Sunday, 2 November 2008

Is Impact Assessment Happening?


I was this weekend with equality representatives undertaking the stage two element of the GFTU's current programme of training as part of its Union Modernisation Fund (UMF) project.

A critically important issue was flagged up around the lack of employer engagement/understanding around impact assessment arising from the three public sector equality duties.

I've agreed to develop a weekend course around this theme and in particular examining good practice approaches to negotiating impact assessment activity. In addition I've agreed to have a speaker from the EHRC to identify to what degree an employer's intransigence here will realistically result in an investigation or prosecution.

I am keen though to identify amongst those of you in the public sector what your experience to-date around the equality duties and impact assessment has been.




Peter said...


I take it then that this requirement is only in respct of the public sector?

If yes, how come?

It strikes me as nonsensical to have a requirement apply in only one sector, particularly as the public sector is smaller than the private.

My own personal view as well from courses I have attended, is that activists in councils, hospitals etc., tend to have better terms and conditions that us on the private sector.

I am not saying that our public sector colleagues have an easier like, far from it, but that employers in that sector seem more 'in tune' sometimes with their statutory duties.

I welcome your feedback.



TGWU Rep said...

If I can answer Peter's questions before Ian gets his point in.

After the murder of Stephen Lawrence the McPherson inquiry developed the concept of 'institutional racism. This was primarily about public sector bodies.

As a result the equality duties (race/gender/disability) required public sector bodies to commit to work to eradicate any form of realted discrimination from their activity.

I agree with Ian in that, although I am in the private sector, other T&G (UNITE does not exist!!) reps I know in the public sector will say that employers don't give a monkeys'.

I have said before in posts on Ian's blog that we must always take employers head on and not just use the law.

Del Ansar said...


Sorry I haven't had an input on the blog recently.

Anyway. What you have asked is a good point for me a UNISON rep in a large PCT.

Despite attending the training on this in the region years ago nothing has happened around race equality schemes or impact assessments.

I remember you saying last year at the course at Northern College that this would be an issue and you were right.

In terms of the course you say you are developing can I attend?

If not can we develop something for my UNISON region?

Thank you


Ian Manborde said...

Hi Del,

Sorry for the delay in replying to your post but I have been away at Northern (coincidentally with new UNISON stewards) and then have been teaching this weekend also.

I hope that what can be developed in the West Mids can be tranferred to other UNISON regions and will let you know how I get on.

Many thanks


Jaswant said...

Hello Ian,

I think like Peter who wrote first I am not sure it applies where we work. And we have problems with discrimination anyway so I dont think anything new will help.

What I wanted to ask is what the new commission is doing around race - are there any new good publications that it would be good to order?



Del Ansar said...

Hi Ian,

I think I am one of those 'don't knows' - sorry.

I dont mean to belittle the point but like the last person said we cant seem to get the fundamentals right at my workplace and the impact assessments are like a wishlist.

Can you send me an e-mail please Ian and let me know if we should have these things and what we should do about them.

And remembering what happened last time you had a good idea can you make sure John is copied in or else he'll start carring an about being excluded from talks as a regional officer blah blah.