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Smarter Workplaces programme: EQIA summary

Equality impact assessment for the Smarter Workplaces programme in the Scottish Government.

20 page PDF

443.0 kB

20 page PDF

443.0 kB

Contents
Smarter Workplaces programme: EQIA summary
Smarter Workplaces – Equality Impact Assessment Summary

20 page PDF

443.0 kB

Smarter Workplaces – Equality Impact Assessment Summary

Introduction

The Scottish Government (SG), together with Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), are working jointly on a programme to deliver new ways of working across the central Government estate.

Part of this involves significant change for both individuals, teams and business areas. As well as supporting the range of other bodies covered by the programme (the SG's executive agencies, NDPBs and special health boards) the programme supports the vision for SG, including the implementation of the People Strategy, SG 2020 and the SG's approach to improvement.That recognises a growing need for the SG to become moreflexible and responsive to changing demands. This Equality Impact Assessment is focused on the application of the Smarter Workplaces programme to the SG.

The majority of SG office provision was modelled on practices which assumed that most work would be desk based, and that there would be a dedicated desk per individual.As noted below, earlier phases of the Smarter Workplaces programme have challenged and amended that model.

Over time business requirements have changed and the SG has moved to a more flexible open plan structure, expanding hot-desking capacity and support for flexible working from a range of locations.

These changes provide a sound foundation from which to consider further improvements to workspaces, including: use of enabling technologies; underpinning policies to embrace new ways of working; supporting changes to business processes and working practices; and improving people's work/life balance, health and wellbeing.

Our commitments

We are committed to:

  • making our workspaces more flexible and responsive to people's needs
  • improving the experience of using these facilities
  • getting the best value we can from the costs of running our offices and buildings
  • increasing the range and number of different spaces across Smarter Workplace Buildings (currently Atlantic Quay in Glasgow and Victoria Quay in Edinburgh).

What we have done

Smarter Workplaces has introduced:

  • a Laptop First approach where individuals are given a laptop, unless there is a specific case to maintain a desktop (e.g. if specific software is required or other medical reasons)
  • a universal set of principles for the programme that encourage greater flexibility across the organisation
  • a consistent look and feel for the organisation in Smarter areas
  • equal access to refurbished utilities, VC facilities, Skype for Business, touchdowns and breakout spaces (i.e. space is available for all colleagues using the buildings)
  • a suite of guidance to support users working in Smarter areas
  • Wi-Fi provision across the estate, without the need for a secure token
  • improved multi-faith and contemplation facilities in Atlantic Quay
  • improved choice of toilet facilities in Smarter buildings
  • work with workspace coordinators in business areas to ensure that any specific needs are catered for during moves, taking into account existing Occupational Health and Safety requirements for individuals in areas (which may include the requirement for a specific desk to be fixed to an individual when they are in the office but useable by others when they are not)

Changes based on Feedback

Demonstrating active learning as the programme has developed, we have adopted the following:

  • Disabled height sinks
  • Gender Neutral Toilets
  • Grace's sign
  • Dedicated ablution facilities in 5 Atlantic Quay
  • Contemplation room in 5 Atlantic Quay
  • A dedicated multi-faith room in 5 Atlantic Quay
  • Reviewed carpet choices for the 2nd floor of VQ to ensure all required standards are met and customer feedback was taken into account regarding carpet colour to aid navigation between floors
  • Laptop First Strategy over deployment of mini-pcs

What if colleagues have issues in a Smarter Workplace?

If colleagues have an issue after moving to their new space then in the first instance they know that they should speak their line manager. If required individuals/managers can then contact Occupational Health and Safety Branch for further assistance. Any recommendations from a DSE (display screen environment) will tbe implemented to ensure no adverse effects from working in a Smarter area.

Key Links

Further information on the core Scottish Government's approach to Smarter Workplaces is on the Scottish Government Intranet pages - Saltire.

Yammer Thread:

  • Smarter Workplaces Vision, Key Messages and What we will deliver
  • Protocols
  • Universal Principles
  • Q&A

Communication channels

The table below sets out the communication channels that are used by the programme.

Engagement avenue

Details

Programme Board

As the sponsors of the programme any issues related to Smarter Workplaces can be raised at this forum, including any that are specific to the protected characteristics.

CSGU

Smarter Workplaces has a monthly forum meeting with representatives from CSGU the Smarter team also meets with individual unions (PCS, Prospect and FDA) on particular issues, as required. Any issues relating to the protected characteristics can be raised there and will be taken forward as part of the programme.

Race Equality Network (REN)/LGBTI Network/Disability Network

Smarter Workplaces has worked with REN over the design and implementation of the Multi-Faith Prayer room and ablution facilities on the 4th floor of Atlantic Quay.It has also worked with the LGBTI network on the creation of the gender neutral toilets and with the Disability network on various aspects of the work including accessible toilets, assistive technology and allocation of lockers.

The programme will continue to engage with these networks as the plans for the next phases of Victoria Quay develop.

Wider Colleagues Diversity Network Consultation

This document has been updated based on their views and comments

Work space coordinators

Work space coordinators are a key link between the programme and changes to individual areas. It is through this network that any issues relating to specific individuals can be raised through the programme's data collection as part of the initial stages of each project within the programme.

Occupation Health & Safety Branch (OH)

Smarter Workplaces work with OH over any proposed changes where there has been a highlighted case either by an individual or a work space coordinator. This document has also been shared with OH.

Individuals

Where appropriate Smarter Workplaces work with individuals over any specific needs or concerns.

Survey Monkey

In the initial stages of the programme a confidential survey monkey tool was used to collection information on requirements within an area. However, this was discontinued in favour of more direct confidential communication

Yammer

Key communication channel for the programme

Saltire

Specific Smarter Workplaces pages on Saltire

Equality Impact Statement and Protected Characteristics

The Smarter Workplaces Programme affects individuals across a range of buildings and will impact colleagues in different ways. This Equality Impact Statement is a live document that notes how the SG's approach to Smarter Workplaces is addressing each Protected Characteristic both generally, and where appropriate, specifically in each building.

Protected characteristic

Subcategory

General impact from programme

Specific modifications

Age

 

Elderly relatives or child care responsibilities mean that individuals could have multiple caring responsibilities (e.g. elderly parents and childcare).

Individuals with caring responsibilities may have an alternative working pattern, which means they may start or finish later than the majority of individuals in the organisation.

Older colleagues may also experience more age-related health issues.

The programme works with Occupational Health and Safety Branch as well as local coordinators to ensure that individual needs are catered for when moving into Smarter areas (e.g. lockers at the right height, lumbar support on chairs if required, ability to adjust height of desk if required).

Disability

General

The generic layout is not fixed and can be modified where required to meet any requirements around specific disability issues.

Where required specialist software will be installed on users devices and Smarter works with them, iTECS and Occupational Health and Safety Branch to ensure that they are not adversely affected by the changes brought in.

Where specialist assistive software is unable to be hosted on a Laptop then individuals will still have access to a dedicated mini-pc.

Smarter is working with iTECs and Occupational Health and Safety Branch over the availability of assistive technology in shared spaces (e.g. ZoomText), including on a selection of mini-pcs in touchdown areas. This will allow individuals with a disability/health issue to have a wider choice of settings in which to work.

The programme is currently rolling out new height adjustable desks, which will replace the requirement for the majority of Varidesks in future roll outs. These will be retro-fitted into existing areas in VQ and AQ.

Colleagues with disabilities may have an alternative working pattern, which means they may start or finish later than the majority of individuals in the organisation.

Where specialist assistive software is unable to be hosted on a Laptop then individuals will still have access to a dedicated mini-pc.

Where colleagues have a specific reasonable adjustment we work directly with the individual, their HR professional adviser and the Diversity and Equality team to ensure that we are able to identify and remove any negative impact changes to their workspace may potentially have.

Examples of these are:

  • High quality fully adjustable chairs available to all colleagues, which can have additional lumbar support fitted if required, which exceeds minimum requirements for chairs
  • Continuation of specific chairs/footrests for colleagues where highlighted by a DSE assessment
  • Raised desks where highlighted by a DSE assessment
  • Further roll out of VC and Skype for Business
  • Individual-specific modifications based on DSE assessment and conversations with Occupational Health and Safety Branch professionals (through our internal colleagues or an external provider, where required)
  • In rare cases the set-up of fixed desks for individuals with very specific requirements
  • Refurbished accessible toilets and easier access
  • Larger sanitary bins added to the accessible toilets across the estate, where space permits, to allow for the disposal of larger items.

Physical

Space planning ensure that a wheelchair can safely navigate the new layouts and fire tracks (highlighting fire escape routes) are visible and contrasted against the carpet.

  • As above

Mental

Working with Occupational Health and Safety Branch and CGSU over how Mental disabilities can be catered for within a Smarter area.

  • Individual-specific modifications based on DSE assessment and conversations with Occupational Health and Safety Branch professionals (through our internal colleagues or an external provider, where required)
  • In rare cases the set-up of fixed desks for individuals with very specific requirements

Hidden

Working with Occupational Health and Safety Branch and CGSU over how hidden disabilities can be catered for within a Smarter area.

  • Individual-specific modifications based on DSE assessment and conversations with Occupational Health and Safety Branch professionals (through our internal colleagues or an external provider, where required)
  • In rare cases the set-up of fixed desks for individuals with very specific requirements

Gender reassignment and sex

 

Recognises that there are people of various genders and identities using our buildings.

Implementation of gender neutral toilets across the programme.

Improved signage where these have been implemented and working with Facilities over cleaning across toilets in general.

Marriage & civil partnership

 

No impact and no change to how Scottish Government Policy on this area is implemented.

N/A

Pregnancy & maternity

Pregnancy

No change to how policy on this area is implemented.

No reduction in space for nursing mothers during renovation work.

Individuals will be supported by Occupational Health and Safety Branch, HR and their line managers during this period to determine any additional requirements (e.g. locker height, additional lumbar support). This will be on a case-by-case basis. Individual requests should be raised through the normal DSE assessment route.

Race

 

No impact and no change to how policy on this area is implemented.

 

Religion & belief

 

Refreshing, and where possible, improving the multi-faith, ablution facilities and contemplation spaces within the buildings that the programme is active in to be used by all religions, beliefs and non-beliefs.

Gender neutral toilets should have no impact on this characteristic as there is still access to gender specific toilets should colleagues wish to use them.

Facilities Services are looking to introduce multi-faith and contemplation facilities in St Andrews House and Saughton House as part of a separate programme of works.

Sexual Orientation

 

No impact no change to how policy on this area is implemented.

 

Building specific changes to date

Protected characteristic

Subcategory

Specific modifications in Atlantic Quay

Specific modifications in Victoria Quay

Age

 

Working with the AQ Accommodation Advisory Group over short-term changes to AQ to accommodate substantial growth.

No specific modifications

Disability

General

Specific modifications have taken place for individuals across 3rd – 7th floors where required.

Working with the AQ Accommodation Advisory Group over short-term changes to AQ to accommodate substantial growth.

Specific modifications have taken place with individuals where required.

Due to the location of some of the accessible toilets on the 3rd floor of Victoria Quay (beside kitchens) it is not possible to fit touch pads to these facilities as this would be against building regulations. To overcome this issue doors which cannot have a sensor have a delayed closure fitted. This allows users with limited mobility to enter the doors without the need to hold them open.

We have been made aware of some potential issues with the carpeting in Victoria Quay and Smarter Workplaces is workingto ensure that no colleagues are placed at a disadvantage by working in a Smarter Workplace environment.

Kitchen facilities within Smarter Workplaces now feature a second sink at a reduced height to allow individuals using wheelchairs easier access. This is the standard design now used within the programme, where space permits.

Physical

The glass doors on the 7th floor of Atlantic Quay were highlighted as being heavy and users with mobility issues found them hard to open. After assessing a number of options Smarter Workplaces introduced a new electronic door opener. This has made access to the 7th floor shared space easier.

No specific modifications

Mental

No specific modifications

No specific modifications

Hidden

No specific modifications

No specific modifications

Gender reassignment and sex

 

Introduction of gender neutral toilets on the UG and 1st floor of Atlantic Quay. These facilities are open to all individuals working or visiting the building and gives individuals the choice of using gender neutral or gender specific facilities. Toilet facilities have a shared sink but enclosed cubicles.

Accessible/Male/Female toilets are available on the other floors so users of the building have a choice over which facilities to use. This has no impact on visitors to the building as they can be escorted when in the building and so can be taken to toilets on the higher floors if they do not wish to use these facilities.

Introduction gender neutral toilets across three locations on the 3rd floor of Victoria Quay. These facilities are open to all individuals working or visiting the building and gives individuals the choice. This is being replicated on the 2nd floor of Victoria Quay as part of the next phase of the Programme. In Victoria Quay the gender neutral toilets are completely enclosed with no shared washing facilities. The location and type of toilet will be replicated on the lower floors as they are refurbished.

Accessible/Male/Female toilets are also available across the floors so users of the building have a choice over which facilities to use.

Marriage & civil partnership

 

No specific modifications

No specific modifications

Pregnancy & maternity

Pregnancy

Working with the AQ Accommodation Advisory Group over short-term changes to AQ to accommodate substantial growth.

No specific modifications

Race

 

No specific modifications

No specific modifications

Religion & belief

 

Atlantic Quay now has a Contemplation Room on the 6th floor and a Multi-faith Prayer Room on the 4th floor.In addition, refurbishment of the 4th floor shower room now provides a combined shower and ablution facility. There are also screens, for privacy, provided within the 4th floor room.

As the changes to Victoria Quay have been focused on the 3rd and 2nd floors there have been no large scale changes to the facilities provided in Victoria Quay. Minor changes will be taken forward in early 2018 in the interim before it is hoped that an Atlantic Quay type facility on the ground floor is introduced but there is no timescale yet for this work as work is focused on the 2nd floor of Victoria Quay (completing September 2018). This will allow a wide-scale look at the services available on the ground floor and ensure an offering that meets the needs of a range of users.

Sexual Orientation

 

No specific modifications

No specific modifications

Other buildings

This assessment was completed in January 2018 when the Scottish Government buildings involved in the Smarter programme were Victoria Quay and Atlantic Quay 5. This EqIA will be updated to reflect the work underway in Atlantic Quay 4 and if the programme moves into other buildings it will be updated accordingly.

Next steps

As the Smarter Workplaces programme continues, the programme team will review this Statement to ensure that the protected characteristics are taken into account during design phases as well as implementation.

Any lessons highlighted from previous stages will be used to update this statement and improve our processes.

Smarter Workplaces Team
September 2018


Contact

Email: Aaron Imrie