Agenda item

Workforce Equality Report 2016/17


The Senior HR Manager – Policy, Strategy and Change introduced a report which provided the Committee with an annual Workforce Equality Report for 2016/17.


The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010, the general duty of which had 3 goals:


·  To eliminate any unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation

·  To advance equality of opportunity

·  To foster good relations between different groups of people


In April 2011, the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) was introduced and placed a duty on public authorities to apply the specific duty with the following 4 aims:


1.  Give due regard to the impact of the Council’s policies and decisions on people who share protected characteristics: Race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion / belief, gender re-assignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy / maternity 


2.  Publish information relating to employees who share protected characteristics: Workforce profile, pay gaps, job application success rates, take up rates of   training, promotion success rates, return to work rates after maternity leave, reasons for termination of employment, length of service, time on pay grade.


3.  Publish information relating to people who are affected by the Council’s policies and practices who share protected characteristics, i.e. customers: Who accesses our services? Do they need reasonable adjustments? How satisfied are they? What feedback do they give us? What is the number / type of complaints we receive? Do we have different service outcomes for different people?


4.  Set and publish measurable equality objectives, at least every 4 years: What are Wirral’s biggest equality challenges? What evidence base do we have? Where is equality performance poor? Do we benchmark ourselves against others? How will progress be measured?


The Council had previously met its obligations and published workforce equality data. However, the Council had reviewed its approach and best practice and this was a significantly more comprehensive report.


Members welcomed the report, although some concerns were expressed at the discrepancy between the lower numbers of the workforce from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background compared with the BME numbers in the Wirral population. A high percentage of the workforce also appeared to be approaching retirement age and there were a large number of ‘prefer not to say’ in some of the statistics.


The Senior HR Manager, in response stated that figures for BME employees were on the low side, though recruitment had been fairly limited for a number of years. It was hoped that this could be addressed some way with the recruitment of apprentices. He was aware that a large percentage of the workforce were approaching retirement age and of some areas where there were recruitment and retention issues. Work was being undertaken with individual service areas to help with succession planning. He also acknowledged the large number of ‘unknowns’ and that there was a need to give employees confidence as to what the information was used for. There would be a planned communications campaign around this in the autumn.


Resolved – That the publication of the annual Workforce Equality report, to meet the Council’s legal requirements under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) 2011, be approved.

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