Creating a fairer Britain
27 March 2012
The Commission today publishes its strategic plan for 2012 to 2015. The plan identifies how the Commission can add most value to the protection and promotion of equality and human rights through the effective use of its unique powers and its duties as the National Human Rights Institution.
The strategic plan was drawn up as the Commission faces a period of tremendous change and development. Like other public bodies, its resources are being reduced – with its budget due to fall very sharply by 2015. Much of this reduction will be accommodated in a significant change programme to be delivered in the first year of this strategic plan. This will result in staff numbers being reduced from 420 to between 150 and 180.
The UK Government carried out a consultation on the Commission’s powers and duties in 2011 the results of which are yet to be made public. The government has already decided to bring some of the frontline services the Commission provided in its first four years inside the Government Equalities Office in the Home Office. These include the helpline and grants programmes.
The Commission will refocus its activities from direct services to a more enabling role: using its expertise and influence to support the development of policies and services that promote equality of opportunity and safeguard fundamental human rights.
To maximise its value to the public, the Commission is committed to working better with others to avoid duplication and join forces wherever it can. There is a range of regulatory bodies with powers in their own sectors, whose influence could encourage change and improvement. The Commission will work with these bodies to help them fulfill their own obligations and achieve shared goals. This collaborative approach will cut out duplication, provide certainty for those being regulated, and build confidence and credibility in the regulatory system as a whole.
The Commission’s 2012/15 strategic plan is the result of widespread consultation with partners, stakeholders and the public. It identifies three strategic priorities for the country which were identified from the research carried out for its ‘How fair is Britain?’ reviews. These are:
Mark Hammond, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission said:
'The Commission is working towards a Britain where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and we all have an equal chance to succeed. To help achieve this aim, we will focus on the role we can play in protecting and promoting equality and human rights as the economy recovers, and we see major changes to public services.
'We look forward to working with business, the public sector and all our partners to deliver on these aims. Our Strategic Plan sets out a clear and robust sense of direction so that the public, our partners and our staff know what to expect from us and hold us to account for the value we deliver.'
For more press information, case studies or interview requests contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818. For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.
A copy of the Commission’s Strategic Plan can be found at: www.equalityhumanrights.com/strategicplan
The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.