EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY

 

Reviewed: September 2020

Next Review date: September 2022

 

General Statement of Intent

 

Children First Derby recognises that people with different backgrounds, skills, attitudes and experiences bring fresh ideas and perceptions.  This policy seeks to value and harness these differences and to make our services relevant and approachable for everyone.  We aim to draw upon the widest possible range of views and experiences in order to meet the changing needs of our service users, staff, volunteers, funding bodies and supporters.

 

Children First Derby believes in equality of opportunity and values all individuals regardless of any collective identity.  However, we recognise that individual and institutional discriminatory practice has meant that some groups have not had equal access to services and fair employment practices, nor to opportunities in volunteering.

 

Children First Derby believes that all people have a right to employment and to services which are free from direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of race, colour, caste, ethnic or national origin, religion, political affiliation, social class, employment or financial status, sex, disability (sensory impairment and learning disability), marital status, HIV/AIDS status, language (including the language of deaf people), gender identity, sexual orientation, age or non-relevant criminal conviction.

 

Children First Derby is committed to providing an environment free of stereotyped and oppressive beliefs, attitudes and practices.  We seek to promote diversity and to respond to the needs of all individuals in a fair and equitable manner.  We work to reduce unfair discrimination in society and seek to eliminate such practices within the organisation.

 

A copy of this policy will be made available to each member of Children First Derby staff and volunteers.

 

Responsibilities and arrangements for turning

policy into practice

 

A1: THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

A1.1 The Board of Trustees as the employer has overall and final responsibilities in relation to the Race Relations Act (1976), Sex Discrimination Act (1975-85), Equal Pay Act (1970), Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974), Disability Discrimination Act (1995),The Human Rights Act (1998), The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations (1999), Equality Act (2006), The Racial Equality’s Code of Practice in Employment (2005),The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (2006) and all other relevant or subsequent legislation.  The Board of Trustees will also ensure the development of a strategic commitment to diversify, which goes beyond adherence to any legal responsibilities.

 

A1.2 The Board of Trustees will ensure that this policy is reviewed annually.

 

A2: CHIEF EXECUTIVE

 

A2.1 The Chief Executive has overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy is put into practice.  In particular the Chief Executive will ensure that:

 

  • Employees receive sufficient information and training to enable them to translate this policy into organisational culture. 
  • Senior Workers are aware of their responsibilities to their staff and volunteers in relation to equal opportunities and diversity. 
  • There are arrangements in place to monitor this policy.
  • That managing diversity is internally driven, from a sense of commitment by the organisation and its employees wherever they are based.
  • Those responsible for equality and diversity issues have the resources to carry out their work effectively.
  • That a training programme is planned in order to make staff aware of their responsibilities and rights under this policy and any updates are shared with all staff
  • That a commitment to the objectives of this policy is reflected at all levels through the organisation.

 

 

A3: TRUSTEES, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

All trustees, paid staff and volunteers will be expected to make this policy work and contribute to its ongoing development.

 

 

Recruitment and Selection

 

B1: REVIEWING VACANCIES

 

B1.1 As vacancies to paid posts and voluntary roles arise, all appointing senior staff members must review the Job Description (and the Personal Specification) to ensure that it meets the requirements of this Policy.

 

B1.2 No arbitrary restrictions will be placed on vacancies.  Where restrictions are applied they must be reasonably justifiable.  All applicants should be made aware that general life experience and voluntary as well as paid work are valued.

 

B1.3 All job vacancies will be advertised internally and externally.  An application process and timetable will be determined and applicants will be measured against the skills criteria on the person specification.

 

B1.4 Enhancement of Duties – Where additional duties are required to be undertaken, the position will be notified to all members of the particular team. An application / interview process will be followed as described in B1.3 above.

 

B1.5 New Posts – These will be advertised externally as described in B2 below

 

B1.6 ‘Acting Up’ – On occasion, vacant posts may be filled temporarily using ‘acting up’ arrangements. The ‘acting up’ role will be notified to all members of the particular team. The arrangements for the ‘acting up’ period will be clearly laid down in the notification and subsequent letter to the successful candidate.

 

B2: ADVERTISING

 

B2.1 Advertisements for job vacancies should be widely accessible and distributed through appropriate external media.

 

B2.2 Specifically advertisements should ensure:

 

  • That there are no requirements or criteria which are unnecessary to the post and which might exclude applicants from any particular section of the community.
  • That emphasis is placed on the availability of flexible working arrangements and/or job share opportunities where appropriate.
  • That no artificial age barriers are introduced.
  • All advertisements state that Children First Derby is working towards equal opportunities and values diversity.
  • All advertisements state accessibility in relation to working environments.

 

 

B3: SHORT LISTING AND INTERVIEWING

 

B3.1 All applicants will be given equal consideration for appointments.  Criteria for short listing must be clearly established by the preparation of Person Specifications and equally applied to all candidates.  An appropriate job application form should be used and Children First Derby should not accept personal CVs.  The personal details section of the application form shall not be viewed by the short listing panel until the process has been completed.  Each individual should be assessed according to his/her personal capability to carry out a given job.  General assumptions must not be made about individual applicants.

 

B3.2 Overseas qualifications, degrees and diplomas, which are comparable with UK qualifications, will be accepted as equivalents.

 

B3.3 When a job involves irregular or unsocial hours or travel, the full facts should be referred to in the Job Description or other recruitment literature.

 

B3.4 No less than three persons will carry out short listing and interviewing. Interview questions must not be of a discriminatory nature.

 

B3.5 Selection decisions must not be influenced by factors such as the traditional profile of the current post holder, unless for genuine occupational qualification reasons.

 

B3.6 The selection must not be influenced by the perceived prejudices of other staff.

 

B3.7 At both the short listing and appointment stage, brief notes shall be made on each application indicating clearly why the applicant has not been short listed or appointed. 

 

B3.8 Any recruitment records, which monitor the appropriate information to enable equal opportunity analysis must be kept for 12 months.

 

B4: AGE RESTRICTIONS

 

B4.1 In all recruitment and employment matters, age limits must not be applied in a way that is artificial or arbitrary.  Age restrictions in employment at Children First Derby are only applied where reasonably justified.  Nothing in this policy can over-ride any statutory provisions (e.g. on minimum ages in employment matters).  Where age restrictions are proposed, senior workers must be able to show reasonable justification for imposing such a limit.

 

 

Career Development and the Provision of Training

 

C1: TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

 

C1.1 Relevant training opportunities will be distributed to all employees.  Training will be available to trustees, paid staff and volunteers without discrimination and with regard to individual circumstances. 

 

C2: CAREER BREAKS

 

C2.1 Consistent with the needs of the organisation, Children First Derby will encourage initiatives designed to help staff who wish to return to work after a career break, or who wish to combine their pursuit of a career with raising a family.

 

C3: CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS NEEDS

 

C3.1 Where employees have particular religious or cultural needs which may conflict with work requirements, senior workers will consider whether it is reasonably practicable to vary or adapt these requirements to enable such needs to be met (e.g. where annual leave is sought on a religious festival it should not be unreasonably withheld).

 

C3.2 In dealing with such matters senior workers must seek to balance the operation needs of their service with the cultural and religious needs of employees.  Where appropriate, expert advice should be obtained.

 

C4: DISABLED EMPLOYEES

 

C4.1 The organisation will help employees who are disabled or become disabled to work within the organisation and wherever possible will assist with their rehabilitation and retraining.  The aim is to maintain disabled staff in employment wherever practicable.  Reasonable steps to achieve this may involve adjusting working conditions and practices as well as redeployment to alternative work.

 

C5: INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT/COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST

 

C5.1 All workers should have access to support.  If for example, a group of workers sharing a collective identity wish to set up a support group then this should be encouraged. If a worker feels isolated then provision should be made for external support.

 

C6: COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

 

Please see separate Grievance Procedure for further detail

 

 

C7: VICTIMISATION

 

C7.1 Employees will not be victimised in any way for complaining about discrimination or harassment and for giving evidence about such a complaint.

 

 

Equal Opportunities and Diversity in Service Delivery

 

D1: CONSULTATION

 

D1.1 Children First Derby aims to actively encourage the views of groups, which experience discrimination in order to improve our service delivery.  This should cover all aspects of our service including: management practice, recruitment, employment, volunteer involvement, training and development, publicity/publications and access to resources.

 

D2: ACCESS TO MEMBERSHIP AND SERVICES

 

D2.1 Children First Derby will aim to ensure that its services are accessible to all and reflect the needs of the various communities of people who may need them with particular reference to the needs of under-represented groups.

 

D2.2 Children First Derby will aim to make its building accessible to people with disabilities (including sensory impairment and learning difficulties).

 

D2.3 Children First Derby will make every effort to take account of the needs of people and groups on low income using our services.

 

D2.4 Children First Derby aims to ensure that all people will receive a positive and sustained welcome from their first point of contact with the organisation and staff will monitor consumer feedback to develop a better service in relation to diversify.

 

D2.5 Children First Derby will ensure that an accessible complaints procedure is available to ensure against discrimination in service allocation and delivery.

 

D3: MARKETING, PUBLICITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

 

D3.1 In order to promote equality of access to our service, Children First Derby will ensure that the organisation’s services are well publicised.  Publicity will include statements about our commitment to diversity and equal opportunities.

 

D3.2 The marketing of Children First Derby will strive to provide information and resource materials which are written free from jargon, as well as from racist, ageist, disabling, homophobic, sexist images, language or attitudes and any other discriminatory practices.

 

D4: COMMUNICATION

 

D4.1 Children First Derby aims to create a climate of communication, which reflects the needs of different linguistic and cultural groups by providing interpreters and signers as appropriate.  Information will be provided in a variety of formats (e.g. audio tape or large print) on request.

 

Gender Reassignment and Transgender information

 

Children First Derby is committed under its Equal Opportunities policy to treating people no less favorably than others on a number of grounds including gender reassignment. This commitment applies both to people in the process of transition and people living in their acquired gender.

 

  1. Definitions and general principles

Transsexual (‘trans’) people (known as ‘trans men’ or ‘trans women’) are those who have gender dysphoria (i.e. are not at ease in their birth gender) and who are living, and intend to live permanently, in their acquired gender. They are protected against discrimination whether or not they have had gender reassignment surgery. This condition is distinct from and should not be confused with sexual orientation or transvestism.

Trans people, whether considering transition or living in the acquired gender, may suffer from discrimination. This may be because of deliberate and overt treatment or it may be the result of ignorance and insensitivity. In either case discrimination has a serious impact not only on the person's health and happiness but also on his or her performance at work. Even the stress on an individual of concealing, for fear of discrimination, his or her trans status can have an adverse effect.

 

  1. Confidentiality

It is important for all staff and volunteers that their confidentiality and privacy should be protected; this is especially important in employing a trans person and in supporting him or her in the transition process.

Following transition, the trans person should be referred to in his/her acquired gender on all occasions including, for instance, references.

Further information including details about how name and, where relevant, gender, can be changed on request can be found on the gender transition process website.

Personal data and particularly sensitive personal data are protected by the Data Protection Act.

 

  1. Harassment and Victimisation

Harassment of a person because of his/her gender status or victimisation of a person because he or she has, or is believed to have, made a complaint or allegation or supported a complaint or allegation of discrimination are unlawful.

 

  1. Recruitment

Recruitment selection should always be based on finding the best person for the job. As with any other personal characteristics, the gender identity of an applicant is irrelevant. However, there could be issues in connection with managing the appointment process for people in the process of transitioning gender.

 

Children First Derby has a legal obligation (under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act) to ensure that all employees have a valid entitlement to work and reside in the UK. Alongside this, Children First Derby has a legal obligation (under the 1976 Race Relations Act to ensure that demanding proof of nationality from only some applicants does not discriminate against individuals. Therefore as part of the appointments process all prospective staff have to produce documentation, which will include either a passport or birth certificate. An applicant who has begun to live in the new gender but has not yet received a Gender Recognition Certificate may find this requirement difficult. It is therefore important to ensure, and to reassure the applicant, that the documentation will be held confidentially and will be processed only by those immediately responsible for their appointment. For all roles in Children First Derby a criminal records check is required. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has a special applications procedure in recognition of the fact that checks might reveal the previous sexual identity of the applicant: further information is available confidentially from the CRB (tel. 0151 676 1509). The Gender Trust has useful advice for anybody completing a form to request a CRB check.

 

  1. Legislation and Government guidance

Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 as amended it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee or contactor on the grounds of that person's sex or gender reassignment or because they are married or in a civil partnership (or unmarried/not in a civil partnership).

The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 protect transsexual people against discrimination in employment and vocational training. This protection begins from the time when a transsexual person makes it known that he or she intends to undergo gender reassignment, and continues indefinitely when the gender reassignment is complete.

 

In addition, the Equality Act 2006 places a statutory duty on public authorities to have due regard to the need:

  • to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment
  • to promote equality of opportunity between men and women

This duty also applies in relation to people who intend to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment.

 

A person is protected against less favourable treatment, harassment and victimisation if he or she:

  • intends to undergo gender reassignment, or
  • is undergoing gender reassignment, or
  • has at some time in the past undergone gender reassignment

 

Discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment includes, for example:

  • refusing to appoint or promote a person or dismissing him or her on grounds of their sexuality
  • exclusion from work or work-related activities
  • verbal or physical threats, including sexual harassment
  • refusing to address the person in the acquired gender or to use their new name
  • failing to observe confidentiality about the person's transsexual status
  • refusing to accept the transition status as defined by the person concerned

 

For further information regarding equality and diversity please access:

 

 

 

 

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