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Equality impact assessments: a tool for change? Ellen Pugh Senior policy adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "Equality impact assessments: a tool for change? Ellen Pugh Senior policy adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equality impact assessments: a tool for change? Ellen Pugh Senior policy adviser

2 About ECU  Established in 2001 to promote equality for staff in higher education in the UK  Remit extended in 2006 to include students  Funded by the 4 UK higher education funding Councils, Universities UK and GuildHE  16 staff, based in London

3 Our work Equality Challenge Unit supports the higher education sector to realise the potential of all staff and students whatever their age, disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation to the benefit of those individuals, higher education institutions and society.

4 What is an equality impact assessment (EIA)? ‘the thorough and systematic analysis of a policy or practice to determine whether it has a differential impact on a particular group.’ (Higher Education Funding Council for England) Audit tool to identify inadvertent discrimination and extend existing benefits of a policy Evolved from environmental impact assessment

5 Why are EIAs necessary?  Improved organisational effectiveness: EIAs can lead to better value for money, increased productivity and maximisation of resources by ensuring policies and practices are right from the start. Help ensure that workplace practices are fair. Compliance: Requirement of equality legislation (including Equality Act 2010) for public sector organisations Effective use of requirements of equality legislation to challenge decision making: R (Chavda and others) v London Borough of Harrow R (Kaur and Shah) v London Borough of Ealing

6 EIAs in practice ‘individual public bodies need to develop their own EIA methodology to fully reflect the precise nature of their business and ensure consistency’ (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2009) Statutory codes of practice that accompany the Race, Disability and Gender Equality Duties make recommendations on process for conducting EIAS to ensure compliance with legislation.

7 EIAs: implementation model A six stage process: PreparationEvaluation Dissemination and review Screening Collection and analysis of data Revision or justification Further involvement PublishMonitor

8 EIAs in practice issues Developing and agreeing an effective process Prioritisation of policies Who should conduct EIAs At what stage of policy development they should be conducted The level of detail included Publication Resources including staff time

9 EIAs in practice cont. Lost in process Lack confidence and confused Inertia Process developed Process applied consistently or inconsistently Box ticking or challenging status quo More direction? Embedding?

10 Examples 1.Confused university Data is available but not published Related issues and wider context not considered during EIA Unclear if change, if any has arisen from EIA 2.University challenging the status quo Clear overview of policy purpose and aims Data collected, analysed and published Clear actions Clear evolution of policy as a result of EIA process

11 EIAs the future Proposed move away from prescriptive process for EIAs in England and Scotland under Equality Act 2010 Embedding into business processes Greater emphasis on evidence and publication of evidence Across UK increased emphasis on proportionality by policy makers and influencers

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