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					   Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service




                                    DRAFT

         SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME 2010 - 2011




This document is available in other formats and languages upon request
Contact:
Diversity Advisor
At Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service
01234 845000
EqualityandDiversity@bedsfire.com

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CONTENTS:                                                      Page


Foreword

1.    Introduction

2.    Function of the Single Equality Scheme

      2.1   Functions relevant to the Equality Duties
      2.2   Fire and Rescue Service National Equality
            and Diversity Strategy 2008 – 2018
      2.3   Comprehensive Equality Policy 2010

3.    General and Specific Duties

4.    Involvement and Consultation

5.    Using Evidence: Data Collection and Analysis

6.    Promoting Good Relations and Positive Attitudes

7.    Equality Impact Assessment

8.    Training Staff in Equality and Diversity

9.    Action Planning and Delivery

10.   Publishing, Reporting and Reviewing

      10.1 The Equality Scheme Review 2009/ 10

11.   Next Steps

12.   Bibliography and References

13.   The Action Plan

APPENDICES

A:    Functions relevant under Race, Gender and Disability
B:    General and Specific Duties for Race, Gender and Disability
C:    Demographic Profiles of Bedfordshire and Luton

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FOREWORD

To be completed




                  3
1.    INTRODUCTION

The Equality Act 2010 has replaced existing anti-discrimination laws with
a single Act.

The majority of the Act was implemented spring 2010 with a number of
elements being introduced October 2010. Certain other parts such as
the socio-economic duty on public bodies and the public sector Equality
Duty are due to come into force 2011.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) supports public
bodies to begin to take action to prepare for the new Equality Duty and
in this Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service (BLFRS) has
developed this Single Equality Scheme (SES) covering race, gender and
disability.

The EHRC provides the following guidance for developing a SES:

“As a general principle, wherever one of the duties has a more detailed
requirement you should aim, as a matter of good practice, to match this
requirement across each of the three duties. For example the disability
duty requires involvement not consultation, but involvement for race and
gender will be beneficial in terms of identifying priorities and meaningful
engagement with communities”.

Until such time as the new Equality Duty is implemented, public bodies
are still obliged to meet the requirements of the race, disability and
gender duties and not required to cover the other equality strands or
human rights.

Bedfordshire & Luton Fire & Rescue Service is strongly committed to
improving the services we deliver to the people who live, work and travel
throughout Bedfordshire & Luton. Some of the work detailed here is
what we are required to do legally, but for the Service it is much more
that just a legal obligation; we want to do this.

BLFRS has arranged this SES to cover, in addition to race, gender and
disability, and where practical sexual orientation, religion and belief and
age.

Once guidance details are published the Service will review and update
this SES in line with new statutory requirements.


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2.    THE FUNCTION OF THE SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME (SES)

This SES embodies the planning and action required of us to implement
the General and Specific Duties that are the primary focus of:

      The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
      The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
      The Equality Act 2006

Functions of the Race, Gender and Disability Equality Schemes are
broadly similar. The schemes are not ends in themselves; they are
mechanisms for focusing on the implementation of the General Duties.

The function of a SES is a mechanism to promote the requirements of
the three separate duties.

The requirements under each of the duties will be clearly defined within
this SES and the Action Plan.

2.1   Functions relevant under the General Duties

In order to meet the General Duties the Service has:

      Listed all its functions and policies
      Identified which policies and functions are relevant to the General
      Duty
      Prioritised these functions and policies (See Appendix A)
      Developed a timetable Action Plan to address these priorities (See
      section 13)

The relevant functions and the process by which the Service identified
them is attached at Appendix A

2.2   Fire and Rescue Service National Equality and Diversity
      Strategy 2008 – 2018

The service has adopted and has been implementing the Strategy since
its launch during 2008. Actions defined within the Strategy will support
the Service‟s work in tackling current inequalities, promoting equality,
diversity and fairness, and establishing a culture of inclusion which
enables us to meet the needs of all our diverse communities.



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2.3       Comprehensive Equality Policy (CEP)

The Service has reviewed and updated its current Equality Policy. Our
new CEP sets out our intentions for mainstreaming equality and diversity
across the Service and ensuring equitable outcomes for Service users.

Our CEP links directly to our strategies and plans and particularly those
which set out our priorities for action to improve the quality of life for
everyone living and working across the county.

3.        GENERAL AND SPECIFIC DUTIES

Under current Equality Legislation we have the following responsibilities:

The Race Equality Duty

General Duties

     1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination
     2. Promote equality of opportunity
     3. Promote good relations between people of different racial groups

Specific Duties

     1.   Publish a Race Equality Scheme
     2.   Carry out Race Equality Impact Assessment
     3.   Clear and evidenced based race equality goals
     4.   Consultation with Stakeholders
     5.   Employment monitoring
     6.   Staff Training
     7.   Publication of information
     8.   Review and revise RES every three years

The Disability Equality Duty

General Duties

     1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination.
     2. Eliminate harassment targeted at disabled people.
     3. Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and
        others.
     4. Take steps to take account of disabled people‟s disabilities: even
        where that involves treating them more favourably than others.

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     5. Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people.
     6. Encourage participation by disabled people in public life.

Specific Duties

     1. Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and
        other people
     2. Eliminating unlawful discrimination
     3. Eliminating disability related harassment
     4. Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people
     5. Encouraging participation by disabled people in public life
     6. Taking account of disabled people‟s impairments, even where that
        involves treating disabled people more favourably than non-
        disabled people

The Gender Equality Duty

General Duties

     1. Eliminate unlawful sex discrimination.
     2. Eliminate harassment.
     3. Promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

The requirements to eliminate unlawful sex discrimination and
harassment also include discrimination and harassment on the basis of
gender re-assignment.

Specific Duties

     1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds
        of sex
     2. To promoting equality of opportunity between men and women

A list of the General and Specific Duties for comparison is attached at
Appendix B

4.     INVOLVEMENT AND CONSULTATION

What we will do to meet the requirements

To meet the requirements under the Gender Equality Duty (GED) we will
consult stakeholders in the preparation of this SES including our trade
unions.

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To meet the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) we will
involve disabled people.

There is no explicit requirement to consult in preparation of a scheme in
relation to the race duty; however the Service will consult with our
minority groups as we recognise the benefits of improving our evidence
base and community involvement.

In meeting the duties effectively, it is important that we do not confuse
the requirements to consult and involve.

                     ‘Nothing about us without us’

The involvement obligation requires the ongoing participation of disabled
people throughout the process of developing the scheme and in its
implementation. It is therefore an on-going working relationship rather
than a one-off consultation.

The Service will involve all those covered in our SES to help with
evidence-based prioritisation through meaningful engagement with our
communities.

5.    USING EVIDENCE: DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

What we will do to meet the requirements

To meet the race duty we will monitor (including for adverse impact) all
policies and practices that are relevant to race equality.

To meet the disability duty we will gather information on the extent to
which the services we provide (and any other of our functions) take
account of the needs of disabled persons.

To meet the gender duty we will gather information on the effect of our
policies and practices on men and women and the extent to which the
services we provide and the functions we perform promote equality of
opportunity and take account of the needs of men and women. We will
also take into account other information that may be relevant which
could include the national gender pay gap and its causes.

Employment:

What we will do to meet the requirements

                                                                            8
To meet the race duty we will:

      Undertake ethnic monitoring according to racial group of:

       Staff in post
       Applications for Employment
       Applications for training
       Applications for promotion
       Receive training
       Benefit or suffer detriment as a result of performance
        assessment procedures
       Are involved in grievance procedures
       Are the subjects of disciplinary procedures
       Cease employment

We will continue to train our staff on the general and specific duties.

To meet the disability duty we will:

      Gather information on the:

       Recruitment
       Development
       Retention of disabled employees.

To meet the gender duty we will:

      Gather information on:

       The effect of our policies and practices on men and women
       The extent to which they promote equality between our male
        and female staff.

In addition to the above requirements, under the gender equality duty we
will consider whether we should include an objective that addresses the
causes of the gender pay gap.

6.    PROMOTING GOOD RELATIONS AND POSITIVE ATTITUDES

What we will do to meet the requirements

The Service views equality, human rights and good relations between
people as something that affects us all, regardless of our backgrounds,
                                                                          9
and we are committed to working closely with all those who are
interested in, or affected by, our work. We see this as an on-going
process enabling individuals and organisations to influence and shape
our work. We will promote good relations between people of different
racial groups and promote positive attitudes towards and participation in
public life of disabled people

7.    EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)

What we will do to meet the requirements

Under the race duty, we are required to assess proposed policies and
monitor existing policies for potential and perceived adverse impact.

For disability and gender we are required to impact assess all existing
policies and practices as well as proposed policies and practices for
potential and perceived adverse impact. Given the requirements of the
disability and gender duties, we carry out assessments on existing
policies it makes sense to do this for race.

Currently our EIA Policy and our screening and assessment templates
cover race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age and religion and
belief.

What the Combined Fire Authority (CFA) will be looking for

The CFA will be looking for evidence that impact assessments are being
carried out in a systematic and robust way within the Service in order
that we meet our general and specific equality duties.

8.    TRAINING STAFF IN EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

What we will do to meet the requirements

Equality and Diversity training will address the issues raised in this SES.
A range of provision delivering E&D training is currently undertaken by
the Service.

To meet the race duty:

The Service has an obligation to deliver equality and diversity training
under the Race Equality Duty. We will further ensure that all staff are


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aware of the general and specific duties and have the skills to implement
this SES.

We will consider what members of staff at various levels needs to know
about the general and specific duties, before giving them the training
they need. This includes meeting the training needs of the staff
responsible for managing and delivering this SES.

9.   ACTION PLANNING AND DELIVERY

What we will do to meet the requirements

We will follow the guidance set out in the race duty code of practice to
develop a timetabled and realistic plan for meeting both the specific and
general duties.

We have followed the guidance set out in the disability and gender
duties to include a statement of the steps we are taking to enable us to
meet our general duties.

We have followed the explicit requirements under the disability duty to
develop an action plan. Also, as set out in the gender duty we have set
out overall objectives that we have identified that will enable us to meet
our general duties.

Our Action Plan has made explicit:

     The steps/ specific actions we have decided to take to enable us to
     meet the general duties
     The outcomes we are looking to achieve; that is demonstrable
     improvements in race, gender and disability
     How and when we will take the necessary actions
     How we will measure our actions to assess progress
     How scheme will cover all aspects of Service business for
     example: policy development, service delivery, employment,
     procurement and partnerships
     How we will strike an appropriate balance between improving our
     processes for delivering equality (data collection, establishing
     stakeholder involvement systems) and delivering real outcomes for
     people (outcome for underrepresented and/ or vulnerable groups)
     Our priorities and demonstrate we are tackling significant issues
     for race, disability and gender

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10.   PUBLISHING, REPORTING AND REVIEWING

What we will do to meet the requirements

To meet the duties we will:

      Publish the Service‟s Single Equality Scheme

To meet the race duty we will:

      Review our initial assessment of the relevance of our functions at
      least every 3 years
      Publish Equality Impact Assessments (including consultation,
      monitoring information)
      Publish our employment monitoring results annually

To meet the disability and gender duties we will:

      Publish an annual report on our progress in achieving the
      outcomes with our scheme
      Fully revise our scheme after 3 years

Our Action Plan has been developed in line with the requirements set
out above.

Our annual report will identify the progress we have made against our
outcomes. Where we have not made sufficient progress we will report
this and the reasons why and the actions we intend to take to revise our
plans as a result.

Our annual report will also include details of our information gathering
across all three duties.

Revision dates for our former Equality Schemes are:

      Disability Duty: 4/12/2009
      Gender Duty: 30/4/2010
      Race Duty 31/5/2011

The separate reviews of each of our former Equality Schemes 2008/ 09
highlighted for the Service an opportunity to develop this SES 2010-
2011 which is intended as an interim arrangement. This arrangement is

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in anticipation of the implementation of the new Single Equality Duty
(April 2011).

10.1 The Equality Scheme Review 2009/ 10

The Equality Schemes Review 2009/ 10 can be found on our website.

Developing and implementing this Draft SES 2010/ 11 has provided the
Service with the opportunity to bring forward the revision dates for our
Race Equality Scheme.

The most important issue for the Service is that we are on tract in terms
of achieving our outcomes and that we are continuing to improve
outcomes for our community.

The Service considers the duties to be a minimum standard upon which
we are committed to building an excellent Service providing excellent
services.

11.   Next Steps

This SES has been presented to and consulted on by our Corporate
Equality Group.

The Service has published this SES on our Website and our intranet.
We are encouraging external stakeholders and all members of the
Service to comment and provide us with feedback on the finalisation of
this SES. This will enable us to finalise and publish our SES 2010/ 11.

Functional Heads will, in line with the SES, embed clearly labelled
equality and diversity objectives within their functional and departmental
plans. These objectives will be explicitly aligned with the Services‟
Strategic Direction

Individual equality and diversity objectives will be set through Appraisal

Prior to April 2011, the Service will embed within this SES 2010/ 11 the
requirements under the forthcoming Equality Duty April 2011.

We will engage and consult with our community and workforce in line
with the commitments set out in the document prior to publishing our
SES 2011-2014.


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12.   BIBLIOGRAPY AND REFERENCES

The following documents and guidance notes were used in the
development of this SES.

A Fairer Future: The Equality Bill and other action to make equality a
reality, Government Equalities Office, April 2009,
(www.equalities.gov.uk)

Briefing: The production of single equality schemes; Equality Challenge
Unit, 2007, (www.ecu.ac.uk)

Developing equality schemes to meet the three existing duties, Equality
and Human Rights Commission (ISBN 9781842061114); April 2009.

Equality Bill: Making it Work, policy proposals for specific duties, A
Consultation, Governments Equality Office; June 2009.

Our equality scheme 2009-2012, Equality and Human Rights
Commission (ISBN 978184206155 8)

Further Information and Guidance:

For more about involving disabled stakeholders effectively please go to
www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publicationsandresources/Pages/DED
andinvolvement.aspx

For more information relating to the Gender Pay Gap please refer to
„Developing gender equality objectives and a gender equality scheme‟ at
www.equalityhumanrights.com/publicsectorduties/genderpublications




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13.   The Action Plan

The Service Action Plan is currently under Development:




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                                                              APPENDIX A

Functions Relevant Under Race, Gender and Disability

To assess if a function or policy is relevant to the General Duties we
have asked the following questions:

      Does this function or policy affect the public directly?
      Does the function or policy affect the public indirectly?
      Does the function or policy relate to purely technical matters?
      Does the function or policy affect how other services are provided?
      Does the function or policy relate to purely technical matters?
      Does the function or policy affect different racial groups in the
      community we serve?
      Does the function or policy have employment implications?
      Is there any reason to believe that people from some racial groups
      are being, or could be adversely affected by the function or policy?
      Which racial group does the function or policy affect?
      Have complaints been received from different racial groups in
      regard to the function policy?

To prioritise the functions or policies identified as relevant to the General
Duty, the following analysis was then applied:

      How important is the relevant function or policy?
      What is the extent of evidence, (actual or potential) on adverse
      impact of the function or policy on some racial groups?
      Is there some public concern (especially amongst black and ethnic
      minority communities) that certain functions or policies are
      discriminatory or racist?
      Does the function or policy have a particularly adverse impact on a
      particular sector of the community in terms of demography?
      Which functions or policies are particularly significant in terms of
      resource?
      Have concerns been raised or have patterns emerged regarding
      any of the functions or policies as a result of monitoring?
      Have concerns been raised or particular services have been
      prioritised by the public in relation to any of the functions or
      policies as a result of consultation exercise?
      Are there any Best Value Reviews planned that link to relevant
      functions or policies?


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      Are there any relevant functions or policies already facing change
      as a result of other initiatives such as Strategic Plan, Equality
      Action Plan, Appraisal System, Community Safety Plan, Local
      Strategic Partnerships?
      Have concerns been raised about any of the functions or policies
      as a result of Member Scrutiny?
      Have concerns been raised about any of the relevant functions or
      policies as a result of complaints from any source?

In addition to the above prioritisation process, the following
categorisation process was used to assist in formulating the Race
Equality Plan.

High Priority (First Year of Action Plan)

Functions relevant to all or part of the General Duties and for which
there is some or substantial evidence that different groups are, or could
be adversely affected, or about which there is public concern, will have
the highest priority and be addressed in YEAR 1 of the Action Plan.

Medium Priority (Second Year of Action Plan)

Functions that are relevant to part of the General Duties and for which
there is little or some evidence that different groups are, or could be,
adversely affected, or about which there is a public concern, will be
addressed in YEAR 2 of the Action Plan.

Low Priority (Third Year of Action Plan)

All other functions will be addressed in Year 3 of the Action Plan even if
very limited relevance is identified, subject to completion of the Actions
identified in Years 1 and 2 of the Action Plan.

Key Functions Identified are:

      Community Fire Safety
      Emergency Response
      Procurement
      Recruitment and Employment practices
      Equality and Diversity Training
      Personnel: Job Descriptions and Appraisals (employees)
      Consultation

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                                                                 APPENDIX B

General and Specific Duties for Race, Gender and
Disability

COMPARING THE DUTIES:

                            The General Duties
Race Equality Duty          Disability Equality Duty     Gender Equality Duty

Due regard to:              Due regard to:               Due regard to:

eliminate unlawful racial   promote equality of          eliminate unlawful
discrimination              opportunity between          discrimination and
                            disabled                     harassment on the
promoting equality of       people and other people      grounds of sex
opportunity
                            eliminating unlawful         to promoting equality of
promoting good relations    discrimination               opportunity between men
between people of                                        and women
different                   eliminating disability
racial groups               related harassment

                            promoting positive
                            attitudes towards disabled
                            people

                            encouraging participation
                            by disabled people in
                            public life

                            taking account of disabled
                            people‟s impairments,
                            even where that involves
                            treating disabled people
                            more favourably than non-
                            disabled people




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                                 Specific Duties

Race Equality Duty           Disability Equality Duty    Gender Equality Duty

publish a Race Equality      publish a Disability        publish a Gender Equality
Scheme                       Equality scheme             Scheme

Carry out Race Equality      Carry out Disability        Carry out Gender Equality
Impact Assessment            Equality Impact             Impact Assessment
                             Assessment
Clear and evidenced                                      Clear and evidenced
based race equality goals    Clear and evidenced         based gender equality
                             based disability equality   goals
Consultation with            goals
Stakeholders                                             Consultation with
                             Involvement of disabled     Stakeholders
Employment monitoring        people in development of
                             the DES                     Equal Pay Statement
Staff Training
                             Report against Des          Report against the GES
Publication of information   annually                    annually

Review and revise RES        Review and revise DES       Review and revise the
every three years            every three years           GES every three years




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                                                     APPENDIX C

Our Demographic Profile of Bedfordshire and Luton is currently
under development.




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