Equality and Diversity Policy
The Equality Act 2010 is a combination of previous English, Scottish and Welsh Legislation that also incorporates the introduction of a new general Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED); encompassing specific duties for Wales in April 2011. PSED is designed to replace the separate duties covering race, disability and gender, as well as increasing the areas of discrimination covered.
By extending and amalgamating the areas of Equality covered, duty is now aimed at a series of “Protected Characteristics”. These are groups and individuals who share certain characteristics. These protected characteristics are:
○ Pregnancy and Maternity
○ Sex/Gender Reassignment
○ Sexual Orientation
○ PSED also covers marriage and civil partnership, but only for certain parts of the duty.
To abide with the main aims as set out in PSEDs General Duty, PCS are required to have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010;
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not;
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
In order to demonstrate due regard, PCS will take these aims into consideration when making decisions as employers and service providers. This will influence PCS when developing, evaluating and reviewing all policies and services, as well as when commissioning and procuring services from others.
With regard to the Specific Duties as set out by the Welsh Government, the focus for PCS is to deliver positive outcomes through equality objectives, developed with the engagement of the people affected. Due regard will be introduced through the following:
Equality Objectives, Assessments, Strategic Plans, Reviews and Annual Reporting;
Engagement, Training and Accessibility;
Employment Information, Recruitment Policies and Pay Structuring.
The impact for PCS is that equality will be advanced by removing or minimising disadvantages experienced by people due to their protected characteristic. PCS will take steps to meet the needs of people from these protected groups where they are different from the needs of others. As well as encouraging people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionally low.
This means that PCS has become legally obliged to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate discrimination for all service users and staff. This is a proactive approach to Equality and Diversity, rather than continuing with a reactive system based on waiting for individuals to complain.
The overall aim is to provide equal opportunities for everyone to have a fair chance to fulfill their potential and receive more appropriately delivered services and outcomes that take into account their individual backgrounds.
PCS COMMITMENT AS A SERVICE PROVIDER
○ We aim to provide services to which all clients are entitled regardless of all protected characteristics offending past, caring responsibilities or social class.
○ We will make sure that our services are delivered equitably and meet the diverse needs of our clients by assessing and meeting any identified diverse needs.
○ This policy is fully supported by senior management.
○ This policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.
○ We have clear procedures that enable our clients to make a complaint if they feel they have been unfairly treated by asking for a copy of All – Complaints Procedure 3.06.
○ Breaches of our equality and diversity policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
OUR COMMITMENT AS AN EMPLOYER
All employees are issued with an Employment – Employee Handbook Information 6.168 and should read the section on Equal Opportunities.
○ To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of our staff are recognised and valued.
○ Every employee, worker or self-employed contractor is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. Employees can raise a grievance if they feel unfairly treated.
○ Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff.
○ Equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense.
○ PCS will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
PCS EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY STATEMENTS
○ Ensure that people of all ages are treated with respect and dignity.
○ Ensure that people of working age are given equal access to our employment, training, development and promotion opportunities.
○ Challenge discriminatory assumptions about younger and older people.
○ Provide any reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people have access to our services and employment opportunities.
○ Challenge discriminatory assumptions about disabled people.
○ Seek to continue to improve access to information by ensuring availability of: loop systems; Braille facilities; alternative formatting; and sign language interpretation.
○ Challenge racism wherever it occurs.
○ Respond swiftly and sensitively to racists incidents.
○ Actively promote race equality in the Company.
○ Challenge discriminatory assumptions about women and men.
○ Take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against women and men.
○ Offer equal access for women and men to representation, services, employment, training and pay and encourage other organisations to do the same.
○ Provide support to prevent discrimination against transsexual people who have or who are about to undergo gender reassignment.
○ Ensure that we take account of the needs of lesbians and gay men.
○ Promote positive images of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.
Religion or belief:
○ Ensure that employees’ religion or beliefs and related observances are respected and accommodated wherever possible.
○ Respect people’s beliefs where the expression of those beliefs does not impinge on the legitimate rights of others.
Pregnancy or maternity:
○ Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of pregnancy or maternity.
○ Challenge discriminatory assumptions about the pregnancy or maternity of our employees.
○ Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account of the needs of our employees’ pregnancy or maternity.
Marriage or civil partnership:
○ Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of marriage or civil partnership.
○ Challenge discriminatory assumptions about the marriage or civil partnership of our employees.
○ Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account of the needs of our employees’ marriage or civil partnership.
○ Prevent discrimination against our employees regardless of their offending background (except where there is a known risk to children or vulnerable adults). Refer to: All Employment – Recruitment of People with Criminal Records Policy 2.42
○ Ensure that all employees, male or female, have the right to the same contractual pay and benefits for carrying out the same work, work rated as equivalent work or work of equal value.
○ Pembrokeshire Care Society has adopted the principle that in the conduct of its business in Wales it will treat the English and Welsh languages on the basis of equality so far is appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practicable.
○ Much of PCS’ funding is public money. Therefore, we have a duty to make bilingual provision for the public in accordance with our funding guidelines. More importantly, PCS believes that offering services to the public in their preferred language is good practice. PCS’ Welsh Language Scheme outlines how we will achieve this in the provision of services to the public in Wales.
○ Although Pembrokeshire has a limited number of Welsh speakers, PCS will offer its own employees the opportunity to learn Welsh with the aim of meeting the requirements of the 2050 Strategy.