The Council has adopted the following Comprehensive Inclusion and Diversity Policy Statement:
The Council is committed to promoting inclusion and diversity through its core business. The Council will ensure that no person or group of people living, working or visiting the Borough will be directly or indirectly discriminated against because they belong to a particular protected characteristic (race, sex, disability, age, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment status, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity). The Council will also ensure that no person or group suffers direct or indirect discrimination due to other factors such as, caring responsibilities for dependents or unrelated criminal convictions.
The Council recognises that discrimination can take any of the following forms:
Direct discrimination - Treating people less favourably than others because they belong to a particular protected characteristic.
Associative discrimination - Direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
Discrimination by perception - Direct discrimination against someone because the others think they possess a particular protected characteristic.
Indirect discrimination - Creating conditions, requirements, provisions, criteria and practice that cannot be justified and which, in practice creates a barrier to some protected groups accessing service delivery or employment.
Institutional discrimination - The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their protected characteristic. It can be detected in processes, practices, requirements which perpetuate unconscious discrimination via prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and stereotyping.
Harassment & Bullying - The harassment and bullying of an individual or group of people based on their protected characteristic. This results in less favourable treatment and people feeling uncomfortable in the work environment or unable to access services.
Victimisation - Victimisation occurs where a person is treated less favourably because they are, or it is suspected that they will, pursue their rights to fair treatment via complaints/grievance mechanisms or legal proceedings.
The Council is committed to promoting inclusion & diversity by:
- Ensuring that all service users, staff and contractors are treated fairly and there is shared respect for diversity and human rights.
- Ensuring that our contractors and commissioned services are treating people fairly and not discriminating against anyone because of their protected characteristics.
- Creating a cohesive local community in which people of different backgrounds get on well together and share a 'sense of place'.
- Eliminating all direct, indirect and institutional forms of discrimination: as well as harassment & bullying and victimisation.
Specifically addressing the issues of:
- Race/ethnicity (Different ethnic groups & cultures)
- Sex (Male and female)
- Disability (Disabled people)
- Age (Younger and older people)
- Religion/Belief (Different religions/beliefs and no religion)
- Sexual orientation (Heterosexuals, lesbians, gay men & bisexuals)
- Gender reassignment (whether someone is going through a change process or not)
- Marriage/Civil Partnership
- Community Cohesion (Fostering good relations and creating a community in which there is respect for diversity, inter-communal contact and a common sense of belonging to the Borough)
The Council will aim to deliver on these commitments by:
- Valuing the diversity of service users, and staff and meeting their needs.
- Being discrimination free and ensuring that high standards of conduct are maintained.
- Adopting zero tolerance of harassment and discrimination and ensuring all incidents are reported and acted upon.
- Making all services accessible, relevant and responsive to diverse needs.
- Monitoring, and reviewing services, satisfaction surveying, consulting/engaging, evaluating complaints, undertaking Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) and feeding the results into service and policy planning processes.
- Delivering inclusion & diversity through both our services and those that are contracted and commissioned from other organisations.
- Promoting diversity in employment by ensuring fair recruitment, equal treatment and promotion, training & career development on merit.
- Building an inclusive workforce at all levels.
- Using management, grievance, discipline; supervision and appraisal to ensure staff are treated fairly.
- Promoting flexible and family friendly working.
- Mainstreaming inclusion & diversity and cohesion in to engagement and involvement and partnerships.
- Reaching the whole community, targeting the full range of community stakeholder groups.
- Working with public, private and community & voluntary sector organisations on inclusion & diversity and cohesion targets.
- Working· with partners, community/voluntary section organisations to encourage community cohesion (fostering of good relations between different people in the community).
The Council as a designated Public Authority will:
- Comply with Equality Act 2010 and any future equalities legalisation.
- Comply with statutory employment regulations and codes of practice.
- Adopt a proactive approach that includes a generic and innovative approach.
- Strive for excellence in positively promoting inclusion & diversity.
- The Cabinet are responsible for setting & monitoring the policy and Operational Management Team (OMT) for delivery and:
- The Cabinet will have a designated Cabinet Member to lead and report on inclusion, diversity & cohesion policy;
- The Chief Executive, Strategic Directors and Heads of Service have overall responsibility for policy and practice and performance management;
- Service managers are responsible for the equality performance of their service areas.
- The delivery and performance management will be monitored through the Executive Management Team (EMT) and the Equality Working Group.
- The Council will have a designated Inclusion & Diversity Champion at senior management level to drive the Inclusion, Diversity and community cohesion agenda.
- Managers to lead by example in all contexts.
- All employees are responsible for their personal conduct and acceptable standards; mainstreaming diversity, inclusion & cohesion in their duties, participating in events and activities and improving equalities performance in their areas/functions.