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Equality information #180

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timpaul opened this issue Dec 18, 2018 · 12 comments
Open

Equality information #180

timpaul opened this issue Dec 18, 2018 · 12 comments
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pattern Goes in the 'Patterns' section of the Design System

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@timpaul
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timpaul commented Dec 18, 2018

Also known as: sensitive data, personal data

What

How and when to ask for protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.

Why

Services that use this pattern:

Anything else

Related links

@Zeno001
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Zeno001 commented May 22, 2020

Minor correction: in the draft guidance Dropbox Paper, you have Equalities Act 2010 twice but it is the Equality Act 2010.

@SparkyUX
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SparkyUX commented Aug 6, 2020

As the HMCTS protected characteristics micro service is now live and is proving very successful (50% uptake). We would like to propose the patterns for each of the questions be added to the design service.

@hannalaakso hannalaakso added the awaiting triage Needs triaging by team label Aug 18, 2020
@kellylee-gds kellylee-gds removed the awaiting triage Needs triaging by team label Aug 24, 2020
@trang-erskine trang-erskine moved this from To do to In progress in GOV.UK Design System Community Backlog Feb 24, 2021
@trang-erskine trang-erskine changed the title Protected characteristics Equality information Mar 25, 2021
@calvin-lau-sig7
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calvin-lau-sig7 commented Mar 26, 2021

Release of equality information pattern

We’ve published a new pattern in the Design System to ask users for equality information. 👥 📝 ✅

This pattern allows users to give personal information that helps organisations avoid discrimination and improve equality. It’s based on data standards set by the Government Statistical Service (GSS).

To meet these standards, this new pattern replaces the pattern to ask users for ethnic groups.

What we set out to do

We set out to:

  • create a pattern that is based on data standards set by the Government Statistical Service (GSS)
  • help users give personal information about their protected characteristics
  • make sure users understand they do not have to answer any of the questions if they do not want to
  • ask questions the same way as in other methods, such as by phone or in-person for the census
  • make sure that data are collected in a way that’s consistent and comparable across the public sector

What we decided

We decided to:

  • follow the grouping, ordering and wording of questions set in the GSS harmonised standard and guidance
  • show equality information questions at end of the service, after a ‘Check your answers’ page

How we built it

We worked closely with GSS to make sure this pattern meets their harmonised standards and guidance.

To make sure this pattern meets user needs, we gathered feedback from colleagues across the cross-government community. We also hosted a workshop with 12 of them so that we could review it together.

Based on the workshop, we improved guidance on:

  • where to place equality questions for longer term services that a user might use multiple times
  • how to encourage users to answer equality questions while making it clear they’re optional

Acknowledgements

Thank you to everyone that contributed to this component, including colleagues from:

  • Department for Education (DfE)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Government Equalities Office (GEO)
  • Government Statistical Service (GSS)
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Office of National Statistics (ONS)
  • Race Disparity Unit

How you can help our ongoing user research

Share your research or feedback by commenting on this issue or propose a change – read more about how to propose changes in GitHub.

@calvin-lau-sig7 calvin-lau-sig7 moved this from In progress to Published in GOV.UK Design System Community Backlog Mar 26, 2021
@Zeno001
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Zeno001 commented Mar 26, 2021

@calvin-lau-sig7

Can you say what equality information the section on "Sex and gender identity", with the two questions, "What is your sex?" and "Is the gender you identify with the same as your sex registered at birth?" is trying to gather and why?

@calvin-lau-sig7
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calvin-lau-sig7 commented Mar 26, 2021

Hi @Zeno001

The pattern is based on the approach outlined by the Government Statistical Service (GSS) for harmonised data. Here's the page on sex and gender with more info.

They'd be best placed to answer your question and you can email them at gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk. We've aimed to be consistent with GSS's approach.

@Zeno001
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Zeno001 commented Mar 26, 2021

That GSS page you linked to concerns collecting demographic information for statistical purposes, including the census. The issue on this page concerns the collecting of equality information on the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010:

How and when to ask for protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.

The final paragraph of the GSS page mentions the 'Equalities [sic] Act (2010)' in passing, noting that NHSE is currently carrying out an equality monitoring scoping project in relation to the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, but the page overall relates to the census and the ONS, not equality information on the protected characteristics.

In light of last week's defeat of the ONS in the High Court, that page might need to be reviewed, but it's difficult to see what bearing it has on the collection of data about the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

Your pattern page combines sex with the term 'gender identity'; the latter is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act and is not used or defined in the Act, so it's difficult to understand why that is even mentioned, never mind amalgamated with the protected characteristic of sex. There is a protected characteristic of 'gender assignment' (which is defined in its own unique terms) but for some reason, that's been omitted from the list on your pattern page.

So, the question here is why the approach of the GSS in collecting demographic information for statistical purposes has been adopted as a pattern for the collection of personal information on protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 when they are collecting different data for different purposes? Why have you aimed to be consistent with the GSS's approach?

@carlinmack
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related to #69

@CharlotteDowns CharlotteDowns added the pattern Goes in the 'Patterns' section of the Design System label Oct 13, 2021
@chrisadesign
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The guidance says to:

  • place equality questions between the ‘check your answers’ (CYA) page and the confirmation page

and

  • on the ‘check your answers’ screen, group answers together under an ‘Optional equality questions’ heading

If the questions go after CYA how can there be a section for answers on there? Should there be a second CYA or is this a mistake?

@lfdebrux
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@chrisadesign good spot, thanks for flagging this up! We're fixing that now in alphagov/govuk-design-system#1952, the changes should go live today!

@chrisadesign
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Spotted another error, this time with the error.

image

If the field for date of birth can be blank/is optional, the error message should never appear.

@frankieroberto
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We’ve (Department for Education) published a write-up of how we changed how we ask candidates about disabilities and health conditions in an equality survey, which has led to 3 times more candidates selecting a disability or health condition.

Our updated question looks like this:

disabilities-and-health-conditions

@francesporter-DWP
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I'm looking for some help and advice on adding equality questions to a service. My understanding is that equality questions are not attributed to the individual or their case/ application information. The GDS guidance says that, in line with new WCAG 2.2 requirements, you have to allow users to update any changes in their equality information, but without re-entering the same data again (redundant entry). I'm not sure how this is possible without linking a person's equality info to the individual? WCAG talks about applying 'redundant entry' per session - but the GDS interpretation is that a person can go back on a long-term service, and update equality info as it changes. I'm confused and would really appreciate some advice around this.

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