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Participation and Progress

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Participation and Progress University of Wolverhampton Biennial Conference 2010 Berry Dicker What is this briefing about? It will cover: Why a new Equality Act? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Participation and Progress


1
Participation and Progress
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Biennial Conference
  • 2010
  • Berry Dicker

2
What is this briefing about?
  • It will cover
  • Why a new Equality Act?
  • The main general changes.
  • Other changes impacting on Universities/HEIs.
  • What is up to you.

3
What more legislation?
  • Equality Act received Royal Assent
  • 08 April 2010

4
Well actually, yes and no
  • Existing legislation such as that below is being
    repealed and restated. Most provisions of new Act
    become law Oct 2010.
  • -        The Equal Pay Act 1970
    )
  • -        The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    ) their various
  • -        The Race Relations Act 1976
    ) amendments
  • -        The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
    )
  • -        The Employment Equality
    (Religion/Belief) Regs 2003
  • -        The Employment Equality (SO) Regs 2003
  • -        The Employment Equality (Age) Regs 2006
  • -        The Equality Act 2006, Part 2
  • -        The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation)
    Regulations 2007

5
So its just tidying up?
..Not exactly.
  • PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS
  • age ( Age Provisions goods and services
    expected 2012)
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • Equality Act 2010

6
The EHRC summarises the reasons for change as
follows
  • 1
  • Making the law easier to understand and implement
    by simplifying 116 pieces of equality legislation
    (e.g. acts, regulations, codes,) into a single
    Act for individuals, public authorities and
    private organisations

7
EHRC summary continued
  • 2
  • Giving people the right not to be treated less
    favourably by public authorities because of their
    age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or
    transgender status as well as their disability,
    gender, or race which were already covered.

8
EHRC summary continued
  • 3
  • Extending anti-age discrimination rules to
    include goods, facilities and services, thereby,
    for example, stopping people being unfairly
    refused insurance or medical treatments based on
    what age they are.

9
EHRC Investigations and Inquiries
  • As part of an investigation or Inquiry the
    Commission, acting under Schedule 2 of the
    Equality Act 2006, can require organisations such
    as service providers or public authorities to
    provide information about their policies or
    practices. An organisation cannot unreasonably
    refuse to provide such information.
  • There are other enforcement tools e.g.
    assessments, interventions, agreements and
    compliance notices

10
Have any equality rights granted before the 2010
legislation been removed?
  • No it is all still there, restated. For the new
    protected characteristics provision has been
    upgraded and improved.
  • There has been additional tweaking of some
    existing provisions.

11
Equality Act 2010Extended public sector
equality duty
  • (a) eliminate discrimination, harassment,
    victimisation and any other conduct that is
    prohibited by or under this Act
  • (b) advance equality of opportunity between
    persons who share a relevant protected
    characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • (c) foster good relations between persons who
    share a relevant protected characteristic and
    persons who do not share it.
  • Page 96 Equality Act 2010

12
HEIS will need tobased on ECU Guidance
  • 1
  • By reviewing all functions with regard to the
    protected characteristics
  • .develop and publish equality objectives,
    with reference to relevant evidence, and publicly
    set out the steps they intend to take to achieve
    them.

13
HEIS will need tobased on ECU Guidance
  • 2
  • Be aware that though not all protected
    characteristics or functions will require an
    objective if there is no evidence for it, .HEIs
    will need to be able to show evidence for why
    they have not set an equality objective for a
    particular protected characteristic.

14
HEIS will need tobased on ECU Guidance
  • 3
  • Take account of national equality objectives
    agreed by Government and disseminated to public
    bodies.

15
HEIS will need to notebased on ECU Guidance
  • There is an extended definition of positive
    action to enable employers to address significant
    patterns of under-representation amongst their
    staff,
  • the requirement for publication of gender pay
    gap data by individual HEIs,
  • a ban on the use of pre-employment health
    questionnaires, (i.e. not allowed before job
    offers)
  • extended legal protection for women when
    breast-feeding.

16
Some other changes to be noted by HEIs
  • Changes to Disability legislation
  • New socio-economic duty
  • Dual strand discrimination
  • Caste may be added as an aspect of race
  • Impact assessments
  • Procurement

17
Changes relating to disability
  • 1
  • The new Act introduces the concept of indirect
    discrimination on the grounds of disability to
    replace current provisions on disability-related
    discrimination in the DDA. This helps to
    harmonise protection for the various equality
    strands and takes into account recent case law on
    disability.
  • In addition there are two types of prohibited
    conduct that relate only to disability. These
    are discrimination arising from disability and
    the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Cindy Williams-Findlay

18
Changes relating to disability
  • 2. These concepts are closely linked to elements
    in the DDA.
  • Discrimination arising from disability means
    treating a disabled person unfavourably for a
    reason relating to their disability, and the
    treatment cannot be justified. To be justified
    the treatment must be a proportionate means of
    achieving a legitimate aim.
  • The duty to make reasonable adjustments applies
    where a provision, criterion or practice or a
    physical feature of premises puts a disabled
    person at a substantial disadvantage compared
    with people who do not experience the same
    disability. Cindy Williams-Findlay

19
New socio-economic duty
  • The Act sets out a new legal duty on key public
    bodies, including central government and local
    authorities, to ensure they consider the impact
    that their strategic decisions will have on
    narrowing socio-economic inequalities.
  • This comes into force in April 2011

20
The new law makes provision for dual
discrimination protection from April 2011
  • Example
  • DIY company does not shortlist a young woman for
    interview for a role on the shop floor. The
    company believe that she is unlikely to give the
    impression of having the necessary skills and
    knowledge to advise and sell DIY goods to
    customers. The companys shop floor staffs are
    mostly older men with some older women and some
    younger men. The reason for the less favourable
    treatment would appear to be a combination of the
    applicants sex and age.
  • From the draft Statutory Code. Employment.

21
Caste can be added to the definition of race
  • Caste discrimination
  • . the Government accepted an amendment at
    Report stage in the House of Lords that allows
    caste to be added by Ministerial order to the
    Bills definition of race.
  • This means that if the power were used,
    unlawful discrimination and harassment because of
    caste would be prohibited in the same way as
    discrimination because of colour, nationality,
    ethnic or national origins.
  • Michael Rubenstein Equal Opportunities Review
    No 199

22
Procurement
  • Procurement
  • HEIs will need to actively consider the equality
    requirements of every contract they tender and,
    if it is relevant and proportionate, to consider
    including equality-related award criteria or
    contract conditions.
  • ECU Guidance

23
Impact assessments
  • Impact assessments are not mentioned in the
    legislation but will be covered by ERHC guidance.
  • They may be useful in showing why you have not
    set equality objectives for some protected
    characteristics

24
Legislation does not do it all, some of it is
down to you.
  • Unconscious incompetence
    Any of us may hold
    a set of beliefs or assumptions of which we are
    not conscious but which affect the way we relate
    to people. Unconscious incompetence is where
    these are unhelpful to us and the place where we
    work.
  • Conscious incompetence
  • Over time the irrelevance or inaccuracy of
    these assumptions may become evident to us in
    various ways. We may become aware through
    training, OR we may receive a legal challenge.
  • Conscious Competence
  • We think more carefully about what we are
    doing and the underlying assumptions and we
    improve our reactions.
  • Unconscious competence
  • It comes naturally to discard unhelpful
    and/or inaccurate assumptions from the past which
    no longer influence us.
  • As explained by Anjana Nathwani. (Business
    Psychologist). Scheider- Ross

25
  • The End
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