Equality objectives: Progress Tracker

Table of Contents

2018-2022 Equality objectives progress – Final update

The objectives below show a final progress update, provided in October 2022, on the equality objectives that were originally set in April 2018. A new set of equality objectives have been developed for the period 2023-2027.

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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

Lead Team: Human Resources    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

Diversity and Equality and Unconscious Bias training is 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

Lead Team: Communications and marketing    
Collaborators: All services

Revision of the documentation around Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) is currently underway in order to improve the consistency and quality of EqIAs. More comprehensive guidance is being created which will support staff to know how and when to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA).

EqIAs are now made available as background papers appended to the relevant 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 supporting matrix of equalities-related evidence is being created in collaboration with the Public Health Intelligence Hub to promote and support the use of data within EqIAs.

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.

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

Lead Team: Public health    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

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. 

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

Lead Team: Communications and marketing    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

The council have improved their communications and engagement in a wide range of different ways over the period. These include:

  • A more effective communications service, with increased numbers of residents engaging with the council through its social media channels, through the Residents newsletter and wider communications. The council has improved its use of informal networks, including Next door and neighbourhood social media, and through trusted stakeholders including voluntary, faith and community groups. 
  • During the covid pandemic, the council worked in close partnership with a wide range of voluntary and community groups to support our communities. This included setting up a network of community champions, who help to engage with and disseminate messages across our communities. 
  • Relationships with our partners have been sustained and strengthened over the past year, in particular working in partnership through the Here to Help campaign, our response to the cost of living rises – and through World Cafes, the Innovation Fund and joint working on initiatives such as Wellbeing circles. 
  • The council has introduced an asset-based approach to community development and supporting the community to lead on a range of community projects, including a community orchard. The council has also implemented more participatory approaches to policy-making and programme design, for example through the recent Vision for Windsor community engagement exercise. It has strengthened engagement from diverse groups in consultation exercises. 
  • Relationships with groups representing groups with protected characteristics have been strengthened, including with the Disability and Inclusion Forum and Youth Council. 

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

Lead Team: Strategy and performance    
Collaborators: All services

The Strategy and Performance Team continues to develop and evolve the council's business intelligence capacity. 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 (EQIAs).

This has included work on an Equalities Evidence Matrix to support the use of data with EQIAs and a stronger evidence-driven approach to impact assessment. Work carried out through Phase I of the Inequalities project has highlighted variability in terms of equalities data gathering, and work to strengthen the collection and analysis of data across the council is continuing.

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

Lead Team: Library and resident services    
Collaborators: Strategy and Performance

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.

Engagement has also taken place with relevant groups to ensure that communications are accessible and to explore how to improve accessibility and inclusivity so that all residents have the opportunity to engage actively with the council.

The Library Vision, Strategic Priorities and Transformation Strategy developed in 2021 acknowledges 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

Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

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 October 2025.

Percentage of Applicants declaring a disability were:

  • 2018-2019 5.5% - all interviewed
  • 2019-2020 6.22% - all interviewed 
  • 2020-2021 to date 6.5% - all interviewed
  • January 2022 – October 2022 – 4.1% - 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

Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

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.  

The workforce profile for 21/22 identified that there has been a slight increase in the number of staff who prefer not to provide information about their ethnicity and religion. Work will continue with the council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group to promote a culture of inclusion and work will continue to develop wellbeing support relevant to our workforce.

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

Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

In the autumn of 2020, the Council established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network, which conducted an all-staff survey to identify priorities. The council is represented on the ICS People Board and ICS ED&I Network.

Both of these groups link HR and ED&I professionals from across health and social care and give the opportunity to share learning, initiatives and information.

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

Lead Team: Human resources    
Collaborators: All services

The Council offers 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.

There is 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 336.35 KB

Equality and diversity : Contact details

For further information, please contact us by:

Equality and Diversity - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1RF