MD2314 Equality and fairness workplan 2018-19

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2314
Date signed: 
13 July 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Equality and Fairness Team (within the Communities and Social Policy Unit) delivers interventions to address some of the causes and effects of poverty and unfairness, and helps the GLA to mainstream equality by supporting other teams to identify equality issues in their work, develop and deliver objectives to tackle these, and monitor impact (thereby meeting its statutory equality obligations). The team is also leading aspects of the Mayor’s Economic Fairness work, in particular initiatives aimed at the city’s most vulnerable.

This MD seeks approval for delivery of the Equality and Fairness team’s annual work programme for 2018-19, with associated expenditure.

It should be read alongside MD 2296 – Economic Fairness programme.

Note further decision forms, at Assistant Director level, will be brought forward to approve detailed expenditure proposals for certain elements of the work programme (as indicated in the table at 2.2).

Decision

That the Mayor approves expenditure of up to £420,000 to deliver equality and fairness programmes in 2018-19 as detailed in 2.2 below.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1 Despite London’s prosperity, many Londoners experience a range of long-standing inequalities and discrimination, and too many Londoners live in poverty.

1.2 The Equality and Fairness Team (within the Communities and Social Policy Unit) delivers interventions to address some of the causes and effects of poverty and unfairness, and helps the GLA to mainstream equality by supporting other teams to identify equality issues in their work, develop and deliver objectives to tackle these, and monitor impact (thereby meeting its statutory equality obligations). The team is also leading aspects of the Mayor’s Economic Fairness work, in particular initiatives aimed at the city’s most vulnerable. Further detail on the Mayor’s Economic Fairness programme can be found in MD 2296 – Economic Fairness programme.

1.3 This MD approves the expenditure of up to £420,000 of the total £490,000 budget to deliver the equality and fairness programmes in 2018-19. The remaining £70,000 has been approved by previous decisions (indicated in paragraph 2.2. below)

1.4 This MD builds on the following previous decisions (as indicated in paragraph 2.2 below):

• ADD 2198 – Child poverty and schools
• ADD 2212 – Understanding non-continuation and degree transfer of undergraduates in London
• MD 2212 – Publication of Inclusive London: the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
• MD 2254 – A world-leading social evidence base
• MD 2296 – Economic Fairness programme

Objectives and expected outcomes

The programmes approved by this MD will contribute to delivering the Equality and Fairness team’s 2018-19 objectives, which are:

  • To deliver pilot initiatives that help us identify better ways to address the causes and effects of poverty in London;
  • To co-ordinate, support or deliver a range of initiatives that will increase economic fairness in London, with a specific focus on support for low-income Londoners;
  • To launch and implement the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy; and
  • To establish a new equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group to lead stakeholder engagement and establish partnership working on these issues.

 

2.2       Specifically, these objectives will be met via the following projects and programmes:

 

Activity

Approval sought via this MD

Approved via previous decisions

Tackling child poverty through schools

 

Approval for the expenditure of £40,000 has already been given through ADD 2198 for an initial scoping and action learning stage of this project which will involve qualitative research with teachers, families and service providers in between 2-4 primary schools and some limited action learning, comprising of the design, implementation and testing of new or expanded poverty alleviation measures.

 

On the back of this already-commissioned first stage, a larger follow-up pilot with an expanded range of schools will be commissioned to more fully explore the role that schools can play as sites of poverty intervention. This will involve the further implementation and testing of the initiatives and processes identified in the first stage.

 

Outcomes will include the production and dissemination of a model of practical and affordable schools-based interventions to assist low-income families in increasing their household incomes and/or alleviating the effects of poverty, as well as influencing local and national government.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £80,000 to commission a larger, follow-up pilot in schools

 

Further follow-up activity on child poverty and schools informed by the action learning and pilot stages outlined above will require expenditure approval for a further £50,000. This will be subject to the Assistant Director agreeing the detail of this activity through an ADD

 

£130k, noting £50k of that is subject to an ADD form setting out detailed expenditure proposals

£40k

(ADD 2198)

Welfare reform

 

The Equality and Fairness team are developing a programme of work around welfare reform to help inform the Mayor’s advocacy and to scope potential interventions to develop strategic coordination of activities with boroughs.

 

Funding for research work with Tower Hamlets LBC on the effect of the roll-out of Universal Credit on families in the borough was accounted for from the 2017/18 social mobility budget. MD 2254 ‘A world-leading Social Evidence Base to support policy making’ committed funding to commission a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform on different groups of Londoners.

 

Funding would be allocated to support the development of policy recommendations and dissemination of these research activities.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £10,000 to commission the dissemination of research findings and policy development informed by those findings

 

Follow-up initiatives on welfare reform will be informed by the research outlined in this document and in MD 2254. Expenditure approval for up to £35,000 is subject to the Assistant Director agreeing the detail of this activity through an assistant director decision form

 

£45k, noting £35k of that is subject to an ADD form setting out detailed expenditure proposals

 

 

Food poverty

 

The Equality and Fairness team are supporting the Intelligence Unit with a new measure of household food insecurity through the new Survey of Londoners approved by MD 2254.

 

To complement this activity, funding will also be made available for further partnerships with the Food Team and external partners on initiatives to help Londoners to access affordable, nutritious food

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £10,000 on grant funding for initiatives to support low-income Londoners to access affordable, nutritious food in line with the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to reduce Londoners’ reliance on food banks

 

£10k

 

Employment rights

 

As part of his manifesto commitment to promote economic fairness, the Mayor of London is working to address poor employment practices and assist those at risk of exploitation.

 

Early engagement with stakeholders has indicated that this could be achieved by helping employees and workers to better understand their statutory rights through the better information and signposting (e.g. via a portal on London.gov.uk) to accurate information and advice.

 

Expenditure will cover engagement and outreach work, including dedicated user-testing of existing information and signposting to ensure new work doesn’t duplicate existing provision; any initial compilation of data; and the building of any necessary digital functionality.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £50,000 to signpost Londoners to trusted employment rights information and advice; assist users to understand which aspects of employment law are relevant to their circumstances; and assist users to identify their nearest source of advice

 

£50k

 

Advice

 

A scheme to co-ordinate the provision of advice to Londoners on a range of topic areas through an online portal on London.gov.uk. This work stream will bring together existing initiatives around provision of advice on employment rights (as detailed in this decision document) and the provision of advice to EU nationals on their rights as Britain leaves the EU (as detailed in DD 2239) with other areas where a similar approach of assisting Londoners to understand their rights and entitlement through an online portal could be applied and/or is already being explored – including childcare, welfare benefits, fuel poverty or housing.

 

Expenditure approval for up to £40,000 is subject to the Assistant Director agreeing the detail of this activity under delegation through an assistant director decision form.

 

£40k, noting this is subject to a further ADD

 

Income maximisation

 

The Equality and Fairness team will partner with relevant GLA teams on the delivery of a benefits check service with specific referral routes for different groups.

 

For example, this would include a specific referral route for households in or at risk of fuel poverty to fulfil commitments made in the Mayor’s fuel poverty action plan.

 

Early engagement with stakeholders has suggested that such a service could be delivered for approximately £60,000, although this could be expanded depending on the range of groups to which it is applicable. Other potential funding sources include the environment team, and the economic fairness budget (approved via MD 2296)

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £30,000 of grant funding towards the delivery of a benefits check service

 

 

£30k

 

Higher education

 

The Mayor has commissioned research to understand the reasons behind London’s high rates of non-continuation in higher education and the link that has been demonstrated with ethnicity and socio-economic status.

 

This work is being led in partnership with the Skills and Employment Team and will inform convening and advocacy activity targeted at London’s HE sector.

 

Decision required:

  • None

 

 

£30k

(ADD 2212)

Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

 

Publication, launch and dissemination costs associated with ‘Inclusive London’, the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £10,000 for publication, launch and dissemination costs associated with the publication of the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

 

£10k

(replacing approval for expenditure of £20,000 from 2017-18 Social Mobility budget previously authorised under MD 2212)

 

 

Mayor’s Annual Equality Report

 

From 2018-19 onwards, the Mayor’s Annual Equality Report will be published separately from the Mayor’s Annual Report.

 

The publication of this report will fulfil the GLA’s specific Equality Duty to publish information annually and demonstrate compliance with the provision under section 33 of the GLA Act 1999 to publish an annual report assessing the effectiveness of our equality arrangements.

 

Funding will be required for associated launch and publication costs.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £10,000 for publication and launch costs associated with the publication of the Mayor’s Annual Equality Report

 

£10k

 

BSL Charter

 

The Mayor has committed the GLA to signing up to the BSL Charter, which is a vehicle through which the GLA can tackle direct or indirect discrimination against Deaf people or BSL users.

 

The Equality and Fairness team will allocate funding to support engagement and inform the development of an action plan if necessary.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £5,000 on action planning, engagement and dissemination of the Mayor’s work in support of Deaf people and BSL users

 

£5k

 

Age-friendly London

 

Signing up to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities will help recognise the work of the Mayor in making London a leading age-friendly city.

 

The Equality and Fairness team will allocate funding to support engagement and inform the development of an action plan if necessary.

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £5,000 on action planning, engagement and dissemination of the Mayor’s work in support of older Londoners

 

£5k

 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, and associated partnership projects

 

To support the implementation of the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, the Equality and Fairness team is establishing an EDI advisory group and a set of linked stakeholder networks.

 

These arrangements will help involve external stakeholders and identify opportunities to deliver specific interventions to address EDI strategy objectives.

 

Expenditure will support a set of stakeholder networks to meet, as well as running costs associated with the advisory group itself, including ensuring meetings are fully accessible for all stakeholders. It will also cover discretionary funding to ensure these arrangements are inclusive of smaller civil society, charitable or voluntary organisations – as well as reserved funding to support specific projects identified by the group/networks (to be signed off by future decision documents as necessary).

 

 

Decision required:

  • To authorise expenditure of up to £85,000, comprising of:
  • £30k to fund the convening of a set of stakeholder networks and the running costs of the advisory group to ensure it is accessible;
  • £10k for a discretionary fund for smaller civil society, charitable and voluntary organisations; and
  • £45k of grant funding and commissioned work to take forward specific initiatives identified by the group and networks

 

£85k

 

Total

420

70

 

490

Equality comments

3.1 This MD allows the Equality and Fairness team in the Communities & Social Policy Unit to implement a number of pieces of work to directly implement the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, including the publication of the Mayor’s Annual Equality Report and engagement with external stakeholders through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion advisory group.

3.2 This MD will also allow the Equality and Fairness team to deliver a number of policy interventions that would deliver against objective 13 in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, relating to poverty and child poverty.

Child poverty and schools

3.3 Delivery of this intervention will respond to evidence of the scale and nature of child poverty in London, specifically that child poverty is increasingly characterised by ‘in work’ poverty and by families living in private rented accommodation. We also know that some BAME groups, migrants and families with non-working mothers are at greater risk of living in poverty.

Welfare reform

3.4 Delivery of interventions on welfare reform will respond to evidence of the groups we know to have been affected by welfare reform, particularly women and children from BAME groups, and disabled people. In addition, the cumulative impact assessment will give us more information on how specific groups have been affected.

Food poverty

3.5 Again, research into household food insecurity will yield better information on which groups are at greatest risk of being in, or falling into food poverty. We know that asylum seekers and undocumented children can be at particular risk of food poverty as a result of being ineligible for free school meals.

Employment rights

3.6 Those vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace will be largely – but not exclusively – workers in low-paid or insecure employment or self-employment. Research has indicated that workers in the following sectors are particularly at risk of experiencing breaches of their rights, such as the non-payment of wages:

• Creative, arts and entertainment activities
• Food and beverage service activities
• Other personal service activities
• Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities
• Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
• Other professional, scientific and technical activities
• Education
• Advertising and market research
• Repair of computers and personal and household goods
• Security and investigation activities

3.7 London’s high levels of employment in the service sector (where levels of unionisation are lower) and higher proportion of migrant workers mean that the capital’s workers potentially face specific barriers to understanding (and therefore enforcing) their employment rights.

Income maximisation

3.8 A benefits check service will potentially be of benefit to a wide range of low-income workers, and will vary according to the referral route. For example, households most likely to be fuel poor are families with children (particularly single-parent families), disabled Londoners and people from BAME groups. Older people and certain BAME groups are at particular risk of ill-health as a result of being unable to heat their homes.

Higher education

3.8 Previously published research has already established that there’s a link between a higher education institution’s proportion of black or low socio-economic status students and its non-continuation rate. The research we are commissioning will explore this link in greater depth and will include specific qualitative research with black students who have dropped out of higher education.

Other considerations

Major risks and issues

 

Risk

Mitigation measures

Current probability (1-4)

Current impact

(1-4)

RAG

GLA Lead

Stakeholder expectations exceed what it is possible to deliver in the scope of the Mayor’s powers

EDI strategy clarifies the scope of the Mayor’s powers and the need to work in partnership.

 

Implementation of EDI Strategy to involve external engagement arrangements to bring stakeholders into the delivery of the strategy and support partnership working

2

4

A

Equality and Fairness team

Commissioned partners fail to deliver resources to expected quality or to time.

Set clear and specific parameters for commissions; build in regular milestones to check progress

2

2

G

Equality and Fairness team

Lack of clarity on internal arrangements hinders delivery

 

New economic fairness sub-group will help clarify roles and working arrangements

3

3

A

Equality and Fairness Team

 

            Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

 

4.1       As well as supporting the implementation of the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, a number of programmes approved by this MD would contribute to other mayoral priorities, including the programme of work around economic fairness and the Mayor’s Social Integration Strategy. Further detail of the former can be found in MD 2296.

 

4.2       Initiatives around poverty and inequality are also cross-referenced in the following strategies and documents:

    • Health Inequalities Strategy
    • Economic Development Strategy
Financial comments

5.1 Expenditure of up to £420,000 is being sought for the Authority’s Annual Equality and Fairness Workplan.

5.2 The expenditure will be funded from the 2018-19 Social Mobility Budget within the Communities and Social Policy unit.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

EDI strategy launch

May 2018

Recruitment of EDI advisory group launched

June 2018

Higher education research delivered

August 2018

Work in support of signing up to age-friendly London and BSL charter commences

September 2018

First meeting of EDI advisory group

September 2018

First phase of school poverty work delivered

October 2018

Cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform delivered

November 2018

Food poverty interventions delivered

December 2018

Employment rights portal delivered

January 2019

Mayor’s Annual Equality Report published

January 2019

Income maximisation project delivered

February 2019

Second phase of school poverty work delivered

March 2019


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