This policy sets out Rescue4Children’s commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity and valuing diversity.
Diversity and Equality is integral to Rescue4Children’s vision, values and how we work. Rescue4Children’s vision is a society in which refugee families are valued and where they and their children are treated equally and fairly. One of Rescue4Children’s four core values is the diversity of family life in refugee camps.
Rescue4Children aims to adopt an inclusive approach to how we address the needs of particular groups of children in refugee camps and their parents in our campaigning and service delivery. Rescue4Children will ensure wherever possible that our services are accessible and responsive to all existing and potential customers, and that our policy positions take account of their diversity.
Rescue4Children recognise that our ability to meet the diverse needs of refugee children is improved by having a diverse workforce. Valuing different expertise and approaches is an integral part of how Rescue4Children employees work together.
This policy is designed to ensure that service users, staff, workers, volunteers, contractors and other stakeholders are offered equal opportunities regardless of the following protected characteristics:
· Disability (this covers physical and mental health as defined by the Equality Act 2010)
· Gender reassignment
· Marital status or civil partnership
· Religion or belief
· Sexual orientation.
We seek to ensure that no one suffers, either directly or indirectly, as a result of unlawful discrimination. This extends beyond the individual's own characteristics, to cover discrimination by association and by perception.
Rescue4Children treats everyone who works for us and our service users with dignity and respect. Accordingly, all workers and contractors employed by or representing Rescue4Children have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect, in line with this policy and legal requirements.
The overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of this policy rests with the Trustees.
Managers and supervisors have a crucial role to play in promoting equality and diversity in their own areas of responsibility.
All employees will be given guidance and instruction, through induction and/or other training, as to their responsibility and role in promoting equality of opportunity and diversity.
Equality and Diversity in Service Provision
Rescue4Children will ensure that none of its policies or practices discriminate directly or indirectly against any groups of service users or clients, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
There are millions of refugee children and their families who may potentially access Rescue4Children services from time to time and we recognise the enormous diversity within this group. Rescue4Children services are planned to take an inclusive approach to meet the diverse needs of our service users and clients.
We welcome diversity of service users and promote equality of opportunity by ensuring:
· Strategy and planning is informed by the views of refugee children over time.
· Services meet the diverse needs of refugee children and other client groups, to the extent that Rescue4Children can reasonably meet these needs.
· Reasonable adjustments are made to remove barriers for service users and clients with a disability.
· Rescue4Children events and training are accessible to diverse groups.
· Rescue4Children works in partnership with other organisations, where appropriate, to ensure we meet the needs of our user group. If Rescue4Children is unable meet the needs of an individual service user, we will signpost to national organisations which can meet their needs more effectively.
· Advice and information is delivered in a range of formats.
· Services are widely promoted.
· Images on our website and publications reflect the diversity of refugee children and their families.
· The website and external communications are accessible to diverse groups.
· Online forums are moderated and users are made aware of their responsibilities in relation to equal opportunities and diversity.
· Rescue4Children groups are provided with guidance on implementing equal opportunities and diversity.
Complaints of unfavourable treatment by service users or clients are taken seriously and dealt with under the Complaints Policy.
Equality and Diversity in Policy and Campaigning
Rescue4Children will ensure that its social policy positions, campaigns and research do not discriminate directly or indirectly against any groups in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
· Rescue4Children monitors patterns and trends in the refugee population, updating refugee children population data at least every 2 years, and adapts its focus in response to changes and changing needs in that population.
· Rescue4Children’s research, social policy positions and campaigns are informed by the views of refugee children and their families and planned to take into account as far as possible the diverse needs of the refugee population in the current area of operation.
· Analysis of Government Equality Impact Assessments will play a key part of development of any Rescue4Children policy response
· Major research projects assess at design stage how to address diversity and equality.
Equality and Diversity as an Employer
Rescue4Children will ensure that none of its policies or practices discriminate directly or indirectly against our employees in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
· Employment Policies
Employment policies are formulated and applied fairly and equally without unlawful discrimination. Opportunities for training, development and promotion are made available on a fair and equal basis.
· Recruitment and Selection
Recruitment and selection practices are free from unlawful discriminatory criteria and we encourage employment of people from a range of backgrounds. Job applicants are considered objectively based on merit.
· How we Work
All staff are expected to work towards the positive organisational culture in How we Work. Regular feedback is sought from employees on the working environment and employment practices.
· Employing staff with a disability
Rescue4Children will make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for job applicants and employees with a disability.
· Bullying and harassment
Unlawful discrimination, bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. Bullying is defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the complainant. Bullying should be distinguished from healthy debate/discussion and from legitimate management feedback and requests. Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individuals’ dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
Employees are encouraged to raise concerns about employment practices and concerns will be taken seriously. The Grievance Policy sets out how to raise concerns both informally and formally, how concerns will be investigated and support for individuals raising a concerns as well as for employees who are the subject of a complaint.
Employees will not suffer any negative treatment for giving constructive criticism or raising a genuine grievance.
Rescue4Children will carry out a 2 yearly audit of the changes to the overall single parent population, and the diversity of staff, trustees and service users. Every two years SMT will review and update the action plan associated with the diversity and equality policy.
Breach of this policy
At Rescue4Children we care about the experience services users or clients have with us. Any service user or client who feels that he or she has been treated in a way which is contrary to this policy should raise the issue as soon as possible using the Rescue4Children Complaints Policy.
Any employee who feels he or she has been treated in a way which is contrary to this policy should raise this either informally with their line manager, a director or formally using the Grievance Policy.
Any breaches of this policy by employees will be fully investigated and may lead to disciplinary action.
Rescue4Children will take all reasonable steps to ensure that our staff, volunteers and contractors do not unlawfully discriminate under
· The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
· The Employment Rights Act 1996;
· The Human Rights Act 1998;
· The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
· The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002;
· The Civil Partnership Act 2006;
· The Work and Families Act 2006;
· The Equality Act 2010;
· EHRC Codes of Practice on Employment, Equal Pay and Services, Public Functions and Associations.
· And any other relevant legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods and services.
Unlawful discrimination may be direct or indirect, and can take different forms, for example:
Direct discrimination - treating any individual less favourably than others on grounds of a protected characteristic
Indirect discrimination - imposing a requirement or condition equally which has a detrimental effect on protected groups, and which cannot be justified.
Harassment - unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose, intentionally or unintentionally, of violating dignity, or which creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for an individual
Victimisation - treating a person less favourably because he or she has made or supported a complaint under the Equalities Act.
Discrimination by association - someone is discriminated against because he/she associates with someone who has a protected characteristic
Discrimination by perception - discrimination on the grounds that a person is perceived as belonging to a particular group, even if they do not in fact belong to this group.
This policy will be reviewed every 2 years and amended in line with new developments in Equality and Diversity best practice. The Director is responsible for carrying out the review.