Verification of Personal Information and Equality & Diversity Data
Equality and Diversity - why your details are recorded
Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010 all Public Sector Employers, including the NHS, are obliged to ensure that employees are not discriminated against, harassed, or victimised on the grounds of a number of Protected Characteristics.
ESR enables the recording and reporting of data to help organisations demonstrate compliance with equality legislation. It also assists in comparing the experiences of staff in the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), and in determining action where necessary.
A number of enhancements have been delivered which have successfully helped to improve data quality relating to personal information and Equality and Diversity (E&D) data as well as improving the integrity of the data held within ESR:
Employee Self Service – has given employees direct access to their own record which empowers them to manage their own information. Data shows that E&D completion rates are higher for employees who have logged into ESR at least once in the previous 12 months.
Portlets – My Personal Information and My Equality and Diversity portlets are available for employees so that they can review and update their details easily.
Data Quality Reporting – organisations can report on a vast array of data quality issues including missing personal and E&D data using ESR Business Intelligence (BI).
Data Quality Education/Resources – a wealth of Data Quality education and resources have been published to support organisations in identifying issues and the steps they can take to make further improvements.
The changes to ESR, combined with the work being undertaken nationally and locally to address data quality issues, has resulted in a significant increase in data completion.
- In 2015 only around 60% of employees disclosed their religious belief and sexual orientation. As of August 2022, this figure has risen to 72% and 77% respectively.
- Around only 7% of employees have blank records for sexual orientation and religious belief compared with over 15% in 2015.
- 98% of all employees have an Ethnic Origin recorded in ESR.
- Over 75,000 employees have declared a disability in ESR, compared with just 35,000 in 2015.
To further help improve employee data quality a development was delivered in September 2022 to prompt employees to view and, if required, update their personal and equality and diversity information. To facilitate this a status indicator has been added to the My Personal Information and My Equality & Diversity Portlets. The indicator will change colour, dependant on the length of time since the employee last updated or verified their personal and equality information.
- A verify my information button has been added to both Portlets to enable employees to record that they have verified their information where no changes are required.
- The last update or verification date will also be included on the Portlet.
- The date will be reset following a verification or an update made to any of the details by the employee via the Portlets or Self-Service forms or made by a professional user or manager.
- The status bar will have help text to explain the logic of the colour coding and the actions required by the employee.
- An employee notification will be triggered where the employee has not updated or verified their personal or equality and diversity information within the last 12 months (365 days).
- Organisations will be able to report on the last updated/verified data through ESR BI (This functionality will follow in a later release).
This development will help to increase completion rates of key data items that are required to enable national equality monitoring such as WRES and WDES.
In the first two months following deployment over 240,000 updates or verifications were made in relation to personal details. Additionally, over 125,000 were made in relation to Equality & Diversity information.
Automating the prompt to the employee via a notification will help to reduce the burden on individual organisations that currently attempt to address Data Quality issues through local communications and time-consuming manual data validation processes.
Additionally, the change to the Portlets to add a visible status bar will drive further usage through this route and mean that more employees will view and update their data in a simpler and more efficient way.
The change enables organisations to identify individuals who have not verified their details for a significant period of time.
Helen Pope, Workforce Intelligence Manager, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust highlighted the benefits this can bring to organisations:
The portlets currently available for Equality & Diversity and Personal Details are great as they already simplify processes for users, especially those who are not so IT confident. The development to encourage users to check these on an annual basis will be brilliant as since moving to online payslips staff do not think about updating home addresses so much and contacts often get forgotten. It will also make the run-up for National Staff Survey and WRES / WDES submissions much less hectic for the workforce team as the update reminders will be spread across the year – I can’t wait to promote the development via our Staff Networks and Trust newsletters.
Further details of this enhancement can be found in Guide to Enhancements and Changes Release 18.104.22.168
If you have any queries then please contact your NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager. Visit the ESR Hub website - https://my.esr.nhs.uk/dashboard/web/esrweb/about-communications-team for their contact details.