Equality and Diversity Policy 2020-21


1. Introduction

2. Legislative background and requirements

3. Values and principles

4. Equality and diversity policy

5. Equality and Diversity Action Plan

6. Consultation, involvement and training

7. Leadership, management and responsibilities

8. Equality impact assessments

9. Equality and diversity reporting

10. Contacts and further information

11. Feedback

12. Review

Appendix 1 – Protected characteristics definitions


1. Introduction

1.1. Throughout this policy, ‘equality’ means ensuring everyone is able to access the same opportunities on a level footing, and ‘diversity’ means acknowledging differences between people and ensuring they are recognised and respected.

1.2. The Royal Commission is the investigation body and national archive for the historic environment of Wales. It has the lead role in ensuring that Wales’s archaeological, built and maritime heritage is authoritatively recorded, and seeks to promote the understanding and appreciation of this heritage nationally and internationally.
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2. Legislative background and requirements

2.1. The Equality Act 2010 was introduced in October 2010 to replace and simplify over 100 pieces of previous anti-discrimination Acts and regulations. On 5 April 2011, the public sector equality duty came into force in England, Scotland and Wales. The duty replaced all pre-existing race, disability and gender equality duties.

2.2. The equality duty is comprised of a general equality duty, supported by specific duties. The general equality duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and is the same across Great Britain. The specific duties were created via secondary legislation and are different for England, Scotland and Wales.

2.3. The Commission is legally required to meet the general equality duty as an employer and as an organisation that carries out public functions. The Commission is not identified in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, and is therefore exempt from specific duties.

2.4. As an employer, the Commission is analogued to Welsh Government policies and procedures. The Commission is not required to report equality and diversity statistics on staff members, as it is classified as a small organisation (employing less than 50 people). All policies and procedures relating to employees at the Commission are located in the Commission’s Staff Handbook.

2.5. The general equality duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. It states that those subject to the general equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard for the need to:

1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and other conduct prohibited by the Act.

2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, having due regard in particular to:

i) Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;

ii) Take steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people;

iii) Encourage people with certain projected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

3. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

2.6. The general equality duty states that ‘meeting different needs’ includes (among other things) taking steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities. It describes ‘fostering good relations’ as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups. It explains that compliance with the general equality duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others. The general equality duty covers the following protected characteristics for employees and service users. Definitions of these characteristics are provided in Appendix 1:

Protected characteristics (employees) Protected characteristics
(service users)
Disability Disability
Sex (gender) Sex (gender)
Gender reassignment Gender reassignment
Pregnancy and maternity Pregnancy and maternity
Race Race
Religion and belief Religion and belief
Sexual orientation Sexual orientation
Age Age
Marriage and civil partnership

2.7. The Commission’s Welsh Language Policy is supported by a separate area of legislation, and is not included in the Equality and Diversity Policy. Further information about the Welsh Language Policy is available on the Commission’s website.
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3. Values and principles

3.1. The Commission is committed to putting people at the heart of what it does, and to serving people with dedication, equality and impartiality.

3.2. The Commission supports the delivery of the Welsh Government’s strategic agenda, as expressed in its Programme for Government, to ‘move towards a prosperous, resilient, healthier and more equal future’. In particular, this policy supports the Welsh Government’s aim to ‘create a Wales that is United and Connected’ and specifically to ‘continue [its] work with all protected groups to counter discrimination and ensure opportunities for all’. This policy also supports the Government’s aim to ‘promote and enhance the culture and heritage of Wales’ by widening access to cultural and heritage resources, and encouraging greater participation.
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4. Equality and diversity policy

4.1. The Commission is committed to ensuring there is equality of opportunity for all in the delivery of its functions and services, fostered in an environment of mutual respect and dignity.

4.2. The promotion of equality and diversity concerns everyone, and it is the responsibility of all members of the Commission’s community. All members of the community have a responsibility to ensure that the Commission continues to be an inclusive, welcoming, safe and productive environment.

4.3. The Commission believes that by providing equality of opportunity for all members of our community, and by recognising and valuing the diversity of that community, we will not only fulfil our legal and social responsibilities, but will promote organisational effectiveness and innovative ways of working that will aid in the delivery of our functions.
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5. Equality and Diversity Action Plan

5.1. The Commission produces an annual Equality and Diversity Action Plan, which aims to promote equality and diversity across all areas of the Commission’s work.

5.2. The actions identified in the plan will give clarity and momentum to the equality and diversity agenda at the Commission, by focussing on specific issues and reporting regularly on progress.

5.3. The Commission has consulted with staff and service users on the contents of this policy and the Equality and Diversity Action plan.
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6. Consultation, involvement and training

6.1. The Commission will continue to consult and involve staff, service users and any other interested parties in this policy, the Equality and Diversity Action Plan and any other equality and diversity initiatives as appropriate.

6.2. The Commission will continue general awareness training on equality and diversity, and will address any specific training initiatives through the Equality and Diversity Action Plan.
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7. Leadership, management and responsibilities

7.1. The Secretary, who reports to the Commissioners, has overall responsibility for Equality and Diversity at the Commission.

7.2. Senior managers, line managers and the Equality and Diversity officer are responsible for monitoring staff compliance with the Equality and Diversity Policy, for carrying out actions arising from the Equality and Diversity Action Plan and for promoting equality and diversity throughout the Commission.

7.3. All members of the Commission’s community are expected to comply with the Equality and Diversity Policy, with the Equality and Diversity Action Plan and with any of the Commission’s equality and diversity initiatives.
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8. Equality impact assessments

8.1. An equality impact assessment involves assessing the likely or actual effects of policies, practices and services on people in respect of their protected characteristics. It helps ensure that the needs of people are taken into account when developing and implementing a new policy or service, or when making changes to current policies or services.

8.2. Equality impact assessments will continue to be incorporated into the day-to-day operation of the Commission.
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9. Equality and diversity reporting

9.1. The Operational Team will review progress on the Equality and Diversity Action Plan once a quarter.

9.2. An annual report on equality and diversity will be submitted to Commissioners. These reports will:

  • Review this policy, and include any feedback and proposed revisions;
  • Review progress on the Equality and Diversity Action Plan;
  • Report on any learning and development activities;
  • Report on any other relevant activities that have taken place during the year.

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10. Contacts and further information

10.1. If you require this publication in hard copy or in an alternative format please contact Reina van der Wiel at reina.vanderwiel@rcahmw.gov.uk or by telephone on 01970 621 240.
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11. Feedback

11.1. The Commission welcomes feedback on our Equality and Diversity Policy and Action Plan from service users and staff members. Please contact Reina van der Wiel at reina.vanderwiel@rcahmw.gov.uk or by telephone on 01970 621 240.
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12. Review

12.1. The Operational Team will review this policy on an annual basis. The reviewed policy will be approved by Commissioners. The next review will be in April 2021.
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Appendix 1 – Protected characteristics definitions

The following definitions of protected characteristics are taken from Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance to the public sector equality duty, and are listed alphabetically.

Age: This refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 – 30 year olds).

Disability: A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Gender reassignment: The process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Marriage and civil partnership: In Wales, England and Scotland marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple.

Same-sex (and, in Wales and England, opposite-sex) couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).

Pregnancy and maternity: Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Race: This refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origins.

Religion and belief: Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.

Sex (gender): Someone being a man or a woman. Regarding gender: the wider social roles and relationships that structure men’s and women’s lives. These change over time and vary between cultures.

Sexual orientation: This is whether a person’s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.


To download this document as a PDF, click here: Equality and Diversity Policy 2020-21

Mae’r polisi hwn hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg | This policy is also available in Welsh.

Open Government Licence logo This document is available under the Open Government Licence.

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