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Enforcement work

Enforcement work examples

Our enforcement powers are detailed on our Inquiries, investigations and wider powers page. This page gives examples of when we have exercised these enforcement powers.

Agreements

We wrote to a recruitment business (L), following notification of a discriminatory advert on their website which required the applicant to hold a UK passport. Having provided us with an assurance that it would not happen again, an advert containing the same discriminatory restriction appeared on their website. Our further enquiries confirmed that L had taken measures to prevent further discriminatory adverts appearing on their website, but these had not been effective. On 15 March 2018, we signed a s23 agreement with L which required them to take a range of steps to improve their staff’s understanding of the Equality Act and their advert screening process.

The Commission signed a formal agreement with NHS Tayside to ensure that in future they will meet their duty under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure all deaf patients have their communication needs met when accessing NHS Tayside's services.

The agreement comes after Sally Doering, a deaf woman, spent six days in Perth Royal Infirmary in 2013, without any access to a sign language interpreter despite repeated requests for one to be provided.

Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited entered into a formal agreement with the Commission. The retailer pledged to improve its services for disabled customers, thoroughly assessing its stores in Britain and to give all staff training to better understand the needs of disabled shoppers.Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited entered into a formal agreement with the Commission. The retailer pledged to improve its services for disabled customers, thoroughly assessing its stores in Britain and to give all staff training to better understand the needs of disabled shoppers.

As a result of the agreement, Betfred have undertaken a full review of management practice in handling grievances and disciplinary proceedings. The retail senior management team have participated in equality and diversity training and attended a bullying and harassment webinar. Specific diversity training has been rolled out throughout its organisation and it has conducted classroom or webinar training for all recruiters on recruitment practices, including the use of their new structured interview and shortlisting process. To further raise awareness of rights and responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, and to help evaluate their progress, they have also introduced the ‘area team audit’. These audits are completed across all shops and cover retail standards, responsible gambling compliance, security, equality and diversity.

In their final report Betfred thanked the Commission for the assistance given in helping them to raise the level of awareness and understanding of this important subject within the company. It maintains that the actions it has taken and measures put in place so far has helped create an environment where the principles of equality and diversity are promoted. It strongly believes that the further steps it will take in the future will enable the organisation to achieve and maintain consistency across its entire retail estate.

The Commission welcomed the steps Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have put in place to create a stronger safety net to protect disabled people from hate crime following the tragic death of Fiona Pilkington and her disabled daughter in 2007.

An inquest into the deaths two years later found safety failings of various local authorities. The local authority accepted their failings and entered into a formal agreement with the Commission to overhaul their policies and procedures with a view to eliminating disability related harassment and promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people.

The agreement terms included the appointment of an independent auditor with expertise in hate crime to assess what Hinckley and Bosworth needed to do to improve community safety.

Following a report and action plan, a ‘safer town centre’ scheme was created. This provides places where people in vulnerable situations can turn if they are being victimised or harassed. Hinckley and Bosworth are also working to promote better understanding and awareness of hate crime in the community.

The Council acknowledges that more needs to be done, especially in terms of stepping up their engagement with groups of people with learning disabilities. There are also several areas where follow-up work is continuing in partnerships with Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire County Council as recommended by the Commission’s disability hate crime inquiry.

The Commission has entered into a formal agreement with healthcare provider Springcare Limited which aims to improve diversity and equality awareness among its 600 employees.

Springcare has been providing care for around 500 residents within the North West for more than 10 years and has nursing and residential homes throughout Cheshire, Shropshire and the Wirral.

The company was contacted by the Commission after an employment tribunal ruled against it for failing to prevent discriminatory practices on the grounds of the protected characteristic of age.

Springcare has now taken steps to ensure this does not happen again. These include developing an anti-harassment and bullying course, which has been delivered to all managers, and a new anti-harassment and bullying policy, a copy of which has been provided to all managers along with information on how to communicate the policy to staff.

As part of the agreement, in November 2015 the company will send an interim report to the Commission summarising the measures taken to date, the findings from their evaluation of the outcomes of these measures and their effectiveness in achieving the aims set out in the agreement.

In November 2016 it will provide a final report to the Commission updating that information and providing details of any allegations of discrimination included in any grievance, complaint or employment tribunal claim raised against Springcare or its employees in the previous 12 months.

It will also inform staff of the agreement through staff meetings and staff notice boards.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission and Travelodge have together identified ways to further promote diversity and equality awareness among Travelodge’s 10,000 employees.

The Company has more than 500 hotels in the UK. It was contacted by the Commission after an Employment Tribunal ruled against it in 2013 for breaching the Equality Act 2010.

Travelodge has taken steps, and is continuing to take steps, to ensure that such matters do not occur again. These include the rolling out of specific equality and diversity training throughout its organisation, and a programme of activities designed to celebrate and promote acceptance of a diverse workforce.

Travelodge and the Commission have signed a formal agreement and will work together over the next 12 months to review the success of the steps taken. Travelodge will also inform its employees of the work it is doing with the Commission under S23 of the Equality Act 2006 through its equality and diversity governance forum and internal communications channels.

Last updated: 02 May 2018