Equality Act 2010
Under The Equality Act 2010 we must make every effort to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations.
In particular, we must focus on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Members and employees must consider the effect that a particular policy or practice will have on equality before making a decision and must have an adequate evidence base for the decisions that we make.
Equality Impact Assessments (EqiA)
It is our policy to use Equality Impact Assessments (EqiA) for this purpose and to make sure we use a consistent approach across the services. An EqiA is an evidence-based assessment tool to help us identify the potential impact of our strategies, policies, services and functions on our customers and staff.
The EqiA can help to highlight the equality consequences of particular policy/service initiatives and make sure that as far as possible, we eliminate, minimise or counterbalance any negative consequences for a particular group or sector of the community.
This helps us to improve and deliver excellent services to customers by making sure that these reflect the needs of the community.
We have an EqiA toolkit to support an efficient and consistent approach. If initial screening indicates low or no equalities relevance then further assessment or analysis of equalities impacts may be unnecessary, unless the changes planned are very different from the original concept.
We will usually develop strategies/policies through engagement with stakeholders and take care to make sure that we consult groups with protected characteristics identified in the initial screening.
What are the benefits of an EqiA?
EqiA will help us drive forward the equalities agenda locally and with our partners. The assessments will help us to:
- identify whether we are excluding certain groups from our policies or services
- identify and rectify any unmet needs for those with protected characteristics
- identify direct or indirect discrimination
- consider alternative policies or measures or other ways of providing a service that might address any adverse impact
- mainstream equality into our policies and practices