Equality for All
Written by: Policy Planning and Communities
Date: April 2012-2016
|SECTION 1||Policy Context for Equality|
|SECTION 2||Cumbria County Council Progress since 2009 and Priorities for the Future|
|SECTION 3||Equality Objectives 2012-2016|
|SECTION 4||Implementing the Strategy: Leadership and Decision Making|
|SECTION 5||Implementing the Strategy: Service Delivery|
|SECTION 6||Implementing the Strategy: Information and public engagement|
|SECTION 7||Implementing the Strategy: Workforce|
|SECTION 8||Organisational Responsibilities in meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty|
|APPENDIX 1||Equality Needs Analysis - Services|
|APPENDIX 2||Annual Planner for Equality for All|
|APPENDIX 3||Supporting Information and Links|
The County Council is committed to achieving equality for everyone in Cumbria. Over the past five years we have made great progress in ensuring that our decisions address Equality implications, and in 2011 over 90% of staff personally valued Equality and understood how it applied to their role.
With reduced public resources and difficult decisions to make, we recognize that now more than ever our commitment to Equality is being tested, and our highest priority for the period will be to ensure that budget decisions take full account of Equality implications.
We welcome the changes to Equality legislation with the Equality Act (2010) and the Public Sector Equality Duty (2011), and have acted in the spirit of the legislation since 2006. We see that for Equality to reach its potential it has to embrace all groups at risk of unfair treatment or discrimination. The new legislation does that and offers local authorities a better yardstick for tracking progress in Equality.
Equality for All is the County Council’s Equality strategy. The previous version of Equality for All was published as a three year strategy in 2009. This refresh of Equality for All sets out the progress we have made since 2009, along with the Council’s vision for Equality over the next four years. Of critical importance this time will be a strong demonstration of how we will take Equality into account when making decisions, and setting clear Equality objectives that set out our priorities for the next four years.
In creating this refresh of Equality for All we have engaged with a number of partner organizations, community groups and Trade Unions to produce what we believe is a comprehensive demonstration of our commitment to Equalities. We are grateful to them for their input advice and guidance. We will continue to work with them in the future to deliver the strategy.
What is Equality for All?
Equality for All is the County Council’s Equality Strategy for 2012-16. The strategy sets out how the Council plans to meet its duties under the Equality Act (2010), and in particularly sets the Council’s strategy in the light of:
• The social context for Equality in the UK and Cumbria
• Key changes in policy and legislation and Equality implications
• How Equality fits with the Council’s Priorities
• How Equality will be embedded within programmes of work
The strategy will set out how the Council will address Equality in relation to:
• Leadership and decision making
• Service delivery
• Information management and community engagement
• Workforce planning
What do we mean by Equality and Diversity?
Equality is about everyone having the same chances in life and getting the same access to the services they need.
Diversity is about recognising and understanding people’s differences. We cannot achieve equality without addressing diversity.
Equality is not about treating everyone the same.
To achieve this vision in Cumbria we need to make sure that:
• The Council’s services are targeting people who need them most
• The Council is addressing the link between poverty and equality of opportunity
• That equality is at the heart of how the Council manages its staff.
• That all Council decisions take full account of Equality implications.
Who is protected by Equality legislation?
There are nine protected characteristics recognised by the Equality Act:
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Religion and belief
• Sexual orientation
Equality for All sets a framework for showing how decisions have to take into account the needs of the local population in relation to the nine protected characteristics. In order to do that the Council needs to collect information on the profile of people who use services and work for the Council, and then use that information when making decisions.
How does Equality for All link to wider public policy?
Equality is not a stand alone policy area, but a way to make sure that national and local policy is making a difference for people who are protected by the Equality Act. If Equality for All is to deliver on its core aims, it will need to integrate with the Council’s focus on anti-poverty, targeting resources to the most vulnerable groups. In addition Equality will be critical in ensuring that changes to the way that Council provides services, manages its assets and devolves responsibilities to the six localities of Cumbria are done in a fair and equitable manner.
A key focus for Equality for All is the setting of four year Equality objectives. The aim is to provide the Council with a clear set of achievable objectives to demonstrate how the Council is taking action to address issues that have arisen out of the analysis of need and information held by the Council.
Section 3 below sets out the Equality Objectives for the Council.
1. Policy Context for Equality
In the UK Equality has been a constant theme in public policy. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the level of inequality in society has a direct bearing on policy outcomes. This can affect areas as diverse as rates of mortality, illness, criminalisation, unemployment, and education.
The key drivers that affect the level of equality in society are:
• Distribution of wealth, control over resources and the state of the economy
• Life chances in relation to health, education, employment and criminal justice
• Discrimination and attitudes to minorities
• Government policy and legislation
• Policies adopted by public institutions, businesses and third sector organisations to tackle social justice.
In the UK the progress of Equality can be seen on a number of levels:
• Social attitudes are becoming more tolerant, with particular shifts in relation to race relations, sexual orientation, gender and disability.
• Legislation has become more inclusive, extending legal recognition to nine ‘protected characteristics’.
• Health and educational attainment has made significant improvements in narrowing long term gaps in terms of ethnicity, disability and gender.
In addition to evidence of greater Equality, there are also long term demographic trends that are feeding into the public policy discourse on Equality:
• People are living longer and staying in education longer, shrinking the proportion of the working age population.
• European integration and globalisation has increased net migration to the UK and increased the ethnic diversity of all parts of the country.
• Households are becoming more diverse with increases in lone parent households, mixed-race households, same-sex households and children living with unmarried parents.
• The proportion of women entering the workforce and tertiary education has reached levels close to or exceeding males.
• Gender segregation in employment is slowly reducing and gender the pay gap is narrowing in some industrial sectors.
Despite significant social progress, the underlying conditions for public policy have become more challenging. The economic situation is marked by high levels of consumer and public debt, low growth, austerity and rising prices for basic commodities – food, fuel and utilities. The implications for Equality and social exclusion are beginning to become apparent :
• Household income in real terms is declining relative to costs.
• Women are disproportionately more likely to experience the effects of public sector shrinkage -as users of services and as employees.
• Youth unemployment is rising across the developed world breaching 20% in the UK.
• Disabled people and people with long term limiting conditions are particularly vulnerable to welfare reform and at risk of either losing benefits entirely or having reduced benefits.
Despite these challenges the Equality Act (2010) was passed with the full support of all parliamentary parties, and the Coalition Government has published an Equality Strategy that sets out its vision for Equality.
Looking more broadly there are a number of policy developments and demographic changes that offer both opportunities and challenges to addressing Equality. The Localism agenda allows for greater flexibility in developing policy responses that suit different areas. Metropolitan areas with high rates of population throughput offer radically different challenges to de-industrialised peripheries where populations are relatively static.
A key part of the Government’s Localism agenda is to increase the diversity of public service delivery, including greater use of the private sector, third sector and employee mutual societies. Increasing the Local Authority power of competence opens up the opportunity for Local Authorities to bid for services that they were not previously eligible for, while the community right to challenge allows communities the opportunity to take over the running of public services.
The key Equality challenges resulting from the Localism agenda include a potential for greater inequality of outcome, with people gaining access to public goods and resources. This could, in the worst case scenario, increase community division, discrimination and challenge under the Equality Act.
The key opportunity lies in being able to support people who are protected under the Equality Act to take on the running of resources that are in danger of being decommissioned. The potential for Equality to be advanced through the intelligent use of Localism is a large untested opportunity.
Looking at the Equality Act and in particular the Public Sector Equality Duty, it is clear that local authorities will need to take Equality on board consciously when assessing whether to sell off assets or respond to communities exercising their rights to challenge.
Legislative Context: The Equality Act (2010) and Protected Characteristics
The Equality Act replaced existing anti-discrimination laws with a single act. The Act includes the concept of a protected characteristic. This is a characteristic of a person that protects them from discrimination, unfair treatment, harassment or victimisation. There are nine protected characteristics recognised by the Equality Act:
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Religion and belief
• Sexual orientation
Equality for All sets a framework for showing how decisions have to take into account the needs of the local population. In order to do that the Council needs to collect information on the population and the profile of people who use services and work for the Council.
The Public Sector Equality Duty
Section 149 of the Equality Act places an additional set of requirements upon public bodies, known as the Public Sector Equality Duty. This is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties.
The general equality duty requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
• Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
• Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
The specific duty requires public authorities to publish information on the effects of their services and employment on people who share a protected characteristic by 31 January 2012, and to publish Equality objectives by 6 April 2012.
Equality Information/Needs Analysis
In January the Council published an Equality Needs Assessment that was based on the workforce and service usage information that Council collects. The full Equality Needs Assessment can be found in Appendix 1.
This information will be used by the Council when making decisions and reviewing services. The information will be reviewed annually and published each year on 31 January.
Equality Objective Setting
Based on the findings from the Equality Needs Analysis the Council has set a number of Equality Objectives. This is in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty that requires the Council to publish one or more Equality objective for 2012-16. In developing objectives the Council has considered the following:
• Whether there is a measurable Equality gap that needs to be addressed.
• Whether the measures are within the Council’s control
• Whether the objective is based on improvements to the Council’s processes.
The management of Equality objectives will be through the Council Plan, Directorate Service Plans, the Council’s Performance Management Framework as well as key strategies and plans. This will ensure that Equality is being addressed within the Council’s mainstream systems for managing services, rather than a separate issue.
Cumbria’s diverse population
Cumbria is the second least densely populated county in England with a population of 500,000. The county has an ‘ageing’ population which is driven by in-migration of people aged 45 and over and out-migration of younger adults. The ethnic profile of Cumbria is changing to become more representative of the rest of the UK. Approximately 1 in 5 Cumbrians have a long term condition that affects their health and would meet the Equality Act definition of a disability.
% No Religion
|% Lesbian Gay Bisexual||5||3||3||3||2||1||3||n/a|
% Disabled - working age
For more data and information on Equality and the population profile including Equality Profiles for each District log on to:
Localisation of Equality Challenges in Cumbria and Area Planning
Beyond Cumbria’s overall rurality, aging population and developing diversity, the county is also characterised by internal differences between its six district areas. In particular the socio-economic profile of each of the six districts is radically different, with different Equality challenges. In 2010 the Council carried out an Equality mapping exercise of Cumbria by District which demonstrated how each of the six Districts has a radically different Equality profile. The tables below summarise the findings:
With such diverse Equality challenges, the local dimension to planning, and the way that the Council works with partner organisations and local communities will be critical in the coming years to the Equality agenda. The effective use of area planning will be an important tool through which the Council will be able to extend its ability to extend the achievement of Equality.
Linkages to existing County Council Strategies
A review of existing County Council Strategies has highlighted the following strategies as having particular importance for ensuring that Equality is being embedded across the authority:
Council Plan and Anti Poverty Strategy - particularly with the priorities of 'targeting resources at vulnerable groups', Financial Inclusion, provision of Advice and Advocacy services, tackling Fuel Poverty and tackling Child Poverty.
Area Plans –ensuring that local decision making is based on sound Equality information.
Council's Procurement Policy - ensure that contracts are used to address access and Equality issues.
Workforce Plan – ensuring that inequalities in the staff profile are addressed and that the increasing diversity of the workforce is being adequately addressed.
Customer Services Strategy – ensuring that the Council has the right mechanisms in place to support customers with diverse communications needs.
Asset Management Plan – ensuring that changes to the Council’s asset base improves accessibility.
Consultation/Community Engagement Plan – ensuring that the Council has in place arrangements to engage and consult with people across all of the nine protected characteristics.
Information Strategy – ensuring that information held by the authority respects Human Rights legislation, and can be made available where required in different formats.
2. Cumbria County Council’s Progress Since 2009 and Priorities for the future
The Council has made continuous progress since it agreed the previous version of Equality for All in 2009. Checking against the action plan the Council has a number of achievements:
All six District Councils in Cumbria were supported by the Council to be accredited as Achieving against the Equality Standard for Local Government – a first for England.
Completed Single Status and implemented the Equal Pay review – narrowing the gender pay gap.
The Council has produced up to date Equality profiles on the Cumbria Observatory.
An increasing number of Migrants and BME people have been helped to access advice and information via the Multi-Cultural Service.
Supported partner organisations to invest in infrastructure organisations to promote Equality for race, disability and sexual orientation.
Increased access to English language learning via ESOL classes and establishing volunteer English Language tutors.
Sourced and trained local interpreters and developed a Service Level Agreement with Applied Language Solutions jointly with the NHS, District Councils and Constabulary
Embedded disability access into the Council’s Better Places for Work Programme.
Improved internal monitoring and reporting on diversity.
Improved representation of young people in the workforce and women in Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.
Designed and introduced new in-house Equality training programme following the Equality Act (2010) – E-learning, Equality for Care Staff, Equality for Children’s Staff and Equality Impact Assessments.
Completion of Full Equality Analysis of the 2011 and 2012 Budgets
Areas of work still requiring input include:
• Undertaking a self-assessment against Excellent for the Equality Standard for Local Government
• Setting statistical narrowing the gap targets across Directorates.
• Developing networks for staff from protected characteristics to inform Council policy on HR.
Appendix 4 sets out a number of case studies to show how Equality has made a difference. These demonstrate across a range of functions the improvements that have arisen out of a targeted Equality intervention:
• Commissioning of Children’s Centres
• Adult Social Care Provision to BME people
• Adult Social Care consultation with Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people
• Disability and the English National Concessionary Transport Scheme
• Cumbria Fire and Rescue’s Positive Action Scheme for women.
• Gypsy Roma and Traveller engagement and the Appleby Fair.
• Third Sector Equality Infrastructure Support
• Managing Impacts of Migration Programme
• Equality Analysis of Council’s budget setting process.
• Introduction of Disability NOW 24 card to ensure disabled people can travel before 9.30 to work, training or day services.
• Engagement with disabled people as part of consultation on charges for Blue Badge permits
Year 1 Priority – Embedding Equality in Key Decisions
The current operating environment for Equality has changed significantly since 2009. The combination of new legislation, a change of Government and reductions in funding for the public sector has focused attention towards decision making.
This version of Equality for All aims to reflect these differences and sets out how the Council will meet the current challenges. It has led to a greater focus on what we can achieve alone as a council or within existing resources, and is less ambitious but more realistic than the previous version of Equality for All.
Beyond Year 1
It is important that Equality for All has a strategic aim that goes beyond bare compliance and due diligence. While the focus in year 1 will be upon agreeing the objectives and embedding them into systems and processes, the shift beyond that point will be in making progress in targeted areas where the Council is seeking to make a difference.
The Council will be taking forward its response to the Localism Act, and developing the Council’s Area Plans, and also through the Council’s strategies around Customer Services and the Asset Management Plan.
With each annual review of the performance of Equality for All, these issues will have greater prominence.
The challenge for the Council will be to maintain the improvements in tightening the integration of Equality into decisions while progressing with projects that will meaningfully advance Equality.
Section 3 Equality Objectives 2012-2016
The Council has a statutory responsibility to set objectives that demonstrate how the Council plans to meet the specific requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty. The specific requirements consist of an assessment of need based on information held by the council, and a set of Equality objectives.
The purpose behind setting Equality objectives is to identify actions that the Council will undertake to demonstrate how it is meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty. The focus is upon tangible activity that either improves processes in meeting the Duty or outcomes where the Equality Needs Analysis has identified a gap.
The guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission is to focus on objectives that can be measured for improvement, rather than being too aspirational or reliant upon factors that are not in the control of the organisation.
The table below sets out the Council’s Equality objectives that are based upon the Equality Needs Analysis. The evidence demonstrates that all nine protected characteristics have been taken into consideration. The objectives are in no priority order, but reflect a range of activity that is being carried out by the Council in relation to specific issues faced by people who share a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
|All external||Hate crime reports, feedback from community groups|
|All internal||Equality Needs Analysis|
|Gender||Equality Needs Analysis|
Better Places for Work programme
Equality Needs Analysis
Equality Needs Analysis
Equality Needs Analysis
Council Apprenticeship Programme
Equality Needs Analysis
Feedback from community groups
|Religion/belief||No specific issues arising from the analysis of workforce or services.|
Section 4 Implementing the Strategy: Leadership and Decision Making
Implementing the legislation
The Public Sector Equality Duty sets out a clear mandate for the role that leaders and decision makers have in addressing Equality. The scope of the Equality Act applies to all of the County Council’s activities and has to inform all decisions that the Council makes.
Recent caselaw has shown that lack of due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty is costly, damaging to the organisation’s representation and affects the lives of people whose well-being is vital to public services.
Key lessons from the caselaw shows that the Council needs to:
• Ensure that Equality is considered prior to a decision being made – and for Equality implications to be clearly referenced in any advice given to Councillors.
• Be specific about actual impacts of proposals on people who share a protected characteristic.
• Challenge the basis of a decision if it is clear that the Equality implications cannot be addressed.
• Develop clear plans to offset any Equality implications.
• Complete an Equality assessment of proposals regardless of whether the service is statutory – the Equality Act applies to all goods, services and employment.
• Ensure that suppliers and contracted third parties understand the Equality implications and address them.
Equality and Directorate Strategic Planning
Equality needs to feature in strategic planning. This means that there is a direct link between the Council’s Equality Objectives and the Council Plan, Directorate Plans and Area Plans. In particular Equality needs to be visible in:
• Corporately through the Council Plan, the setting of the Council’s Budget and papers to Cabinet and Council.
• Operationally from the Directorate Plans through to business unit level planning and delivery.
• Geographically through the Area Planning process and reports to Local Committees
• Thematically in terms of major transformational projects relating to Customer Services, Asset Management, Procurement and other statutory documents such as the Local Transport Plan and the Fire and Rescue Service’s Integrated Risk Management Plan.
Systems to support Equality: Equality Impact Assessments
Equality Impact Assessments are a tool to check whether the Council is meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty. The best way to think about them is to treat them as a risk assessment.
There are three triggers for carrying out an Equality Impact Assessment:
• Service Planning or reviews of existing services.
• Decisions for Cabinet or Local Committee that may reduce staffing or services to the public.
• Organisational restructures.
When a Cabinet report is written the author needs to advise Cabinet on whether an Equality Impact Assessment is relevant and if so, to detail the findings of the EIA in relation to any options being presented. This means that Cabinet are in a position to take full account of the Equality implications prior to making a decision.
Each Directorate is required to ensure that there is an Equality Impact Assessment for their main services and that this is refreshed annually, and used, where possible, to inform Equality Impact Assessments of decisions.
Details of the 2012 Equality Impact Assessments are within Directorate Service Plans and will be published on the Council’s Equality web pages. All Equality Impact Assessments completed since the Equality Act was passed in 2010 can be found on:
Systems to support Equality: Diversity Monitoring
It is critical that the Council is able to base its decisions on sound data and information. The benefits of diversity monitoring include:
• Better targeting of scarce resource.
• Better understanding of people affected by a proposal and better options appraisal.
• Demonstrating whether the organisation and its services adequately reflects the population profile.
• Raising awareness of diversity within the organisation.
There are two main ways to gather diversity monitoring – via customer surveys or through introducing monitoring as a routine step when people access a service. There is no national guidance on which method is better to use however surveys are most appropriate when:
• Some sections of the population are reluctant to give diversity information if they think it can be traced.
• People interact infrequently with the Council
• The service is provided as a general public good so satisfaction would only ever be gathered through surveys.
Routine monitoring is most effective when:
• The council has a long term relationship with the people either employed or using the service (social care and schooling are examples).
• People have to go through a formal process of application before using a service (library membership is an example.
Systems to Support Equality: Commissioning and Procurement
It is critical that all business the Council transacts with other parties takes the Equality Duty into account. When the Council procures a service Equality checks are routinely carried out and scored as part of the Council’s policy on procurement.
In addition where the Council is putting a service out to tender or inviting organisations to submit a tender the Council will consider the following:
• Whether the Equality Duty applies to the service.
• To include within the scoring a % of scores to Equality
• To specify what the Council is looking for under Equality
Combating Prejudice and promoting values of Equal treatment
The Council has a duty to ensure that prejudice, harassment and victimisation are being decisively tackled. Although the Council is not in a position to control the views and attitudes of people, it can provide leadership and develop a zero tolerance culture to racism, sexism, homophobia, disablism and ageism.
To achieve this the Council will:
• Integrate combating all forms of prejudice into anti-bullying work.
• Ensure that all staff understand how to report a prejudicial incident using the online Prejudicial Incident form.
• Provide comment to the media that supports the importance of integration and good relations.
• Publish myth busting information if the Council has concerns about good community relations or about trends relating to hate crime.
• Ensure that infrastructural support is in place for people protected by the Equality Act, so they can have a link to the Council.
The Council will keep a watching brief on these issues and respond in a proportionate way based on the level of need, and the vulnerability of people to prejudice.
Section 5 Implementing the Strategy: Service Delivery
Key to successful implementation is making sure that services understand Equality and embed it in the following ways:
• When planning changes to services or setting new services up
• When restructuring a service or decommissioning a service
• When reviewing the budget for a service or a change in resources – people, property, information technology.
All services to the public need to consider the Public Sector Equality Duty, and to address this through the following mechanisms:
• Equality Impact Assessments to ensure that the service is meeting the Equality Duty.
• Monitoring the diversity profile of users and user satisfaction by diversity profile (disaggregation).
• Ensuring that users of services can access interpretation and translation where appropriate.
|Service||Method of monitoring||Protected Characteristics|
|Adult Social Care||Care assessment||Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Religion/belief, Gender, Sexual orientation|
|Registration form||Disability, Transgender, Ethnicity, Religion/Belief, Gender, Sexual Orientation|
|National user survey||Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender|
Children’s Services Schools and Education
|Data on attainment||Special Educational Needs, Ethnicity, Gender. Additional information is recorded on Children on Free School Meals and Children Looked After.|
|School pupil census||Age, Gender, Ethnicity and Special Educational Needs.|
Children’s Services Social Care
|Data||Age, Disability, Ethnicity and Gender|
|Now Card information||Age, Disability|
Fire and Rescue Service
|Incident data||Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender|
|Community Safety||Public Surveys with questions relating to their services||Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation|
Interpretation and Translation
The Council’s policy is to ensure that it has considered the communication needs of people who use services. This is especially the case where someone has a learning disability, uses British Sign Language or speaks little or no English.
To meet this policy requirement the Council has revised its arrangements to provide interpreters and translators. This means that there is now in place:
• A Service Level Agreement with Applied Language Solutions for professional interpretation and translation as well as telephone interpretation.
• Dual Language Advocacy Bank – a bank of local self-employed dual language advocates who can assist people who speak English as a second language to access information and provide low level support.
• Access to Google Translate for webpages.
|Public interaction with the Council||Type of interpretation|
|Sensitive personal service where the function is statutory and the relation to the customer is ongoing.||Professional interpretation and translation|
Personal service to individuals but delivering a non-statutory function.
|Dual Language Advocates; a customer could choose to have a friend or family member interpret.|
Public engagement or consultation
|Dual Language Advocates; people could choose to have community members interpret.|
Service to individuals or the public where the information is publicly available.
|Machine translation of web material. Friends and family of people using service can act as interpreters.|
It is the responsibility of individual services to determine:
• The type of interpretation or translation that is appropriate.
• The systems to respond to requests on a fair and equitable basis.
• The awareness among staff of what to do when faced with an interpretation or translation request.
Section 6 Implementing the Strategy: Information and Engagement
Information and intelligence
In assessing the Equality implications of decisions it is important that consideration is paid to the impact of decisions on the local population. For example decisions to locate a service or decommission a service will need to be able to demonstrate whether they have an undue impact on the local population including analysis by age, gender and disability as a minimum requirement. Where possible the Council should seek data on ethnicity, sexual orientation, maternity, marital status, carers, transgender and religion/belief. This should be dependent upon the nature of the decision and the availability of the data.
Although socio-economic status and rurality are not recognised protected characteristics under the Equality Act, people on low incomes or in rural isolation are highly likely to be affected by services that are intended to support vulnerable people, and are included within the Council’s approach to Equality Impact Assessments.
The Council and partners collect information on the population of Cumbria including:
• Public data on employment, health, criminal justice and education.
• Public Surveys that cover perception and satisfaction.
• The Cumbria Atlas that provides ward level profiles that include age, gender disability and socio-economic status.
• Join Strategic Needs Assessment that sets out health and well being outcomes against national average information and whether trends are improving in Cumbria.
The information is available for staff, Councillors, partners and the public to assist them in understanding the Equality implications of actions.
Comprehensive local information is available through these sources on:
• Ethnicity (in some cases)
• Socio-economic status
The Council recognises the benefits of being able to engage with people from the full range of protected characteristics. There a number of ways to reach different groups, and where a particular group of people who share a protected characteristic are at risk of not being able to engage with the Council, the Council has take specific steps to put engagement in place.
The Council’s main route to engagement is through Area Support Teams. The Council has three Area Support Teams:
• Allerdale and Copeland
• Carlisle and Eden
• South Lakeland and Furness
The Area Support Teams will be responsible for ensuring that the Council can access a broad range of population groups when embarking on local level consultation. Where possible, Area Support Teams will seek to develop links to people protected by the Equality Act.
|Protected Characteristics||Methods of Engagement||Specific partnerships or commissioned services|
|Age - young people||Staff engagement, engagement with services commissioned by Children’s Services, Area Engagement||Youth Councils, services commissioned by Children’s Services|
|Age - older people||Staff engagement, surveys, engagement with representative groups/organisations or services commissioned by Adult Social Care, Area Engagement.||Age UK, services commissioned by Adult Social Care|
|Disability||Surveys, focus groups, targeted engagement where specific feedback required on a locality basis or via a single impairment group, Area Engagement.||Cumbria Disability Network, local disability organisations|
|Ethnicity||Surveys, focus groups, targeted engagement with different ethnic and linguistic groups , women’s networks, Area Engagement where possible.||AWAZ, Dual Language Advocates, Cumbria BME Women’s Network|
|Ethnicity - Gypsy Roma and Travellers||Area Engagement work with sites where sections of the GRT population are known to live, specialist engagement via services commissioned by the Council – where appropriate.||Services commissioned through Children’s Services, interagency work with NHS, Police and District Council|
|Gender and maternity||Surveys, work with young parents and single parents’ groups, perinatal groups, Area Engagement particularly for targeting males of different age groups.||Children’s Centres|
|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender||Consultation with representative groups|
|Religion/Belief||Consultation with representative groups||Churches Together, Cumbria Humanists, Cumbria Interfaith Forum|
|General||Feedback and trends analysis from commissioned services that focus on advocacy, advice and information targeted at vulnerable people. Potentially including self-advocacy groups.||Cumbria Advocacy Service, Money Advice Service, Cumbria Advice Network.|
Corporate Commissioning for Targeted Engagement and Infrastructural Support
The Council recognises the need to undertake targeted engagement and will do so in the most appropriate way, using specialist networks that the Council has mapped in the preparation of Equality for All.
Since 2005 the Council has provided infrastructure support for organisations providing a voice for equality and the Council will continue to review its processes for engagement an commissioning targeted provision.
Section 7 Implementing the Strategy: Workforce
The Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty apply equally to employment as it does to service delivery. The Council has a number of challenges in relation to supporting the workforce and creating a working environment that addresses diversity. To meet this the Council has made progress including:
• Implementation of Single Status, which has provided terms and conditions across the workforce. Single Status has reduced gender inequality in pay and equality analysis shows has benefitted disabled staff and BME staff.
• Improved awareness of Equality across the workforce with 86% of staff saying they understand how Equality and Diversity applies to their job (up 21% since 2005).
• Carried out positive action work in relation to disability, age and gender, which has improved the diversity profile of staff and addressed underlying barriers to employment.
There are still a number of workforce challenges that will be addressed through projects and programmes of work:
• Numbers of young people and disabled people are underrepresented in the Council’s workforce.
• The Council operates from a number of offices and buildings that are out of date in terms of access, lay out and modern ways of working.
• There are no representative staffing groups for people who share a protected characteristic to feed into the development and review of HR policies.
Positive Action Schemes
Positive Action is where there is evidence of underrepresentation of a specific group who share a protected characteristic. An analysis of the Council’s workforce shows the following areas where Positive Action schemes are being put in place:
• Gender – The Council is affected by gender segregation. This is based on national trends and is improving when data of new starters is looked at. For the time being the focus for positive action work will remain women in the Fire and Rescue Service.
• Age – the Council has an above average percentage of staff aged 50+ compared the Local Authority sector nationally, while having a lower proportion of people aged under 30. The Apprenticeship Scheme is a positive action programme that will be continued to address this trend.
Staff Diversity Monitoring
In addition to Positive Action the Council develop a programme to raise awareness of the benefits of diversity monitoring for staff. These include:
• Better able to monitor the impact of proposals on staff and address any inequalities.
• Better understanding of the needs of staff.
• Better understanding of whether there are gaps in the workforce profile, or in specific occupational groups that could be addressed through Positive Action.
In 2011 personal online access to ‘My HR’ gives staff the opportunity to directly enter their diversity information on their HR records. This will be promoted throughout the first year of Equality for All.
Better Places to Work Programme
A major barrier to Equality has been the existing infrastructure of buildings. This issue has been considered as part of the Council’s Better Places for Work programme. This sets out and will implement a programme of work that will reduce the number of Council office locations and relocate offices into buildings that are:
• Fully compliant with disability access and design standards
• Address religious requirements for staff and baby friendly facilities for customers where applicable
• Meet different working styles including people who work from home or more than one location
• Provide better information technology and telephonics
• Is connected to public transport and limits any socio-economic impact on staff or the local economy.
Staff Engagement and Equality Training
It is critical that all staff and Members can apply the Equality Act to their work, and for this reason Equality training is mandatory. Following the introduction of the Equality Act, the Council has developed an in-house programme that includes face to face staff engagement, training the trainer, and e-learning. The aim is to provide staff with a choice of training methods.
Each Directorate is responsible for ensuring that staff attend Equality training and will be sent quarterly reports on the number of staff who have attended.
Staff Equality Objectives in Appraisals
Since 2007 the Council has introduced Equality as a mandatory appraisal objective. The aim of this measure is to ensure that actions identified within Equality Impact Assessments are enacted. Advice and support is available on the Council’s intranet for staff and managers to support them in preparing for their appraisal discussions.
Engagement with Staff who share a Protected Characteristic
Based on staff declarations approximately 2% of staff are BME, 1% are disabled and less than 1% are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual. This suggests that the traditional model of setting up specific staff groups for different protected characteristics will be difficult to sustain. The combination of low numbers of BME and LGBT people and Cumbria’s geography make the model of standing staff interest groups for Protected Characteristics more difficult to implement than in urban Local Authorities.
To address this issue, the Council will develop an online resource to enable staff to comment on policy developments in HR, and link in Equality engagement as a step in the policy making process alongside Trade Union consultation. The advantages of setting up on online diversity feedback group will be:
• Inclusiveness as all staff with an interest in Equality will be able to take part, rather than those who qualify because they have a Protected Characteristic.
• Staff will be able to maintain anonymity.
• Staff will not need to travel to meetings to have a voice.
Information from the staff online feedback group will be included within Equality Impact Assessments of HR policies and changes such as restructures.
Section 8 Organisational Responsibilities in meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty
Roles and Responsibilities in meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty
Given the statutory nature of the Equality Duty, it is important that all Councillors and staff understand the Duty and have a clear sense of how they contribute towards addressing Equality.
Role of Portfolio Holder for Equality – for Cumbria County Council this is the Cabinet Member for Organisational Development
• Champion Equality in Cabinet and be the Council’s political voice for Equality.
• Provide internal and external leadership on Equality issues.
• Bring organisations together representing people who share a protected characteristic.
Role and Duties of Elected Members
• Consider Equality when making decisions in Cabinet and Local Committee
• Ensure that activities relating to scrutinising decisions take the Equality Duty into account.
• Ensure that all dealings with colleagues, officers and members of the public is based on respect and understanding of diversity.
• Act in no way that would lead to the Council to be challenged on the grounds of Equality.
Role and Duties of Corporate Management Team and Assistant Directors
• Ensure that Equality is integrated into all services, functions, policies and processes.
• Provide leadership and internal challenge on Equality.
• Ensure that staff are supported to address Equality in their roles.
• Take any preventative actions in relation to gaps or potential breaches of the Equality Act.
Role of managers
• Ensure all employees are aware of Equality for All and its key values.
• Ensure that all employees access the Council’s Equality training or learning opportunities relating to Equality.
• Use the Service Plan Equality objectives or actions from Equality Impact Assessments to set an equality objective for all staff in appraisal.
• Ensure that Equality Impact Assessments relevant to the service unit inform service delivery, including any reports that they write.
• Ensure that any services provided to the public are being monitored for equality and diversity – or considered where applicable.
• Ensure that any prejudicial incident is reported, including the actions that were taken.
Role of employees
• Demonstrate awareness of the County Council’s Equality for All in all interactions with the public and other employees.
• Complete training developed by the County Council relating to Equality.
• Agree appraisal objective on equality and diversity with line manager and deliver activities.
• Report any prejudicial incidents if they or their colleagues have experienced prejudice while carrying out their roles.
Role of the Chief Executive’s Office
The day to day co-ordination of Equality for All will rest with the Chief Executive’s Office. This will involve:
• Managing Equality as a continuous programme of work for the Council.
• Ensuring that corporate processes and systems are in place for ensuring that the Council meets its statutory obligations.
• Providing detailed policy advice on the application of the Equality Act, and monitoring caselaw.
• Ensuring that staff training and development on Equality meets the Council’s requirements.
• Reviewing Cabinet decisions on the Forward Plan to ensure that Equality is being addressed effectively in relation to key decisions.
• Refreshing of the Council’s policy framework in relation to Equality.
• Ensuring that Equality information on the Council’s internal and external websites is up to date.
Appendix 1: Equality Needs Analysis: Services
The County Council provides a range of services to the public. These have been screened to see:
• Which services are relevant to the Duty
• Information collected by services mapped against protected characteristics
The information set out below presents a summary of the Equality issues that each service based on the analysis of user data and findings from Equality Impact Assessments. This information was published on 31 January to demonstrate how the council has met the first part of the specific Equality Duty – to publish information about the effects that services have on people who share a protected characteristic.
The following services have been identified as being relevant to the Equality Duty:
• Adult Social Care
• Registration Service
• Cumbria Multi-Cultural Service
• Children’s Services
• Passenger Transport
• Fire and Rescue Service
• Trading Standards
Adult Social Care
Data is available on users of Adult Social Care by age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation. Analysis of the data and information held by the Adult Social Care suggests a number of trends.
Age: Adult Social Care are aware that three quarters of people receiving support are aged 65+ (78%), which is significantly higher than the overall population of people aged 65+ in Cumbria (26%). People are more likely to access Adult Social Care support as they get older due to increasing health and social care needs, combined with an increased risk of isolation. There is a lower take-up of direct payments amongst older people than younger people aged 18-64 and this is a national trend. Offering people personalised support is a priority for the Directorate and is a key objective in the service plan for 2012/2013.
Ethnicity: Black and Minority Ethnic people make up approximately 2% of people receiving support, which is in line with the Black and Minority Ethnic population across Cumbria.
Equality Impact Assessments have previously raised the issue of service users making racist comments towards Black and Minority Ethnic staff and service users. This was addressed through bespoke training for the Cumbria Care workforce that deals explicitly with scenarios relating to racism. Equality Impact Assessments are reviewed annually and further issues will be highlighted as part of this process. Monitoring is carried out to ensure employees receive equality and diversity training in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Gender: The population of Cumbria for people aged 18-64 is approximately a 50;50 split of males to female. This is balanced when looking at people aged 18-64 receiving services where there is a 52%; 48% split of males to females. Where there begins to be a gender split is amongst the 65-74 age group, whereby females receiving support outweighs males (57%;43%). This is also apparent in the 75+ age group where there is a 30;70 split of males to females compared to a Cumbria ratio of 40%;60%. A targeted community engagement exercise was carried out in 2009 focusing on males aged 65+ in the community around accessing services. The main findings from this engagement exercise were that males are more likely to seek support from relatives and health professionals before considering social care support. It was also highlighted that males were less likely to experience social isolation. Services are monitored on a quarterly basis for any gender gaps and will be raised in Equality Impact Assessments.
Sexual Orientation: In 2011 a survey was completed to find out about the experience of LGB&T adults in using public services. The key finding for Adult Social care was in relation to the following question: Are you out/open about your sexual orientation with GP/healthcare professionals (61% yes) and social worker/care professionals (40% yes). 59% of respondents felt confident in disclosing their sexual orientation to a professional. Adult Social Care are implementing activities to improve staff awareness of sexual orientation in monitoring, carrying out care assessments and service delivery.
Data is available on the diversity profile of new joiners since 2007. This collects information by age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion, gender and belief and sexual orientation. Analysis of the data and information held by the Library service suggests a number of trends.
Age: People aged below 11 are proportionately more likely to be new members. This figure drops for people aged 12-18, is proportionate for people aged 19-59 and drops again for people aged 60+.
Disability: Community engagement with visually impaired people suggests that many use alternative means to access books and audio information.
Ethnicity: 8.5% of new library services are from a BME background, compared to 4.5% of the Cumbrian population. This reflects a number of positive features of libraries including – multi-cultural activities taking place in libraries, access to internet, multi-lingual books and the growth in the BME population.
Gender: Females are significantly more likely to join libraries than males (approximately 60% new joiners are female compared to 40% new joiners who are male).
Data is available on users of Archives by age, disability, gender, ethnicity, and gender. Analysis of the data and information held by the Adult Social Care suggests a number of trends.
Age: Nationally people aged 65-74 and 75+ are more likely to use the archive service compared to their proportion of the population. In Cumbria this trend is stronger, and people aged 65+ are significantly more likely to use the archive service. People aged 45-64 are as likely to use archives in Cumbria as nationally, however people aged below 45 are significantly less likely to use archives.
Data is unavailable on users of the service. Previous Equality Impact Assessments have addressed issues around sexual orientation and civil partnerships and access to interpreters and translators.
Schools and Learning
Data is available on school pupils of by age, Special Educational Needs, gender and ethnicity (including first language). Analysis of the data and information held by the Children’s Services suggests a number of trends.
Ethnicity: 3.4% of all pupils are from a BME background and there are 62 languages spoken in Cumbria’s schools. Carlisle has the largest proportion of pupils who speak English as a second language (2.8% of all pupils). In terms of educational attainment BME pupils and pupils who speak English as a Second Language compare well with White British pupils. The only main gap is at KS2 for English for pupils who speak English as a Second Language.
Gypsy Roma and Traveller pupils underperform compared to all other ethnic groups in terms of attainment at Key Stage 2. Previous work with GRT families has led to an increase in the numbers attending nursery provision and primary schools.
Racial incidents and bullying: Schools have reported racial incidents since 2005. These have provided valuable information on the effects of addressing race relations in school settings. Evidence has shown that racial incidents increased during 2006-8 as reporting became more reliable and has declined since. Over 90% of schools routinely submit reports, and cases show that schools have increased their understanding of how to address racism.
Special Educational Needs: Schools monitor pupils by category of Special Educational Need rather than disability. The population of children with different Special Educational Needs is monitored to help ensure we have the provision as well as the policies to meet these needs, thus improving equality of opportunity.
Gender: In line with national data there is an attainment gap between girls and boys at KS1, KS2 and KS4. Countywide this is widest in English at KS2 (10.6%) with Barrow having the highest gender attainment gap in English at KS2 (14.8%). District variations in the gender attainment gap are significant.
The Children’s Social Care service collects data on age, gender, ethnicity and disability. Issues arising from an analysis of the information include the proportion of BME and mixed race children seeking adoption compared to White British families and the supply of BME fosterers and adopters. An inquiry into a child death in Cumbria in 2005 advised better cultural awareness and equality training of the children’s workforce, and this work is being completed.
With the increasing diversity of the population the demand for interpreters and translators has increased. This had resulted in difficulties around meeting statutory deadlines for first assessments, due to the lack of locally trained and approved interpreters. This is a particular issue for services that have a statutory requirement to provide an interpreter. Action has been taken by using the Managing Impacts of Migration Fund to train a body of local interpreters, and to renegotiate the service level agreement with the Council’s supplier of interpreters to ensure that they source and train interpreters from Cumbria. This action has improved the responsiveness of the service and will continue to be monitored.
The service does not collect data on diversity. A number of lessons have been learnt from disability related complaints including – better consultation with local disability groups when schemes are proposed, training for all highways staff when designing schemes to consider equality implications.
The service does not collate diversity information on users of all passenger transport, however surveys carried out capture some of the protected characteristics. However the Integrated Transport Service has carried out EIAs which have a number of findings in relation to disability and age which has influenced the delivery of the services.
English National Concessionary Transport Scheme: Free 24 hour access to bus services has been made available for disabled people who use a bus to travel to work or training. This was based on a study of the effects of the national scheme which only enabled free transport after 9.30 am.
Rural Access to transport: An issue which has affected a number of people has been the lack of scheduled bus services for people in remote rural locations. Rural Wheels enables people across Cumbria to travel where they are unable locally to get to a bus service.
Young people’s access to positive activities: Following concerns regarding the ability of young people to access facilities set up for their specific use in remoter rural areas a pilot project has been set up regarding a youth centre in Alston to help young people with transport.
Work with the main bus operators: The Integrated Transport Team has worked with the bus operators to increase the number of routes that are serviced with buses that are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The policy is to work to the statutory deadline of ensuring that all routes will be accessible by 2017.
The service does not routinely collect diversity data. However EIAs have looked at the effects of policies on Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Customer service: Changes in customer services towards more proactive support for people who visit the sites has improved perceptions of service among disabled people, women and older people.
Accessibility of sites: A review of existing sites is looking at disability access to ensure that the future provision of sites increases accessibility to the site.
Fire and Rescue Service
Data is available on fire incidents and home safety visits by age, gender and ethnicity. Analysis of the data and information suggests a number of trends.
Age: Older males are more at risk of being casualties in a fire and 50% of Home Safety visits target people age 60+.
Younger people are significantly more likely to be killed or seriously injured on Cumbria’s roads. The Fire and Rescue Service have begun Road Awareness Training sessions that are targeted at young people.
Ethnicity: 2% of recorded Home Safety Visits are carried out with BME people. However over 80 Home Safety Visits were recorded with Gypsy Roma and Travellers who are at particularly high risk of being casualties in a fire.
The service does not routinely collect diversity data. However EIAs have looked at the effects of Trading Standards service delivery.
Age: 80% of victims of doorstep crime are older people and the service has been establishing No Cold Calling Zones to provide protection against doorstep crime. Targeted enforcement activities against businesses that are selling cigarettes and alcohol to people who are under age is designed to provide age specific protection.
Consumer Direct in Cumbria provides advice to 20,000 people and could potentially be used to inform EIAs.
The Council’s procurement function manages the organisation’s contracts with providers of agency staff. Ranstad and Adecco are the main companies who provide agency staff and there is an existing Key Performance Indicator to provide a diversity breakdown of agency staff. The Council is using these contracts to address a number of issues:
• Employment of disabled people, Black and Minority Ethnic People and young people.
• Addressing gender segregation in employment where there is evidence of need. For example chefs employed by agencies tend to be male, while kitchen assistants are female.
Action taken so far includes roadshows run by the agencies to target specific community groups. The next step is to negotiate with the agencies Key Performance Indicators to narrow equality gaps in the staff they recruit.
|Annual Planner||Jan||Feb||Mar||April||May - August||Sept||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Strategic Planning||Annual review of Equality for All||Equality embedded in Plans||Equality screen budget options|
|Decisions||Equality proof Cabinet monthly|
|Equality Needs Analysis||Publish Equality analysis||Review Equality Needs Analysis|
|EIAs||Close annual service EIA cycle||EIA budget options attached to budget||Begin annual service EIA cycle||Draft EIA budget options|
|Equality training||4th qtr report||1 qtr report||2nd qtr report||3rd qtr report|
|Progress||Embed in Performance Management Framework and build into corporate reporting systems|
|Engagement||Plan arrangements||Review arrangements|
Appendix 3 Supporting information and links
National Information and Guidance
Equality and Human Rights Commission Guidance on Equality Information
This document provides national guidance on information to include to meet the Specific Equality Duty.
Equality and Human Rights Commission Report – Sex and Power
This report documents representation of women across the UK economy since 2003 and includes Local Authorities.
Local Government Demographic Report 2010
This report provides a breakdown of the Local Government workforce by age, gender, ethnicity and disability.
County Council Service Information
Published Equality Impact Assessments http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/equalities/equalityimpact/departmentaleia.asp
Adult Social Care Equality Impact Assessments
County Council Consultation and Reports
Place Survey Equality Report 2009
This document provides an analysis of Equality gaps in people’s perceptions about their local area based on gender, age, disability and ethnicity.
Cumbria Equality Story 2010
This document provides a snapshot of Equality gaps based on population data and general access to services.
Listening to Lesbian, Gay and Bi-Sexual People 2011 http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/view.asp?ID=45339
This is a specific research exercise to explore the perceptions of LGBT people living in Cumbria.
Cumbria Multi-Cultural Service Annual Report 2011
This report provides details of casework undertaken by the Cumbria Multi-Cultural Service with Migrant Workers and other BME people.