Presentation on theme: "Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) of Financial Decisions Workshops Chris Oswald Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs EHRC Scotland November 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) of Financial Decisions Workshops Chris Oswald Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs EHRC Scotland November 2011
The General Duty. eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act; advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic, or not
Protected Characteristics? Age Disability Gender Gender reassignment Pregnancy and maternity Race Religion and belief (incl non belief) Sexual orientation Marriage & CP only in relation to eliminating discrimination
Why Assess Impact? Take effective action on equality issues Make the right decision, first time round Develop better policies and practices, based on evidence Be more transparent and accountable Improve outcomes for all.
Impact Assessment 2012 proposed duties Assess impact of proposed policies, incl changes or revisions to existing policies Consider relevant evidence Have due regard to the results of the assessment Publish within a reasonable time period Make arrangements to review, change or revise existing policies, practices
Policies ? Formal policies Practices Decision making at service level Budget setting Strategies
Preparing for EIAs Start early – EIA is not an add on Identify a team – could only one person really have all the knowledge ? Consider partnerships and other impacts Train the relevant staff and decision makers Marshall your evidence Consult and involve Ensure impact is explicit at the decision point Monitor and review
Approaching EIA Screenings – to identify relevance to the 3 aims of the duty Rapid EIA – where a policy has little impact on equality Full EIA – where a policy has some or significant impact on equality
Remember Its not just about eliminating discrimination! Could your policy Enhance equality ? Foster or worsen community relations ?
Successful challenges Instruct doctors to prescribe Alzheimer’s’ medicines on the basis of a language test that took no account of cognitive impairments or having English as a second language (Eisai). * Cut the funding of the UK’s leading black theatre company, Talawa, taking no account of the lack of any other organization’s ability to develop ethnic minority actors or cater to the audiences it does (R(Talawa) Arts Council of England CO/7705/2005). Cut the funding of voluntary organizations in Harrow (R (Chavda) v Harrow LBC  EWHC 3064 (Admin )).
Successful challenges Cut the funding of Southall Black Sisters (R (Kaur & Shah) v London Borough of Ealing  EWHC 2026 (Admin.)) Refuse permission to a Sikh girl to wear a kara through the inflexible application of a school uniform policy (R (Watkins-Singh) v Governing Body of Aberdare Girls High School  EWCA 1865 (Admin.)) See John Halford “The Equality Act and its impact on Planning Law” (ELF December 2010)
Harris v Haringey 2010 “Not only is there no reference to (the duties) in the report to committee, or in the deliberations of the committee, but the required ‘due regard’ for the need to “promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups” is not demonstrated in the decision making process. “Due regard” need not require the promotion of equality of opportunity but, on the material available to the council in this case, it did require an analysis of that material with the specific statutory considerations in mind.”
Codes of Practice Published Code of Practice on Equal Pay Code of Practice on Employment Code of Practice on Services, Public Functions and Associations Review in 2012.
Codes Pending or to be determined Further & Higher Education Schools PSED Code Housing & premises Trade and Qualifications Authorities Transport
Guidance – early 2012 Short guide to the PSEDs. Equality Outcomes Evidence Involvement Assessing Impact Mainstreaming Employment Procurement
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