The Home Office has signed a legal agreement with us, setting out the actions it will take to address its failure to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures.
In November 2020, our assessment found that the Home Office failed to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) when developing, implementing and monitoring the hostile environment policy agenda. In particular, it had neglected to fully consider the impact its policies would have on Black members of the Windrush generation.
This agreement, under section 23 of the Equality Act 2006, commits the Home Office to a two-year action plan of improvements it will make to demonstrate that it:
- looks for and properly considers evidence and feedback from stakeholders representing affected groups to understand the equality impacts of policies and practices;
- has a clear understanding of equality data and evidence that it uses to inform decisions and policymaking at all levels, including of the potential and actual impact of the department’s work on different protected characteristic groups; and
- has taken meaningful action to improve internal knowledge and expertise on how to comply with the PSED.
As part of the action plan Home Office will establish a Community Stakeholder and Engagement Hub and take steps to improve the advice given to Ministers about equality.
Kishwer Falkner, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: