1 HR POLICY EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY Group Date Approved CMT September 2014 SCG September 2014 HR Committee September 2014 Finance Committee September 2014 Trust Board October 2014 Compiled By: Emma Pendlebury Launch Date October 2014 Review Date: October 2017
2 EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY 1 POLICY STATEMENT 2 RESPONSIBILITIES 3 OUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS 4 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US 5 WHAT THE TRUST EXPECTS FROM YOU
3 POLICY STATEMENT 1.1 The Trust will ensure that no employees will be treated unfairly on the grounds of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected characteristic in line with the Equality Act To ensure equal and fair treatment in the application of this policy, employees are encouraged to provide any relevant information to the HR department about any equality and/or diversity issues which may be relevant. 1.3 This procedure aims to ensure that all members of staff are treated fairly and consistently regardless of their job and that the Trust complies with the relevant legislation in dealing with all employee related matters. 1.4 The policy and procedure applies to all permanent and temporary employees working under a contract of service for Link4Life and will be reviewed in line with appropriate guidelines and any changes to legislation. 2.0 RESPONSIBILITIES 2.1 Responsibility of the Trust Board The responsibility for the provision of a policy and procedure rests with the Trust Board Additionally, the Trust Board will ensure through the company management team structure that this policy is applied fairly and equitably and that staff are aware of the policy and procedures. 2.2 Responsibility of the Human Resources Department The Human Resources Department will oversee the introduction, operation and monitoring of this policy to ensure the fair and consistent application throughout the Trust The Human Resources Department will ensure the provision of training, guidance and support to line managers on the operation of this policy. 2.3 Responsibility of Employees All employees are committed to fostering an inclusive community which encourages all employees and customers to fulfil their potential and will value every individual for their unique contribution to the success of the Trust. 3.0 OUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS 3.1 The purpose of the Equality Act 2010 is to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of various protected characteristics. The Equality Act brings together nine major pieces of legislation into a single piece of legislation, simplifying the law. This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against staff or visitors or treat them less favourably because of their:
4 Age Sex (gender) Race Disability Religion or belief Gender reassignment Sexual orientation Pregnancy or maternity Marriage or civil partnership Appendix 1 provides a definition of each of these protected characteristics and Appendix 2 is a glossary of terms relevant to this policy. 3.2 This legislation applies not only to the Trust as an organisation but also to anyone working or using our services and any partners, contractors and stakeholders. 4.0 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US 4.1 At Link4Life we strive to ensure that all our employees are able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation; were all employees and customers are treated with respect and dignity. 4.2 Although the Equality Act 2010 requires us to focus on the nine specific protected characteristics, at Link4Life equality is much more than just abiding by the legislation and we will provide an environment that gives people the confidence to perform at their best. 4.3 So whatever your background, nationality, cultural heritage, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief colour, gender identity, skills and experiences the Trust wants employees to feel completely confident that you can fulfil your potential. 4.4 We recognise the full value of diversity and will provide equality of opportunity for all our employees by: Working pro-actively to promote good relations between all management and staff Taking effective action to prevent discrimination, bullying or harassment on any grounds Promoting equality of access to education, training and development Promoting good practice in all activities such as recruitment and selection Listening to and learning from our employees, customers and partners Promoting, managing and monitoring equality and diversity across the Trust and in particular focussing on the nine protected characteristics.
5 5.0 WHAT THE TRUST EXPECTS FROM YOU 5.1 Link4Life strives to operate whereby we work with PRIDE (Passion, Respect, Integrity, Drive and Excellence) to deliver our core values. Further, we all have a responsibility to ensure that, as a minimum, we meet our legal duties in terms of equality. However we have specific expectations in terms of: 5.2 Our Staff we expect all our staff to be ambassadors for the Trust and to ensure that in all their dealings with other colleagues, customer, partners and visitors they behave professionally and in a way that encourages inclusion and promotes equality. 5.3 Our Senior Managers we expect our senior managers to lead by example and live the values outlined in this policy. A key to our success is to ensure that the culture of the Trust is seen as being an exemplary model of good practice in eliminating discrimination, bullying and harassment and advancing equality and promoting good relations. 5.4 Our Trustees we expect our Trustees to challenge our approach to equality to ensure that it is robust and to behave at all times in a way that reflects our values. A key role is also to champion and promote an inclusive environment and ensure that progress is being made against our equality objectives. 5.5 Our Customers we expect our customers to be considerate of others during their time at our facilities. Fellow customer s, staff and visitors should be valued and treated with respect as outlined in the Link4Life Customer Charter. Our Visitors, Partners, Contractors and other External Stakeholders we expect everyone who works with us or engages with our community to behave in a way that reflects the values and ethos outlined in this document. 5.6 Our legal responsibilities for equality cover everyone who interacts with us and we expect the highest standards of behaviour from all our stakeholders. As a minimum we expect everyone to: Behave in a way that promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone Treat each other with dignity and respect at all times. 5.7 Failure to observe to this policy will result in formal action being initiated in accordance with the relevant HR Policy i.e. Disciplinary Policy.
6 Appendix 1: Definitions of Protected Characteristics Age Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g year olds). Disability A person has a disability if she/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that persons ability to carry out normal day-today activities. Gender reassignment The process of transitioning from one gender to another. Marriage and civil partnership Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Same sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as civil partnerships. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. Pregnancy and maternity Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the nonwork context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. Race Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. Religion and belief Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition. Sex A man or a woman. Sexual Orientation Whether a person s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
7 Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms Due to the nature of each of the protected characteristics it means that discrimination can take many forms as detailed below. Direct Discrimination Direct Discrimination consists of treating a person less favourably than others on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion & belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnerships & pregnancy and maternity. Discrimination by Perception A person treated less favourably or harassed/victimised based on a perception that the affected has one of the protected characteristics and is targeted because of this. Discrimination by Association Associative discrimination is behaviour motivated against an individual because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. Indirect Discrimination Indirect discrimination is a condition or requirement that applies to all, but in practice; has a detrimental effect upon a group of individuals means that a smaller proportion of people of a particular protected group can comply than the proportion of other persons; and cannot be fully justified Discrimination Arising from Disability Someone is treated unfavourably because of something connected to their disability and there is no good reason for doing this. It is also disability discrimination if someone does not make adjustments to allow disabled people to access a service or carry out a job. For example, providing an information leaflet in Braille. This is called the duty to make reasonable adjustments. Harassment Harassment takes many forms. It is the unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating environment for the recipient. The definition of harassment according to the act is described as follows:- violating a person s dignity creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. Victimisation Victimisation consists of taking actions against a person or treating him/her less favourably for asserting his/her rights or because he/she has taken action in support of the rights of people in the groups. To treat then unfairly: to single somebody out unfairly for punishment or ill treatment.