Presentation on theme: "Equality and Human Rights Commission The Role of Guidance April 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Equality and Human Rights Commission The Role of Guidance April 2009
Who are we?
A century of progress in law, policy and winning hearts and minds 1928Women get the vote on equal terms to men 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and arrival of the Empire Windrush 1967Partial decriminalisation of homosexuality 1975Equality Opportunities Commission (EOC) created 1976Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) created 1995Disability Discrimination Act 1999Disability Rights Commission (DRC) created 2006Equality Act 2007The Equality and Human Rights Commission created – a new mandate and new powers
Equality and Human Rights Commission works to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and build good relations, ensuring everyone has a fair chance to participate in society combines the work of three previous equality commissions – the EOC, CRE and DRC – and also takes on responsibility for other aspects of equality: age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, as well as human rights
Equality and Human Rights Commission cont… the Commission can use its enforcement powers where necessary to guarantee people’s equality it also has a mandate to promote understanding of the Human Rights Act it is a non-departmental public body established under the Equality Act 2006 – accountable for its public funds, but independent of government
What do we believe in?
A decent and fair society We believe in a society: where everyone has the chance to flourish where our human rights are protected where difference is a cause of celebration, not tension
An approach for a new century
Baroness Jane Campbell, Equality and Human Rights Commissioner ‘I think we’ve gone as far as we can with the single identity group. We need to bring others along with us. If we create a bigger voice, the Government is going to respond to it.’
Our new story The pursuit of equality has been geared towards redress for individuals. Our legal tools remain critical in ending discrimination. We must also focus on working for systemic change and culture change.
Where does guidance fit in with our tools?
Put simply......using all the tools at our disposal in a smart way, at the right time, to achieve maximum impact
The components of a regulatory approach evidence and intelligence understanding risk legal powers (casework) powers under statute (duties) power of voice (influencing and campaigning) authoritative guidance follow through – evaluation and measurement
Who are our audiences?
Communities & individuals Employers Large employers (public, private & voluntary sectors) Medium businesses Small and micro businesses Conduits to these groups e.g. CBI, FSB, accountants, lawyers & CAB MediaLegal profession Experts in EHRC fields e.g. health, education, employment & welfare reform, CEOs of legacy organisations Political Think tanks & influential commentators Local Authorities MPs, MSPs, AMs & MEPs Government (UK & devolved) Other political parties Conservative Party Policy influencers OUR AUDIENCES Activist community Stakeholder activist community External campaigners & pressure groups Employees Those with rights under the law Those with duties under the law General public (England, Wales and Scotland) Dissidents Champions Advocates Neutrals
Understanding our audiences
Our overall approach to guidance in-depth research to identify needs, behaviours and groupings of segments pilot testing of channel effectiveness tactics for hard-to-reach audiences - partnering, advertising, direct marketing, community champions, events learnings from DRC experience – messaging and creative was deliberately rooted in the locality
An example of a key audience Using research conducted recently by the DRC, one of our legacy commissions, to inform thinking for future campaigns Insight into disabled audiences
Half of disabled people reject the tag Of these, there are four significant segments ‘UNAFFECTED’ 17% ‘I wouldn’t like being called disabled because at the moment I don’t feel disabled.’ ‘DEALING’ 32% ‘I am not disabled. Some things take longer now, but I still like to think I can do most things.’ ‘BOTHERED’ 24% ‘It makes me feel worse to think of myself as disabled.’ ‘HIDING’ 27% ‘I have got a wheelchair at home and have been told I’ll be using it permanently in a few years but there is no way on god’s earth that I’ll go out in it. I'll stay in the house.’
Why does this matter? many people we aim to help do not know that they are disabled; some are embarrassed by it without a ‘disabled’ identity, they are unlikely to read disability-related websites/literature the word ‘disability’ may be irrelevant to them – and it may even antagonise and offend disabled people risk discrimination and we need to communicate effectively with them – using condition-specific language is appropriate these principles apply to other groups – carers reject the label ‘carer’, for example
An example from our first year Disadvantaged groups can be helped by changing behaviours elsewhere Guidance for business is important as well as raising awareness of rights for individuals The Commission has prioritised small and medium sized businesses as a sector where it can make a difference SMEs account for 99.9% of businesses and 13.5 million people (59.5%) of the workforce is employed in them.
Downturn guidance Audience: small businesses (< 50 employees) with no in-house HR and/or legal advisors Context: in 17 recent focus groups, no SMEs had heard of the Commission, and they were not aware of the advice and help on offer, for example, with reference to redundancies Objectives: - to promote fairness by small businesses to employees - to overcome hostility between businesses and the equalities sector - to demonstrate that the Commission is here for everyone, including business
Bridge to business: downturn guidance Strategy: to build a bridge to business by providing straightforward information Tactics: –leaflet with advice on redundancy distributed through the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) –website with download version –plans to expand the ‘Short Guide To...’ series
Downturn guidance Evaluation: at this early stage of the campaign, we weren’t expecting huge uptake, but it is encouraging that: –the publication tested very well in focus groups –it was featured in the Daily Telegraph, with the headline: ‘Equality Commission Advises on Recession’ –no newspaper criticised or ridiculed the guidance –the FSB distributed over 100,000 copies, which, in focus groups, members recalled receiving –the website received 2,500 hits
‘Building a society built on fairness and respect where people are confident in all aspects of their diversity.’