1 How our organisation promotes Equality and Diversity, both internally to the organisation and externally to the organisation. At Sunshine Care we are committed to achieving equality of treatment and welcome the contribution that our diverse community offers, celebrating equality, diversity and community cohesion. We commit to treating everyone equally and will not tolerate harassment or intimidation of any kind and we respond swiftly to address such behaviour. We follow an established Equality & Diversity Policy, the principles of which are embedded in our practice and are reflective of Plymouth City Councils vision in this regard. Promotion of Equality and Diversity is achieved internally and externally to our organisation in a variety of proactive and positive ways and in accordance with the Equality Act Promoting Equality & Diversity We aim at all times to create an inclusive environment which promotes equal opportunity to the people that we support, employ and have association with. We never discriminate against people through our policies, services, employment or practices. The promotion of our position on Equality is essential and we maintain visibility in this regard. Visibility includes promoting equality through: Policy implementation: We understand that for equality to be achieved it must be promoted through policy which is adopted by employees, suppliers and stakeholders. We ensure commitment to equality and diversity by meeting our responsibilities under current legislation and codes of practice, and we aim to be champions for equality and diversity within our sector. We will ensure that equality and diversity are mainstreamed throughout the company and will treat each protected characteristic with equal importance. We will communicate our equality commitments to all staff, subcontractors, Service Users, suppliers, stakeholders, in line with individual access needs. Employment & human resource: We have regard to equality and diversity in all aspects of employment from advertising vacancies, recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, through to training and personal development. We ensure at all times that equal opportunities and the promotion of diversity is central to our human resources strategy and we work to achieve the diversity of our workforce to ensure that it reflects the communities we serve. We ensure equality and the promotion of diversity through applying consistent standards which are understood and implemented throughout the organisation, in line with equal opportunities and other employment legislation. We have a system for recording, analysing, and regularly reporting on data on current employees and job applicants and leavers. This takes consideration of race, disability, gender, and age, sexual orientation, religion, belief and marital status. We aim at all times to develop a workforce reflective of the diverse population of our region and we take positive action to ensure people from groups currently under represented within our workforce are encouraged to apply for vacancies. We adopt an employee development and training plan which encourages and develops all employees and raises awareness of equal opportunities issues, enabling employees to understand their responsibilities and develop anti-discriminatory behaviour. Mutual respect at work is promoted through policy and practice, which recognises that all employees have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. This is reflected in job descriptions. We promote a working environment
2 that is supportive and non-threatening and ensure that robust codes of practice are in place to combat discrimination, bullying, and harassment - with a view to ensuring an environment where everyone receives encouragement to reach their full potential. Company literature: We adopt design and print guidelines that promote diversity and present positive nonstereotypical images and language. We have developed a care service that maximises access by all communities. We provide information in plain English and using various methods to include written documents, other languages, Braille, large print, audio, sign language, interpretation, and translation as appropriate. We ensure that we engage with, in order to identify the needs of the people we support and ensure the relevance of the services we offer. Behaviour and attitude: We ensure that all employees are kept informed of good practice in relation to removing negative stereotypes that may act as barriers to occupational choice or service delivery and do so through various mediums to include, newsletters, supervision and team meetings. Working with other organisations: We work with various advocates such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Mental Capacity Advocates to promote our commitment to Equality and Diversity and to establish any new approaches to it. Training: Training in Equality & Diversity is delivered at all levels including to the Board of Directors and senior management on both the policy and issues relating to it. We ensure that our employees are trained and supported to deliver the highest possible levels of customer service to all communities in which we work. Service delivery: We ensure that services offered are consistent with and promote equality and opportunity at every level. Ensuring delivery of a flexible and yet consistent service, free from discrimination and where every service user is treated in a professional manner with both dignity and respect. This will be promoted through brokers, the local authority, on our website and Service User Guides. Working with suppliers: It is important to us that our suppliers and contractors promote equality and value diversity. So before we allocate work to suppliers they must share a copy of their Equality and Diversity Policy and/or statement with us and satisfy us that their employment practices and procedures are fair. We will ensure that we promote to suppliers with whom we work, our position on equality & diversity. Environment: We ensure that our premises are accessible by everyone and are promoted as such. Measuring progress: We regularly monitor and audit key processes that are critical to service delivery. We continually improve access to our service and we promote, provide, collect and monitor the equality and diversity data of our Service Users and employees. This will include data around all protected characteristics. We will actively promote the need to address any imbalances and support employees to challenge, record, and report incidents of discrimination. We have in place a promoted and accessible complaints system in place. We collect data from, understand and value the importance of recording and maintaining accurate detail and how this enables us to challenge any barriers to access of employment or service, Where we identify possible barriers to those at risk of non-participation we ensure this is information is acted upon. Decision making: Overall responsibility for the implementation of promotion of best practice lies with Sunshine Cares Board of Directors and Registered Manager. In Conclusion
3 Sunshine Care are committed to the promotion of Equality and Diversity, and work continuously to ensure it is achieved in a variety of proactive and positive ways and in accordance with the Equality Act The person who leads in E&D within your organisation together with details of his relevant experience and any relevant qualifications Service Manager: Aaron Rixon takes the lead in our organisation on Equality & Diversity. Experience and qualifications Aaron previously worked for Plymouth City Council as a Customer Services representative in 2011, where he attended the Equality & Diversity Training provided by Zebra training. Aaron has more recently attended Equality & Diversity training, on 12th March 2013, again with Zebra training services, who deliver equality training to both Plymouth City Council and Devon County Council. Aaron has completed Level 5 Leadership and Management in which Unit 3 covers Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The unit is assessed in line with the QCF principles and assessed in the workplace setting. The unit covers: 1. Understanding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within his own role 2. Championing understanding 3. Developing processes and systems that promote inclusion 4. Managing risks that are presented when balancing individual rights and professional duty. He is guided by the Managing Director of Sunshine Care, Paul Constantine who has also attended the aforementioned Equalities training provided by Zebra and the Council. Paul has for over 16 years been involved in the changing landscape of law and practice in the area of Equality and Diversity with success. Croner as described in our Health & Safety response, are engaged to offer detailed specialist advice relating to employment and safety. Additionally we use various specialist solicitors as and when the need arises and based on obtaining the very best advice for any given situation.
4 How our Equality and Diversity policies are communicated to our service users, employees, volunteers (where applicable). Equality & Diversity is integral to the values of Sunshine Care and reflected in everything we do. The sharing of best practice and policing that equal treatment is applied throughout our organisation, leads us to monitor the understanding of our Equality & Diversity policy on a continuous basis. To this end we recognise that the communication of the policy must in the first instance be comprehensive and accessible. This is vital in order that everyone throughout the organisation and associated with it, is clear on the part that individually and collectively, we all play in applying equal and fair treatment for all. Sharing Policies and Procedures Employees: Employees are introduced initially to our policies on Equality & Diversity at their induction training. Subsequent understanding of this is tested via the Common Induction Standards workbook. Additionally, staff are made aware at induction training, how the Equality & Diversity policy feeds into, influences and forms part of other policies such as our Employment policy. They also become familiar with how this in turn, ensures their treatment as employees is at all times, equitable. Other ways in which the policies will be communicated with employees includes: 1. Discussions, such as at staff meetings 2. Contracts of employment 3. Additional training 4. Newsletters 5. Supervisions 6. Annual appraisals 7. Annual Equality & Diversity report 8. Through our website 9. Available as hard copy within our office and a notice of this is continuously displayed for visitors Service Users & their family / friends: Service Users and their circle of support, will be introduced initially to our policies through our company literature, for example the Service Users guide. Service Users can be confident that we will ensure that they are treated fairly. To communicate this however we must in the first instance provide them with a choice of format for communication, such as requesting large print or audio. Other ways in which the policies will be communicated with Service Users and their support network includes: 1. Discussions over the telephone 2. Contracts of service 3. Assessments and reassessments 4. Newsletters 5. Supervisions 6. Annual Equality & Diversity report
5 7. Through our website 10. Available as hard copy within our office and a notice of this is continuously displayed for visitors Other health & social care professionals / Stakeholders: Professionals and Stakeholders are usually conversant with Equality & Diversity practices but this does not mean that we should not communicate our company position on this. It is important to us that our relationship with other professionals is founded on a mutual understanding of each other's philosophies and the way in which we work, as many times we have Service Users in common. Cohesive approaches to matters such as Equality of treatment is therefore of paramount importance. Associated professionals are therefore signposted to our policies via various means to include: 1. Informal discussions such as over the telephone 2. Company literature 3. Newsletters 4. Review meetings 8. Annual Equality & Diversity report 5. Through our website 11. Available as hard copy within our office and a notice of this is continuously displayed for visitors Annual Equality & Diversity report Annually we put together the findings of any equality data collected and take consideration of any changes in best practice, updated training or changes in legislation or the Equalities Act we produce an annual report. This is then used to maximise the quality of communication with Service Users, employees, stakeholders and commissioners to keep them abreast of any changes that may affect the policies moving forward.
6 Activities undertaken and strategies implemented (beyond those required to meet statutory obligations) to improve Equality and Diversity within our organisation. Our commitment to promoting Equality & Diversity is continuous and we strive to improve and embed understanding into our daily practices regularly and in various ways. Improvements in Recruitment In 2012 we began to use positive action as a regular part of our recruitment process. In doing so we have increased job applications from under-represented groups of people by 16%. This increase was primarily due to a surge in employment of Male candidates. This in turn has provided greater efficiency in matching staff to Service User requirements, gender and culture. We have found that in particular, younger male Service Users like to have Male Workers and are more comfortable in social situations, as are older Gentlemen who have expressed that they feel more comfortable with Males providing personal care. Developed Local Links To help us reach a wider pool of applicants, we have developed local links with community groups, schools and support organisations. An example of this has been the provision in our Training Centre of practical manual handling, infection control and personal care training to groups of children undertaking Health and Social care courses at Ridgeway School, Plympton. This training is provided for free and is one of the many ways we like to add social value to the communities we support. The Sunshine - Equality Rainbow Campaign Aligns our values and encourages people to question unfair treatment. We provide the mechanisms for challenging inequality, keeping it at the forefront of the minds of employees and professionals. We are confident that our organisation and employees continue to individually and collectively contribute to a change of attitude and we will continue to witness emerging more agreeable attitudes around the wider and less obvious issues of equality. Our campaign includes a period of provision of 'Free Training on Equality & Diversity' along with interesting workshops, on the same subject and which are promoted via posters and word of mouth. Information is displayed within our premises, through employee awareness, promotion and partnership working. The campaign is to be promoted at various events planned for the coming year, such as job fairs and we are also working with partners to promote the campaign such as via district nurses and pharmacies. Feedback Into the Process We have positively welcomed feedback from stakeholders on all aspects of our work, who believe that they or others have suffered unfair treatment or unlawful discrimination. These stakeholders have had their concerns taken seriously through our complaints procedures. These processes have taken specific account of racist and homophobic incident recording and appropriate confidentiality requirements. As part of this process, feedback and communication is continued until a satisfactory outcome has been agreed by all parties. Discrimination We have had no instances of substantiated complaints about our diversity or equality culture in 16 years, but are not complacent and will continue to monitor and develop our procedures on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion, class, disability, special needs, sex, gender identity, marital status as part of our continuous improvement policy.
7 Details of our organisation s Equality and Diversity training for employees and volunteers. At Sunshine Care we value Equality and Diversity training and take seriously the need to choose effective content and approaches to the delivery of courses. For this reason, Managers and trainers are trained by Zebra, a well established provider in this area of education and who provide the same training for Plymouth City Council - affording us continuity of information. We update annually this training and our Managers and Trainers skills and qualifications give them significant ability to lead our organisation in this regard. All other employees receive training from our sister organisation Sunshine Training, of which Trainers are educated by Zebra Training and have their training refreshed annually. Induction Training Exposure to Equality and Diversity at induction level includes the sharing of our policies and procedures in conjunction with the training and allows sufficient time for trainees to ask questions and establish a clear understanding of the subject. Various mediums are used throughout the sessions to include: 1. The Skills for Care Induction Workbooks 2. DVD s 3. PowerPoint presentation Within the training sessions we: provide a foundation to understand the Equality Act 2010 and the consequence of not adhering to it. We also look at the impact this has on people who should be protected by the Act examine what good practice looks like explore as a group, who within the organisation can support us in meeting the requirements of legislation and regulation, such as our legal advice helpline Croner. Identify who has responsibility for Equality & Diversity within our organisation Look in more detail at the protected characteristics It is also a core aim of the session, to put all of the above then into 'real scenarios' in order that the trainees can fully understand the wide and significant reaching implications of the Act. We aim to illustrate what it would mean in reality to them as individuals, to the people we support and those with whom we work, to be discriminated against and do so using the core subjects below to navigate us through the key points of the Act. Theme Direct discrimination Discrimination by association Aim To demonstrate how direct discrimination occurs and how a person might be treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Setting out how discrimination by association occurs when a person is treated less favourably because they are linked, or associated,
8 with a person who has a protected characteristic. Discrimination by perception Indirect discrimination Harassment - disability, gender re-assignment, race, or sex Harassment religion or belief or sexual orientation Covering that discrimination by perception happens when a person is discriminated against because they are thought to have a particular protected characteristic or are treated as if they do. Flagging what indirect discrimination is, and identify where indirect discrimination can be justified and lawful We set out examples of harassment which has the purpose or effect of violating a person s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them and how to report these should trainees see this happen or are the subject of such harassment. We cover as above but in respect of religion or belief or sexual orientation Victimisation Discrimination arising from disability Discrimination because of a failure to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person Victimisation is illustrated as the service provider treating someone badly because they have made or supported a complaint related to the Equality Act. We cover the difference between discrimination arising from disability and that from direct discrimination. We also train the parameters of when different treatment can be justified. We go through the principles of reasonable adjustments and what this might mean to employees and Service Users and how these parties can approach us to request that reasonable adjustments are made. Positive action Positive action is put into context for trainees Overall approach to training Throughout training, trainees are encouraged to think of scenarios around each area of the Equality Act 2010 and discuss these in groups. The trainer listens to the groups examine diversity and trainees describe themselves using a diagram and then compare this to the people they support. Learners work in groups to make a work place charter and explore how the charter encourages equality and inclusion in the workplace and refers to General Social Care Council codes of practice, which are also reflected throughout the supporting handouts provided to trainees. We examine what providing inclusive support looks like along with respect and anti-discriminatory practice. We work through how these can be included in daily working life situations. We commit to ensure that employees and especially trainers, mentors, care coordinators, rostering administrators and management, will be supported and coached to understand the importance of equality and know what their personal responsibilities are. We make sure that employees understands their personally responsibility around adherence to the all matters in respect of Equality & Diversity. In conclusion
9 Our training is extensive and effective and ensures it is intrinsic for all staff to treat everyone equally. This is demonstrated by our excellent track record around issues of Equality and Diversity, for which we have never had a complaint. Details of how as a provider we monitor Equality and Diversity in our organisation. The overall responsibility for monitoring Equality & Diversity within our Organisation sits with our Board of Directors and Registered Manager. Monitoring, Reporting & Reviewing Our managers drive commitment to Equality and Diversity in service delivery by monitoring that our workforce are providing accessible and customer focused services. Managers also resume the role of researching emerging ideas and gathering data from Service Users, Carers, other professionals and our workforce. In doing so they are maximising an improved understanding of the Service Users journey, building capacity to refer them to other services when required and providing information that increases the methods of communication we are exposed to in order to meet their needs. This includes keeping abreast of how other organisations are providing information, for example where organisations are providing Service User guides in MP4 format on their website for the visually impaired. Managers are also responsible for monitoring employees, stakeholders and the wider communities opinion around whether we are effectively promoting equality and valuing diversity in our role as employer and homecare service provider. The way in which Managers will monitor this may include the review of survey data solicited for this purpose. Managers are required to provide the Board of Directors, on a 6 monthly basis: 1. with the numbers of equality impact assessments undertaken, reasons for these and any adjustments made 2. equality and diversity training statistics 3. equality monitoring forms 4. information around which policies associated Equality and Diversity have been reviewed, any changes made and reasons for these and who undertook the review 5. details of any concerns raised via the Equality Rainbow Campaign and subsequent actions 6. details of any complaints raised about the organisation or individuals in respect of Equality of treatment, investigations and subsequent outcomes of these The Board on review of the above determine that some actions are required and if so, they will produce an Action Plan for the Registered Manager to lead on implementing. Action Planning An any plan produced following analysis of Equality and Diversity data will specify: What actions are required
10 How we will meet the actions Who is responsible for each action Deadlines and targets for achieving the goals How and when progress of the plan will be reviewed Sunshine Care aim to combat prejudice, stereotyping and harassment and improve approaches to customer care by ensuring that our services reflect the diversity of our local communities. By monitoring and reviewing our practices on a regular basis, we can be responsive to the different needs of groups and individuals and develop innovative partnerships with employees, Service Users and outside agencies to continue to improve community cohesion.