Policy and legislation
Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) contributes to meeting the University’s general equality duty under the Equality Act 2010.
The University’s approach to EqIA is set out in its Equality Impact Assessment Policy Statement. It is also embedded in the documentation to formal committees.
General Equality Duty
EqIA is in relation to the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010, known as the ‘general equality duty’.
(The general equality duty covers the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. It also covers marriage and civil partnerships with regard to eliminating unlawful discrimination in employment).
The general equality duty requires the University, in the exercise of its functions, to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
These are sometimes referred to as the three aims or arms of the general equality duty. The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves
- Removing or minimising disadvantage
- Meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others
- Encouraging participation in public life.
Our Equality Impact Assessment Policy Statement sets out the legal context and the responsibilities of all managers and decision-making bodies for EqIA. It describes our approach to EqIA - including the scope, principles and processes
University Committee Papers
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) guidance states that “Board members … and other decision-makers must actively consider the general equality duty when deciding whether to approve a new or revised policy or practice” and EqIA is an important aspect of this.
To help inform decisions, the standard cover sheet for all formal University Committees includes the following question:
Equality and Diversity 'Has due consideration been given to the equality impact of this paper'.
In order to answer this question, those producing committee papers should be familiar with their responsibilities as set out in the EqIA Policy Statement and may access the guidance and support for staff set out in these webpages.