Got the chance yesterday to ask a question in Parliament of the Government about equality impact assessments:
Lynne Featherstone: I am keen for equality impact assessments to be effective, but I fear that in some cases they have been more about going through the motions. Can the Minister tell me what work is being done to assess the value and change that result from such assessments, and what extra resource she will provide under the new legislation to ensure that there is effectiveness, not just a tick-box approach?
Vera Baird (Solicitor General, Law Officers’ Department): We have been examining, in specific terms, the impact that, for instance, going through a whole gender pay audit can have. Sometimes it is a process rather than an impact. That is why we have hesitated rather than going wholesale for impact assessments, assuming that they are the key to all mythologies and will put everything right. They do not necessarily do that. We are working on this, and we consider that the watchword for the equality Bill and for equal pay in particular is transparency. We will pin a number of proposals on to that basic bedrock as we take the Bill forward. (Source: TheyWorkForYou.com)