Kirklees Council has developed an Integrated Impact Assessment process that is implemented when new services, policies or strategies are being developed or existing ones being changed or when reviews or audits are being conducted in the organisation. The Integrated Impact Assessment allows for an assessment of likely impact on people and on the environment to be considered in the development of services, policies, and strategies. This enables an early identification and prevention of any systemic discrimination that might be involved in these.
The equality element of the impact assessment is concerned with the grounds of: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership (employment only); pregnancy and maternity; ‘race’; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation; unpaid carers; and people on low income or experiencing poverty.
The Integrated Impact Assessment allows a focus on the interactions between environmental and social policy to be recognised and addressed. It allows consideration of the distribution of environmental quality among groups; the groups driving environmental quality; and the equity of environment policy.
This initiative is rooted in and goes beyond obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations.
It reflects the commitment in Kirklees Council’s ‘Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2021’ that all key decisions made by the Council are supported by an Equality Impact Assessment.
The Council has developed guidance and a toolkit to support the implementation of an Integrated Impact Assessment process. Staff involved in implementing the process must have completed training on its implementation, and the mandatory corporate Equality and Diversity training.
The process is designed to have influence and be integrated all the way through the development of a plan, service or strategy. It is evidence-based and the toolkit provides access to a range of relevant data sources. It is participative with a draft of the assessment made available for public comment. It looks beyond equality of opportunity to emphasis an ambition for equality of outcomes for groups.