Equality and Diversity Policy
Equality & Diversity Policy - 2012
Equality & Diversity Statement
The Co-op believes that equality and diversity is about recognising differences, respecting each other as individuals and tailoring the services we offer to meet differing needs. We aim to promote an atmosphere where people are valued and respected.
The Co-op is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of our work. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination (either direct or indirect) and will challenge all acts of discrimination, prejudice, harassment and victimisation which occur within the workforce or within the communities in which we work.
We will ensure that equality and diversity are core to our business and is reflected in all our policies, practices and services.
We acknowledge equality legislation and will act within this legislation at all time.
We will also meet the requirements and standards expected by our regulators including the Scottish Housing Regulator.
A commitment to this policy is required from all Committee and Staff Members and others with whom we may work (for example contractors, consultants, suppliers).
We also expect the same commitment from all those who receive a service from us and will promote this policy in all our dealings with them.
Our Equality and Diversity Policy aims to:
Be clear and in plain English and adopted by all employees
Be fair, equitable and non-discriminatory
Reflect statutory requirements and best practice
Be flexible and adaptable to changing needs
Our commitment to ensuring equal treatment goes beyond compliance with legislation. We are committed to achieving equality for everyone by removing direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, marital status, being a lesbian or a gay man, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or any other ground, which cannot be shown to be objectively justified in the circumstances. We are committed to achieving social inclusion in its widest sense.
4.1 Our commitment as an employer
To provide an environment in which everyone feels valued, respected and has his or her dignity maintained. The Co-op has adopted the Dignity at Work policy produced by Employers in Voluntary Housing.
To foster working environments where people are able to give their best and are free from discrimination, intimidation, and harassment or bullying. Any member of staff displaying such behaviours will be subject to an investigation and if found guilty will be subject to disciplinary action.
To help staff understand how valuing diversity can improve our ability to deliver better quality services and so reduce inequality.
To provide fair access to learning and development opportunities.
To provide all employees with the training and development they need to enable them to achieve the organisation’s goals in line with equality and diversity.
To provide support to any members of staff who may experience any form of discrimination whilst at work and take appropriate action against the perpetrators of harassment, victimisation or discrimination.
To ensure that our employment practices are non-discriminatory and support staff with specific religious or cultural beliefs, or who need specific assistance to overcome disabilities to fulfill their requirements as far as reasonably possible.
To review regularly our policies to ensure they are fair and reflect best practice.
The Co-op has also adopted an Equal Opportunity and diversity policy which particularly relates to employment and was produced by Employers in voluntary Housing (EVH).
4.2 Our commitment as a service provider
To develop and deliver services, facilities and resources that are accessible, relevant and of use to every individual in the communities in which we work.
To understand better who our customers are so that we are able to provide appropriate services which are accessible to all people within the communities we serve.
To be mindful that people are different and take account of these differences in the way in which we help and advice those people we provide a service to.
To provide clear, meaningful information about our services in ways that are accessible and meets the diverse needs of our communities.
To work with partners in consulting with all sections of the community on service needs and provision.
To monitor allocation of properties and evaluate services to ensure they do not discriminate against, or exclude, individuals or people from different groups.
To consult actively with different individuals and communities to ensure the services we provide are responsive and reflect the diversity of need.
5. Responsibilities for Embedding Equality and Diversity
The Management Committee must support the ideals of equality and diversity and adopt the policies and procedures which are most likely to achieve these ideals. The Management Committee must also take the lead so that Staff fully embrace the principles of equality and diversity so that it is part of the culture of the Co-op and is embedded in the approach Staff take in all the Co-op’s activities.
The table below outlines overall key areas of responsibility
Committee Members: areas of responsibility:
To ensure compliance with equality legislation.
To refresh their knowledge of their responsibilities in relation to equality legislation and the Co-op’s approach to ensuring equality of opportunity by attending training sessions and Away Days organised by the Co-op.
Staff: areas of responsibility:
To provide encouragement, support, development and training for Committee Members so that they can manage the Co-op’s objectives in ways which are effective and take account of legal requirements, best practice and equality and diversity issues while encouraging the active participation of Co-op Members.
To make sure all new employees and new Committee Members are told about the Equality and Diversity Policy during their induction sessions
Staff responsibilities (including the Director’s)
To encourage equality and diversity within the Co-op and ensure that their actions do not contribute to unfair or discriminatory treatment of others.
To support colleagues who may be experiencing unfair or discriminatory treatment through bringing this to the attention of their line manager or by encouraging the recipient to take appropriate action.
To challenge unacceptable behaviour and/or work practice where these are identified.
To refresh their knowledge of their responsibilities in relation to equality legislation and the Co-op’s approach to ensuring equality of opportunity
To take responsibility for making a positive contribution towards achieving the aims and objectives of this policy.
To ensure that customers, contractors and agencies we work with are made aware of this policy and our expectations of them in supporting our approach.
6. Policy Availability
This policy is available to Committee Members in their induction folders, to staff in the “Company Policy folder” and will be made available to Co-op Members on request
7. Monitoring Evaluation and Review
The Co-op will monitor, evaluate and review this policy every two years.