ONS Equality and Diversity Strategy

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1 ONS Equality and Diversity Strategy Who we are ONS is a statistical organisation that collects, compiles, analyses and disseminates a range of economic, social and demographic statistics relating to the United Kingdom that serve the public good and meet our legal obligations (both domestic and international). Our approach to our Equality Act duties ONS is eager to positively contribute to a fairer society by advancing equality and good relations in our day-to-day activities. We recognise the importance of ONS in providing a range of statistics on (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief and sexual orientation) which can be used by government to help understand and tackle inequality. In 2008 we carried out a review of equality data across government and identified that there was more data available across the protected characteristics than originally anticipated, however there were significant omissions in available data for disability, sexual identity and transgender. Since this time ONS has: begun working on the Life Opportunities Survey (LOS) which explores disability in terms of the social barriers to participation that people in Great Britain experience. The survey compares the experiences of disabled people with those of non-disabled people and was carried out for the Office for Disability Issues (ODI). The LOS wave one survey was conducted from June 2009 to March developed the sexual identity question and guidelines for use across government and begun to collect experimental data through the integrated household survey Identified that trans remains one of the protected characteristics with little available data. Our research has shown there are particular issues with collecting data in this area and our Trans Data Position paper published in May 2009 outlines these issues. Consequently our way forward is to work with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and others to look for suitable solutions Our equality and diversity objectives (see annex A) We have developed these high level objectives for inclusion in our ONS Business Plan To improve our external facing services and analysis of protected characteristics 2. To consistently meet our equality duties in the way we develop and deliver our policies and practices 3. To reduce any differentials in the engagement and experience of staff with protected characteristics 4. To ensure we measure, evaluate and publish the outcomes of our work on equality and diversity How we currently meet our equality duties We are proud of the fact that we already do a great deal to meet our equality duties, and have listed these in annex B. We also have three key priority areas supported by action plans and our progress is outlined in annex C

2 Monitoring We monitor progress against our equality and diversity objectives through our: robust governance structure which begins with our staff network groups, who are supported by a senior sponsor, and culminates in an Equality and Diversity Steering Group (EDSG) chaired by Stephen Penneck, the ONS Diversity Champion and Director General priority area action plans for groups with protected characteristics that are identified each year by the EDSG annual HR Data Monitoring which looks at the impact of our HR processes on staff profile; training; promotion; starters and leavers; performance management, disciplinary and grievances for each of the protected characteristics, this culminates in the development of an action plan which is progressed through the year an annual diversity dashboard collecting together information for the protected characteristics from the People Survey; diversity declaration data; progress against targets; and HR diversity data broken down by grade, working pattern, training, promotion, starters and leavers, performance management, and grievance Performance Management System review and subsequent action plan People (staff engagement) Survey data which is analysed by protected characteristic, forms part of the diversity dashboard and is distributed to our network groups for review Equal Pay Review every three years for gender, ethnicity, disability, working pattern and age equality impact assessment process Publishing Data ONS is committed to publishing a range of data to demonstrate the ways in which we are meeting our equality duty. We will publish annually on our website: all of the information in the monitoring section above along with a list of the statistical outputs we have published related to the protected characteristics in our Equality and Diversity Annual Report the progress we have made against our action plans for our key priority areas equality assessments of our policies and practices which show a substantial impact (or likely impact) on our ability to meet our equality duty a document which maps our statistical outputs related to the protected characteristics and outlines the work we are doing to meet our user requirements by September 2013

3 Equality and Diversity Objectives Annex A Objective One - To improve our external facing services and analysis of protected characteristics (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief and sexual orientation) Actions In the development of the web strategy ensure that we maintain our accessibility compliance accreditation As part of the 2011 Census analysis programme, ONS will deliver equality reports and encourage further research on age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, civil partnerships and caring Publish the 2011 Census evaluation reports in relation to community engagement, accessibility and publicity Make recommendations on how ONS can mainstream best practice from the evaluation of the 2011 Census in relation to community engagement and accessibility Mainstream equality through the procurement process and measure our key suppliers Objective Two - To consistently meet our equality duties in the way we develop and deliver our policies and practices Actions Undertake impact assessments on our policies and practices publishing those that show an impact Review our equality impact guidance in the light of the new general duty Objective Three - Reduce any differentials in the engagement and experience of staff with protected characteristics Actions Engage staff from across the protected characteristics in the analysis of People Survey results and the identification of actions Reduce the incidence of bullying and harassment across the organisation and work to ensure the levels are not disproportionate across the protected characteristics Objective Four - Ensure we measure and evaluate the outcomes of our work on equality and diversity Using the Equality and Diversity Steering Group(EDSG) as the monitor of progress, we will identify key priority areas annually and address any inequality in the experience of staff from protected characteristics, identified through our people survey results, diversity dashboard, HR data monitoring, and progress against targets Produce an annual Equality and Diversity Report which is signed off by the ONS Board

4 Some of the ways in which we currently meet our duties Annex B 1. To eliminate unlawful harassment; discrimination and victimisation, we: have a Respect at Work which addresses bullying and harassment and has processes in relation to staff, contractors and members of the public have a set of organisational values which focus on respect and equality of opportunity have trained Respect Contact Advisors to support people experiencing bullying or harassment and trained Respect at Work investigators monitor the experience of bullying or harassment via our People Survey and analyse our data by each of the protected groups. The data is reviewed by the Equality and Diversity Steering Group and the employee network groups, business areas monitor and acts on local results from the People Survey have a discipline policy run an equal pay audit every three years 2. To foster good relations between people with or without protected characteristics, we: have a Corporate Social Responsibility policy and staff can access 3 days a year to volunteer work in local schools to engage with a diverse range of children encourage employee network groups to work in collaboration and support a range of activities to raise awareness of diversity issues run mandatory diversity training produce a range of statistics to inform UK society about the experience of people from protected characteristics 3. To advance equality of opportunities for people with and without protected characteristics, we: develop best practice in accessibility and community engagement through Census 2011 monitor our HR processes for fairness annually and develop and monitor an action plan to mitigate any issues produce a diversity dashboard annually bringing together data from HR data monitoring, headcount by grade and protected characteristic, and People (staff engagement) Survey produce and publish an equality and diversity report annually have 15 functioning diversity network groups, each with an SCS sponsor have a diversity mentoring scheme aimed at groups with protected characteristics and other open mentoring schemes produce a range of statistics to inform UK society about the experience of people from protected characteristics hold a diversity forum every months to engage a broader range of staff in a strategic diversity issue have mandatory diversity objective in our Performance Management System equality impact assess our policies have reasonable adjustments guidance for managers take part in National Benchmarking exercises, for example The Stonewall Equality Index provide a comprehensive learning and development offering engage heads of profession in needs for learning and development for professions support the Welsh Language Act by providing Welsh classes for staff paid for centrally have a fair and open recruitment process that offers to interview all disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria and consider them on their abilities publish our equality assessments which identify an impact

5 Disability Action Plan 2012/13 Annex C In 2009 the ONS Equality and Diversity Steering Group (EDSG) made disability a key priority area because it was identified that disabled staff: gave consistently lower scores to the questions from the People Survey, this outcome was replicated across the entire Civil Service were less engaged than all staff believed they had an unacceptable workload compared to the results from all staff had greater issues with some elements of their relationship with their line manager scored lower in relation to their personal development than all staff disabled staff were twice as likely as all staff to experience bullying or harassment Working with our disability network groups we have already piloted and mainstreamed a Managing People with Disabilities course for line managers, which was targeted in the first instance at people who currently manage someone with a disability undertaken a reasonable adjustments audit to ensure that our processes are fair and we are meeting our moral and legal obligations to our disabled staff produced and launched a set of guidance on reasonable adjustments launched a diversity mentoring scheme which has been taken up by several disabled members of staff set up the Expert Patients Programme in association with the Trade Union Learning representative and the Newport Health Authority to support people with long term health conditions, with the aim of helping people stay in work and improve their quality of life and wellbeing. The free pilot was run in late Autumn 2010, it has been positively evaluated and expanded to our Titchfield site. As it is also available via Health Boards it is possible for everyone to access this excellent support no matter where they live. fed into the Civil Service Disability Task Force researching reasons why disabled Civil Servants have given lower scores in the People Survey across the Civil Service and begun conversations with the Life Opportunities Survey to identify issues which might affect engagement of disabled people in society as a whole The changes we have seen Disabled staff now show through the People Survey: higher scores to the questions on the People Survey an engagement score that is one per cent higher than all staff a reduction in the experience of bullying and harassment a significant positive increase in relationships with line managers an increase in the scores for acceptable workload to bring it to two per cent below all staff an increase in 10 per cent to the question 'I think it's safe to challenge the way things are done in ONS' What we are planning for 2012/2013 A statistical release to coincide with International Day of the Disabled Person An internal event to mark disability history month and raise awareness of disability issues across ONS A greater focus on personal development

6 Gender Action Plan 2012/13 In 2010 the ONS Equality and Diversity Steering Group (EDSG) made the representation of women at senior levels a key priority area because it was identified that women were: Under represented at SCS level and significantly below the targets agreed with Cabinet Office, the figures in 2010 were: Payband 2 target 40 per cent (currently 9 per cent) Target 40 per cent at SCS (currently 30 per cent) Target at Grade 6 45 per cent (currently 36 per cent) Target at Grade 7 44 per cent (currently at 40 per cent) We also recognised that any action plan will also need to address the fact that we are in a period of budget cuts and have delivered a 20 per cent cut in SCS posts. It was vital during this period that we did not lose the ground we had already established in representing women at SCS and put in place mitigating actions to ensure our figures did not reduce further. We have already appointed an SCS champion - Pam Davies identified to lead this strategic work set up an action group run a series of focus group with women at grade 7 and above to try and identify the reasons for the under representation developed a succession planning policy and analysed our results by gender developed an SCS leadership programme including 360 feedback exercise had an HR Business partner at all senior level benchmarking meetings The changes we have seen as at 31 December 2011 Payband 2 target 40 per cent (currently 20 per cent) increase of 11 per cent SCS target 40 per cent (currently 30 per cent) no change Grade 6 target, 45 per cent (currently 42 per cent) increase of 6 per cent Grade 7 target, 44 per cent (currently at 40 per cent) no change What we are planning for 2012/13 to review the results from succession planning and identify any inequalities in the talent pipeline to review the results from the focus groups establish a development offering for women with potential to reach SCS

7 Part-time Work Action Plan 2012/13 In 2009 the ONS Equality and Diversity Steering Group (EDSG) made part time working a key priority area because it was identified through the diversity dashboard that part time staff were less likely to: receive a high performance marking be promoted Working with our work-life balance groups and the trade union, we have: worked in partnership with our trade union colleagues in a joint working party to review the Performance Management guidance re-issued the performance management guidance documents with strengthened references about realistic objectives taking into account hours worked and equal access to training and development activities via training courses or more challenging work regardless of the hours they work run a full statistical review of our findings for PMS commissioned an ONS social researcher to run a piece of qualitative research to better understand these results from the diversity dashboard. The researcher facilitated five focus groups across our sites; participants were a mix of part time staff and managers. Feedback from the groups identified that: there was some confusion over what constitutes an 'exceeds' or an 'exceptional' marking, it was perceived this meant going the extra mile with extra work. The report evidenced that many people believed there to be a marking quota even though there isn't one people felt there were limited extra opportunities for part time staff such as away days, extra training and additional activities part time staff were concentrating a greater percentage of their time doing the job and therefore having less time for development opportunities there were seen to be fewer recruitment opportunities there was some reluctance by managers to take on part timers The changes we have seen an increase of two per cent in the numbers of part time workers who have received high performance markings What we are planning for 2012/13 a review of the training for performance management to ensure that it appropriately reflects part time work a series of communications about part time work before the next appraisal round to focus on the training and development opportunities for part time staff

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