A race equality impact assessment is an equality monitoring tool that is used to
Race equality impact assessments should be conducted when
The screening process necessitates the listing of all employment policies that could result in differences in terms of those receiving a benefit or alternatively suffering a detriment.
As a rule of thumb, include all policies/procedures, until it can be proved that there are no differences in outcomes between racial groups.
For each policy under scrutiny answer the following questions:
Generally, unless the answer is yes to the first question and no to the second question a race equality impact assessment should be conducted.
Assess whether the stated policy/procedure objectives are being met. Identify/ascertain
In order to measure progress it is important to establish with management an agreed baseline. It is therefore important to have contemporary and reliable information about the different groups the policy is likely to impact on. Data can be ascertained from
(i) Where disparities exist it is important to identify information needed to develop an effective and positive remedial policy to address identified disparities.
(ii) Negotiators/reps need to agree with
Where a policy results in adverse impact in certain limited circumstances factors other than race may explain the adverse impact For example, local labour market demographics may indicate a large number of Chinese people in the locality, but the employment statistics of an organisation may not proportionately reflect the local demographics. In these circumstances an investigation should be undertaken to ascertain the reasons for this deficit.
An investigation may reveal that the absence of Chinese employees is because they are new migrants. Immigration rules may mean they are not be eligible to work beyond the conditions contained in work permits. Whatever explanation is found, Chinese community should be consulted and if present the local Race Equality Council or the CRE and a report reflecting the findings should be published as part of the race equality impact assessment report.
A watching brief should be kept on the situation, as immigration rules and associated conditions contained within work permits also change. If an alternative explanation other than race is identified, it is important that the explanation can be justified in law.
Where a reasonable explanation cannot be found, then remedial work needs to take place to rectify the position [eg targeted recruitment campaigns]
Trade union reps/negotiators should then seek to negotiate positive changes with the employer.
Under the amended Race Relations Act 1976 most public authorities are legally obliged to compile monitoring statistics covering the above areas of employment. There is a legal requirement that statistics should be recorded annually and are easily accessible.
Below are some employment policies where an analysis of data often produces disparities The bullet points give a brief indication how to discover disparities:
Appraisal box markings are supposed to objectively assess strengths and weaknesses of a post holder’s performance over a given period of time. In many instances, bonuses are attached to box marking awards.
An analysis of most government department appraisal systems will show that there are disparities in terms of outcomes in terms of box marking allocations.
A Cabinet Office/IES research study undertaken in 2003 indicated that one of the groups of people that are likely to fare worse as a result of appraisal box marking awards are those members of staff from African, Asian, Caribbean, etc, backgrounds.
These disparities indicated the existence of unlawful discrimination. Where appraisal systems are linked to pay systems or promotion systems this can compound issues of discrimination. This means that statistics pertaining to performance assessments procedures should be analysed and subjected to a race equality impact where disparities in outcomes continue.
By ethnicity does an analysis of statistics reveal disparities in terms of the ethnicity of staff being involved in grievance procedures?
Does an analysis of statistics reveal disparities in terms of race by staff being involved in disciplinary procedures?
Termination of employment, including redundancy
Does an analysis of statistics reveal disparities in terms of race by staff leaving employment?
What are the given reasons for leaving the organisation?
Departments are required to update Race Equality Schemes every three years. After acquiring monitoring details from the employer it would be sensible to analyse monitoring figures obtained from race equality schemes. These statistics along with any other supplementary information will form the basis of negotiations for improvement to eliminate or reduce disparities.
When presented with report from the trade union side the very least an employer is obliged to do is to show that they have:
The method or solution to elimination/reduction of adverse impact will vary according to circumstances and policy/procedure under consideration. The solutions are varied and could include:
(i) Disadvantaged stakeholders affected policies/procedures should be consulted regularly with a view to identifying solutions and reaching agreement as to what criteria should be used to measure progress..
(ii) In terms of monitoring, agreement will have to be reached with the employer as to:
The results of the race equality impact assessment should be recorded in an impact assessment report. The report should include:
Under the amended Race Relations Act 1976, PCS as an independent trade union, has certain legal obligations to ensure that it does not agree to adopt policies that are known to discriminate on racial grounds – especially where:
(i) the discriminatory elements have been drawn to the employers attention
(ii) the employer has not made any positive and effective measures to eliminate or reduce discriminatory impact of policy/procedure.
(iii) To assist in the decision making process as to whether or not a policy should be adopted following factors need to be considered:
Where there is evidence that policies or procedures will result in adverse impact [ie in/direct discrimination on any racial group and the employer:
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