Office for Disability Issues

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					Information for Equality 2025

       December 2009

  Ministerial Foreword .............................................................. 3
  Background Information ........................................................ 4
  Background to the Office for Disability Issues ....................... 4
  What we do at Equality 2025 ................................................. 4
  Policy advice ......................................................................... 5
  The internal review ................................................................ 6
  About these Appointments .................................................... 8
  Role Description .................................................................... 9
  Person specification: essential experience and skills.......... 10
  Other criteria ........................................................................ 11
  Terms and Conditions ......................................................... 12
  How to apply ........................................................................ 14
  The Recruitment Process .................................................... 16
  Annex 1: Advert ................................................................... 20
  Annex 2: Public appointments: impact on benefits for
     disabled people ............................................................... 21
  Annex 3: Seven Principles of Public Life ............................. 22

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Ministerial Foreword
Thank you very much for your interest in a place on Equality 2025.

Equality 2025 has made great progress since its launch in 2006. The
group has provided really useful advice to colleagues across government
on a wide range of policy initiatives, notably around the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, Independent Living and
the Social Care agenda. Their advice has helped to improve policy, in
terms of the experiences and life chances of disabled people.

Equality 2025 demonstrates the Government‟s recognition that disabled
people know best what the barriers to disability equality are, and what it
takes to overcome them. I firmly believe that policy can be more effective
and better targeted if it is informed by disabled people‟s perspectives.

This recruitment exercise provides a real opportunity to get involved in
the Government‟s work towards its vision of equality for disabled people
by 2025. If you are a disabled person with a contribution to make
towards government policy development, the skills to influence as a
„critical friend‟ and the drive to make a difference, I encourage you to

I know everyone involved in the recruitment wants to do all they
reasonably can to make the process accessible. If you have any
questions about the process, or suggestions for improving accessibility,
please do get in touch with Veredus, who are helping us with this

The Government looks forward to continuing to benefit from Equality
2025‟s expert advice on disability equality for years to come - and I look
forward to welcoming new members to this important and influential

Jonathan Shaw
Minister for Disabled People

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Background Information
Equality 2025 is a UK-wide Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body
comprised entirely of disabled people. It was launched in December
2006 in response to a recommendation made in the report by the Prime
Minister‟s Strategy Unit „Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’.

The government‟s vision is that:

      „by 2025, disabled people in Britain have full opportunities and
      choices to improve their quality of life and will be respected and
      included as equal members of society.‟

Equality 2025 advises the Westminster Government on how to achieve
disability equality. Its name was chosen to reflect the Government‟s
vision of equality for disabled people by 2025. The group is chaired by
Rowen Jade. It is ultimately responsible to the Minister for Disabled
People, Jonathan Shaw.

Background to the Office for Disability Issues
Equality 2025 is sponsored by, but not part of, the UK government‟s
Office for Disability Issues (ODI). Its work is supported directly by a
Secretariat made up of civil servants working within the ODI.

The ODI was created in December 2005. It is a cross-government unit,
based in the Department for Work and Pensions. It champions the vision
of equality for disabled people by 2025. The ODI works with other
government departments, disabled people and others to realise this

What we do at Equality 2025
The purpose of Equality 2025 is currently described as „to enable the
views of disabled people across the UK to inform and influence policy-
making, and contribute to the development of Government policies and
services‟. Equality 2025 is not a campaigning organisation. It is
independent of Government and sectional interests and has a strong
track record in offering informed, expert advice on a range of cross-

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government matters. The Government is committed to working with
Equality 2025 to make progress towards the vision of equality for
disabled people.

In brief, Equality 2025:

    works with the government to help it achieve the aim of equality for
     disabled people by 2025

    comments on Government initiatives and advises at an early stage
     on the impact these will have on disabled people

    takes action to build links with key partners such as umbrella
     groups, opinion formers, and other disability groups in order to
     remain aware and informed of the views and concerns of disabled

    advises the Government on how it can engage effectively and
     meaningfully with disabled people

    works to a programme agreed in advance with a range of
     government departments and disabled people

    celebrates the diversity of disabled people and highlights the
     multiple barriers to participation that many people face

    covers the entire United Kingdom - England, Northern Ireland,
     Scotland and Wales.

Policy advice
Over the past 3 years, the group has provided really useful advice on a
wide range of policy initiatives across government, notably around the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People,
Independent Living and the Social Care agenda. Their advice has helped
to improve policy, in terms of the experiences and life chances of
disabled people.

The current 2009/10 work programme covers the following areas:

    Implementation of the UN convention

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   Employment

   Independent Living

   Statistics and Data

   Hate crime

   UK Borders and Asylum

   Equalities Bill

   Engagement with disabled people

Eight project leads drawn from Equality 2025‟s members are responsible
for delivering this work programme. To achieve this, the project groups
work with officials in a range of government departments.

The internal review
In line with good practice, we recently commissioned an independent
internal review of Equality 2025, to check that the purpose of the group
was still necessary and to see if the way it is currently run is the best
way. This confirmed that Equality 2025‟s purpose is still necessary and
that it is delivering effectively. So, the broad purpose and remit of
Equality 2025 remain unchanged.

However, the independent reviewer recommended some changes,
including the following:

 Equality 2025 is to be re-focused on its role as a high-level advisory
  group of disabled people offering Ministers and senior government
  officials‟ strategic advice on the progress and process of policy
  change in support of the life chances of disabled people, as well as in-
  depth examinations of emerging policy development.

 There will be fewer members than before, reduced from a maximum
  of 25 down to 8. This will ensure that the group is not too big and
  unwieldy to work in the most effective way.

 Instead of running regional engagement events to find out what
  disabled people‟s views are, the group will build strong links with key

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  disability organisations, umbrella groups and thought-leaders across
  the UK. This will enable them to acquire a wider and more
  representative picture of disabled people‟s views and it is a more cost-
  effective approach

More information about Equality 2025 and its work is available on:

If you want to receive further information about Equality 2025 in an
alternative format please phone Amber Vye on 020 7932 4226, text
phone 0207 932 4290, or fax 020 7932 4201. Alternatively e-mail:

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About these Appointments
The ODI is looking to fill four posts on Equality 2025 from external
applicants, with another 3 posts to be filled by current members.

Applications for these posts are invited only from disabled people. We
consider a “disabled person” to be someone who has difficulty in carrying
out day-to-day activities as a consequence of having a long-term
impairment or illness, health impairment; a learning difficulty; hidden
impairments such as diabetes or dyslexia; or other conditions like HIV,
AIDS or cancer.

Appointments to Equality 2025 will be made by the Minister for Disabled
People on behalf of the Secretary of State. In making appointments, the
Minister will want to ensure that the membership represents the widest
range of disability interests, skills and experience. Appointments will be
made on a personal basis. Members do not represent the interests of
particular organisations to which they may happen to belong, any
impairment group or geographical area. But they will need to build links
with organisations to make sure they are aware of issues affecting
disabled people across the UK.

These appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Public
Appointments and the recruitment process will be subject to scrutiny by
an Independent Assessor accredited by the Officer for the Commissioner
of Public Appointments (OCPA).

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Role Description
Principal responsibilities for the role include:

    ensuring that the objectives of Equality 2025, as agreed by the
     Minister for Disabled People and the ODI, are fully, promptly and
     properly carried out

    both across government and within the disability lobby, identifying
     emerging policy issues with potential to impact on the lives of
     disabled people

    providing strategic advice to government departments on emerging
     policy issues that affect the lives of disabled people, proposing
     options and commenting on the advantages and disadvantages of

    acting as an effective ambassador of Equality 2025, raising its
     profile and promoting effective stakeholder and cross-government
     engagement in a range of settings

    supporting the Chair in building and sustaining effective working
     relationships with a range of stakeholders, including: ministers,
     senior government officials, key disability experts, and the chairs
     and chief executives of disability organisations and advisory groups

    building and maintaining effective working relationships with the

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Person specification: essential experience and skills
The successful candidates will have:

Knowledge and Experience

  1.   an in-depth understanding of how discrimination affects disabled
       people, including the barriers faced by disabled people with
       different characteristics and in different situations

  2.   a demonstrable ability to make a valuable contribution to policy
       development and delivery, proposing practical and innovative
       ideas for solutions

  3.   an understanding of the issues currently at the top of the disability

  4.   experience of working with Government at a local or national

  5.   experience of working on boards or committees in the private,
       public or voluntary sectors

  6.   experience of working collaboratively and successfully with
       groups of diverse people.

  7.   credibility and good networks in the disability field

Skills, abilities and qualities

  8.   a strong commitment to the aims of Equality 2025 and
       understanding of its role

  9.   excellent influencing, negotiating and communication skills, with a
       personal style that is incisive and challenging but not

  10. ability to secure the confidence and trust of ministers and senior
      government officials whilst maintaining independence

  11. an understanding of how policy is developed and how to influence

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   12. an ability to operate strategically and proactively in a rapidly
       moving environment

Other criteria
Travel flexibility
It will be necessary to travel to a range of events and meetings across
the UK which will require overnight stays away from home. Currently,
there are quarterly Network meetings, and members may also be asked
to take part in working groups and training courses.

All reasonable travel expenses and support cost (such as the use of
equipment and personal assistants‟ fees) will be met, so that members
will be able to accommodate these commitments.

In all aspects of the role, discretion is of great importance. All candidates
will be required to treat in confidence the information received whilst
undertaking this appointment.

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Terms and Conditions
Duration of Appointment
The appointment will be made by the Minister for Disabled People. It will
be for a period of 3 years, renewable subject to satisfactory discharge of
duties and the procedures laid down in guidance issued by the Office for
the Commissioner of Public Appointments (OCPA).

Time commitment
Members will be expected to commit to an average of 3 days a month.
Meetings of the group will be held about four times a year. There will
probably be other meetings that you will need to attend, for example if
you are part of a group working on a particular project. Meetings will be
held in different parts of the UK and your meeting preparation and
travelling time will be included in your time commitment. Preparation for
meetings may involve a large amount of reading (in whatever format you
require). You might also be given some training to help you carry out
your role.

Remuneration, support and expenses
The amount members will be paid is £193 a day, or £27.50 an hour.
Support costs (for example for a personal assistant) incurred as a result
of your work as a member will be paid in addition to this. The amounts
reimbursed for personal assistants‟ fees are negotiable, but should be
between £10 and £20 per hour, depending on the level of service that
has been provided. Travel expenses and subsistence incurred as part of
the work will also be reimbursed at standard Office for Disability Issues

Members are not required to work from a specific location. However it
will sometimes be necessary to attend meetings and events in England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Equalities Statement
The Office for Disability Issues is committed to the principle of public
appointments on merit and providing equal opportunities for all.
Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and
minority ethnic candidates who are under represented at this level in
public life.

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Eligibility - Serving on Public bodies
When engaging in other lower level political activities, members should
be conscious of their public role and exercise proper discretion.

Members must not misuse information gathered in the course of their
public service for personal gain or for political purpose, nor seek to use
the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests or
those of connected persons, firms, businesses or other organisations.

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How to apply
If you are interested in being considered for one of these positions

    examine the Role Description and Person Specification carefully to
     assess how well your knowledge, experience and skills match the
     requirements of the role.

    complete the application form, including the enclosed monitoring

The application form is separated into 8 sections (13 pages) and is
available in different formats (see below). It is important you complete
the application form in full. This is to ensure the selection panel can
easily find the information they require, and can compare the responses
from all candidates equally and transparently against each other. For
this reason, applications from candidates who have not completed the
application form will not be considered. CVs will only be accepted as an
option in Section 3 – „Additional Information‟ of the application form.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. However, if you
are successful, the information provided on the political activity form will
be published with the announcement of your appointment.

The closing date for applications is Friday 29 January at 10.00am
Late applications will not be considered.

Applications should be sent to Veredus, who have been retained by the
DWP to provide support in this competition.

Accessible Formats
If you need to make your application in an accessible format, Easy Read,
Audio, Braille, or Large Print or have any problems at all in making your
application then please telephone 0207 932 4226, text phone 0207 932
4290, fax 020 7932 4201, or email
All applications will be acknowledged in writing, either by email or post.

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We are happy to receive applications in any of these formats, but it
would be helpful if, where possible, you could submit your application by
email to:

or by post to:

Amber Vye
Veredus Executive Resourcing
17 Rochester Row

Alternatively your application can faxed to 020 7932 4201, quoting
reference number 9980. If you fax your application, please also send a
copy in the post. This is not necessary for e-mailed applications.

Monitoring Forms
In the application form, we have provided specific forms for you to fill in
and return on equal opportunities and political activity. These are just for
monitoring purposes. By collecting and analysing information about
people applying for and obtaining a public appointment, we can improve
our diversity strategy. These forms are not part of the selection process
and they will be treated in confidence. They will be kept separate from
your application and will not be seen by the selection panel. With regard
to the Equal Opportunities monitoring form, if you do not wish to have
these details recorded please return the form uncompleted.

If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need
additional information or wish to have an informal confidential discussion,
then Veredus consultants Katie Yeo on 020 7932 4237 or Shelagh Szulc
on 07795 827384 will be pleased to take your call.

Veredus will respect the privacy of any initial approach or expression of
interest in this role, whether formal or informal.

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The Recruitment Process
A selection panel will identify candidates for interview. Those who have
been selected will be contacted and invited to an interview with the
panel. Interviews will be held in a fully accessible venue in London. All
reasonable expenses (including any personal assistant support required
at interview) will be paid.

If you are not selected for an interview, you will be contacted by the
recruitment team. You will be given the offer of feedback on your

Please see the timetable below for specific dates.

Closing date:           10am, Friday 29 January 2010

Panel meeting:          Thursday 11 February 2010

Candidate interviews: 22 February to 2 March 2010

Final panel meeting:    w/c 1 March 2010

Please list in the application form where requested any dates when
you will be unavailable between Monday 22 February and Tuesday 2
March 2010.

Standards of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest
Successful candidates will be required to show commitment to the Seven
Principles of Public Life, as drawn up by the Committee on Standards in
Public Life, more commonly known as the Nolan Principles. These can
be found at Annex 3.

Public bodies are expected to maintain a register of members‟ interests
to avoid any danger of board members being influenced or appearing to
be influenced, by their private interests in the exercise of their public
duties. Candidates invited to interview will be questioned about any real
or perceived conflicts of interest. These do not constitute an automatic
bar to appointment, but they must be manageable. Conflicts could
include: financial arrangements, e.g. fees or shareholdings of the
candidate, business associates or close family; membership of
organisations whose aims might be perceived to be in conflict with those
of the DWP; and any activity which, if revealed after appointment, could
cause embarrassment to the DWP or the Minister.
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Political activity question
You must also complete the political activity declaration in the application
form. On the recommendation of the Committee on Standards in Public
Life all applicants for these appointments must answer the standard
questions on political activity. The format of the questions has been
designed by the Commissioner after consultation with the Government
and the Committee on Standards in Public Life. It must not be amended
in any way. The questions only ask for information that is already in the
public domain; it does not ask for personal or private information such as
membership of political parties or voting preferences.

Equal Opportunities
The Department is committed to providing real equality of opportunity
irrespective of race, nationality, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion,
sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, gender assignment, work
pattern or membership or non-membership of a Trade Union.

Data Protection
We take our obligations under the Data Protection Act seriously. Any
information about you will be held in secure conditions with access
restricted to those who need it in connection with dealing with your
application and the selection process.

Data may also be used for the purposes of monitoring the effectiveness
of the recruitment process, but in these circumstances, all data will be
kept anonymous.

If you are unsuccessful, your personal data relating to your application
will be destroyed after 12 months. If you are successful, your data will be
held by the Network secretariat.

Feedback on accessibility of this process
We welcome feedback on the accessibility of the application process. If
you have any comments please phone Katie Yeo on 020 7932 4237, text
phone 0207 932 4290, or fax 020 7932 4201. Alternatively e-mail:

This appointment is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for
Public Appointments (OCPA).

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The recruitment process will be carried out in line with the Code of
Practice issued by the OCPA. One of the key principles of this guidance
is selection based on merit, and with the aim of achieving a balance of
relevant skills and backgrounds on the body concerned.

Veredus aims to process all applications as quickly as possible and to
treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about any
aspect of the way your application has been handled, we would like to
hear from you. In the first instance please telephone Katie Yeo, Veredus,
on 020 7932 4237, or write to her at the following address:

Katie Yeo
17 Rochester Row

Alternatively, email quoting reference 9980

We will send a copy of your complaint to the Office for Disability Issues in
the DWP who may ask us to respond on their behalf (but the reply will be
agreed with the ODI/DWP before it is sent), or they may respond directly
to you. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days and
answered as quickly and clearly as possible; at the most within 20
working days of receipt. The reply that you will receive will set out how
to take the matter further if you are not satisfied with the response, which
is also detailed below.

Taking it further
The Commissioner for Public Appointments, Mrs Janet Gaymer CBE,
regulates and monitors Ministerial appointments to public bodies.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments has produced detailed
guidance that the Department and Veredus are required to follow. If you
feel you have a complaint about the way your application for appointment
was handled, as described above, you should first direct your concerns
to Veredus at the above address.

If, after receiving a comprehensive response from Veredus you are still
concerned, you can write to the Commissioner for Public Appointments
at the address below:

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The Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)
3rd Floor, 35 Great Smith Street

A copy of the guide on making a complaint about a public appointments
process can be found on:

Alternatively please call Amber Vye 020 7932 4226, text phone 0207 932
4290, fax 020 7932 4201 or e-mail: and we
will arrange for a copy of the guide to be sent to you in an accessible

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Annex 1: Advert
Equality 2025 – new members

Help us achieve disability equality

Equality 2025 is a non-departmental public body which advises
Government on how to achieve disability equality. All members are
disabled people. To build on the good progress made since its
establishment in 2006, we are now re-focussing its role as a high-level
advisory group. It will offer Ministers and senior Government officials
strategic advice on policy developments to support the life chances of
disabled people. Members will act as ambassadors, raising Equality
2025‟s profile and promoting effective stakeholder and cross-government
engagement in a range of settings.

The Office for Disability Issues wishes to appoint up to four new
members. We want disabled people with the drive to make a difference
and who can make a valuable contribution to government policy
development. You must have excellent influencing skills and be capable
of securing the trust of Ministers and senior officials while retaining your
independence. You must also have experience of working on boards or
committees in the public, private or third sector.

For more information on these important roles, including details on how
to apply, please visit , or .

For an informal and confidential discussion please call: Katie Yeo on 020
7932 4237 or Shelagh Szulc on 07795 827384.

The closing date for applications is 10am on Friday 29 January 2009.

As part of the Department for Work and Pensions, the Office for
Disability Issues is committed to providing services which embrace
diversity and promote equality of opportunity in our working practices
with all of our customers, colleagues and partners.

This advertisement and the application pack are available in other

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Annex 2: Public appointments: impact on benefits
for disabled people
The Government is committed to improving the diversity of the boards of
public bodies and to increasing the participation of disabled people.
Many public appointments are now remunerated. This has an effect on
entitlement to benefits. The actual impact depends on individual
circumstances, the type of benefit and the type of appointment. It could
affect the following benefits:

√ Incapacity Benefit
√ Employment Support Allowance
√ Income Support
√ Working Tax Credit
√ Housing Benefit
√ Council Tax Benefit
√ Disability Living Allowance

It is important that applicants in receipt of benefits seek advice from the
Department that pays the benefit.

The reimbursement of reasonable expenses does not usually affect the
payment of benefits, provided these are wholly, exclusively and
necessarily incurred in fulfilling public duties.

Further information
More information about benefit conditions is available from the Directgov

Working Tax Credit (links to Directgov site)

Housing Benefit (links to Directgov site)

Council Tax Benefit (links to Directgov site)

Disability Living Allowance (links to Directgov site)

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Annex 3: Seven Principles of Public Life
Members will be required to show commitment to the Seven Principles of
Public Life, as recommended by the Nolan Committee. These are:

Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public
interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other
material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial
or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might
influence them in the performance of their official duties.

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments,
awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and
benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to
the public, and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is
appropriate to their office.

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the
decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their
decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest
clearly demands.

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests
relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts
arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by
leadership and example.

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