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Equality and Diversity Policy - Staff, Volunteers and Trustees

1   Policy Statement

1.1  The Trustees of Portsmouth Disability Forum PDF wish to secure genuine equality of opportunity. Legislation places a general duty on PDF as an employer and a charity to eliminate discrimination, promote equal opportunities.

2    PDF recognises that our employees, the organisations we work with in partnerships and the clients we support come from diverse backgrounds and all have different aspirations, needs and experience life in different ways. We actively seek to support staff and users with this by ensuring Equality & Diversity is at the heart of what we do and at the heart of our service delivery and employment of staff and volunteers.

1.2   The Equality Act 2010 replaced 9 previous legislation, The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) consolidates and replaces 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. These categories are known in the Act as ‘protected characteristics’.

1.3   The success of a business depends on people.  Capitalising on what is unique about individuals and drawing on their different perspectives and experiences will add value to the way we do business.

1.4   By accessing, recruiting and developing talent from the widest possible talent pool, we can gain an insight into different markets and generate greater creativity in anticipating customer needs.  We will constantly strive to create a productive environment, representative of and responsive to different cultures and groups, where everyone has an equal chance to succeed. 

1.5   We all have a responsibility to embrace and support this vision and must continue to challenge behavior and attitudes that prevent us from achieving this.  Using fair, objective and innovative employment practices, PDF’s aim is to ensure that:

  • all employees, volunteers, potential employees and potential volunteers are treated fairly and with respect at all stages of their employment;
  • all employees and volunteers have the right to be free from harassment and bullying of any description or any other form of unwanted behavior, whether based on any of the 9 protected characteristics.
  • all employees and volunteers have an equal chance to contribute and to achieve their potential, irrespective of any defining feature that may give rise to unfair discrimination.

PDF will ensure all reasonable adjustments are in place to ensure disabled employees or future employees are not put at a disadvantage. PDF will take positive steps to ensure that disabled people can access and progress in employment and take additional steps to which non-disabled workers and applicants are not entitled.

1.6   The diversity of the communities we serve is reflected at all levels within our workforce.

2   Gender

2.1   Women and men are fully and properly represented and rewarded for their contribution at all levels of the company, through:

  • challenging gender stereotypes;
  • supporting employees in balancing their life at work and at home;  and
  • supporting employees who become pregnant and taking active steps to facilitate their return to work after maternity leave.

3    Gender reassignment

People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment protected against all forms of discrimination and harassment.  The company will take positive steps to support a transgender person and ensure the individual is treated with dignity and respect.

4  Marital Status

4.1   People are treated fairly and equally in the workplace, irrespective of their marital, civil partnership or family status.

5   Race

5.1   The Act defines ‘race’ as including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.

The racial and cultural diversity of our communities is represented at all levels of the company through:

  • challenging racial stereotypes;  and
  • understanding, respecting and valuing different backgrounds and perspectives.

6   Disability

6.1   The abilities of disabled people are recognised and valued at all levels of the company, through: 

  • focusing on what people can do rather than on what they cannot do;
  • challenging stereotypes about people with disabilities;  and
  • ensuring people with a disability are protected against harassment and discrimination- including discrimination arising from disability and ensure we comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

7   Age

7.1   Age diversity within the workforce is promoted and valued through:

  • challenging age stereotyping;  and
  • recognising the benefits of a mixed-age workforce.

8   Religious Belief

8.1   The protected characteristic of religion or belief includes any religion and any religious or philosophical belief. It also includes a lack of any such religion or belief.

PDF will ensure People are treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their religion or belief by recognising individuals’ freedom of belief and right to protection from intolerance and persecution.

9   Sexual orientation

9.1   People are treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their sexual orientation through:

  • respecting different lifestyles;  and
  • challenging stereotypical views.

9.2 Any employee may use the company’s Complaints Procedure to complain about discriminatory conduct or harassment and, if required, can raise such issues directly with the Principle Officer.

PDF is committed to ensuring that employees feel able to raise such grievances and no individual will be penalised for raising such a grievance unless it is untrue and made in bad faith.

9.3   For further information, please refer to the company’s Compliments and Complaints Procedure.

10   Approval and Amendment History

Authorised at Trustees’ Meeting held  March 2014

Amendment History

Issue 1

Date 03/14

Changes

Rationale

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