Using the Equality Duty as a Tool – UNISON representatives

Protected characteristic: 

Using the Equality Duty as a Tool – UNISON representatives *

“The fact that it is a legal obligation means that [the council] cannot ignore this responsibility and provides UNISON with a tool we can and have used to protect the interests of our members...

3 years ago the council planned as part of their 3 year efficiency saving plan to remove the "death in service" benefit, by using the PSED we forced them into phasing them out over 3 years which would allow employees to make alternative arrangements...

We have used the PSED to argue on behalf of low paid woman employees who would be adversely affected by efficiency cuts, family friendly policies, decisions which would affect employees with disability.”

UNISON representative at North Lanarkshire Council

“The PSED has led to better recruitment monitoring. We have identified, for example, that certain protected characteristic groups get through to interview but then don't get appointed. With the need to monitor we discovered this and more training was provided for managers...

[If the PSED was repealed or replaced with a voluntary scheme] “there would be even less incentive to consider the impact of policy/service delivery issues on protected characteristic groups and the vulnerable in our society. It was a hard task to imbed Equality Impact Assessments into our authority and having now been successful it would be tragic to lose this impetus.”

UNISON representative at Waverley Council


* Public Sector Equality Duty Review, UNISON response to government call for evidence – April 2013