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:

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:

Equality frameworks

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) :

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.

Email: Nicky.Ensert@highways.gsi.gov.uk

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