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Equality objectives progress report 2018-19

The Equality Act 2010 places a general public sector equality duty on The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not

The equality duty applies in all our day-to-day work at TPR – in shaping policy, in delivering services, and in relation to our employees.

We also have specific duties under the Act. These require us to publish equality information and equality objectives[1].

This report provides a review of progress against TPR’s published equality objectives for the period April 2018 to March 2019 and demonstrates our continued commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Further details on our equality objectives and information can be found in diversity and inclusion.

Equality objectives

Our equality objectives set out our top-level organisational priorities in relation to equality, diversity and inclusivity covering our employees and our organisational policies and services. These are identified through consultation with key stakeholders and informed by in-depth analysis of equality information, staff feedback and best-practice research.

The objectives reflect the areas which we consider should be given the greatest attention to achieve our overall aim to encourage a diverse workforce and maintain an inclusive workplace culture, but they do not reflect the entirety of our diversity and inclusion activity.

TPR's equality objectives for 2018-19

Our employee-focused objectives were:

  • disability: ensuring a supportive workplace for staff with physical disabilities
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT+): promoting TPR as an LGBT+ inclusive employer
  • flexible working: review the effective application of flexible working

Our organisational policies and services focused objective was:

  • to ensure our regulatory activities take into account equality and diversity issues in a systematic way

Key highlights against our employee-focused objectives are:

  • Being recognised as a level 2 Disability Confident Employer to demonstrate our commitment to recruiting and retaining disabled talent. We also set up a Disability Confident Working group made up of staff volunteers, to help us raise awareness of disability issues and the support and tools available, and to contribute to corporate activities to build disability confidence.
  • Implementing a trans and gender identity policy to provide a framework for how TPR will support its people whose gender identity is not the same as, or doesn’t sit comfortably with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Carrying out a review of the effective application of flexible and agile working arrangements.

78% of staff who completed our 2019 annual staff engagement survey believe that TPR is an inclusive and equal opportunity employer

Key highlights against our organisational policies and services focused objective are:

  • Our Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice team continue to embed Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) considerations into the policy-making process. We expanded and codified our policy workflow practices to detail the considerations and actions that our policy staff should take when developing a piece of regulatory policy. This includes the extent to which we are taking account of the PSED in both the development and execution of our regulatory policy. Having trialled this approach, the steps in this policy workflow will become mandatory for all policy staff during 2019-2020. We will also develop a monitoring and reporting mechanism to establish internal compliance with this approach.
  • Board and Exec reporting templates have been adapted to ensure that authors state that they have considered PSED in the development of the paper. Staff have been reminded of their responsibilities, and the RPAA management committee now asks that those submitting items for discussion ensure that the PSED has been considered in any potential policy change being proposed.

We also worked towards our gender pay action plan by:

  • reviewing our recruitment practices to ensure they are fair and transparent
  • introducing an annual process to recruit interns from two local universities and exploring apprenticeship options in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects to encourage internships and apprenticeships in areas with a larger pay gap, and
  • continuing to provide education and awareness around unconscious bias and principles of diversity and inclusion

Our gender pay gap reduced by 3.7%, to 7.1%. Further details on our equality objectives and gender pay gap can be found in diversity and inclusion.

Equality objectives 2019-20

Our equality objectives for 2019-2020, are to:

  • establish a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to strengthen leadership and accountability and governance around diversity and inclusion
  • commission an external agency to work with TPR to develop a four-year Diversity and Inclusion strategy and action plan; and to
  • complete existing external diversity benchmarks, eg Disability Confident and Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

Footnote

[1] From 30 March 2018