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Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important part of the approach to tackling discrimination and promoting equality in Wales.
EIAs help public services meet their legal responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty to avoid discrimination in the decisions they make and to promote equality of opportunity and cohesion.
The Equality Act 2010 and the Wales specific duties apply to public bodies including councils, NHS bodies, fire and rescue services, national parks, education bodies (further and higher education bodies and maintained schools), and the Welsh Government and some of its sponsored bodies.
The protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
What we found
Our report found that many public bodies are not using Equality Impact Assessments to their full potential, especially in terms of promoting equality and cohesion.
We found examples of good practice in some areas of the process, but our report sets out some key areas for improvement.
We also found that EIAs are sometimes carried out very late in the process of developing a policy, and that public services need to better engage people with protected characteristics and monitor the impact once a policy or change is rolled out.