Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy

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1 2B Hylton Park Sunderland Enterprise Park Sunderland Tyne & Wear SR5 3HD Tel: Fax: Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy Changing lives, strengthening communities Company Registration No Counted4 Community Interest Company

2 Page: 2 of 8 Owner: Author: Distribution: John Devitt Chief Executive Officer Sylvia King Information Governance Information Governance Management Team (IGMT) Board This corporate policy document titled Corporate Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy currently has approved status. All stakeholders must fully endorse the policy document, for it to attain approved status. All issues and feedback concerning this document to be directed to the Chief Executive Officer via the Information Governance Manager through normal channels, using appropriate feedback mechanisms. Version control Version Date Revised By Comment /05/2010 Initial Draft /06/2010 Approved by C4 Board /07/2011 Sylvia King Policy review, updated to include carers and families /10/2011 Sylvia King Updated to remove Disability Discrimination Act in line with current legislation /10/2013 John Devitt Annual Policy Review /07/2015 John Devitt Update to legislation

3 Page: 3 of 8 Table of Contents 1. Overview Responsibilities of Counted4 and Individuals Scope Policy Advice and Complaints Monitoring and Review Compliance Definitions References... 9

4 Page: 4 of 8 1. Overview Counted4 is employing a workforce that reflects the community at large. Valuing diversity is a key organisational principle and equality of opportunity and outcome for everyone and should be promoted within the Counted4 business treating all individuals with courtesy, dignity and fairness. Counted4 is building a culture that encourages dialogue in evaluating and planning services and involves a diverse range of staff and service users recognising the differences in sex, marital status, race, disability, religion and beliefs, sexual orientation and age as well as other protected chasracteristics, eliminating unfair discrimination. All employers have the same legal duties under the Act, the way these duties are put into practice may be different but no employer is exempt from these duties because of size. The aim of this Policy is to build a fully inclusive organisation. This will be achieved by: Serving the community in a way which is appropriate, accessible and responsive Making the best use of the range of talent and experience available within the workforce and potential workforce Recruitment, development and retention of a highly effective diverse workforce Respecting the individual contribution of staff and service users and carer s 2. Responsibilities of Counted4 and Individuals Counted4 has a legal responsibility for demonstrating that they treat all staff fairly in service planning, service delivery and employment practices. This includes promoting good relationships between teams and equality of opportunity. To achieve this Counted4 will: Gather information on how our work affects different people Consult employees, and service users about how our services and employment practices could be improved It will enable Counted4 to achieve its aim of a healthy work-life balance for all staff, improve retention and prevent under utilisation of some staff. These legal responsibilities also extend to individual service users; therefore Counted4 expects all staff, service users, relatives, carers, visitors and contractors to act in accordance with this Policy when delivering or receiving Counted4 services.

5 Page: 5 of 8 3. Scope The Equality Act 2010 updated and strengthened the equality requirements and duties on organisations and individuals. Counted4 will endevour to ensure that no individual or group receives less favourable treatment either directly or indirectly on the grounds of: Language Nationality Age Disability Gender reassignment Marriage and civil partnership Pregnancy and maternity Race, Religion or Belief Sex Sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristic The above categories are known in the Act as protected characteristics. It is important that staff are aware of and should read the following policies in conjunction with this policy: Being Open Policy and Safer Recruitment Policy.

6 Page: 6 of 8 4. Policy 4.1 All employees will be treated with dignity and respect. Every member of staff is an essential member of a team and should feel able to develop their skills and play their part fully in the organisation. All staff should deliver their work to the highest standard and that means adapting as much as possible to the specific needs of each individual service user and working in a supportive way with colleagues. 4.2 Counted4 will use its best endeavours to provide a working environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation including explicit personal information based on Race, Religion or Belief, Ethnic or national origin, Gender, Sexual orientation, Transgender identity, Disability, Marital status, Social and employment status Age or Political affiliation or Trade Union membership. 4.3 Counted4 have a diverse workforce and will strive to continue to build on employing diverse cultures through the recruitment process. We encourage applications for employment for those with Black Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds, applicants with a disability (in treatment or leaving treatment and from women re-entering the work force) ensuring equality of opportunity and non discrimination in recruitment and selection. 4.4 Counted4 is committed to embrace diversity, ensuring equal access to training and opportunities for development 4.5 Staff are expected to treat colleagues, service user s, carer s and families fairly and with respect. 4.6 Any individual requesting services from Counted4 will receive the same care ensuring that they are not denied treatment based on any discrimination or social exclusion. 4.7 Verbal or physical abuse by anybody will not be tolerated. Counted4 will discipline staff who are found to be abusive. 4.8 If service users/visitors are verbally or physically abusive to staff Counted4 may consider limiting or withdrawing the provision of services to them, and may seek to prosecute. 4.9 Service users/visitors are expected to be respectful to all staff and service users/visitors.

7 Page: 7 of Counted4 will involve clients in decisions made about their treatment and care Counted4 staff must respect, protect and fulfill human rights and in doing so will support better health outcomes Counted4 have a diverse client base and if necessary provide translation services via Integrated Translation Services (ITS) which is a multi-language communication services agency providing foreign language translation and interpretation Counted4 seek to embed the principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy in all that we do Monitor and evaluate our services to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our clients, carers and family members 4.15 Be accessible and flexible when providing our services taking the differing needs of individuals into account 4.16 Ensure all decision making processes are fair, and that what the individual has to say is taken fully into account 4.17 Ensure individuals are given a reasonable opportunity to have their say, under conditions that do not place them at a substantial disadvantage As part of our mission we will encourage and enable staff to adopt and develop behaviours and practices which promotes inclusion, equality, diversity and achievement Counted4 will ensure that all policies and procedures have been assessed in terms of human rights impact reflecting the principles of dignity, equality, respect, fairness and autonomy

8 Page: 8 of 8 5. Advice and Complaints 5.1 All staff and service users/visitors who feel they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment have the right to seek redress. 5.2 Staff may seek advice from the Human Resources Manager, Trade Union or Professional Associations representative. Complaints should be submitted in accordance with Counted4 s Being Open Policy Procedure. 6. Monitoring and Review 6.1 Counted4 Board will monitor the Equality and Diversity Policy implementation and support the implementation of any action plans. 6.2 This policy will be reviewed every year (or sooner if changes in legislation). 7. Compliance 7.1 Counted4 has published this Equality and Diversity Policy to protect Counted4 and its service users, carers and visitors; any breach of policy may be subject to Counted4 s disciplinary procedures.

9 Page: 9 of 8 8. Definitions 8.1 Direct Discrimination is generally unlawful and occurs when a person treats another less favourably than they treat or would treat others because of a protected characteristic. 8.2 Indirect Discrimination - may occur when an employer applies an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice which puts workers sharing a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. Indirect discrimination applies to all the protected characteristics apart from pregnancy and maternity (although, in pregnancy and maternity situations, indirect sex discrimination may apply) Harassment - The Equality Act 2010 prohibits harassment related to relevant protected characteristic sexual harassment and less favourable treatment of a worker because they submit to, or reject, sexual harassment or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment. 8.4 It is unlawful discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because of her pregnancy or a related illness, or because she is exercising, has exercised or is seeking or has sought to exercise her right to maternity leave 8.5 Victimisation The Act prohibits victimisation. It is victimisation for an employer to subject a worker to a detriment because the worker has done a 'protected act' or because the employer believes that the worker has done or may do a protected act in the future. 8.6 The Act introduces new forms of obligations on employers to protect job applicants and employees from harassment by third parties during the course of employment, and not to enquire about the disability or health of applicants during the recruitment process. 8.7 The Act permits employers to take positive action measures to improve equality for people who share a protected characteristic. Positive action is not the same as positive discrimination, which is unlawful. 9. References 9.1 Legislation The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) came into force on 1 October 2010 and consolidates and replaces most of the previous discrimination legislation for England, Scotland and Wales. The Act covers discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. All are protected characteristics.

10 Page: 10 of Internal Standards / Procedures Counted4 Disciplinary Procedure

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