Equality impact assessments
Directorates/departments are required to undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) on the relevant policies and service functions in relation to equalities.
The new Public Sector Equality Duty came into force in April 2011. Completing Equalities Impact Assessments (EIAs) are used as a tool for the Council to pay 'due regard' to the equalities implications of delivering public services.
There are many ways the Council identifies opportunities for improving its service delivery. These include analysis of public feedback or complaints, service and best value reviews, performance management arrangements and the Comprehensive Performance Assessment.
Equality impact assessments are built in as an integral part of continuous service and performance review. Assessing for the impact on equality is an aspect of delivering service improvements and contributes to the aforementioned corporate framework and processes.
The equality impact assessment process enables services to document equality deliberations and conclusions and show transparency and accountability to the wider community.
What is an equality impact assessment?
Equality impact assessment is a process of systematically analysing a policy or service function to identify what effect or likely effect will follow from the implementation and/or operation of the policy or service function for different groups in the community.
It is concerned with identifying the equality consequences of particular policy initiatives/service functions and ensuring that the needs of the community are addressed and, as far as possible, any negative consequences for a particular sector of the community are eliminated, minimised or counterbalanced by other measures.
Why do we need to carry out an impact assessment?
The key purpose of the equality impact assessment is to help the Council to promote all aspects of equality and where identified resolve possible cases of direct, indirect or institutional discrimination. The process should reveal aspects of policies or service delivery that may "unwittingly" exclude or negatively impact upon sections of the community and which therefore by definition remain invisible and unchallenged for years.
By fully integrating equality impact assessments into service reviews and planning processes, equality of access, treatment and opportunity are mainstreamed into public policy.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission have published a guide to completing EIAs.
- Equality and Diversity Full details for Equality and Diversity