Promoting Diversity, Equality & Human Rights in the workplace

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1 Promoting Diversity, Equality & Human Rights in the workplace Some people think Equality and Diversity mean the same thing; or perhaps being equal means treating everyone in the same way. This is not the case. So what is Equality and Diversity and what does it mean for you? Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to reach their potential. It is recognising that discrimination is unacceptable regardless of people s gender or gender assignment, race, nationality, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin, marital status, age, colour, physical or mental disability, social background or sexual orientation. Diversity literally means difference ; it is about recognising individual, as well as group differences. Diversity is the many different characteristics that staff, patients, carers and families bring to our organisation. These characteristics bring variations of thinking, communication styles, skills and behaviours which broaden our horizons. Diversity means recognising and celebrating the differences that exist between individuals as sources of strength and enrichment. This goes beyond mere equality. After all, treating everyone as if we were all the same can be discriminatory in itself as it would be based on your values, not theirs. Why is Equality and Diversity important? Equality and diversity is becoming more important in all aspects of our lives and work: Communities are becoming more diverse societies and we need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively to the diversity. Our workforce also reflects this diversity around gender, race and ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexuality, age, pregnancy/ maternity, marriage/civil partnerships. The Trust believes in placing equality and diversity in all mainstream functions and activities so that colleagues, staff, students and learners are valued, motivated and treated fairly. There is an equality and human rights legal framework covering our employment practices and service delivery and we need to ensure we work within this framework and avoid discrimination.

2 What can we do to promote DIVERSITY and EQUALITY? Treat people as individuals respecting their beliefs, views and lifestyles even when they are different from our own. Seek to treat work colleagues and patients with dignity and respect at all times. Take into account colleagues and patients religious, cultural and social needs. Challenge questionable attitudes and behaviour if you feel someone is behaving inappropriately. Report discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation of any kind towards anyone to a line manager. Ensure we collect information about our staff and patients so we can monitor how our policies are supporting everyone. Make sure everyone involved in recruitment has had some basic training around equality and diversity and have completed the relevant recruitment course. Encourage teams and colleagues to look into the different areas of equality in more detail. Complete equality analysis on any service activity, developments, policies to see if they impact upon any group(s) with a protected characteristic. Eliminate prejudice and discrimination Discrimination is less favourable treatment based on someone s protected characteristic. A protected characteristic is an individual strand of diversity as covered under the Equality Act. These include: Age Disability Gender Race or ethnicity Sexual orientation Religion or Belief Pregnancy and Maternity Marriage / civil partnership Gender identity / reassignment Remember: We can face discrimination because of any of these aspects, but it is also important to link protected characteristics with social identities, individuality and social situation.

3 If you look at the picture below, you can imagine that discrimination can be triggered just because of the way someone looks, dresses, their overall personal appearance, their size, their personal likes, Discrimination includes stereotyping, making assumptions, patronising, humiliating and disrespecting people, taking some people less seriously than others. Sometimes our prejudices are hidden deep inside of us, and we may surprise ourselves by our reactions to certain situations. Discrimination Stereotype Prejudice Change is not achieved by laws alone. We all have a responsibility for making sure that the spirit of equality and diversity is maintained and promoted. Sometimes this requires a change in attitude never an easy matter. All of us have prejudices. It is easy to use stereotypes disregarding the differences that exist between us. Being aware of our own reactions is the first step towards overcoming them and creating an organisation in which everyone is treated with dignity, respect and genuinely valued as a unique individual. Types of discrimination There are different types of discrimination and includes harassment and victimisation. These include: Direct discrimination Discrimination by association Perception discrimination Indirect discrimination Institutional discrimination Harassment Third party harassment Victimisation Detailed information can be found on the RCHT equality and diversity intranet pages. Further details about the Trust s commitment to equality and diversity can be found on the document library (under Equality and Diversity ) or on the Trust s website under About the Trust.

4 The Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) also has information that can help when providing a service to patients, carers and relatives from different backgrounds. Equality and Diversity, Human Rights, Mental Capacity Act, Recruitment and Selection and Equality Impact Assessment courses and training days are run by the Learning and Development Department. Details are available in the Education Prospectus on the Learning and Development intranet site. You can also undertake an e-learning package on the ESR_NLMS or Learning4Health. Contact Learning and Development on ext for further details. If you would like more information or have any questions regarding equality and diversity or equality analysis then please talk to your line manager or contact the Trust Human Rights, Equality and Inclusion Lead. with d ignity and respect A Workplace where staff are treated with dignity and respect The Trust is committed to providing a healthy workplace where all staff are treated with dignity and respect and a working environment exists that is free from harassment, bullying and victimisation. What is Harassment? Harassment can be described as any form of unwanted, unwelcome and/or unreasonable behaviour that the recipient finds offensive, intimidating or hostile, irrespective of the intentions of the person responsible for that behaviour. It may be related to age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, disability, religion or belief, nationality or any personal characteristic and may be persistent or consist of an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient. What is Bullying? Workplace Bullying can be defined as the misuse of power or position that undermines a person s ability or leaves them feeling hurt, frightened, angry or powerless. Examples of bullying/harassment include: Withholding information, etc. so the job cannot be done properly Unreasonable impossible deadlines or workloads Overbearing supervision or unjust criticism Blocking opportunities or threats about job security Belittling, shouting, insulting or verbal abuse Setting a colleague up to fail Unwanted physical incidents Explicit behaviour such as mimicking the effect of a disability

5 What is Victimisation? Victimisation is where a person is treated less favourably than others because they have made a complaint about bullying and harassment or have assisted or supported a colleague who has made a complaint. Harassment, Bullying or Victimisation will not be tolerated in any form and zero tolerance will apply. Individual members of staff are responsible for their own behaviour and should ensure their own actions and remarks do not cause offence to others Staff members should ensure they are familiar with and adhere to the Trust policy, procedure and guidance on Dignity at Work, a copy of which is available from your manager or can be viewed on the HR section of the Trust document library accessible via the Intranet. Training The Learning and Development Department run a management programme that includes Bullying and Harassment and the issue is also covered as part of the e- learning package on Equality and Diversity. For more details contact the Learning and Development Department on ext If you would like more information or have any questions regarding bullying and harassment please talk to either your line manager, your divisional Human Resources Business Partner teams, via telephone number ( ), trade union representative or one of the Trust Independent Listeners - members of staff who have been trained to help staff understand their rights and responsibilities and support staff who have been harassed and/or bullied. Independent Listeners can be contacted via telephone number

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