Equality Act 2010 and public sector equality duty, the requirement to give due regard is designed to provide a mechanism for ensuring that minority groups are considered in the decision-making and activities of the council. We are under increasing pressure to demonstrate to Government how we make informed decisions.
A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, 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
Having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to:
- remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic
- take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it
- encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low.
Quality Assurance Checklist (QA)
The council recognises that a pragmatic approach to undertaking an EA is needed and also understands that some ‘proposals’ are more relevant and have a greater impact on Equality & Diversity than others.
The checklist mirrors the sections of the EA template and is a tool to assess that due regard is embedded and evidenced in a proposal or to quality check an EA that has been produced.
All proposals, whether new or amended, are subject to a Quality Assurance checklist. Where due regard is evident in the body of a proposal, a full EA is not necessary. This is because the Quality Assurance checklists acts as a screen to evidence due regard thus meeting our legal obligation as set out in the public sector equality duty.
Further analysis – full Equality Analysis template
Further analysis may be undertaken as a natural progression from the Quality Assurance checklist when there are concerns about the impacts of the ‘proposal’ and, or, evidencing of due regard
This more in-depth analysis is backed by formal consultation, further research, evidence, data collection and analysis.
Equality analyses 2013/14
Equality analyses of savings proposals 2012-15
Our commitment to tackling inequality has informed our financial and strategic planning processes. In developing individual saving proposals to deliver a balanced budget for the period 2012-13 to 2014-15, we have assessed the potential for proposals to affect equality between people, both residents and staff, through:
- completing an initial screening assessment of all savings proposals to identify those which are likely to have a direct impact on services received by residents or on the number or grade of staff in a specific service
- undertaking an equality analysis of those savings proposals which the screening suggested could have an impact on residents or staff to identify the impact of the proposed changes on equality between people from different backgrounds.
The steps outlined above fulfil the council’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to show due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
You can find Equality Analyses in all reports of the Council’s Committees. A summary of the Analysis is set out in the ‘One Tower Hamlets considerations’ section of these reports.
Budget proposals 2012-13 (the screening assessments and equality analyses for all savings proposals contained in the General Fund Capital and Revenue Budgets and Medium Term Financial Plan 2012-2015).
The Equality Act (2010) places a legal duty on all public sector organisations to pay due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and promote equality with regard to race, disability and gender. For those decisions identified as having a high relevance to equality, an assessment must be made of the potential for them to affect equality between different groups.
High quality information about the equality impact of savings proposals is necessary to enable budget decisions to be taken in an informed, fair and transparent way. At a time of significant financial pressure this is essential to maintaining the Council’s commitment to tackling inequality and disadvantage, as well as fulfilling the authority’s legal duties.