As a public authority we have a responsibility by law to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation
- Advance Equality of Opportunity . This includes:
- Removing or minimising disadvantage and taking steps to meet the differing needs and preferences of customers.
- Encouraging people to participate in public life or other activity where participation is disproportionately low.
- Foster Good Relations. This includes:
- Tackling prejudice
- Promoting understanding
- Meeting the needs of the disabled in making reasonable adjustments Compliance with the duties may involve treating some persons more favourably than others.
- Creating the conditions for integration
Effective equality monitoring processes is a key element in helping us to meet our legal obligations. Equality Monitoring is the collection of information about the characteristics of people such as their age, disability, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or belief. Having this kind of information about our customers helps us to make sure that our services are accessible to everyone who needs to use them.
Equality monitoring enables us to increase our knowledge and understanding of Manchester ’s diverse communities and gather information about who uses our services. For Equality monitoring to be effective, the recording of this information is just the first step. By analysing the data collected we can develop our understanding as a Council of how well we are meeting our commitments. The monitoring data may highlight where there are inadequacies or issues in how services are accessed and who they are accessed by. This provides the basis for enabling us to take steps to review policies and to identify areas for improvement.
Analysing information gathered through Equality Monitoring helps us to identify, and consult with, groups that do not access our services, or who access them in disproportionately low numbers. We can then:
- Develop an understanding of why our services do not meet their needs.
- Improve delivery of services making it easier for all groups of customers to access services.
For example, we have used customer information to:
- Produce user friendly and accessible information for people with learning disability or literacy problems;
- Adapt buildings so that they are accessible for people with impaired mobility;
- Increase the number of services that can be accessed online 24 hours a day for those who find it difficult to contact us during office hours or visit one of our offices.
The lesbian, gay and bisexual people's charity Stonewall has developed two guides on equality monitoring. The 'What's it got to do with you?' guide gives 10 reasons why you should fill out equality monitoring forms. The 'What's it got to do with me?' guide gives you 10 reasons to keep public services on their toes!