Equality Impact Assessments within VOSA
The Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has to comply with the General & Specific Duties identified in a number of Equality Legislative Acts, Amendments & Regulations with particular regard to promotion of good equality of opportunity when undertaking any new or exiting function.
Equality and human rights is the business of everyone at VOSA. To be successful in this endeavour, mainstreaming our approach will be fundamental so that the day-to-day experience of our customers and staff is one we should be proud of. Delivering on equality and human rights is central to our core values. The compelling reason is that it is “right morally”, “right legally” and it makes good business sense. This is critical if we are to achieve a successful service to the people of the UK and to be employers of choice for staff.
The aim of the Equality Impact Assessment
We need to ensure that the assessment will be conducted in an objective manner, with the overall goal to identify improvement actions to increase effectiveness of service delivery and policy to ensure:
• Promotion of Equality is central within all work conducted by VOSA
• VOSA takes the lead in promoting equality of opportunity and good relations between people from different equality groups
• VOSA takes the lead in preventing unlawful discrimination.
What is an Equality Impact Assessment
An Equality Impact Assessment is a way of systematically and thoroughly assessing, and consulting on the effects that a proposed or existing function and the likely effect this function may have on people within different equality groups. The assessment extends to monitoring the actual effects of the function.
An Equality Impact Assessment is made up of three stages:
Stage 1 - Initial screening
Stage 2 - Partial Equality Impact Assessment
Stage 3 - Full Equality Impact Assessment
How is the assessment conducted?
The assessment should be conducted in line with the following:
• Assessment of functions for relevance on equality
• Monitoring of functions for implication on equality
• Consultation on proposed/existing functions with employees and other stakeholders
• Monitoring Equality Impact Assessments.
• Staff training on general and specific duties
• Reinforcement through staff appraisal and disciplinary procedures
Equality Impact Assessment considers the following minority groups:
• Ethnic Groups (Race including Colour, Nationality & Ethnic Origin)
• Religious/Personal Beliefs
• Sexual Orientation
• Gender(including Gender Reassignment)
• Disabled People
Direct discrimination is defined as less favourable treatment on the grounds of a person’s race, sex (including marriage status), gender re-assignment disability, sexual orientation, age and religion/belief.
Indirect discrimination occurs where a policy, practice or criterion is applied to everyone, but causes particular disadvantage to a certain group, without good reason. Indirect discrimination is unlawful unless it can be justified objectively, i.e. it must be shown that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Discrimination such as harassment, segregation and victimisation on these grounds is also unlawful.
VOSA first started to carry out Race Equality impact assessments in 2004 and since 2006 has been carrying out Equality Impact assessments (EIA) to include all of the equality groups as mentioned above. The results of any actions coming out of an EIA is included on the VOSA Equality Scheme Action plan which is available on this Website. Such actions have included leaflets for our Vehicle Identity check scheme being translated into 6 different languages. In 2007 VOSA released its Drivers Hours DVD in 7 languages. These languages, including Eastern European languages, are those most commonly encountered at the roadside, and for drivers employed by UK operators. At the start of the DVD the viewer selects the language of their choice.
This has allowed operators, employing non English speaking or limited English speaking drivers, to ensure that they are fully conversant with the UK Drivers hours rules and regulations. As well as providing this DVD free of charge to operators, the DVD was given away with copies of Truck and Driver, the largest HGV driver distribution publication in the UK.
For more information on Equality Impact Assessments contact email@example.com
Page last updated: 25/02/2009