Workforce & Organisational Development Committee

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1 Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Committee Paper : WOD12/98 Name of Committee: Subject: Workforce & Organisational Development Committee WP8 Equality & Diversity Policy Summary or Issues of Significance The Policy has been amended and updated to comply with current legislation and best practice, including making it more explicit around Human Rights and updating the references section. Strategic Theme / Priority addressed by this paper Healthcare Standard addressed Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) Healthcare Standards: 8 There are no anticipated negative outcomes or adverse effects on the different groups. Recommendations: That the Committee adopts the proposed amendments to WP8 Equality & Diversity Policy Author(s) Presented by Keira Truswell, Employment Practices Advisor Martin Jones, Director of Workforce and OD Date of report 24 th August 2012 Date of meeting 13 th September 2012

2 Draft Version: 3.2 Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy WP8 Date to be reviewed: No of pages: Author(s): Mike Townson Author(s) title: Senior Equalities Manager Responsible dept / director: Workforce & Organisational Development Director of Workforce & Organisational Development Approved by: Workforce Policies and Procedures Group Date approved: October 2010 Endorsement by: Workforce & Organisational Development Committee Date endorsed: Date activated (live): Date EQIA completed: 1 st October 2010 (reviewed April 2012) Documents to be read Strategic Equality and Human Rights Plan alongside this policy: Procedure for Equality Impact Assessment Review Purpose of Issue/Description of current changes: A B C Initial Issue Legislative changes Equality Act 2010 Three-year review including further legislative changes First operational: October 2009 Previously reviewed: Oct 2010 Oct 2012 date date date Changes made yes/no: Yes Yes Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no PROPRIETARY INFORMATION This document contains proprietary information belonging to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Do not produce all or any part of this document without written permission from the BCUHB WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 2 of 13

3 Content 1. Aim 2. Purpose 3. What is Equality? 4. What is Diversity? 5. Objectives 6. Responsibilities 7. Allegations of Discrimination, Harassment & Victimisation 8. Implementation 9. Positive Images and Languages 10. Procurement & Working with Others 11. Application of the Policy 12. Monitoring 13. Complaints / Grievances 14. Statutory References WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 3 of 13

4 EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board A Vision for Equality, Diversity & Human Rights It is our vision to achieve equality in both employment and service delivery. To value and respect our staff, service users and the diverse communities we serve to ensure that every person using our services or working for the organisation feel that they have been treated fairly and with dignity and respect. 1. Aim Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) recognises the importance of equality, diversity and human rights in respect of its responsibilities as an employer and as a provider of health care services to communities in North Wales. The aim of this Policy is to serve as an important foundation stone to the development of the BCUHB s services to patients and to the employment and development of staff. Policies and practices within the BCUHB must incorporate the spirit of the Policy. This will ensure that service delivery, recruitment and employment practices are designed and carried out fairly and in accordance with equality and human rights legislation. 2. Purpose It is the intention of the Policy that no service user, job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another or is disadvantaged by reason of any protected characteristic which means: disability; gender or gender reassignment; marital status; sexual orientation; religion or belief (or non-belief); race (including ethnicity and nationality); age; pregnancy and maternity. In addition to the above statutory protection, BCUHB is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all and this means we will not treat anyone less favourably than another by reason of: responsibility for dependents; language; or WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 4 of 13

5 hours of work/working pattern. 3. What Is Equality? Equality is about creating a fairer society, in which everyone can take part and have the opportunity to achieve their true potential. 4. What Is Diversity? Diversity recognises that everyone is different and seeks to promote respect by valuing everyone as an individual. 5. What are Human Rights? Human rights are the rights and freedoms that belong to all individuals and help define the relationship between citizens and the public sector. They are about dignity and respect for all. 6. Objectives The objectives of this Policy are to: a) Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; b) Advance equality of opportunity; c) Identify and remove barriers to access for service users and staff/applicants; d) Foster good relations; and e) Ensure that the BCUHB complies with all equality legislation and Codes of Practice as an absolute minimum standard. 7. Responsibilities The Chief Executive, on behalf of the Board has overall responsibility for ensuring that the Policy is implemented, and that its effectiveness is monitored. Executive Directors, Chiefs of Staff and CPG Boards, Senior Managers and Line Managers have responsibility for the active and effective implementation of the Policy. The Director of Workforce and Organisational Development is responsible for the regular review of this Policy and for reporting to the Board on measures designed to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the Policy. All Clinical Programme Groups and Corporate Departments will embed the principles of equality, diversity and human rights within their service development plans. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 5 of 13

6 Health Care Standards Leads will identify equality and human rights implications within the health care standards for which they are responsible and ensure improvement actions demonstrate due regard to the equality duties. Every member of staff has a responsibility to apply this Policy and to observe standards of conduct that ensure the patient care environment and the workplace are free from discrimination of any kind and from any form of harassment or victimisation. Equality and Diversity is one of the Core Competencies within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF). This defines the knowledge and skills that NHS staff need to apply in their work to deliver quality services, and staff should be able to demonstrate the application of equality, diversity and human rights knowledge and skills appropriate to their post. 8. Allegations of Discrimination, Harassment and Victimisation Staff are actively encouraged to report discriminatory practices or behaviour to their Line Manager, a senior member of the Workforce and OD Department or their Trade Union Representative. When a Manager receives a report of alleged discriminatory practices or behaviour, he or she should contact Workforce and OD immediately for further guidance. An investigation may be established in accordance with the organisation s disciplinary policy and procedure as it is recognised that such allegations may be extremely serious. Managers must be prepared to take disciplinary action when appropriate to ensure the Policy is enforced. The BCUHB will not tolerate discrimination in the form of abuse, victimisation, harassment or bullying from those it seeks to serve. It is recognised that this policy applies to service suppliers and contractors and outside agencies eg, independent contractors and the voluntary sector, and anyone else working with or in the organisation e.g. students, volunteers and agency staff. These are the major forms of discrimination defined within equality legislation: Direct discrimination Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (see perceptive discrimination below), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (see associative discrimination below). WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 6 of 13

7 Associative discrimination This is direct discrimination against someone because of their association with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. Perceptive discrimination This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic. Indirect discrimination Indirect discrimination can occur when you have a condition, rule, policy or even a practice in the organisation that applies to everyone, but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination can be justified if you can show that you acted reasonably in managing your business, ie that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. A legitimate aim might be any lawful decision you make in running your business or organisation, but if there is a discriminatory effect, the sole aim of reducing costs is likely to be unlawful. Being proportionate really means being fair and reasonable, including showing that you ve looked at less discriminatory alternatives to any decision you make. Harassment Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Harassment applies to all protected characteristics except for pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership. Employees may complain of behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them, and the person making the complaint need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves. Employees are also protected from harassment because of perception and association (see above). Third party harassment The Equality Act 2010 makes the organisation potentially liable for harassment of our employees by people (third parties) who are not employees of the organisation, such as patients, visitors or clients. The organisation will only be liable when harassment has occurred on at least two previous occasions, we are aware that it has taken place, and have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it from happening again. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 7 of 13

8 Victimisation Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act; or because they are suspected of doing so. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint. 9. Implementation 9.1 BCUHB will ensure that this Policy, together with its commitment to promoting equal and fair treatment and protecting individuals from discrimination, is communicated to both existing and potential members of staff, partner organisations, contractors and the wider community. 9.2 The Policy is supported by a programme of action within our Strategic Equality and Human Rights Plan (SEP). This sets out the objectives and actions necessary to ensure that the policy achieves its aims. 9.3 Systems will be established for monitoring the effectiveness of the Policy and the implementation of the SEP, and reports will be provided on a regular basis to the Board and senior management team and will be included in the organisation's Annual Equality Report. 9.4 Where necessary, action will be taken to remove any actual or potential barrier in ensuring that fair and equal treatment is being effectively applied within the organisation. 9.5 BCUHB will regularly review its policies, procedures and practices. This will ensure that individuals are recruited, trained, developed and promoted on the basis of merit and on their ability to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to meet objective job requirements. 9.6 BCUHB will aim to ensure that equality is mainstreamed into every aspect of policy and practice in employment and service delivery. A process of impact assessment will ensure that the equality implications of any new policy, procedure or practice, including service re-design, commissioning/decommissioning and financial decisions are considered before implementation. 9.7 The views of patients and service users will, wherever practicable, be incorporated into the process of planning and delivering health services in accordance with our Corporate Engagement and Communications Statement and Framework for Delivery. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 8 of 13

9 9.8 BCUHB will provide training in accordance with the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) Core Dimension 6, Equality & Diversity to a minimum level 2 for all members of staff. This will ensure the organisation develops the necessary competence and capacity to effectively deliver the aims of this Policy throughout the organisation. Those already meeting level 2 will have a responsibility to maintain this knowledge through refresher training at regular intervals. 10. Positive Images and Language BCUHB will use positive images and language to promote the objectives of this Policy which include valuing diversity. We believe that images and language communicate personal and shared values and can have a powerful influence on other people s perceptions and attitudes. As an organisation, we are committed to ensuring that in our internal and external communications, we will promote images and use language that reflects the diversity of the wider community. 11. Procurement and Working with others BCUHB recognises that to succeed it must work in partnership with individuals and organisations to share the responsibility for implementation, ensure all interests are reflected in the planning and delivery process, and to learn from the experiences of others. It is therefore recognised that this policy applies to service suppliers and contractors and outside agencies eg, independent contractors and the voluntary sector. Procurement practices need to include relevant equality considerations, and BCUHB is committed to encouraging its suppliers to promote equality within their own workforces to enable public service delivery to benefit from diverse skills and talents. In certain circumstances, the contractor will also be bound by the public sector general and specific equality duties where the nature of the work they are carrying out on our behalf is a public function. Further advice and guidance can be obtained from BCUHB Equalities department and the Equality and Human Rights Commission website at The Equality Act 2010 has introduced certain provisions in order to help public authorities use public procurement to contribute to delivery of their equality objectives or functions under the public sector general equality duty. This will mean that BCUHB will have to have due regard to the need to include considerations that are relevant to the performance of the WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 9 of 13

10 general duty in any award criteria or contract conditions when entering into relevant agreements under the EU Public Service Directive. 12. Application of the Policy 12.1 Service Delivery The BCUHB is committed to ensuring that Health care is accessible and appropriate to meet the diverse needs of all sections of the community. This will be achieved by further embedding equality impact assessment into decision-making, strategy and policy development. Services will be monitored to identify areas for improvement. This will enable us to regularly evaluate the way in which we deliver our services and make any necessary changes to ensure no one is discriminated against in accessing or receiving treatment Access to Services The BCUHB aims to ensure that all its services are accessible and conform to legislative requirements. All new and refurbished facilities will be consulted upon and thus developed to improve upon minimum statutory standards in relation to access. Problems identified will be addressed on a prioritised basis by using the Equality Impact Assessment Toolkit and assessed using the principles of relevance and proportionality. Where requests are made for services to be provided by practitioners of a particular gender, these will be treated with sensitivity, and where practicable, complied with. Clinical standards and procedures will take account of the need for privacy and for the dignity of patients to be observed at all times. All staff should recognise diversity and approach, treat and care for patients with sensitivity and respect. All information for patients must be accessible and should be capable of being made available in a range of community languages and different formats (eg. large print or tape) upon request Advocacy The BCUHB supports the development of formal (ie, National Youth Advocacy Service [NYAS] for Children) or informal (ie, a relative) advocacy support arrangements for all patients who may not be, or feel, able to communicate their health needs on their own behalf, as long as arrangements are inclusive. This will include the provision of language support, sign language interpretation or other relevant facilities. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 10 of 13

11 Parents/Carers and professionals, where appropriate, can participate as advocates for children and people less able to act for themselves Cultural and Religious Needs The BCUHB is committed to meeting the diverse religious, spiritual and cultural needs of employees, patients, visitors and members of the public in our local community. Further advice may be obtained from the Chaplaincy and the organisations Policy on Religion or Belief Employment Practices Everyone who works in the NHS or applies to work in the NHS should be treated fairly and valued equally. National and local conditions of service must be interpreted and applied equally, fairly and consistently. BCUHB will ensure it complies with Section 30 Equal Opportunities within the NHS Agenda for Change Terms & Conditions Handbook Recruitment and Selection Those employees of the BCUHB who have a responsibility for the recruitment and selection of staff must undertake appropriate training, including equality and diversity awareness and practice. Line Managers have a duty to ensure that selection procedures are fair and are carried out in accordance with the Good Practice guidance available within the organisation s Recruitment and Selection Policy Disability Awareness: The BCUHB is committed to good employment practices and has a positive approach to employing disabled people. We are a recognised disability symbol user and abide by the following five commitments: i) We will interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities. ii) iii) iv) We will ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss at any time but at least once a year, with disabled employees, how we and they can develop and use their abilities at work. When employees become disabled we will make every effort to ensure they stay in employment. We will take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 11 of 13

12 v) Each year we will review these five key commitments and what has been achieved, to plan ways to improve on them and let employees and the Employment Service know about progress and future plans Recruitment and Workforce Monitoring The BCUHB will monitor applications received and the outcomes of selection procedures to support and maintain good practice Assessment and Promotion All employees of the BCUHB will have regular appraisals to identify personal development needs. Such appraisals should support them in carrying out their work to a high standard in an ever changing environment, and where relevant, provide assistance in preparing employees for promotion or career development opportunities. The appraisal will be a joint activity between the employee and the Supervisor/Manager. All Supervisors and Managers expected to undertake appraisals should be appropriately trained and this will include an understanding of equality and diversity Training and Development Training and development opportunities will be made available as widely as possible to all employees, influenced appropriately through a Personal Development Plan created and adopted through the appraisal process. The BCUHB will work towards monitoring access to and attendance at training to ensure that all staff have equal access to training and development opportunities Flexible Working The BCUHB will continue to offer flexibility in working practices that meet service needs and individual requirements and responsibilities. Further information is available in the Flexible Working Policy. 13. Monitoring Monitoring processes will be established to help assess the effectiveness of equality and diversity measures that are relevant to service provision and employment practices. The monitoring of employment practices will be carried out in partnership between the BCUHB and the recognised Trade Unions. Monitoring of service provision will involve the BCUHB and patient representatives. Monitoring may be undertaken through the following sources of information: WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 12 of 13

13 BCUHB s quality standards for service Complaints procedure Employee and User questionnaires Workforce information this will include make up of workforce by equality charateristics (age, gender etc) and contract status (ie part-time) Patient Equality Monitoring Interview records Exit interview analysis 14. Complaints/Grievances Should anyone have a complaint to raise under the Equality and Diversity Policy then this should be raised in accordance with the Grievance Policy and Procedure. The aim of the Grievance Policy is that all grievances are dealt with as quickly as possibly. Service users should be sign-posted to the Complaints Process. 15. Statutory References Statutory references which frame and influence the Policy and which must be followed as an absolute minimum standard include: Welsh Language Act 1993 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 Human Rights Act 1998 Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 Most other pre-existing legislation has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, the main provisions of which came into force on the 1 st October The Equality Act 2010 simplifies and harmonises current discrimination law by consolidating it into one Act and introduces new measures to deal with discrimination and to promote equality. As a public sector organisation in Wales, we are also bound by the provisions of the: Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations These regulations provide public sector organisations in Wales with challenging specific equality duties in areas such as engagement, assessing impact and how we must gather, use and publish equality information. WP8 Daft Version: 3.2 Page 13 of 13