Equality Impact Assessments
The purpose of an equality impact assessment is to eliminate discrimination, primarily indirect discrimination (such as a policy or company action disproportionately affecting some employees more than others) experienced by protected groups within an organisation.
Defined by the Equality Act 2010, those protected groups are determined by nine characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race and ethnicity
- Religion or belief
- Biological sex
- Sexual orientation
A good equality impact assessment can go beyond the protected characteristics to include things like a person’s socio-economic background and whether or not they are a carer.
First introduced to ensure public sector organisations were complying with the Equality Act, equality impact assessments are today fostered by both the third and the private sectors to help a company, charity, or organisation meet their inclusion goals.
Instead of being undertaken annually or bi-annually, many organisations undertake an equality impact assessment each time they make a decision that could impact one group more than another. Those instances where one might prove particularly useful include moving a workplace from one site to another, the process of staff promotion, and introducing opportunities for training and development.
Fundamentally, an equality impact assessment can help you to identify barriers within your workplace, allowing you to ensure your decisions, practices, and policies are fair and don’t discriminate against anyone.
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Are equality impact assessments a legal requirement?
Equality impact assessments are not a legal requirement in the UK, but are used as an effective tool to meet an organisation’s dedication to inclusivity. Undertaking an assessment when making a company decision or taking action could ensure that protected groups of employees are not unfairly treated.
Is there a standard equality impact assessments template?
One equality impact assessment will be different from another depending on the company and the decision or action being made or taken. Therefore, a standard template would not be able to capture all of the data necessary to successfully complete an assessment.
The solicitors at Loch Law can help you to draft an equality impact assessment that meets your needs.
Why are diversity and inclusion important in the workplace?
Diversity and inclusion are important because they can expand your potential pool of talent significantly. Groups of people who might otherwise have been overlooked for jobs and promotions can join their competition on a level playing field without the danger of biases.
By including those same groups of often-indirectly-discriminated-against people in your company’s decisions, you can promote higher levels of engagement and employee satisfaction too.