Impartiality and independence are fundamental principles of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) which encompasses both the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR). Our mission is to provide high quality data and analysis to inform the UK, improve lives and build the future. Inclusion is a key priority for the organisation and a core principle of our new Strategy and People Plan. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality in our policies and in our dealings with our people.
To do this we are investing in our people, creating a working environment where all colleagues are equally valued, truly supported and recognised for their contributions. We continue to offer excellent flexible working arrangements for our people, including options for part-time, job share and home working. We provide regular learning opportunities including leadership development programmes, talent schemes, mentoring, coaching and skills development to help everyone grow and develop the capability they need to succeed. This includes some programmes tailored to specific groups who are underrepresented in parts of our organisation, to help us ensure that everyone has the right support to progress their career with us. Our community of employee diversity networks helps us to build an inclusive culture for all within the organisation.
We set out here what the Public Sector Equality Duty is and how we will ensure we meet these commitments and the requirements.
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) was introduced in 2010, as part of the Equality Act. It replaced previous public sector duties and created a new approach to equality. It places an obligation on us to consider how we can promote equality in all areas and stages of our work and build good relationships. This means thinking about how different people, especially those with protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act, will be affected by our activities, helping us to deliver policies and services which are efficient and effective, accessible to all and which meet different people’s needs.
It places an obligation on us to consider positive steps to promote equality and good relations. Therefore, we should think about how we can promote equality at all stages of our work, from developing policy to ongoing service delivery.
It covers the following protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
- sexual orientation
- marriage and civil partnership (only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination)
The Equality Duty has three aims. It requires us to have “due regard” to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act
- advance equality of opportunitybetween people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- foster good relationsbetween people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Having “due regard”, means consciously thinking about the three aims of the Equality Duty as part of the process of decision-making. This means understanding and having considered the potential effect of the policy/service/project/decision on people with protected characteristics in how we:
- act as employers
- develop, evaluate and review policy
- design, deliver and evaluate services
- commission and procure from others.
The Equality Duty is supported by specific duties, set out in regulations which came into force on 10 September 2011. The specific duties require us, as a public body, to:
- publish information annually relating to:
- employees who share protected characteristics, to show how we are meeting the requirements of the Equality Duty
- our policies and practices and the impact they have on people who share protected characteristics
- set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years.
We share diversity workforce data in our Annual Report and report on our progress in relation to inclusion and diversity.
All our people are encouraged to share their diversity details by recording them, confidentially, on our internal HR systems. The data helps to evaluate the performance of our policies and processes, and to identify issues that might need addressing. Data trends are regularly reviewed by senior governance forums as well as HR professionals within UKSA.
The department will work towards achieving the following high-level equality objectives in the next 4 years. We will be inclusive in our approach to workforce, talent management, and the design of data, statistics and analysis. This means ensuring our statistics and our workforce reflect the experiences of everyone in our society so that everyone counts, and is counted, and no one is forgotten. This is set out in the UKSA Strategy.
- We aim to build an inclusive culture within the department which values and respects diversity, where everyone can achieve their potential. As an employer we are also committed to the Civil Service ambition to become the UK’s most inclusive employer. We monitor progress through our People Committee and Inclusion and Diversity Steering Group.
- We will continue to build and develop our relationships with stakeholders and the public, including those that represent groups with protected characteristics, to improve our functions and services, providing high quality data and analysis to inform the UK, improve lives and build the future. We have already established a Centre for Equalities and Inclusion, the ongoing aim of which is to improve the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness in the UK today. To achieve this, we will work with others to make better use of existing data sources, developing new ones where necessary, carrying out relevant analysis and using best practice methods, so that, wherever possible, protected characteristic and other potentially disadvantaged groups are represented in our statistics and we can meet our broader aim of ensuring that we ‘leave no one behind’.
- We will continue to build our effective internal communications, to ensure equality analysis is firmly embedded in our work and consistently built into our policies and key programmes.
- We will build senior engagement in the department to highlight and promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and encourage senior leaders to play an active role in championing these priorities.
We will measure our progress by:
- increases in our annual employee engagement survey scores relating to inclusion
- increasing the representation rates of women, disabled, minority ethnic and LGBT+ employees in senior grades
- an increase in positive declaration rates against the declaration targets for disability, ethnicity, religion or belief and sexual orientation
- evaluating the impact of diversity and inclusion activities