Summary of a report drawing on 97 qualitative interviews with Jobcentre Plus staff to provide insight into staff perceptions of their individual and collective responsibilities for implementing the equality duties, views about the training and support they had received about the equality duties and to capture their experiences of working with customers, employers, other partners and colleagues in upholding this legislation.
Most interviewees viewed equality and diversity legislation as important and something that they perceived Jobcentre Plus was committed to and they generally recognised a collective responsibility for implementing it. Several staff could name some elements of the equality duties, whereas others talked more broadly about the facets of equality and diversity and focused on flexible working, for example. Interviewees were not typically able to make the distinction between the strands covered by the duties and other aspects. Seemingly related to this understanding many staff appeared to make sense of diversity in the context of individuality and applied the principles of the duties, such as equality of opportunity, to everybody and not just particular groups.