Introduction or group of persons”. (Section 58 State

Introduction

An
EEO programme is a planned programme that sets out a series of steps and
actions to counter any discrimination that may occur in employment. Legislation
has been introduced because the government has recognised that some groups are disadvantaged
in employment, and actions should be taken to enable them to have equal access
to employment opportunities. The State Sector Act 1988 explains that an EEO
programme is one:

“That
is aimed at the identification and elimination of all aspects of policies,
procedures and other institutional barriers that cause or perpetuate, or tend
to cause or perpetuate, inequality in respect to the employment of any person
or group of persons”. (Section 58 State Sector Act 1988 – Equal employment
opportunities)

Section
77A of that Act identifies groups of potential and actual employees to whom an
EEO programme should address.

They
are:

(a)
Recognition of-

The
aims and aspirations of the M?ori people; and

The
employment requirements of the M?ori people; and

The
need for greater involvement of the M?ori people in the Education service; and

(b)
Opportunities for the enhancement of the abilities of individual employees; and

(c)
Recognition of the aims and aspirations and employment requirements, and the
cultural differences, of ethnic or minority groups; and

(d)
Recognition of the employment requirements of women; and

(e)
Recognition of the employment requirements of persons with disabilities (Section
77A State Sector Act 1988 – General principles)

There
are seven steps in developing or maintaining an EEO programme, over a period of
2 years. Steps 1 to 5 should happen in the first year, and steps 6 and 7 in the
second year.

Step
1: Developing an EEO policy statement

An
EEO policy statement can be developed by undertaking the following actions.

The
full board undertakes some EEO training to raise their awareness of the issues.

The
board develops a draft EEO statement which is circulated to all teaching and
non-teaching employees for comment.

The
board prepares a final EEO policy statement (on the basis of the feedback)
which is signed by the chairperson of the board and a copy is distributed to
all employees and board members. Parents and caregivers are informed of the EEO
policy statement.

Step
2: Appointing or selecting an EEO person

Analysis

The
board appoints or selects a person or persons with the delegated authority to
coordinate the development of the EEO programme and inform all employees of it.

The
EEO person can be either an employee or a board member, although it is
practical to have someone who is in the school on a regular basis. Appointment
or selection of an EEO person should be based on that person’s interest in EEO
and commitment to it. Time should be allocated for EEO responsibilities, and
the EEO person should have the support of the board and of the school’s other
employees.

The
EEO person should:

·        
set and meet
deadlines for the EEO programme

·        
analyse EEO data

·        
write EEO reports

·        
attend and report
at relevant board and staff meetings and at EEO network meetings

·        
be involved in
the EEO committee, where there is one

·        
Undertake EEO
training, as needed.

The
size of the school will determine whether more than one person is needed to
co-ordinate the EEO programme.

Step
3: Consulting with employees

Consultation
with employees is an important aspect of the EEO programme.

EEO
training is provided for all employees, to make them aware of EEO issues.

A
meeting is set up, with employees invited, to determine the best way to
establish continuing contact and discussion about EEO issues between the
employees, the authorised EEO person and the board. (In larger schools, this
ongoing contact could be through a representative EEO or equity committee).

In
larger schools EEO “target group” networks are established. These
meet regularly and provide information for the EEO person or the EEO committee.

Step
4: Establishing an employee database

The
following means of collecting data will help establish an employee database.

Two
personnel forms which include EEO data are prepared, one for existing employees
and one for applicants to positions in the school.

The
personnel form for existing employees is circulated to them, along with an
explanation of why the data is being collected.

The
personnel form for applicants is sent to potential employees when they apply
for positions in the school. Data is collected and analysed for EEO purposes by
the EEO person, and results are reported to the board If an exit interview is
held when an employee resigns, this may provide additional EEO data.

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