict with the fundamental human rights of others.

We are under a duty as a public body to promote religion and belief equality as one of the relevant protected characteristics.

We engage with faith-based organisations in a number of ways, including in relation to education and schooling.

For more information about faith equality and inclusion in schools please contact Steve Ford, tel: 01629 532766, who provides support to our special advisory committee on religious education.

Prayer room at County Hall, Matlock

A small room on the basement floor next to the new accessible entrance from the terrace area is available for use for worship, prayer or quiet contemplation. The room may be booked and can be used by council employees, elected members and visitors to County Hall. It is a small room, only capable of accommodating up to a couple of people at a time.

All booking must be made by telephoning 01629 538318.

Celebrating Black History Month

Each October Black History Month is celebrated in the UK and around the world. It is an important time for people from our BME communities and is often used to reflect on the past and current experience and history of our black British, Caribbean and African communities.

Celebrating Black History Month helps raise race equality awareness and contributes to the delivery of one of our recently adopted equality objectives, and helps demonstrate how we are meeting the public sector duty under the Equality Act 2010.

We have marked the month in a number of different ways over past years, including events in local libraries, schools and through a range of awareness-raising and cultural events. Our Black and Minority Ethnic Employee Network has worked with officers to identify, organise and host suitable events to raise awareness with the public, elected members and employees.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD)

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place each year on 27 January.

On HMD we can learn how journeys themselves became part of genocide, and how the journeys undertaken were often experiences of persecution and terror for so many people who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in the subsequent genocides. We can also learn about the journeys that brought survivors to the UK and how, in many instances, journeys of return have been part of the experience of rebuilding.