Equality and Diversity Policy

Equality and Diversity Policy

 

Version: 15.8.2013
Author: Jo Barnes
Approval/Ratification body Care4all Board of Trustees
Date Reviewed/ratified: Reviewed – 22.9.2014
Subsequent Review date: Reviewed – 3.2.2016

Reviewed – 24.2.2017

Reviewed – 23.2.2018

 

Contents

Scope. 3

Definitions. 3

Equality. 3

Diversity. 4

Human Rights. 4

Direct Discrimination. 4

Indirect Discrimination. 4

Bullying. 5

Harassment. 5

Victimisation. 5

Roles & Responsibilities. 5

Care4all Board of Trustees. 5

Care4all Chief Executive. 5

Care4all Management Team: 6

Responsibility of Staff 6

Equality Legislation. 7

Disability and the Equality Act 2010. 7

The Equality and Human Rights Commission. 7

The Care Quality Commission. 7

Recruitment, Promotion, Transfers, Redeployment and Resignation. 8

Training. 8

Complaints. 9

 

Scope

Care4all is committed to ensuring equality of access and opportunity and will apply this to all employees, including bank/relief staff, service users and providers. This will include our customers, contractors, employees and all others who are involved in supporting Care4all in line with the Care4all Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Statement.

The Care4all Equality and Diversity Policy outlines our commitment, roles and responsibilities and good practice that we strive to achieve.  This document is in line with our duties and responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

Our aims are that:

  • All our existing and potential service users are treated with dignity and respect;
  • Our partnership and contract arrangements promote equality of opportunity;
  • Our workforce will be reflective of all sections of society; and
  • Each employee feels respected and able to give their best

Definitions

This plan outlines the Care4all’s approach to equality, diversity and human rights, based on the following definitions:

Equality

Equality is based on a principle of providing equal access to opportunities and services.  Equality legislation aims to protect individuals against discrimination or harassment due to protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or belief
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Gender

These characteristics are referred to as the 9 “protected characteristics” in the Equality Act 2010.

Diversity

Diversity is based on a principle of recognising, responding to, and valuing visible and non-visible differences amongst individuals ensuring everyone can thrive and contribute. At Care4all we respect and value these differences so that each person is treated and valued as an individual.

In valuing diversity we promote and respect differences that are not amongst the protected characteristics as outlined by the Equality Act 2010 and listed above. We recognise the increasing need for more flexible working practices and we are committed to continuously explore new ways of working which will give us access to the widest range of talent possible.          

Human Rights

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets universal standards to ensure a person’s basic needs as a human being are recognised and met.  These include:

  • The right to life
  • The right not to be  tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way
  • The right to liberty
  • The right to a fair trial
  • The right to respect private and family life, home and correspondence
  • The right not to be discriminated against

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 discrimination by perception below), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (see discrimination by association below).

Discrimination by Association – occurs when someone is discriminated against because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. Applies to race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, age, disability, gender and gender reassignment.

Discrimination by Perception – occurs when someone is discriminated against because others
think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not
actually possess that characteristic. Applies to race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, age, disability, gender and gender reassignment.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect Discrimination ‐ occurs when you have a condition, rule, policy or even a practice in
your 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, i.e. that it is ‘a proportionate means of achieving a
legitimate aim’. Applies to all protected characteristics.

Bullying

Bullying ‐ Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means which undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the individual or group of employees. This kind of conduct is usually sustained.

Harassment

Harassment – unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic (as defined in the Equality Act 2010), which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating or offensive environment for the individual.
Harassment applies to all protected characteristics except for pregnancy, maternity where
any unfavourable treatment may be considered discrimination, and marriage and civil
partnership. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010 employees can complain of behaviour
that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them. In addition, the complainant need
not possess the relevant protected characteristic themselves and the complaint can be
because of perception or association.

Third Party Harassment ‐ Employers are potentially liable for harassment of employees by

people (third parties) who are not employed by Care4all, such as customers or people who use the service. Care4all would be liable if harassment has occurred on at least two previous occasions, if we are aware that it has taken place, and have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it from happening again.

Victimisation

Victimisation ‐Victimisation occurs when someone is treated badly because they have made a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010. (As a result of having undertaken action against Care4all or an employee within the organisation.)

Roles & Responsibilities

Care4all Board of Trustees

It is the responsibility of the Care4all Board of Trustees to:-

  • Approve this Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Support the Chief Executive in this objective ensuring the necessary arrangements and processes are in place to eliminate any unlawful discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations when carrying out their work.

Care4all Chief Executive

It is the responsibility of the Care4all Chief Executive to lead and promote the equality agenda and also the following:

  • Have overall responsibility for ensuring that a plan/process is in place for Care4all which promotes equality, eliminates discrimination and promotes good relationships between different groups and individuals.  To ensure compliance with Equality and Diversity issues and ensuring that any appropriate action is taken
  • Have overall responsibility for ensuring that Care4all staff and service users are confident that any complaints related to this plan will be dealt with effectively and appropriately

Care4all Management Team:

It is the responsibility of the Care4all Management Team to:

  • Ensure systems and processes are in place to promote equality, diversity and human rights
  • Ensure that the organisation has equality objectives that meet the requirement of the Equality Act 2010
  • To adhere to the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Statement and associated procedures and working practices and ensure these are implemented and followed
  • Treat complaints related to this policy seriously and deal with them promptly and confidentially, using the appropriate procedure
  • Promote equality and eliminate discrimination in their working environment
  • Ensure that all staff they manage are enabled to develop the skills they need to promote equality
  • Ensure that equality is included in staff development reviews and identify areas of skills development in personal development plans
  • Ensure that they have the necessary skill to effectively apply the Recruitment and Selection Policy in any recruitment activity they are involved in.
  • Ensure staff are compliant with requirements in relation to equality and diversity training and address matters that contravene the policy expediently

Responsibility of Staff

All staff have the responsibility to promote equality by:

  • Conducting themselves in a professional and considerate manner at all times.  Standards of  behaviour expected by Care4all are set out in the Disciplinary Policy, the Code of Conduct Policy, the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Statement and the Bullying and Harassment procedure
  • Challenging the inappropriate behaviour of others
  • Developing their knowledge of diversity and supporting the organisation to promote equality by:
  • Developing their knowledge of the diverse needs of different groups, and sharing this knowledge with colleagues as appropriate
  • Where appropriate to their role, supporting the organisation by collecting equality monitoring information of staff or service users. This helps the organisation to assess its equality impact
  • Respecting and reasonably responding to the diverse needs of staff and service users and others

Equality Legislation

The Equality Act 2010 brought together and replaced previous legislation that already gave protection against age discrimination and other forms of discrimination, and extended protections to additional characteristics.  Particular aspects of Equality law were also strengthened.

Disability and the Equality Act 2010

From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply.

The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. It provides legal rights for disabled people in the areas of:

  • employment
  • education
  • access to goods, services and facilities including larger private clubs and land based transport services
  • buying and renting land or property
  • functions of public bodies, for example the issuing of licences

The Equality Act also provides rights for people not to be directly discriminated against or harassed because they have an association with a disabled person. This can apply to a carer or parent of a disabled person. In addition, people must not be directly discriminated against or harassed because they are wrongly perceived to be disabled.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission

EHRC is the main organisation with responsibility for enforcing the provisions of the Equality Act as a whole, on behalf of any person subject to the protected categories of age, disability, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership pregnancy/maternity and gender reassignment.

In particular, the Equality Act gives the Commission power to monitor compliance with and to enforce the Public Sector Equality Duty on behalf of Individuals or organisations.

The Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission use an approach based on removing the barriers that people face in achieving equality – known as the ‘social model’ – so that they look at what we can do to help people achieve equal outcomes.

The Care Quality Commission emphasise people’s rights and entitlements, rather than their needs and requirements. They want people who use services to exercise choice and control over the services they receive.

The CQC regulatory activities include registering health and social care providers, monitoring their compliance with essential standards and their duties to protect people’s rights under the Mental Health Act.

Monitoring compliance on equality and human rights is integral to monitoring compliance with the essential standards of quality and safety. Outcomes relating to equality and human rights are embedded in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 associated regulations and in the essential standards.  The important task is to ensure that information about equality and human rights is collected and contributes to judgments and regulatory actions. Human rights are listed as a factor for assessing impact on people who use services in the guidance about compliance judgment framework. Key questions are:

  • Are outcomes different for people with different protected characteristics?
  • Does this indicate non-compliance with the essential standards?
  • Are any outcomes related to human rights principles?
  • If there are concerns with these outcomes, what is the human rights impact on people who use services?
  • How does this affect our judgment on the level of concern?

Recruitment, Promotion, Transfers, Redeployment and Resignation

This policy will underpin all other policies related to recruitment, promotion, transfers, redeployment and resignations.

All job advertisements will encourage applications from any group. The adverts and any supporting documentation will ensure they do not refer to any specific equality criteria unless there is a genuine occupational requirement, which fully meets the provisions of the relevant legislation. Any personal details specified must be genuinely necessary to perform the particular role.

Procedures for selecting and recruiting staff, promoting, transferring, redeploying employees and the resignations/voluntary redundancies of employment will be fair and consistent.

Applicants with a disability have the right to reasonable adjustments to be made during the recruitment process, including interview and can be considered under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme if they meet the minimum criteria as specified in the Person Specification.

Training

All new employees will be expected to attend the mandatory induction programme which includes information on Equality and Diversity, access to appropriate and linked policies.

All new employees will be expected to attend the statutory and mandatory training courses which includes training on Equality and Diversity in the workplace. It is important that staff are trained to be aware of the specific requirements under the legislation.

All employees will have access to regular supervision, an annual review of their performance and a personal development plan which identifies their training needs. This will include a review of any equality training appropriate to their job function.

 

Complaints

Care4all will actively involve and engage with all communities in order that they can shape and influence our services. It is committed to fostering a culture where service users, their families can approach a member of staff and raise a concern about human rights. The concerns will be passed to a senior manager to be considered discussed with them and resolved where possible (see the complaints policy)

If a member of staff has a complaint they should contact their manager or the HR manager who will advise give guidance on an appropriate resolution. Any grievances will be treated seriously and with sensitivity. (Further information on dealing with this can be found in the Grievance Policy or Whistleblowing Policy).