Workplace adjustments: onboarding process - equality impact assessment

This is an equality impact assessment which was done at the start of a project to improve workplace adjustments for new starts in Scottish Government.

Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

Employee diversity information and workplace adjustment requests do not currently marry up.

We intend to build equality monitoring into our processes by changing the design of our feedback forms so that we can get build a better picture of the people using the WAS service.

Parallel work will be undertaken by the D+I team to increase confidence in staff to disclose their equality information.

Processes and guidance will be clear that information shared with line managers is only with direct consent of the individual.

Workplace adjustment discussions with candidates will only happen after an offer of employment is made. This is to alleviate concerns about disclosure impacting negatively on job chances.

In order to provide a service where feedback is genuinely continuous we will set up staff groups where WAS is freely discussed on an ongoing basis.

The service centres on adjustments being in place in time for the first day at work. Where this means a potential delay in the start date, this will be negotiated with the individual. We recognise that there are many factors to consider when deciding on start date – including financial, or feelings of discrimination which counterbalance the need for the workplace adjustment to be in place on day one. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis and crucially in partnership with the individual.

The focus of the current work is new employees with disabilities or health conditions. We recognise that there are intersections between disability and other protected characteristics which we will explore further in our engagement with staff and service users/providers.

Here we set out mitigating actions in response to the processes set out in the Storm ID report.

Line manager engagement will be an important element of this work as the evidence told us that they don't always understand the adjustment needs of employees. It will help to put in place trust, confidence and the foundation for a positive relationship.

We will contribute to the new line manager handbook and the new guidance on induction to make sure managers know what is available and appropriate.

The purchasing of specialist equipment will be recorded and a record of where that equipment is enabled or stored will be held centrally. This will make equipment easier and faster to access.

Provide opportunities to work from the most suitable workplace whether that be home or an SG building note this project is being undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic and during this time all new employees will work from home. Processes are in place across SG to ensure adjustments are provided in the home, for example alternative raised desks (standard 'standing' desks are too large for homes).

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010[7]?

There is no evidence that the policy is directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010.

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?


If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?


Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process.

In this section, set out a narrative that describes how the equality impact analysis has shaped and informed your policy development.

This impact assessment has helped to identify existing evidence and gaps, thus helping to shape engagement and design of the project. We are engaging with representatives of the people potentially affected, as well as representatives of people with the other protected characteristics, to ensure that there are no unintended consequences. This information will influence further iterations of this EQIA.

The Storm ID report built on other evidence to give detailed information about the organisation's onboarding process and how it was experienced by users and members of staff involved in the adjustments process. It set out the negative impacts experienced by some staff and the difficulties experienced as a result of a lack of clear process, roles and responsibilities between different teams in SG. We will add to the information gathered through engagement with staff by engaging with the affected teams and the new employees whom we support. This will impact on the way we deliver the project by ensuring continuous improvement.

The evidence has shaped the process in the following ways:

  • A proposed user model for a new service to provide early intervention and one to one communication to identify the employees' needs early on
  • A review of how often a candidate/employee has to disclose their adjustment requirements – actions to reduce the number of time a person has to 'retell' their story, while balancing data protection requirements.
  • Proposed amendments to the next contract with Optima Health
  • The need to better understand cross sectional circumstances of staff
  • The need to link up new processes with wider review of Line Manager and Induction Guidance.
  • Early and better line manager engagement to put in place the foundation for a positive relationship and better understanding of the employee's needs
  • Negotiating the start date with the individual rather than just business need
  • Monitoring and review of the experience for new employees, staff in HR/corporate services and line managers

Monitoring and Review

This process will be monitored and reviewed using experience from the pilot SG recruitment exercises. The WAS project team will engage with HR and corporate services colleagues, line managers and successful candidates to gather and assess feedback from candidates and managers. The feedback will be assessed and further adjustments/enhancements enabled dependent on the outcome of the assessment. Reviews will be carried out regularly in line with SG recruitment campaigns.

We will engage with key stakeholders throughout the workplace adjustments project for input to the process, and seek feedback from users from anonymous surveys.



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