Diversity Monitoring

Gold pen and paper

14 / 1 / 2016 12.06pm

Workforce Diversity Monitoring 

NHS organisations routinely ask their staff to complete diversity monitoring information when they join or undertake staff engagement and learning activities. This provides a demographic picture of diversity within organisation, but at the same time it is generally acknowledged that the picture is not complete as to date. 

Workforce diversity monitoring is an important means of demonstrating and implementing and promoting equality of opportunity. It can for example provide help organisations identify barriers that prevent access to employment and career development for certain groups of people, and to develop solutions, such as positive action plans or alternative policies and practices.

Information & Resources to help support better workforce equality monitoring

A recent report by NHS Employers indicates the NHS needs to be better at collecting and analysing workplace data to succeed in becoming truly diverse and inclusive. Furthermore current analysis has found between 50% and 80% of trusts are not collecting workplace diversity data in a “usable” format, despite data collection being a statutory duty.

Stonewall has produced useful guidance outlining how to make the most of workforce monitoring data. Furthermore a further toolkit design to help organisations who may be scared or find it difficult to ask staff questions relating to sexual orientation.   

NHS Employers have also produced a helpful Top tips for monitoring diversity.

Similarly ACAS have published a useful booklet which sets out how monitoring essentially requires a two-stage process: data collection based on current UK equality legislation and analysis by comparing it with other groups of people within the organisation, in the broader community, or perhaps against national labour market statistics. 

In addition the Equality Challenge Unit have argued that staff are more likely to engage with a diversity monitoring exercise if they see it as an integrated part of an institution’s strategy for promoting inclusivity and increasing accessibility. The following guide titled ‘Developing staff disclosure a guide to collecting and using equality data’ outlines a useful way forward.

Furthermore NHS England document ‘Monitoring Equality and Health Inequalities: A Position Paper’ provides useful examples of how the NHS and other organisations currently collect equality data and the workforce. 

NHS Trusts in Merseyside are working together to raise of the importance of equality monitoring through a project titled ‘what’s it got to do with you?’ to help meet their statutory duties under the Equality Act 2010 

Leicester County & Rutland NHS have developed a leaflet ‘What is equality monitoring?' This leaflet is intended to help staff understand the principles of equality monitoring (EM). It also explains why the trust ask staff to provide this kind of information from time to time. In a similar way Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation trust have also produced a pamphlet ‘Why answer the equality monitoring questions?'

Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust. To increase completion of equality monitoring forms the trust has introduced presentations at staff induction along with the facility to fill a paper or electronic form. Furthermore at their recent national conference a member spoke about their experience and reasons for choosing not to fill in the monitoring form and then subsequently doing so. The trust plans to develop a video blog the and use as part of the communication plans to encourage staff update their personal data

North Wales Public Sector Equality Network Guidance have produced a useful ‘Ten Top Tips For Equality Monitoring’.

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