The Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG) is a national standard. It was developed to help local authorities improve their performance in delivering equality of opportunity and valuing diversity and to help them to mainstream equality into all of the workings of the authority. It also serves as a benchmarking tool to enable one local authority to compare its performance against others.
It was developed from the former Equality Standard for Local Government (ESLG) and was introduced in October 2009 when it replaced the ESLG.
The EFLG has five areas of performance against which performance is assessed. They are:
It has three levels of performance/attainment which are
The Council adopted the (former) ESLG and self-assessed itself as being at Level 3 (out of 5 Levels) of that Standard. This self assessment was externally validated which confirmed the Council’s rating as a ‘good’ authority in this respect.
When the EFLG replaced the ESLG, under the agreed migration arrangements, the Council was treated as being at the ‘achieving’ level.
Now the Council is reassessing itself against the five performance areas with the intention of confirming that it meets the ‘achieving’ requirements of the EFLG.
The Council has screened its policies and services to assess those most likely to impact on different groups of people. Equalities Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been carried out for those likely to have the greatest impact to make sure that they do not discriminate. These assess and record the actual, likely or potential impact on different groups of people so that any negative consequences can be eliminated or minimised. It also identifies unmet need which can be used as the basis of service improvement.
The Council conducts an EIA at the planning stage when it is consider adopting something new or changing (in a way that would be consider to have an impact on the user) something that it already does or stopping something that it is doing.
An Improvement Plan is developed to outline the actions proposed to mitigate each identified actual or potential negative imapact on any equality group (Including the Protected Characteristics defined within the Equality Act 2010). Acttions from this Improvement Plan should be included as part of the final report and implememntation taken forward as a part of the process.
Copies of future Equalities Impact Assessments will be made available on this website.
The Council has an Equality and Diversity Champion who is a member of the Corporate Management Team. The Head of Personnel and Training is the lead officer and is supported by officers from other departments within the Authority. The group meets when there is a clearly identified need to learn and share best practice across services.
The Council collects data on the characteristics (the ‘equality profile’) of its work force against many of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Similarly it collects data on applicants for employment with the Council.
It does this to understand and help ensure that its recruitment and employment policies, procedures and practices do not have the affect of unlawfully discriminating against people who share a particular characteristic. Periodical assessment of the data helps the Council to understand the impact of its policies and whether or not they need to be adapted to encourage greater representation of underrepresented groups.
The Council has been monitoring in detail for the protected characteristics of age, disability, race/ethnicity and sex (gender).
It analyses the equality profile of people under the following criteria:
The equality profile of the overall workforce (303 in total) of the Council shows a reasonable balance between male (52%) and female (48%) employees (in the year 2012/13).
Of the overall employees, 22 (7.3%) have declared that they have a disability that is recognised under the definitions set out in the Equality Act 2010. This reasonably reflects the representation of disabled people in the community who are available for work.
There is a low representation of employees from minority ethnic groups but the level is consistent with the representation of minority groups in the community in which the significant majority (94% - 2011 census figure) describe themselves as ‘white’.
From the review of the data on applicants for employment, the most significant conclusion is that there is a disproportionately low representation of applicants who declare that they have a disability. Although the equality monitoring data on job applicants is separated from the application form immediately on receipt such that those who are involved in the selection are unaware of this characteristic, this low representation may indicate reluctance on the part of disabled applicants to declare their disability when making their application. Regardless, the Council is looking at ways in which it can present itself better as an employer that welcomes applications from members of the community who are disabled.
Now the Council has extended the range of protected characteristics on which it collects data on employees and job applicants. It is also considering extending the activities on which it collects and publishes data to include by:
As part of its equality monitoring of its workforce, in 2010, the Council conducted an Equal Pay Audit. This was to review whether or not there was an unacceptable and unjustifiable gap between the pay of female and male staff. The audit would help ensure that the Council’s pay and reward policies and practice and other payments and allowances are fair, transparent and discrimination free.
The audit was carried out by a person independent of the Council. Whereas no major discrepancies were identified the auditor made a number of recommendations to help ensure that the reward arrangements are fair and discrimination free and to minimise the potential risk of an equal pay complaint. All of the recommendations have been acted upon.
The Council carries out regular staff satisfaction surveys. The most recent survey was carried out in 2012. (The next one is planned for autumn 2014.) It included a question on whether staff, disaggregated by six of the current protected characteristics, felt that they were discriminated against because of their particular characteristics.
Generally the outcomes were better compared with the previous survey; there was a reduction in the numbers of staff who were clear that they did not experience any discrimination on all of the protected characteristics except disability. The paradox is that a recent equality audit stated that the Council does a lot of work for those who are disabled. It could be that staff awareness has been increased and therefore expectations have been increased by the work carried out.
For further information please contact Customer Services on 01883 722000 or e-mail email@example.com
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Tandridge District Council
8 Station Road East
Oxted RH8 0BT
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