Race Equality in the UK
This page covers
- the legacy of Race Equality Legislation and Policy in the UK;
- it’s impact on organisations and individuals; and
- provide you with some useful resources that will help you to understand how the legislation works in practice, understand your legal duties and consider any practical changes that you may be required to make to ensure that you are able to demonstrate that you are meeting those duties.
Equality Impact Assessments
In designing, delivering and making decisions about services to the people of Gloucestershire public organisations must under The Equality Act 2010 first take into account the differing needs of the people that the service is for and assess the impact of the decision on those people. The process for achieving this is though an equality impact assessment.
What is an Equality Impact Assessment?
An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) is a way of systematically taking equal opportunities into consideration when making a decision. Gloucestershire County Council calls this the “Due Regard” process and undertakes such reviews on significant changes to policy or services and decisions that could have disproportionate impacts on individuals or groups protected under the Equality Act 2010 (external link).
Our Due Regard Policy and procedure is under review and a replacement policy for undertaking Equality Impact Assessments is to be published by November 2020, and consequently we will describe the process as EqIA from here.
Why do we undertake Equality Impact Assessments?
- They help us meet our Public Sector Equality Duty:
The Equality Act 2010 introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty. This requires all public bodies, including local authorities, to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
EqIAs enable a council to:
- Demonstrate due regard for the provisions of the Public Sector Equality Duty
- Identify possible negative impacts of decisions on individuals and groups with protected characteristics and plan mitigating action accordingly
- Identify additional opportunities to advance equality within policies, strategies, and services
- It is good practice in policy and strategy development:
Gloucestershire County Council believes that it is good practice when developing a policy or strategy or a new initiative to anticipate the likely effects it may have and to take steps to prevent or minimise any likely harmful effects especially on persons who share any of the characteristics that are protected under the Equality Act.
This ensures that disadvantaged groups are not further disadvantaged by the policies and strategies we adopt. It also ensures that Councillors are properly advised of the potential effects of proposals before they take decisions that affect people’s lives.
- They offer an opportunity to involve stakeholders in our decision-making process:
In internal policy development for example, Gloucestershire County Council talks to those affected at the start of the process when looking at changing existing services or policies, and developing new ones, so people are able to inform what we do. We speak to our employee networks – Black Workers Network, Carers Network, Disability Network; PRISM; Young Employees and take on board their views and address their concerns.
This kind of consultation is a key part of our EqIA process.
When developing a policy or initiative, council officers are advised to seek the views of people who share protected characteristics to find out how it is likely to affect them, and to use those views to inform their impact assessments and recommendations policy development.
How do we do it?
In Gloucestershire, we undertake EqIAs by working methodically through a number of questions which forms the basis of a full Equality Impact Assessment. These questions allow the affected groups to be identified, enables data analysis of those affected groups, and leads on to analysis of the impact based on that data analysis. A final section requires any negative impacts and mitigating actions to be noted – what we will do to address any potential issues.
Managers are trained in undertaking EqIAs and our policy and guidance is published on our internal Staffnet pages.
Using the right data
It is important that up to date information is used for conducting EqIAs. GCC publishes equality data on the council's web pages.
Do we publish results?
Yes, we do publish results of EqIAs. EqIAs should be attached to each report where there is a public decision. You can view a public decision example.
This guide is aimed at those responsible for implementing the public sector equality duty in public authorities in England (and non-devolved public authorities in Scotland and Wales). It will be of interest to staff throughout public authorities, but particularly those responsible for decision-making, policy development, information gathering and analysis. In addition, it will be relevant for those involved in business planning, procurement, human resources, grant making, governance and scrutiny. The guide will also assist those who have an interest in the work of public authorities, such as service users, voluntary bodies, unions, and equality organisations.