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Equality and Human Rights Commission

Equality and Human Rights Commission. The Role of Guidance April 2009. Who are we?. A century of progress in law, policy and winning hearts and minds. 1928 Women get the vote on equal terms to men 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and arrival of the Empire Windrush

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Equality and Human Rights Commission

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  1. Equality and Human Rights Commission The Role of Guidance April 2009

  2. Who are we?

  3. A century of progress in law, policy and winning hearts and minds 1928 Women get the vote on equal terms to men 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and arrival of the Empire Windrush 1967 Partial decriminalisation of homosexuality 1975 Equality Opportunities Commission (EOC) created 1976 Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) created 1995 Disability Discrimination Act 1999 Disability Rights Commission (DRC) created 2006 Equality Act 2007 The Equality and Human Rights Commission created – a new mandate and new powers

  4. Equality and Human Rights Commission • works to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and build good relations, ensuring everyone has a fair chance to participate in society • combines the work of three previous equality commissions – the EOC, CRE and DRC – and also takes on responsibility for other aspects of equality: age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, as well as human rights

  5. Equality and Human Rights Commission cont… • the Commission can use its enforcement powers where necessary to guarantee people’s equality • it also has a mandate to promote understanding of the Human Rights Act • it is a non-departmental public body established under the Equality Act 2006 – accountable for its public funds, but independent of government

  6. What do we believe in?

  7. A decent and fair society We believe in a society: • where everyone has the chance to flourish • where our human rights are protected • where difference is a cause of celebration, not tension

  8. An approach for a new century

  9. Baroness Jane Campbell, Equality and Human Rights Commissioner ‘I think we’ve gone as far as we can with the single identity group. We need to bring others along with us.If we create a bigger voice, the Government is going to respond to it.’

  10. Our new story The pursuit of equality has been geared towards redress for individuals. Our legal tools remain critical in ending discrimination. We must also focus on working for systemic change and culture change.

  11. Where does guidance fit in with our tools?

  12. Put simply... ...using all the tools at our disposal in a smart way, at the right time, to achieve maximum impact

  13. The components of a regulatory approach • evidence and intelligence • understanding risk • legal powers (casework) • powers under statute (duties) • power of voice (influencing and campaigning) • authoritative guidance • follow through – evaluation and measurement

  14. Who are our audiences?

  15. Teenagers; and carers Advocates Sudden Poor Neutrals External campaigners & pressure groups Employees Dissidents Champions General public (England, Wales and Scotland) Stakeholder activist community Those with rights under the law Activist community OUR AUDIENCES Those with duties under the law Policy influencers Experts in EHRC fields e.g. health, education, employment & welfare reform, CEOs of legacy organisations Communities & individuals Employers Media Legal profession Think tanks & influential commentators Political Medium businesses Small and micro businesses Large employers (public, private & voluntary sectors) Other political parties Government (UK & devolved) Conservative Party Local Authorities MPs, MSPs, AMs & MEPs Conduits to these groups e.g. CBI, FSB, accountants, lawyers & CAB

  16. Understanding our audiences

  17. Our overall approach to guidance • in-depth research to identify needs, behaviours and groupings of segments • pilot testing of channel effectiveness • tactics for hard-to-reach audiences - partnering, advertising, direct marketing, community champions, events • learnings from DRC experience – messaging and creative was deliberately rooted in the locality

  18. An example of a key audience • Using research conducted recently by the DRC, one of our legacy commissions, to inform thinking for future campaigns • Insight into disabled audiences

  19. Half of disabled people reject the tag Of these, there are four significant segments ‘BOTHERED’ 24% ‘It makes me feel worse to think of myself as disabled.’ ‘HIDING’ 27% ‘I have got a wheelchair at home and have been told I’ll be using it permanently in a few years but there is no way on god’s earth that I’ll go out in it. I'll stay in the house.’ ‘DEALING’ 32% ‘I am not disabled. Some things take longer now, but I still like to think I can do most things.’ ‘UNAFFECTED’ 17% ‘I wouldn’t like being called disabled because at the moment I don’t feel disabled.’

  20. Why does this matter? • many people we aim to help do not know that they are disabled; some are embarrassed by it • without a ‘disabled’ identity, they are unlikely to read disability-related websites/literature • the word ‘disability’ may be irrelevant to them – and it may even antagonise and offend • disabled people risk discrimination and we need to communicate effectively with them – using condition-specific language is appropriate • these principles apply to other groups – carers reject the label ‘carer’, for example

  21. Audience-focused guidance

  22. An example from our first year • Disadvantaged groups can be helped by changing behaviours elsewhere • Guidance for business is important as well as raising awareness of rights for individuals • The Commission has prioritised small and medium sized businesses as a sector where it can make a difference • SMEs account for 99.9% of businesses and 13.5 million people (59.5%) of the workforce is employed in them.

  23. Downturn guidance • Audience: small businesses (< 50 employees) with no in-house HR and/or legal advisors • Context: in 17 recent focus groups, no SMEs had heard of the Commission, and they were not aware of the advice and help on offer, for example, with reference to redundancies • Objectives: - to promote fairness by small businesses to employees - to overcome hostility between businesses and the equalities sector - to demonstrate that the Commission is here for everyone, including business

  24. Bridge to business: downturn guidance • Strategy: to build a bridge to business by providing straightforward information • Tactics: • leaflet with advice on redundancy distributed through the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) • website with download version • plans to expand the ‘Short Guide To...’ series

  25. Downturn guidance • Evaluation: at this early stage of the campaign, we weren’t expecting huge uptake, but it is encouraging that: • the publication tested very well in focus groups • it was featured in the Daily Telegraph, with the headline: ‘Equality Commission Advises on Recession’ • no newspaper criticised or ridiculed the guidance • the FSB distributed over 100,000 copies, which, in focus groups, members recalled receiving • the website received 2,500 hits

  26. ‘Building a society built on fairness and respect where people are confident in all aspects of their diversity.’

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