Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy

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1 Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy Approval Date approved: 04 April 2014 Date Effective from Related documents Owner (Executive Director) Author External references Date of approval Performance Management and Conduct policy, Bullying and Harassment policy, Saroj Patel, Director of Workforce, I.M. and T and Corporate Affairs Mandy Adams, Senior Human Resources Advisor e.g. NHSLA Superseded documents Equality,Diversity and Human Rights Policy (2008) Review due Keywords Consultation Scope Two years from the date of approval shown or earlier, subject to legislative change or National policy changes or Organisational need. e.g. equality, diversity and human rights Partnership Forum Policy Sub-group, including Operations, Transformation, Nursing and Staff Side For the groups listed below, failure to comply with this policy may result in investigation and may include formal action in line with the Trust s disciplinary or capability procedures for Trust employees, and other action in relation to organisations contracted to the Trust, which may result in the termination of a contract, assignment, placement, secondment or honorary arrangement. Application: e.g. All Trust staff, including medical staff and staff undertaking work in / on behalf of the Trust Exclusions: e.g. None This policy relates to: CQC Outcomes NHSLA General Standards Alternative versions e.g. Outcome 13 Staffing e.g. NHSLA 1.10 Employment Checks Upon request this policy may be made available in large print and alternative languages. It is a manager s responsibility to ensure employees are aware of these options. 1

2 Contents page Table of contents 1. Introduction and aims of policy 2. Definitions 3. Duties and responsibilities 4. Body of policy 5. Monitoring the effectiveness of this policy Appendix 1: Equality Impact Assessment This policy is available on request in large print and alternative languages. It is a manager s responsibility to ensure employees are aware of these options. 1. INTRODUCTION AND AIMS OF THE POLICY The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust recognises the value in the diversity of its staff, community and patients. The Trust is committed to creating a culture in which diversity and equality of opportunity are promoted and in which unlawful discrimination is not tolerated in service delivery, decision-making or employment practice. The Trust is committed to provide staff with guidance on equality, diversity and human rights issues so that they can perform their duties and behave in a manner which is seen to promote and adhere to equality standards. The policy has been written to ensure also that everyone in the Trust understands the legal framework within which the Trust works. The Trust recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the staff and patient experience. 2. Definitions The following definitions are used in this policy: Equality Act 2012 This Act replaces the previous discrimination law (e.g. Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and includes the following: Extends the groups protected (protected characteristics of which there are 9) Addresses removal of health questionnaires 2

3 Addresses discrimination by association Addresses direct and indirect discrimination Addresses harassment, victimisation and failure to make reasonable adjustments Replaces all previous discrimination law Introduces harassment by third parties The Act also relates to the provision of services to patients and not just employment. Equality Analysis Equality Delivery System Monitoring Equality Analysis is the process of systematically analysing a policy or service function. This will help to identify what effect, or likely effect, the policy will have following implementation and or operation on people with different protected characteristics. The Equality Delivery System (EDS) is a tool that supports the NHS to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities and better working environments for staff, which are personal, fair and diverse. Equality monitoring is the process by which we ask for and gather personal information from our patients, service users and staff. Reasonable n An adjustment is a change. This can be a physical change Adjustments (part of or a change in the way something is done. Reasonable will the Equality Act 2010 depend on a number of circumstances but the tests include: and 2012) How much will a reasonable adjustment reduce the disadvantage The practicality of the change The financial implications and the extent of any disruption caused The extent of the Trusts financial and other resources. Although the Trust may consider reasonable adjustments for employees who have a disability or are pregnant, it is best practice for them to be considered for all employees to facilitate attendance and implemented where service delivery allows. Protected Groups (part of the Equality Act 2010 and 2012) Age Disability Gender Reassignment Marriage and Civil Partnership 3

4 Race Religion or Belief Sex Sexual Orientation Pregnancy and Maternity Bullying Bullying is persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour with the intention to undermine an individual or groups of people. A bully may use strength or power of position to coerce others by fear. As a result the recipient may suffer distress, feel threatened, humiliated, vulnerable and suffer a detrimental effect on their work. See 3.1 of the Bullying and Harassment Policy for examples of bullying behaviour. Harassment The definition of harassment is unwanted conduct related to any one of the 9 protected characteristics or other characteristic such as political belief, trade union membership or other belief, social origin, association with a minority, domestic circumstances, property, birth or other status, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individuals dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Harassment is further defined as where the actions or comments are reasonably viewed as demeaning, hostile and unacceptable to the recipient. The conduct is unreciprocated or unwanted and affects the dignity of employees at work. Note that an employee can claim harassment even if the harassment was not actually directed at them, e.g. where an employee overhears a colleague being verbally harassed by another colleague and they feel that it violates their own dignity. See 3.1 of the Bullying and Harassment Policy for examples of bullying behaviour. Victimisation Discrimination (Discrimination can be Direct or Indirect) Victimisation is when an individual is treated less favourably because they have complained about discrimination or have supported someone else to make a complaint. Direct Discrimination is where a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another on the grounds of their protected characteristic. Indirect Discrimination occurs when conditions or requirements are set out that exclude or disadvantage people of a particular protected characteristic unless it can be justified as a means of achieving a legitimate aim. 4

5 3. Duties and Responsibilities The Trust has a moral and legal responsibility for promoting human rights, equality, valuing diversity and tackling discrimination. The Chief Executive is responsible for providing leadership to the Trust in the promotion of equality and diversity. The Trust Board collectively and individually are responsible for supporting the Chief Executive in this objective through management and recognition of equality and diversity issues. The Trust Board has ultimate responsibility and accountability for ensuring that the Trust fulfils legal, business and moral requirements in relation to the promotion and development of equality-in service provision, recruitment and employment. The Trust Board is responsible for providing leadership and direction in relation to equality and diversity indicators, targets and producing reports measuring the Trust s progress in this area at both corporate and individual level. The Trust Board has a duty to monitor progress in its equality schemes and ensure that it conforms to current legislative and NHS requirements. The Trust Board must provide and allocate resources to secure the full and effective implementation and monitoring of this policy. The Director of Workforce, I.M. and T and Corporate Affairs is responsible for producing the Trusts Equality Statement for inclusion in the Annual Report. The Director of Workforce, I.M. and T and Corporate Affairs is responsible for ensuring that staff are trained before becoming involved in the Trusts recruitment and selection process. Directors and managers are responsible for the implementation of this policy within their own areas ensuring that all employees are aware of the policy and their responsibilities within it. The policy must be applied in the recruitment and selection of staff to the Trust. Decisions must be transparent, fair and equitable in terms of staff development, promotion and incremental changes. Staff appraisal should also be fair and transparent. The policy must be applied in all areas of employment and throughout the cycle of employment. Managers should deal assertively with allegations of victimisation, bullying and harassment regardless of whether the complainant is a staff member, patient or service user. Staff should be supported throughout and the matter dealt with fairly and transparently. To ensure that there is no unlawful discrimination in any of their practices whilst working at the Trust intentional discriminatory practices / actions will not be tolerated and employees may face serious disciplinary action should they be found to be involved in such behaviour. Employees should cooperate with measures within the Trust to ensure equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. All staff have an obligation to carry out their duties in accordance with the standards set out in this policy. If appropriate and if able they should challenge unwanted behaviour at the first instance. Staff have a duty to report any acts of discrimination to their line manager, trade union and / or Human Resources. Staff must treat all individuals with respect and dignity and not indulge in victimisation, harassment or bullying of any form. 5

6 All staff have a duty and an obligation to regularly attend training ( including updates, cultural and disability awareness). In partnership, local trade union representatives and management should agree procedures to implement any relevant employment legislation. In partnership, local trade union representatives should analyse data and information such as that derived from Trust Board reports as well as any other relevant statistics generated for the Trust. Local trade union representatives should actively promote issues on equality and diversity in partnership with the Trust. 4. Body of Policy As a provider of health care in a diverse community, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital will seek to work in partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders in order to achieve better health outcomes irrespective of their protected characteristics. This policy has been developed through consultation with the Partnership Forum, the Partnership Forum Policy Sub Group and the Diversity Working Group before being sent for corporate approval by the Workforce And Corporate Affairs (WACA) committee. The Trust is committed to the principles of human rights and equality of opportunity for all in employment and service delivery. The Trust will aim to ensure that individuals are treated fairly, with dignity and respect regardless of race, age, marital status, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, maternity and paternity, marriage or civil partnership. The Trust firmly believes that equality of opportunity and diversity is vital to its success and an essential prerequisite to achievement of its goals in delivering the best possible care that is accessible, appropriate and responsive to meeting the needs of our patients and staff. This statement also outlines our commitment to the Equality Delivery System as it sets out our intention to create a service that meets the needs of all irrespective of their protected characteristic. A service that delivers better outcomes for patients, communities and better working environments for staff, which are personal, fair and diverse. The Trust is committed to provide staff with guidance on equality, diversity and human rights issues so that they can perform their duties and behave in a manner which is seen to promote and adhere to equality standards. The policy has been written to ensure also that everyone working for the Trust understands the legal framework within which the Trust works. We recognise that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the staff and patient experience. Human Rights Act 1998 The Trust recognises the requirements of the Human Rights Act 1998 and undertakes to employ staff and provide services to patients which comply with these requirements. All public authorities in the UK have an obligation to respect the Convention rights. This means that the Trust must understand those rights and take them into account when providing services and in its employment practice. Requirements outlined in the Human Rights Act are now incorporated in the Equality Assessment Tool. Principles 6

7 This policy is based on the following principles: All staff and patients are entitled to an environment free from harassment bullying and discrimination. All staff and patients should have access to the appropriate services and opportunities within the Trust. The Trust s staff should reflect the diversity of experience, skill and ability from the National and International pool from which the Trust draws its workforce. Scope of the policy This policy covers all aspects of human rights, equality and diversity in employment and service delivery and applies to all Trust employees, service users, their families and their carers, volunteer staff, contractors and visitors on both sites. In order to promote equality and diversity, separate policies have been developed to ensure that legislation and best practice are adhered to. For example: Recruitment and Selection Policy Bullying and Harassment Policy Training and Study Leave Policy Leave Policy This policy is guided by the following legislation: Equality Act 2012 Human Rights Act 1998 Positive Action In specific circumstances, the Trust will consider positive action measures as a way of overcoming inequality in accordance with relevant legislation. Equality Impact Assessment An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed to ensure that the Trust has considered the potential impact of the policy. It is a requirement for all future workforce related policies to have a full EQIA assessment completed in advance of the policy being corporately ratified. (Appendix 1) Process for monitoring compliance The Risk Management Board and the Clinical Governance Board will monitor the effectiveness of this policy, selecting areas perceived to be at risk. This audit will be included in the annual audit programme and will be facilitated by the Trusts Clinical Audit Lead. Results of the audits will be included in the annual reports of both the Risk Management Board and the Clinical Governance Board. 7

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