The Equality Act 2010 brought together the many existing equality laws into a single piece of legislation. This Act introduced the term ‘Protected Characteristics’ and aims to prevent unlawful discrimination against anyone who has a protected characteristic. All of us have at least some of these characteristics and in effect the Equality Act should protect everyone from being treated unfairly on account of who they are.
The Association’s policy outlines the Association’s commitment to Equality and Diversity. It was launched in November 2016 and introduces an Equality and Diversity Action Plan which was also approved by the Management Committee in November 2016.
We worked closely with Staff, Committee and members of the Performance Improvement Network to develop this policy and action plan. We also consulted during a community event in October 2016.
The action plan which sets out what the Association will do on a day-to-day basis to help ensure that the policy’s objectives are achieved and that the Association can be proactive in its work in equality and diversity. The action plan is as a separate document which is updated and reviewed annually.
Here's how we are performng against the action plan so far:
- We have delivered a programmed of Equality and Diversity Training for staff and Management Committee members.
- Although we already have the data relating to the protected characteristics for Staff and Management Committee members, we have commenced gathering information on other customers’.
- We obtained Management Committee approval to carry out equality impact assessments on all of our policies.
- Our commitment to offering data to our customers in varying formats (large print, different language) has been published in the quarterly newsletter and directly by seeking confirmation via our monthly satisfaction surveys.
- Some front line staff have undertaken basic lessons in Polish, with scope for further training and different languages as identified.
- We continue to use objective scoring criteria when selecting for interview, guarantee interview to all who have a disability if they meet the minimum essential criteria for the job advertised and; provide a report to Committee on the equalities data gathered during the recruitment process.
- We continue to ensure our contractors comply with our commitment to equal opportunities.