Equality objectives: Progress Tracker

Table of Contents

2020-2021 Equality objectives progress

The objectives below show the progress that has currently been made for 2020-2021.

Objective 1: Take into account the equality impacts of our emerging proposals and seek to mitigate any adverse impacts where possible

Activities: Review e-learning module and refresh as appropriate

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Human Resources    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

Progress update: March 2021

Diversity and Equality and Unconscious Bias training is now part of the Council’s annual mandatory training for all employees.

Online training is also available to all the Members.


Activities: Improve the consistency and quality of Equality Impact Assessments to influence and affect decision-making

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Communications and marketing    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

Guidance is available for staff in how and when to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) and the council's report template acknowledges the requirement for an EqIA screening to be undertaken in relation to any new or revised strategy, policy, plan, project, service or procedure. Where the screening indicates that a full EqIA is required it is made available as a background paper appended to the report. As part of this process the Equality and Community Engagement Officer will offer a menu of support to services including signposting to relevant consultees and groups, attending team meetings to support and offering EqIA clinics to ensure full consideration to the impact on people with protected characteristics.

A new full-time Monitoring Officer has been appointed to bolster the governance capability of the Council, and a new Equalities and Community Engagement Officer has also been recruited. These developments will ensure a more robust approach to the council’s valued equalities agenda.

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Objective 2: Ensure that equality is reflected in our commissioning strategies

Activities : Use our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) to explore inequalities and disadvantage so as to strengthen and target our commissioning arrangements.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Public health    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

Progress update: March 2021

The Berkshire Observatory (online data source) is live and is accessible to all professionals and residents in the borough. The site collates data from national published sources to give key insights into each geographical location, with benchmarking as available. The data in the JSNA can help users understand how health and wellbeing needs differ across the borough and across different groups, highlighting where inequalities exist. Commissioners can use this data to ensure services work to reduce inequalities and increase equity. Anecdotal verbal feedback suggests partners are finding the resource very useful. Quantitative data is available to show the use of the site, however it isn’t possible to know who is using the site. Further work is required to promote the Berkshire Observatory and its contents across the council and our partners.  

We are working collaboratively across East Berkshire on how to best develop a suite of resources to support and compliment the Berkshire Observatory, local decision making and the commissioning cycle. Documents such as a local deep dive into health inequalities will form part of the wider JSNA for Windsor and Maidenhead. A proposal for how we will expand the content and create a suite of resources to complement the JSNA is being developed by the East Berkshire Shared team Hub. It is due for discussion in April 2021 by the Public Health consultants and implementation is scheduled to follow in Q1 2021/22 once an agreement has been met.


Activities : Explore how best to reach out to under-represented groups with whom we need better engagement.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Communications and marketing    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

Progress update: March 2021

In August 2019 a new Communications Strategy 2019-2023 was approved. The Strategy ensures an audience-focused approach whereby campaigns are aligned to the council's 6 strategic priorities. The strategy brings together all communications including media (online, printed, broadcast), social media, marketing, digital, engagement and internal (staff and councillor engagement) and is supported by a series of performance measures by which to monitor success. The council's evolving performance management and business intelligence capabilities will deliver key insights to inform how best to reach groups with whom we need better engagement. The new Equalities and Engagement Officer will work closely with the Strategy and Performance Team in this regard.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the comms team focused shifted and we focused on comms around the pandemic sharing government messages and highlighting changes in services. The comms plan for 2021 is back to a campaign led strategy and focuses on the council’s priorities.

The council have employed officers who are reaching out to community groups and developing better communication with them to ensure that they receive the messages they want in a format that works for them.

Objective 3: Identify, and where possible address, the root causes of disadvantage and discrimination

Activities : Build our organisational intelligence capability in relation to protected characteristics data and interrogate data and research inequalities linked to the protected characteristics

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Strategy and performance    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

The Strategy and Performance Team continues to develop and evolve the council's business intelligence capacity however acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the Team’s work plan for the financial year 2020/21. The Team is exploring available data sets to build our organisational intelligence capability in relation to protected characteristics data that may be used to support engagement activities and also to improve the quality of services’ Equality Impact Assessments. 

The Team will work closely with the new Equalities and Community Engagement Officer to support these workstreams.


Activities : Solicit feedback on accessibility and availability of council services and buildings to inform improvements

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Library and resident services    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

Progress update: March 2021

The Library and Resident Contact Lead will continue to ensure all library and resident contact policies and strategies are taken through the relevant Panels and Forums such as the Health and Wellbeing Forum, One Borough, Disability and Inclusions Forum and Autism Board, to solicit feedback on all areas of Library and Resident Contact services. 

The Library Vision, Strategic Priorities and Transformation Strategy currently being developed will acknowledge a responsibility to ensure no resident is excluded and will assist residents to access support and services to promote independence. 

Mitigation against digital exclusion will continue to be a priority across the service and the digital offer will be fully blended with the physical offer.

All libraries will offer support for council services, not just Maidenhead and Windsor. Staff will continue to undergo enhanced DBS checking and rigorous training in areas such as Safeguarding, MECC, Sensory Disability Support, Dash and Domestic Abuse Support, and Autism awareness. 

Volunteers will continue to work alongside staff but be supervised and managed by a library professional for all published opening hours to ensure safeguarding remains robust. 

The Library Team will ensure that services are provided to the most vulnerable and young people via the Inclusions Reading Development Service, Schools Offer, Home Library Service, and Volunteer-led digital support services.

Equality Impact Assessments for library savings will be robust and comprehensive.

Objective 4: Recruit and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve and ensure our people feel valued and respected

Activities : Continue to encourage and welcome increasing numbers of job applications from disabled candidates.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

The Council continues to encourage and welcome job applications from disabled candidates using the Disability Confident Scheme, which guarantees disabled applicants who meet the minimum job criteria an interview. The Council's accreditation to the scheme runs until November 2021.

Percentage of Applicants declaring a disability were:
•    2018/19 5.5% - all interviewed 
•    2019/20 6.22% - all interviewed 
•    2020/21 to date 6.5% - all interviewed


Activities : Outline the business benefits to employees of completing personal diversity records so that we can measure in what areas we are supporting our employees and those areas where we need to invest.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

Information about protected characteristics are collected from job applicants as part of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and the  exercise to update the records of existing employees to support the Council’s organisational intelligence capability in relation to protected characteristics data has resulted in an 89% response rate.  

An updated workforce profile for 21/22 due in the first quarter of 21/22 will inform any reviews of HR policies to reflect the needs of the workforce.


Activities : Continue to ensure that the needs of employees with protected characteristics are met. This also includes liaison with wider employee forums.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

In the autumn of 2020, the Council established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network, which is identifying priorities through an all staff survey.


Activities : Deliver a range of a measures to improve opportunities for those who want to combine work with family or caring responsibilities.

Timescale: April 2018 – March 2022
Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

Progress update: March 2021

The Council offers of a wide range of flexible working options including a flexi-time scheme, part-time working, term-time only working, nine-day fortnights, remote working, and flexible retirement.

As well as additional paid leave for employees who are Foster Carers and support for families with military connections as an employer holding a Gold Award of the Armed Forces Covenant. Since March 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the majority of the workforce working from home and therefore flexibility and employee wellbeing has been at the forefront of supporting all our staff but particularly those with caring responsibilities.

The Members Allowances scheme includes ‘family friendly’ policies including a Dependants’ Carer’s Allowance, and maternity, adoption and paternity leave.

Document downloads

Equality and diversity

Document name Type Size
Equality policy pdf 286.97 KB
Gender pay gap pdf 329.71 KB