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Brent Council is ‘excellent’ for its equality policies after tribunal ruling leads to an overhaul

PUBLISHED: 11:36 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:51 26 April 2016

Brent Council has been awarded an excellent rating for its equality policies

Brent Council has been awarded an excellent rating for its equality policies

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An overhaul of Brent Council’s equality policies has resulted in a local government body awarding the town hall with the highest possible award.

Cllr Michael Pavey carried out a review of the council's equality policiesCllr Michael Pavey carried out a review of the council's equality policies

Officers from the Local Government Association (LGA) rated the council’s performance for equalities as ‘Excellent’ following an inspection.

The grade has been awarded under the LGA’s Equality Framework for Local Government.

Gill Elliott, peer support adviser at the LGA, said: “In order to be able to award the “Excellent” level, it was important for the council to demonstrate that outstanding measures contained in several key equality related action plans were being implemented and that outcomes were starting to be realised.

“We also wanted to be assured that the new equality committee was effective in its role of monitoring the progress of these action plans.

Cara Davani was found to have treated black worker Rosemary Clarke unfairlyCara Davani was found to have treated black worker Rosemary Clarke unfairly

“We can see that there is sufficient evidence to support a view that these requirements have been met.”

She added: “In summary, a great deal of energy and commitment is evident throughout what has clearly been a period of substantial change for the council.

“We are therefore delighted to be able to award Brent Council the excellent level.”

Last year the council introduced a catalogue of new guidelines after an internal review concluded Black and minority ethnic (BAME) workers were less likely to be promoted even though they participated in more training than their white counterparts.

The review was carried out by Cllr Michael Pavey, deputy leader of the council, after the town hall lost a racial discrimination case against a worker in September 2014.

An employment tribunal ruled Rosemary Clarke, a black worker, had been victimised and racially discriminated against by her line manager, HR director Cara Davani.

The tribunal heard Ms Clarke was forced to resign as the council’s head of learning and development because of the ordeal she suffered at Ms Davani’s hands.

A request by the council to appeal the decision was thrown out by the tribunal which paved the way for Ms Clarke to claim thousands of pounds in compensation from the council.

Ms Clarke recieved a ‘substantial’ undisclosed amount as a settlement with the council.

Ms Davani left the council last year but it was not disclosed is any disciplinary action was taken against her following the tribunal ruling.

Cllr Pavey said: “We are so proud of Brent’s diversity. We made some very challenging changes following my review and I’m delighted that these are paying off.

“We want Brent to be the most rewarding place to live and work and this award shows that we are really moving in the right direction. But there is no room for complacency and we’ll keep working hard to improve.”

The ‘Excellent’ rating given to the council will last for three years.

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