LONDON BOROUGH OF HAVERING EQUALITY ANALYSIS

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1 LONDON BOROUGH OF HAVERING EQUALITY ANALYSIS EXTENSION TO THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT FOR THE PROVISION OF TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETING SERVICES SCOPE OF PROPOSAL 1. What is the scope and intended outcomes of the activity being assessed; in terms of both the Council s organisation and staffing, and services to the community? In 2011, the Council entered into an agreement through East London Solutions to procure translation and interpreting services from The Language Shop (TLS), hosted by London Borough of Newham. The agreement is due to expire on 31 st March Newham have contacted all partners asking to vary the terms of the original agreement to: a) allow it to continue for a further five years; b) agree to an additional clause for any surplus or profit generated from the operation of the translation Partnership shall be reinvested into the partnership to reduce charges and / or improve the quality and efficiency in the provision of services for all partners. The service of TLS are currently available to all staff across the Council, mainly to facilitate effective communication between the council and residents, where English is not a spoken / written first language, or there are specific communication needs such as British Sign Language. The decision to extend the partnership agreement has implications for both the organisation, its staff and the community. PEOPLE AFFECTED 2. Which individuals and groups are likely to be affected by the activity? 2 (a) Staff Individuals and Groups Front line services as they are most likely to come into direct contact with members of the public who require the services of TLS. An analysis of usage data for Oct 2012 Sept 2013 indicates the following areas have accessed the service: Culture Community and Economic Development: Corporate and Customer Transformation; Culture and Leisure, Children, Adult and Housing: Home and Housing, Learning and Achievement Resources

2 The majority of usage was by Children s Services over 30% (n=73), followed by Learning and Achievement (n=52) and then Homes and Housing (n=21). It is worth noting that for 70 of the 238 instances where TLS services were used (30%), there is no management information regarding which service area requested TIS services. 2 (b) Community Individuals and Groups (including voluntary organisations) The following will be affected: Individuals and families from ethnic minority groups for whom English is not a spoken / written language or knowledge of English is very limited. Individuals, families and groups with specific communication needs (including as a result of disability) such as British Sign Language users, lip readers. Voluntary / third sector groups that represent the above. DATA AND INFORMATION 3. What data/information do you have about the people with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation) or other socio-economic disadvantage (e.g. disabled and parttime workers, low income and/or lone parents (mothers and fathers), lookedafter children, other vulnerable children, families and adults) among these individuals and groups? What information do you have about how they will be affected by the activity? Will you be seeking further information in order to assess the equalities impact of the activity? How is this information being used to influence decisions on the activity? The Council receives quarterly performance information from Newham which covers the frequency and nature of the service accessed, quality measures such as timeliness, ease in arranging the appointment and feedback. This Equality Analysis (EA) utilises data from the last 4 available quarters, covering the 12 month period from October 2012 September 2013 where TIS was used 238 times. 3 (a) Staff The available data does not specify any instances where TLS was used to provide support for a member of staff. However given the high number of unknowns within the performance information, it is not possible to confirm this is actually the case. 1

3 3 (b) Community Havering s language profile The 2011 Census reveals the following information with regards to Havering s language profile: Havering has the highest percentage (95.4%) of residents who speak English as their main language. 4.57% do not speak English as a main language in Havering compared to 7.7% in England & Wales and 22.1% in London The top five languages (after English) are: o Lithuanian (980, 0.4%) o Polish (829, 0.4%) o Punjabi (595, 0.3 %) o Bengali - with Sylheti and Chatgaya (490, 0.2%) o Tagalog/Filipino (430, 0.2% In terms of English proficiency: The areas within Havering with the highest % of residents where English is not the main language: Romford Town (9.13%) Brooklands (8.65%) Heaton (5.57%) The proportion of residents who can t speak English is 0.6% (1632 residents) The proportion of residents who can t speak English well is 3.7% (8,829 residents) Impact of the policy on people with protected characteristics Broadly speaking, the provision of continued translation and interpretation services is likely to have a positive impact on the individuals and groups identified above, as it will ensure that they can continue to access the service to help them communicate effectively with the Council regarding their needs and the services they are entitled to. By the very nature of the services provided by The Language Shop, it has particular impact on the following protected characteristics race and disability. The provision of these services helps to ensure the Council is meeting its statutory duties, particularly the need to have due regard to advance equality by removing disadvantage experienced by people with protected characteristics. Failure to provide a document in an alternative, accessible format or to provide other reasonable adjustments on request, could lead to a legal judgment against the Council and subsequent financial and resource implications and risk to reputation. An analysis of usage data for Oct 2012 Sept 2013 indicates that the following languages were requested: Brava, Chinese, Czech, Farsi, German, Hindi, Latvian, Punjabi, Spanish, 2

4 Twi, Ukranian, Vietnamese, Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Pashtu, Tamil, Cantonese, Dutch, Gujarati, French, Lingala, Arabic, Hungarian, Russian, Yoruba, Somali, Bengali/Sylheti, British Sign Language, Urdu, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Lithuanian. Out of these languages, Lithuanian was the most requested language (n=41), followed by Turkish (n=35) and Polish (n=15). Given the majority of requests for TLS services comes from the Children, Adult and Housing Directorate, the proposed activity (to continue with the partnership agreement) is likely to benefit those residents who come into contact with these service areas. i.e. Children and young people, older people, adults/children with mental health needs, adults/children with physical disabilities, adults with learning difficulties, people with other socio- economic disadvantage such as vulnerable children, looked after children, families on low income and lone parents. Data on user satisfaction with the service At present, we do not have a fully informed view of how the service is meeting community/individual and staff needs as a significant proportion of the data is incomplete. For example, information on a key indicator Feedback on the quality of the service provided is available for just 53% of all instances. Of the feedback that is available, it is either good or excellent. There are similar results for the performance indicators On time and easy to arrange. Further work is required to fully assess the impact from the current arrangements in place through The Language Shop on particular groups with protected characteristics. 3

5 CONSULTATION 4. If no data and information is available about the groups likely to be affected by the activity, how would you inform your EA? Will you be considering carrying out some consultation to inform your EA? 4 (a) Staff Due to incomplete performance information it would be helpful to consult with staff from across the organisation to find out more information about satisfaction with the translation and interpreting services (TIS). Unfortunately, current monitoring data does not provide us with sufficient information to be able to identify all staff members using the service. Staff members who experience problems with TIS usually get in touch with us, which then allows us to address the issues identified and monitor further take-up of TIS. We will continue to work with TLS to address those gaps. 4 (b) Community We will continue to work with TLS to address gaps in performance information so that we are able to effectively monitor satisfaction levels of service users and any gaps identified. LIKELY IMPACT 5. Based on the collected data and information, what will be the likely impact of the activity on individuals and groups with protected characteristics or other socio-economic disadvantage? 5 (a) Staff As there is no corporate budget for interpreting, translation, or alternative formats, any services required from The Language Shop must be met from service budgets. The Corporate Translation and Interpreting Policy highlights the potential risk that service areas may be reluctant to use The Language Shop as a result of the cost implications. The Corporate Policy and Diversity team, along with the Corporate Diversity Management Group and Directorate Diversity Management Groups will continue to work with services and to communicate the importance of the provision of TIS, where required. Also refer to 5 (b) below. 5 (b) Community Providing comprehensive translation and interpretation services is becoming increasingly important in light of the significant demographic changes occurring across the Borough. Havering s non-english speaking population has grown steadily in recent years. It is estimated that the percentage of adults is greater than 10%, 4

6 although we do not hold data on the exact numbers of Havering s non-english speaking population (the 2011 Census only records if English is the main language in a household). The continued provision of translation and interpretation services is likely to have a positive impact as it will ensure that Council services and information about services will continue to be accessible to service users who face barriers due to disability or language, and will enable the Council to communicate effectively with those service users regarding their needs and the services they are entitled to. 6. What is the likely impact on arrangements for safeguarding children and/or safeguarding vulnerable adults? 6 Vulnerable children and adults Continuity of the partnership arrangement will ensure that those children and adults who have contact with the Council in relation to safeguarding can continue to access translation and interpreting services through the established arrangements. In some ethnic groups, particularly where the community is very small, there might be cases of compromised anonymity or confidentiality if the interpreter knows the family. The council officers requesting the interpreting services are therefore advised to check with the particular family / individual to ensure they are happy to proceed with the suggested interpreter. In some instances, however, due to statutory duties and timescales, officers are put under pressure where there is lack of sufficient numbers of interpreters for particular languages. This may impact on case work continuity and consistency in interpreting provision. Furthermore, it could potentially have negative impact on the individual/family and/or lead to a legal challenge. PREVENTING DISCRIMINATION 7. If any negative impact is identified, is there a way of eliminating or minimising it to reasonable level? If not, how can the negative impact be justified? 7 (a) Staff The provision of these services helps to ensure the Council is meeting its safeguarding statutory duties and timescales. Failure to meet those duties and/or timescales could potentially have negative impact on the individual/family and/or lead to legal challenge. TIS provision also enables the Council to discharge its equality duties, particularly the need to have due regard to advance equality by removing disadvantage 5

7 experienced by people with protected characteristics. Failure to provide a document in an alternative, accessible format or to provide other reasonable adjustments (including interpreting) on request, could lead to a legal judgment against the Council and subsequent financial and resource implications and risk to reputation. 7 (b) Community As stated in section 4 above, current performance and monitoring data does not provide us with sufficient information to be able to fully assess the impact from the current arrangements on staff / service users with protected characteristics. The Corporate Policy and Diversity team will continue to work with TLS and the Translation and Interpreting partnership to address those gaps. We will also continue to monitor complaints (and compliments), and escalate those via the partnership. As there is no corporate budget for interpreting, translation, or alternative formats, there is potential risk that service areas may be reluctant to use TLS as a result of the cost implications. The Corporate Policy and Diversity team, along with the Corporate Diversity Management Group and Directorate Diversity Management Groups will continue to work with services and to communicate the importance of the provision of TIS, where required. PROMOTING EQUALITY 8. How will the activity help the Council fulfil its legal duty to advance equality of opportunity in the way services are provided? 8 (a) Staff As a public authority London Borough of Havering (LBH) has a legal duty and is committed to providing fair, inclusive and accessible services to all our customers and service users. Our Corporate Translation and Interpreting Policy clearly states that the Council must make translation, interpreting and alternative format services available to service users who face barriers in accessing Council services due to disability or language. Services are also required to consider and incorporate translation and interpreting arrangements as part of their decision-making processes, including procurement and commissioning initiatives. The Corporate Policy and Diversity team also provide advise on Equality Analyses, on Equality and Social Inclusion Implications and Risks of reports and Executive Decisions and service/contract specifications, and ensure that TIS arrangements are considered where appropriate. 8 (b) Community Please refer to sections 8 (a) and 9 (b). 6

8 SPECIFIC NEEDS 9. What actions will you be taking in order to maximise positive impact and minimise negative impact from the activity? 9 (a) Staff Please see 9 (b) below. 9 (b) Community The translation and interpreting service is provided to facilitate effective communication between the Council and staff/residents facing barriers in accessing (information about) services due to language or disability, i.e. where English is not a spoken / written first language, or there are specific communication needs such as British Sign Language. The decision to continue the existing translation and interpreting arrangements will not only ensure consistency and value for money, but will also enable the Council to communicate effectively with those residents who face barriers in accessing (information about) Council services and to continue to identify and meet their specific needs. MONITORING AND REVIEW 10. Once implemented, how often do you intend to monitor the actual impact of the activity? The work to complete the equality analysis has highlighted the need to improve the quality of the performance data to ensure the Council has sufficient and accurate information on the extent to which TLS is meeting the needs of residents and staff. This issue will be addressed via the Translation and Interpreting partnership to ensure it is possible to monitor the service effectively. SIGN OFF AND PUBLICATION 11. When completed, the Equality Analysis needs to be signed off by the Head of Service. Once signed off, it should be forwarded to the Directorate Equality Analysis Web administrator to publish it on the council's website. HEAD OF SERVICE Name: Cynthia Griffin Date: 20/03/14 Signature: 7

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