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Equality Impact Assessment

All members of staff can view the Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) conducted by colleagues at the University, using the online EIA Portal. You can also use the portal to carry out your own EIA, and may find this guide 'How to Complete at EIA' of value in the process.

On these pages you will find information about:

If you are looking for information or support on EDIs and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.

 

What is an EIA?

An EIA is a tool that will assist in the analysis of policies and practices to ensure that they do not disadvantage or inadvertently discriminate against any individual or groups of individuals with a protected characteristic.

EIAs also aim to identify opportunities to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between groups.

The University is proud of its diverse community of staff, students and visitors, and is committed to maintaining its excellent record in teaching and research by ensuring there is equality of opportunity for all. Carrying out a thorough review of the University’s policies and practices is one way we can ensure there is no discrimination, or disadvantage to a particular group, from any of the University’s procedures. It also enables the University to review processes and policies to see if they are working in the most efficient manner.

All members of staff can view the EIAs conducted by colleagues at the University, using the online EIA Portal.

 

Benefits of EIAs

There are clear business advantages to utilising EIAs, not least in identifying differential or adverse impact, and removing those barriers, but also including, for example:

  • Improving workplace and service culture.
    • Create a more positive working environment.
    • Enable all staff and service users to achieve their full potential.
    • Enhance people management practices by utilising monitoring, impact assessment, staff consultation, and other strategies.
    • Improve performance and outcomes by creating a working environment in which everyone is encouraged to perform to maximum potential.
    • Improve organisational ethics and values.
    • Attract a wider range of talented applicants.
  • Targeting resources more accurately.
    • Create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the service user base.
    • Draw upon the diverse range of experiences, skills, and expertise within the local community.
    • Enhance competitiveness to attract and retain more competent employees who understand the needs of clients and respect differences.
    • Enhance the institution’s ability to attract, retain, and develop the most able staff.
  • Reviewing and revitalising your consultation base.
    • Make more informed decisions.
    • Make planning and decision-making more open and transparent.
    • Enable all staff and service users to contribute fully to the institution and benefit fully from what the institution can offer.
    • Increase the confidence of all staff and service users in the institution.
  • Being more respected in all areas of the service base.
    • Improve staff relations.
    • Improve customer services by reflecting and meeting the diverse needs of clients.
    • Increase market share by attracting a more diverse range of customers and improve international links.
    • Raise a positive profile within the wider community.
    • Reduce the numbers of discrimination, harassment, and victimisation incidents and complaints, disciplinary and grievance procedures; saving time, stress and resources.
    • Avoid claims of unlawful discrimination.
  • Meeting statutory inspection and audit standards.
    • Removing barriers enables institutions to manage diversity more proactively and more productively.
    • Reduce the risk of costly tribunals by complying with anti-discrimination legislation.
    • Increase understanding of ED&I issues.

 

EIAs and Equality Law

Whilst there is no longer a legal requirement to carry out EIAs in England and Wales, EIAs are an established and credible tool for demonstrating due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which came into effect in April 2011, and was introduced by the Equality Act 2010.

Organisations subject to the PSED, including the University, must have due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act.
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it. This involves:
    • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
    • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
    • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
  3. Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it. The involves:
    • Tackling prejudice.
    • Promoting understanding.

The University therefore needs to assess and demonstrate the impact on equality of existing or new policies, practices/procedures, and restructures, in order to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination, harassment, or victimisation towards individuals with a protected characteristic.

You can read more about the Equality, Act, the nine protected characteristics, and the PSED on our Equality Act webpage.

 

Guidance for Conducting an EIA

You can use the online EIA Portal to create new EIAs and see all existing assessments carried out by colleagues at the University. To assist you through the process the following guidance documents are available:

If you have additional questions about how to conduct an EIA, contact us and let us know.

 

Helpful Tips

As you start to complete the Equality Impact Assessment there are a number of things you should think about in relation to the different protected characteristics. We have attempted to provide guidance on each of the protected characteristics in order that people are familiar with the sort of factors that should be highlighted and the considerations that need to be addressed. You can read more about the protected characteristics our Equality Act webpage.

  • Age - Is there anything which excludes any particular age group? Think about terminology/tone to ensure you do not alienate any one group. Does the practice reinforce or challenge stereotyped perceptions of individuals of any age group?
  • Disability - Are there any barriers for individuals with a disability either physical or non-physical? Is there anything that means individuals with a disability will not be able to participate or will be less successful? Think about the terminology and the format information is presented in and whether it is available in different formats e.g. braille, audio.
  • Race - Are people disadvantaged because of their ethnicity or nationality e.g. language? Consider cultural differences e.g. eye contact, body language. Do eligibility criteria reduce the participation of different ethnic groups?
  • Religion or Belief - Factors affecting dress e.g. uniforms. Factors affecting food e.g. for those who are fasting. Elements that may affect religious festivals/prayer times e.g. inability to take annual leave or breaks at particular times. Consideration of different beliefs e.g. extended bereavement times.
  • Sex - Are men/women disadvantages by the policy and practice? What is the make-up of the people affected by the policy? Have you thought about factors such as childcare, flexible working? Does the practice reinforce or challenge stereotyped perceptions of women and men?
  • Sexual Orientation - Does the practice reinforce or challenge stereotyped perceptions of sexual orientation? Are all the 'benefits' of the policy, practice or procedure available to all staff or students? e.g. not just having something available to wives or husbands, but partners as well. Think about terminology, tone, and language used.

As a general rule you may wish to consider the following questions.

  • Is there a lower participation rate of one particular group when compared to others?
  • Do certain groups have lower success rates in particular processes?
  • Do eligibility criteria disadvantage certain groups, either explicitly or inadvertently?
  • Is access to services and benefits reduced or denied in comparison with other groups?
  • Do particular groups face increased difficulty as a result of a policy?
  • Does the policy reduce benefits disproportionately for one or more groups?

 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a list of frequently asked questions in relation to EIAs here.