Creating a fairer Britain
8.45 - 9.00
Helpline team members are available 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday. The first priority of the morning is to check availability of staff as it's important that we always have at least 2 people ready to take calls.
Work is shared out by rota, each member of the helpline dealing with emails in turn. The emails are read and inputted onto a database system. For more detailed advice emails are assigned to a Specialist. Specialists are consistently busy with this work, as many emails are lengthy with complex histories.
Post arrives every afternoon. Operators log items and disseminate these to the Specialists.
Calls are received throughout the day. On average an operator will deal with a call for eight to ten minutes, capturing the basic details and summarising the call for a Specialist. Operators often go beyond this role, providing advice and directing callers towards other organisations where appropriate.
If the caller has a complex or in depth enquiry, the call is transferred to a Specialist. Occasionally an enquirer will need to be called back as the best advice can only be sought through further research with the legal team or other organisations.
An example of additional research concerns the recent changes in airline accessibility regulations. Many specialists have taken time to research this new area, with great results for callers.
All Helpline specialists have repeat callers that require ongoing advice and assistance as their case develops. Specialists work under tight deadlines for responding to enquirers, as late replies could impact on time limits for taking further action. Helpline staff have in depth knowledge of key external organisations and contacts to assist callers in the event that they cannot give direct advice.
Twice a week, video or telephone conference calls link the Wales Helpline with colleagues in other sites: Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow. These meetings typically last an hour and concern ongoing projects.
The Helpline team in Wales usually provides representatives to attend external events and Wales team meetings. Additionally, weekly legal meetings provide updates on calls and cases of interest. This helps to maintain a strong working relationship with the legal and wider Wales teams
As legislation changes and more laws are passed, Operators and Specialists will undergo further training. This will ensure helpline workers are well-informed and able to make callers aware of the latest legal developments.
The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) was commissioned by Government in 2012 to replace the EHRC Helpline, which is now closed. See the EASS for further information about the service and how to contact it.