Equalities Questionnaire – Service Provision - Privacy Notice
We strive to ensure that our service is accessible to all and that we do not inadvertently discriminate against members of any particular group in society. We respect our obligations under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (Public Sector Equality Duty) – a general duty. Our equality objectives are published every four years. We endeavour to achieve our objectives, to fulfil our general duty.
There is no explicit legal requirement under the general duty to collect and use equality information. However, to have due regard to the aims or needs of the general duty, as a public authority, we must understand how our policies and practices affect those with particular protected characteristics. For example, we collect equalities information when you complain about our services. Your response to the questionnaire will not be seen by staff responsible for assessing or investigating your complaint. Only the staff who are undertaking the analysis will see your responses.
As a public authority, we are subject to the specific duties referred to in the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, which requires us to publish information to demonstrate our compliance with the general duty, at least annually. This must include information relating to people who share a protected characteristic who are:
• our employees (as we employ 150 + staff), and
• our service users, affected by our policies and practices.
One of the ways to help us measure how we are meeting our general duty and the 2017 Regulations’ commitments is to undertake equality monitoring. Collecting and analysing equality information (including information from engagement with people sharing protected characteristics, where relevant) can be an important way for us to develop this understanding. However, we should always use a proportionate approach to collecting personal information. Information that identifies individuals such as making direct references to individuals and information that, when used alongside other information, may allow someone to be identified, is not published (see ‘Anonymisation’ below).
Your participation in completing the questionnaire is optional - you do not have to provide this information. The service we provide you will not be affected by your decision not to complete the questionnaire. Your responses will be held in confidence and processed only for the purposes of collating and analysing equality statistics. Your responses will not be seen by staff responsible for assessing or investigating your complaint or providing any other service. Only the staff who are undertaking the analysis will see your responses.
Some questions may feel sensitive or personal. If you are not happy to answer any particular question, select the ‘prefer not to say’ option.
Lawful bases - our lawful bases for processing your personal information are:
- UK GDPR Articles 6(1)(a) and 7 – consent – you have a genuine choice about whether or not to complete the questionnaire and there is no adverse consequences for you if you choose not to respond.
Much of the personal data processed to comply with equality law is likely to be special category personal data defined as any personal information relating to an individual’s race, ethnicity, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (where used for ID purposes), health, sex life, or sexual orientation. Information about someone’s transgender status also falls within this definition. Processing will be pursuant to:
- UK GDPR Article 9(2)(g) as supplemented by DPA 2018 section 10(3) & Schedule 1, Part 2, paras 6(1) and (2)(a) – processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest;
- UK GDPR Article 9(2)(j) and DPA 2018, sections 10(2) and 19, Schedule 1, Part 1, para.4)(a)) in service to the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 - where processing is necessary for archiving in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.
We have a Data Protection Policy, which sets out how this information will be handled.
Retention period - The information outlined in this Privacy Notice will be retained for a period of two  years and disposed of securely.
Anonymisation- responses to the questionnaire will be converted ('anonymised') into statistical or aggregated data in such a way that ensures that you cannot be identified from it. Aggregated data cannot, by definition, be linked back to you as an individual and may be used to conduct research and analysis, including the preparation of statistics for use in our reports such as showing the number of complaints we receive and/or equalities monitoring, but not in a form, which identifies anyone.
Right to object – where processing your personal information is based on consent (see our lawful bases above), you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. The withdrawal of consent will not affect the lawfulness of our processing based on consent before its withdrawal.
Changes to this Privacy Notice – we review this Privacy Notice regularly and will place updates on our website.
Please refer to our Corporate Privacy Notice for further details of how we process your personal information and for details on your additional rights.