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Equality and Diversity and tenders

May 23, 2012

Diversity & Equality

Purpose: The Equality Act 2010 aims to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and allows public sector organisations to foster good relations when exercising their functions. The Act establishes a new Single Equality Duty on public authorities. This consolidates the three existing public duties on race, disability and gender. Additionally, it covers age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Key questions for the Buyer:
  • Is the supplier compliant with its statutory obligations under the Equality Act 2010?
  • Is the supplier committed to non-discrimination and the advancement of equal opportunity in your business processes, (not only in recruitment, but also selection and promotion and in the process of supplying your goods/services or works)?
  • Does the supplier foster good relations when running their business and providing services?
Typical Scoring/Assessment: The Additional Core questions for the PQQ are government approved and are all Pass/Fail, so if the supplier cannot answer ‘Yes’ to them or supply comprehensive evidence where required their response may be rejected. In order to PASS the supplier’s Equal Opportunities Policy must meet the minimum standards below which correspond with the size of their organisation:
Number of Employees Minimum Standards expected
Less than 5 employees If the supplier has less than 5 employees they are not obliged to have an Equal Opportunities Policy. Should the supplier be awarded the contract, a declaration that the supplier will endeavour to reach our minimum standards below is required, should the number of staff they employ increase during the life of the contract.
5 - 49 employees i).An Equal opportunities policy must be attached which will be assessed in respect of race, gender and disability, and additionally, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment The policy must take into account service delivery and employment and must cover at least:
  • Recruitment, selection, training, promotion, discipline and dismissal.
  • Discrimination, harassment, and victimisation, making it clear that these are disciplinary offences within the firm.
  • Identification of the senior position with responsibility for policy and its effective implementation.
  • How you communicate the policy to your employees and customers.
ii). Effective implementation of policy in firm’s customer service and recruitment practices, to include open recruitment methods such as the use of job centres, careers service or press adverts. iii). Regular reviews of policy. iv). Regular monitoring of numbers of job applicants from different gender, disability and ethnic groups and systems in place to monitor , age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.
Number of Employees Minimum Standards expected
50 + employees Must achieve (i-iv) above and the following additional criteria:v). Provide written instructions to managers and supervisors on equality in recruitment, selection, training, promotion, discipline and dismissal of Provide equality training for managers and employees responsible for service provision recruitment and selection. vii). In addition to criteria iv carry out monitoring on the number of employees from different gender, disability and ethnic groups , age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment by grade when:
  • in post
  • applying for posts
  • taking up training and development opportunities
  • promotion
  • transferred
  • disciplined and dismissed
  • leaving employment
viii). If monitoring reveals under-representation of groups listed in ‘vii’ above, evidence what steps including positive action to address any imbalances are taken. ix). Evidence of regular reporting and consultation on equality issues within the workforce and with customers. x). Evidence that mentions in the organisation’s recruitment advertisements and publicity literature that equal opportunities practices are in place. xi). Evidence that the organisation has actions in place to advance supplier diversity.
Information typically requested:
  • Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy
  • Details of any unlawful discrimination or breach of equality law, or any formal investigations carried out on your organisation in the last three years.
  • Copies of recruitment, training and promotion instructions, documents available to employees and trade union, and recruitment advertisements or other literature, which demonstrate how your policy is communicated to staff and recruits.
Example supplementary questions you may also be asked:
  • Monitoring data on recruitment, training, promotions and customer satisfaction.
  • Do you have any evidence of how your policy on equal opportunities has affected the employment of people with a disability?
  • Would you be willing to assist an authority in increasing employment opportunities for people with a learning disability, and if so how?
For all OJEU threshold tenders you will be asked - If you are not currently subject to UK legislation please supply details of your experience in complying with equivalent legislation that is designed to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity. If this is not applicable please state so. HANDY TIPS:
  • Write an Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy statement which meets all the criteria above and includes all current legislation below, and integrate it within your business.
  • Create an action plan which shows how the policy will be implemented within the business.
  • Make sure all employees understand the policy and have a copy.
  • Collect evidence to show how your policy works in practice, for example, recruitment adverts, employee handbook, application forms.
WHERE TO FIND SUPPORT: APPLICABLE LEGISLATION: Equality Act 2010 (now supersedes all other equality legislation) Human Rights Act 1998

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