The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is committed to promoting equality and values diversity, encouraging fairness with equal chances for all to work, learn and be free from any barriers, discrimination or victimisation.
The Combined Authority’s vision is to be a leader recognised nationally for our focus and commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority celebrates the difference of all the people we serve, work with and employ. The organisation will hold itself to the highest standards in relation to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and we will evidence our commitment in the following ways:
- The Combined Authority will not tolerate behaviours, actions or words that discriminate on the grounds of race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership or disability.
- All training for staff on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion will be mandatory.
- All staff will be set an annual objective about how they must promote Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in their work, and we will monitor compliance of line managers with this requirement
- We will monitor and report the protected characteristics of our staff to ensure we represent the communities we serve, and we will set targets where analysis shows we have more work to do.
- We will monitor and report use of our services to ensure fair and equal access in line with the census data and we will set targets where we identify gaps
Compliance with this statement is non-negotiable and any staff member found to have breached our policies will be dealt with under the Combined Authority’s disciplinary policy.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 replaced and harmonised all previous equality law contained in the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act.
Our Equality Responsibilities
The Equality Act places a 'Public Sector Equality Duty' on public authorities like the Combined Authority to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations between people.
How We Fulfil Our Equality Responsibilities
We set objectives to achieve specific equality outcomes. Our equality objectives for 2022-2024 are:
- Champion Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion externally and develop an excellent regional and national reputation
- Consult and engage with our people, communities, and businesses to understand their diverse needs and ensure our services meet their needs
- Ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of West Yorkshire
Equality Impact Assessments
We consider the equality impact of any new project or service that we're planning to introduce, and any significant change in existing projects and services. We assess impacts early in the process of change in order to embed equality, diversity and inclusion from the start, using a consistent analytical approach that incorporates best practice. In setting equality objectives and considering equality impacts, we analyse a wide range of information relating to people, place and region including users and our employees.
An Impact Assessment is not a box-ticking exercise; it’s a process to make sure we have considered the most effective way to use our resources to advance equality, equity, diversity and inclusion and reduce inequalities between groups, and support working together for an inclusive West Yorkshire. The form is just a way to record what we have considered and what evidence we used to come to a recommendation or decision.
The Public Sector Equality Duty
By integrating consideration of equality, diversity, and inclusion into our day-to-day business we can demonstrate that we are paying due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty. The three main elements of the Public Sector Equality Duty are:
- Eliminating unlawful discrimination
- Promoting equality of opportunity, and
- Fostering good relations
Having due regard means:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics,
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
The Equality Act 2010 offers protection from types of discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the grounds of people’s characteristics.
These protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief (or lack of)
- Sexual orientation
We recognise people belong to more than one protected characteristic whilst consider further demographics and intersectionality. The Act also offers protection on the grounds of discrimination by association. This provision relates to people who do not necessarily have a protected characteristics themselves, but who may face discrimination because they are associated with individual(s) who do have/share protected characteristics.
The assessment also gives us the opportunity to do things better by:
- Taking an evidenced based approach – using facts, data, information, and feedback to inform our thinking.
- Exploring ways to improve the services we provide (positive impacts).
- Removing or reducing negative impacts by flagging up issues early on
- Considering options, outcomes and risks alongside costs and value for money.
- Increasing transparency by showing how we make decisions.