INTRODUCTION

Sefton Carers Centre is totally opposed to all forms of discrimination and unfair treatment of its employees, volunteers and service users. We recognise that equality in employment, volunteering and service provision is good management practice and makes sound business sense. This policy is intended to put our commitment into practice.

The policy has been developed in consultation with staff, volunteers and service users via our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group.

PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS

We recognise that all three groups (Employees. Volunteers, Service Users), have legal protection against discrimination in the following main areas, (protected characteristics):

  1. Sex
  2. Race
  3. Age
  4. Disability
  5. Gender reassignment
  6. Sexual orientation
  7. Married or civil partnership status
  8. Pregnancy or maternity
  9. Religion or belief.

SCOPE

This policy and the behaviours and practices it aims to promote applies to all trustees, employees, volunteers and service users. Similarly, all agency workers, student placements, consultant and contractors engaged to deliver services on our behalf, but not directly employed by the company will also fall within the scope of this policy.

DISCRIMINATION

The Company endeavours not to unlawfully discriminate against anyone listed within the scope outlined above. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace and on any work-related trips or events (including social events).

The following forms of discrimination are strictly prohibited within the business:

  1. Direct Discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic (as outlined above).
  2. Indirect Discrimination: where a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than other and isn’t justified.
  3. Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and any other unwanted conducted relating to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, regrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
  4. Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.
  5. Disability Discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.

EMPLOYEES

We recognise the protected characteristics of all our employees, whether full-time, part-time or temporary and will treat all fairly and with respect. We will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including: recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline, and selection for redundancy. Job descriptions will avoid any unnecessary requirements (those unrelated to effective performance) that may otherwise deter applicants. We will base decisions on objective criteria. We will make reasonable adjustments in recruitment as well as in day-to-day employment to accommodate the diverse needs of people. Our aim is to secure the widest pool of talent possible and to attain a workforce that is truly representative of all sections of society.

All staff members have a responsibility to uphold the Centre’s values in light of this policy and are expected to treat all other individuals with dignity and respect.

VOLUNTEERS

We value all our volunteers and recognise their protected characteristics. Every volunteer has a right to be treated fairly and with respect. We will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of their recruitment and selection, promotion, opportunities for training, payment of out of pocket expenses, discipline, and selection for roles. Our aim is that our body of volunteers will be truly representative of all sections of society.

All volunteers also have a responsibility to uphold the Centre’s values in light of this policy and are expected to treat all other individuals with dignity and respect. Please see our Volunteer Policy for any further information outlining the rights and responsibilities of Volunteers at the Centre.

SERVICE USERS

We recognise the protected characteristics of our service users and those seeking to access our services. All service users will be treated fairly and with respect. We will not discriminate unlawfully in the provision of the Centre’s services. We will take positive steps to identify ‘hidden’ Carers who require, but are not yet accessing our services and support. We will ensure that information on our services is available in a variety of formats. For example, in Braille, languages other than English, audio tapes, interpreters, plain English, use of pictures.

Conversely, the Centre will also endeavour to protect against any potential discriminatory behaviour being directed at our staff from any service users. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure this and staff should report any concerns to management.

OUR COMMITMENT

  • To create a working environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff and volunteers are recognised and valued.
  • We will promote an environment which promotes dignity and respect.
  • Not to tolerate any form of bullying, harassment or victimisation. All staff are strongly encouraged to raise with management any discriminatory behaviour that they may encounter and are entitled to do so free from any reprisal (providing that this information is given honestly and in good faith).
  • To ensure that training and progression opportunities are available to all staff and volunteers
  • We will review all our employment and volunteering practices annually to ensure fairness.
  • We will strive to ensure that employed staff and registered volunteers reflect the diversity of the Borough of Sefton.
  • To regard breaches of equality policy by staff or volunteers as being misconduct which could lead to disciplinary proceedings. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.
  • To provide, induction, training and guidance for staff and volunteers to help them understand their responsibilities
  • To identify a senior person within the organisation to fulfil the role of EDI Champion
  • This policy has been approved by the Board of Trustees and will be reviewed bi-annually

COMMUNICATING THE POLICY

The policy will be issued to all trustees, staff and volunteers and all will be expected to adhere to it. A copy will be placed on the Shared–drive, as well as on our website, http://www.sefton-carers.org.uk/. Service users will be informed of its existence and copies made available upon request. EDI issues will be regularly discussed with both staff and volunteers during supervision.

EQUALITY

Employees are encouraged to raise with management any discriminatory behaviour, assumptions or attitudes they encounter at work and are entitled to do so free from any reprisal providing they are acting in good faith.

DIVERSITY

Diversity is a more wide-reaching concept than equal opportunities. It incorporates the principle that rather than ignoring the differences that exist between people; diversity should instead be recognised and respected. Sefton Carers Centre accepts this definition of diversity and by doing so, seeks to create a working and service environment where everyone feels valued for their individual talents and where their skills and competencies are fully realised.

Checked/amended by Rachel Fripp
Date checked/amended August 2019 (EW)
Date approved by Board 29/08/2019
Review date August 2021

Sefton Carers Centre

Sefton Carers Centre is a registered charity in England and Wales, No: 1050808

Registered as a company limited in England, No: 3124430