Our Work > Employment > In this together? > 4. Gathering information

An online guide to monitoring where you work

Section 4 - Other ways to gather information

If your employer is not forthcoming with the information that you require, you may want to consider other ways to find out about those within your workforce.

Equality Act 2010
Under the Equality Act 2010, public sector bodies have a duty to make public how they are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty through:

It is important to know that public authorities were required to collect employment data up until the Equality Act 2010. Your employer may have data on:

Freedom of information (FOI)
Everyone has the right to request information held by public sector bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Act ensures that the government is more transparent by giving the public a mechanism through which to find out more about government policies and the decision-making process. You have the right to request information regardless of how it was recorded and the organisation must provide the information within 20 working days.

Freedom of information (FOI) requests should be:

Some information might be withheld to protect various interests which are allowed for by the Freedom of Information Act. Your request may also be refused if it is too expensive or time consuming for the organisation to deal with. If this is the case, the organisation must tell you why they have withheld information. Be aware that some authorities might charge you for expenses such as photocopying or postage. You can say how you would prefer to receive the information, for example as an electronic copy. If you plan to reproduce the information you receive, make sure you check the copyright status of it first.

Watch UNISON's National Race Equalities Officer, Narmada Thiranagama, talk about how Unison used FOI data to support negotiations on equality at a local level.

Next steps

  1. Optional - download a summary of the Equality Act 2010
  2. Optional - download the questions Unison asked through their FOI request
  3. Optional - download a FOI template letter
  4. Go to Section 5 - How to use the information to hold your employer to account

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