Creating a fairer Britain
21 June 2012
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has outlined plans for its future operating model and structure. It has launched a consultation on proposals to reduce its workforce to 150 posts.
The proposals aim to meet the challenges posed by reduced resources, including the Government’s decision that the Commission will no longer provide a helpline function and the need to deliver the Commission’s three year strategic plan which was laid before parliament in April this year. They also reflect the changing economic, financial and social context in which the Commission works.
The proposals in the consultation build on the way in which the Commission has delivered its most successful projects, such as its inquiry into home care for older people, its assessment of the 2010 spending review and its work on stop and search. They also build on the progress which the organisation has made in improving the standard of its management.
They involve becoming an organisation which delivers on its mandate to parliament to promote equality and human rights, by making best use of intelligence, prioritising its work more effectively and then works more closely with other organisations to deliver projects.
In practical terms, in order to lower its costs the Commission will reduce from its current size of 257 posts, excluding helpline staff , to around 150 posts .
The Commission will also seek to reduce costs by operating from fewer offices. It will maintain its offices in Glasgow and Cardiff, and for at least the next 18 months in London and Manchester. Over time it expects that flexible working and better use of technology will enable it to operate from single location in England, most likely on the outskirts of London, as well as in Scotland and Wales.
Chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Mark Hammond said:
“The proposals we are outlining today secure the Commission’s future at time of financial pressure. They will allow us to continue to deliver a valuable public service through our role as the national expert on equality and human rights and the guardian of the standards set by parliament.
“We remain wholly committed to the future of the Commission. But to deliver our mandate from parliament we have to plan for the reduced resources which we, along with many others will have in the future. That means being focused in what we do, working more closely with others, and achieving further savings in our own spending in order to deliver value for tax payers.
“Whilst it is hard to lose many of our dedicated and excellent staff, we will be offering all our employees a fair and transparent chance to be part of the future commission, and providing support and help for those who have to leave us.”
For more press information 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.
1. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s helpline staff are not covered by this consultation nor included in any figures on current or future posts. They will be involved in a separate process with the supplier selected by the Government to provide the new Equality Advisory and Support Service it is commissioning.
2. The consultation launched today does not cover the executive director and director level posts in the Commission. These posts were subject to consultation in autumn 2011. As a result the number of executive director and director level posts within the Commission has already been reduced from 27 to 15. These 15 executive director and director posts are included in the 150 posts figure given above.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. 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.