Equality Impact Assessments

Integrated Impact Assessments

The Comhairle have a legal duty to assess its policies for impact, to ensure statutory compliance and to reduce inequality of outcomes. 

We have revised our impact assessment processes and introduced an integrated approach.  Under previous arrangements Equality Impact Assessments and Fairer Scotland Impact Assessments were undertaken to assess the impact of applying new or revised policies.

An integrated approach avoids the need to undertake and report on separate assessments and provides an opportunity to actively consider wider impacts and further reduce inequality of outcomes.

Legal Context

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is a legislative requirement, often referred to as the ‘general duty’, which requires public bodies in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to: 

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other prohibited conduct
  • Advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  • Foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Legislation requires that people are not discriminated against, harassed or victimised on the grounds of their ‘Protected Characteristic’.  The Protected Characteristics are: 

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race – this includes ethnic or national origin, nationality and also includes Gypsy/Travellers
  • religion or belief (including lack of belief)
  • sex (gender)
  • sexual orientation.

Every person has one or more protected characteristic; therefore the Act protects all individuals against unfair treatment.

The Fairer Scotland Duty, Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010, came into force in Scotland in April 2018. It places a legal responsibility on public bodies in Scotland to actively consider (‘pay due regard’) to how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socioeconomic disadvantage when making strategic decisions.

What is an Integrated Impact Assessment?

An Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) provides a framework to enable the Comhairle to comply with it’s statutory obligations taking account of equality, socioeconomic disadvantage, sustainability, child poverty, the environment, climate change and the need to promote human rights, including the rights of children and young people. 

IIA’s support the critical assessment of whether a policy (by policy we mean policies, strategies, provisions, criteria, functions, practices, budget savings and activities, including the delivery of services) has wider impacts beyond its intended outcomes and if it impacts differentially on different groups in our communities.  IIA’s are a means of ensuring that decision makers are fully informed, at a formative stage in the decision making process.

Outcomes following an IIA may include taking action to address any issues identified, such as removing or mitigating any negative impacts, where possible and practical, and exploiting any potential for positive impact. 

Why are Integrated Impact Assessments required?

Assessing impact is an important part of the public sector’s decision making process. It is important in developing any proposal to understand how the needs of different groups in the population may differ. IIA is a mechanism which enables you to consider the needs of different groups, it enables the Comhairle to: 

  • Take effective action on equality
  • Develop better policies and practices based on evidence
  • Be more transparent and accountable
  • Meet legal requirements in relation to equality, climate change, sustainability, socioeconomic disadvantage, child poverty, the environment and the need to promote human rights, including the rights of children and young people.

This process provides an opportunity to identify and highlight both negative and positive impacts.

Completed Integrated Impact Assessment

The Comhairle is required to make available and publish all the results of its Integrated Impact Assessment.   The  following Assessments have been conducted:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

 

For any queries on Equality Impact Assessments please contact equalities@cne-siar.gov.uk