Equality and diversity

We are committed to fairness and, in particular, the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. Taking equality considerations into account in our work is an important and integral part of our approach as both an employer and a policy-maker.

Equality in policy-making

When working on policy, our officials look at the impact a policy option might have on those from protected groups, including positive opportunities for promoting greater fairness for them. They also consider if there are options for avoiding or otherwise mitigating against any negative impact on that group. Ministers are advised of the impact a decision has on protected groups, and this is taken into account when a policy decision is made.

Although the Treasury sets departmental budgets, it is up to each individual department to decide how they spend that budget. In deciding how the budget is to be spent, departments must consider the impact on protected groups. There are some policy areas, such as welfare, where the Treasury has a greater policy making responsibility.

Case study: Spending Round 2013 and Autumn Statement 2014

We considered the impact policy measures have on protected groups, throughout the policy development and decision making process, both in the Spending Round of 2013 and in the Autumn Statement of 2014. Advice to ministers on individual measures for these fiscal events included a summary of impacts, including the impact on protected groups. Equalities analysis was included in advice submitted to the Chancellor before he made final decisions.

Building on our work on equalities during Spending Review 2010, the Spending Round 2013 process also involved working with other government departments to assess the equality impacts of their work. In addition, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury hosted an external ‘equalities experts round table’ early in the Spending Round process in order to inform the government’s thinking. An Equalities Annex was published alongside the main document.

Tax Information and Impact Notes (TIINs) were produced for tax measures announced in the Autumn Statement of 2014. TIINS provide information on the policy objective, the impact on the Exchequer, the economy and individuals, businesses and civil society organisations, as well as the impact on protected groups. All TIINs published in the autumn were personally signed off by the Financial Secretary, confirming that it was a reasonable view of the impact of the measures, given the available evidence.

In December 2014 HMRC published a document that brought together the TIINs of tax measures for which draft legislation was published.

Equality as an employer

We promote equality of opportunity in employment to ensure our workforce is representative of the community it serves and that we attract and retain talented employees. We publish regular information on the diversity of our work force.

Information on the diversity of the Treasury’s employees is also published in the Treasury’s Annual Report and Accounts.