The Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG) replaced the previous Equality Standard for Local Government (ESLG) in April 2009. It is a framework of continuous improvement designed help local authorities build equality into all aspects of service delivery and employment.
The EFLG brings the following new challenges:
- A wider definition of equality, not just the 6 ‘strands’ of equality but life chances for all.
- A stronger focus on delivering outcomes, not just putting processes in place.
- Working with our partners to deliver these outcomes.
There are three levels within the EFLG; Developing, Achieving and Excellent. We are currently working towards the highest level, Excellent. Peer Reviews are carried out through the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) to confirm our own self assessment.
What Excellent means
At Excellent, we need to demonstrate that we have met 34 requirements. These requirements are split between five areas of ‘change management’. These are summarised below:
1. Knowing your community and equality mapping. At Excellent this means:
- Understanding the communities who make up Newcastle, including their needs and differences.
- Having an evidence base for setting priorities, objectives and planning services
2. Place shaping, leadership, partnership and organisational commitment. At Excellent this means:
- Councillors and officers champion equality.
- Equality issues are embedded within strategic plans.
- Working with partners and voluntary community sector to achieve outcomes.
3. Community engagement and satisfaction. At Excellent this means:
- Communities are engaged and able to get involved.
- Community groups are informing policy development and decision making. They are also able to monitor our progress.
- There is increased satisfaction with our services.
4. Responsive services and customer care. At Excellent this means:
- We assess the impact of our services and policies (EINAs).
- Communities can access all of our services and these services meeting their needs.
- We know who is using our services and understand any gaps.
- We have set targets to close gaps and are monitoring progress.
5. A modern and diverse workforce. At Excellent this means:
- We understand the local labour market and any barriers to employment.
- We monitor our workforce and have set targets to work towards a workforce that represents our communities.
- Our services are delivered by knowledgeable staff.
- There is increased staff satisfaction.
- Progress has been made to implement equal pay.
We have established 8 ‘corporate’ projects, each led by a Head of Service from within the Chief Executive’s Directorate as they ‘own’ the area of work into which equality is being incorporated. Progress against these projects is monitored by the Equality and Inclusion Board on a monthly basis.