Equality and diversity
The Highways Agency’s equality and diversity policies and these are monitored.
Highways Agency equality objectives
We’re committed to:
- improving our performance in the area of equality and diversity as a service provider, contractor and employer
- meeting our statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010
The Highways Agency: public sector equality duty objectives (PDF, 387KB, 7 pages) have been set after careful consideration of relevant research, information we have gathered about our performance and feedback from our customers and staff.
The duty applies to private sector companies when carrying out functions or services on behalf of the agency.
Gathering momentum: progress in delivering the Highways Agency equality objectives (April 2012 - March 2013) (PDF, 256KB, 6 pages) summarises progress made during the first year of delivery and demonstrates how we are giving due regard to our equality duties.
Achievements and aspirations: progress report published January 2014 (PDF, 2.51MB, 15 pages) provides a summary of our progress to date against our public sector equality duty objectives.
Perspectives on Progress – Report - January 2015 (PDF, 745KB, 15 pages) provides and account of our progress over the last 12 months in relation to our public sector equality duty objectives.
The Highways Agency as a service provider
Our road network provides links to communities and businesses and contributes to the UK’s national wellbeing and economic growth. We aim to ensure our services are fair and accessible to people.
We get information to help check our progress from:
- equality screening from the onset of policy formation
- National Road User Satisfaction Surveys
- monitored telephone and email correspondence
The Highways Agency as an employer
To monitor how successful we are at ensuring equality of opportunity in the workplace, we monitor:
- who we’re attracting to apply
- if we advertise in the right places
- who is successful at the application, interview and offer stages
- if particular groups are disadvantaged by the way we do things
- if everyone has an equal opportunity to apply for and go on relevant training
- if people are getting paid equally for work of equal value
- if performance bonuses are allocated fairly
We hold this information on a database with restricted access for monitoring purposes only.
Based on this information we publish our findings each year in Equality Monitoring in the Highways Agency (PDF, 187KB, 46 pages)
Highways Agency suppliers
As a public sector body and an agency of the Department for Transport, we have duties under equality legislation to develop action plans on race, disability and gender. The Highways Agency wants to work with and through suppliers that:
- are good employers
- understand and are responsive to the needs of diverse customers and communities impacted by our work
- are able to manage the supply chain to best effect
We encourage our supply chain to improve equality outcomes by:
- providing clear criteria on inclusion in our pre-qualification, tender and performance monitoring processes
- providing guidance on equality frameworks that are aligned to the agency’s requirements
- offering webinars and 1:1 sessions with our suppliers
- supporting and developing a supplier diversity forum
We get information to gauge progress across our first tier suppliers from:
- Strategic Alignment Review Toolkit (StART) assessments
- framework assessments
- performance monitoring during contracts
- engagement at the supplier diversity forum
An equality framework is a tool designed to support systematic, structured improvement in equality outcomes. Some frameworks focus on specific aspects of organisational practice eg employment. Others take a broader approach covering all functions, policies and practices within an organisation.
The Highways Agency:
- commissioned independent research
- gathered performance information through their Strategic Alignment Review Toolkit (StART) and via contracts
- listened to a range of industry bodies as well as their own supplier diversity forum
We concluded that frameworks help organisations and their supply chains to systematically gather intelligence and take action to improve equality.
We do not mandate use of equality frameworks, but we do encourage our suppliers to consider their use. The following organisations have been identified as most closely aligned to our requirements, as set out in the Highways Agency requirements statement for approved list of equality framework suppliers (PDF, 56.5KB, 7 pages) :
- Construction Industry Training Board - provides a construction specific framework and support in improving construction site and sub-contractor performance
- The Clear Company - focuses on inclusion in relation to disabled people
- National Centre for Diversity - provides access to best equality and diversity practice from other sectors
These organisations also offer services that may be of interest and relevance to areas of our supply chain:
Supplier diversity forum
This is a voluntary group of representatives from first tier suppliers. The forum meets quarterly to discuss common issues and share good practice. Suppliers who don’t already have a representative on the group can nominate new members to represent them.
Equality impact assessments
You can view previous impact assessments covering:
- smart motorways (formerly managed motorways) and all lane running
- accessibility of the strategic road network
- holiday play scheme
- roadside facilities policy
- guidance for traffic officers
- national vehicle recovery