What is an Equality Impact Assessment?
An equality impact assessment (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.
What does the law say about Equality Impact Assessments?
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 general equality duty (formally the 'public sector equality duty') which came into force on 5 April 2011, and was introduced by the Equality Act 2010. The equality duty is supported by specific dutires, which in England, commenced on 10 September 2011. English HEIs and HEFCE are covered by the equality duty and the specific duties. These duties require the University, in the exercise of its functions, to have due regard to three needs. These are the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups. This involves considering the need to:
- Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- Meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
- Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where there participation is low
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
HEIs therefore need to assess and demonstrate the impact on equality and examine existing or new policies, practices/procedures and restructures to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation towards individuals with a Protected Characteristic.
A new system is in place to assist you with completing an EIA and full details and the EIA Screening Forms can be found here:
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.
If you require any further information on EIAs please contact Sandra Beaufoy on ext 74479 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A good resource guide is: The ACAS Managers' Guide to Equality Impact assessments.