Equality, diversity and human rights policy

1. Introduction and purpose

Respect for the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of Eyes Down's principles. Eyes Down is committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture which actively works to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation in all of its forms in employment practices and service delivery.

This document sets out Eyes Down's overall policy for delivering its commitment to promote equal opportunities, value diversity, combat discrimination and ensuring that our services are as accessible as possible. It supports our positive commitment to equality of opportunity in relation to employment, service delivery and procurement and will inform our approach to policy development and practice in order to create the best possible outcomes.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:

  • A positive working and social environment is created where all people feel valued and are treated with dignity and respect.
  • All personnel and clients are valued and given the opportunity to achieve their full potential and our services are delivered in such a way that it is demonstrated that the needs of our clients are understood.
  • Our practices and procedures across all aspects of Eyes Down are in line with our aims and best practice in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion and we are compliant with all relevant UK Equality and Human Rights legislation, in particular, the Equality Act 2010.

2. Scope

This policy relates to all Eyes Down staff (officers, employees and volunteers), contract and temporary workers and clients.

3. Policy

Service delivery

In relation to service delivery we will aspire to:

  1. Ensure our services are inclusive and accessible for people representing the 9 protected characteristics and that there is fair access to and exit from services for all clients by identifying and, where possible, removing barriers which prevent equality of opportunity and inclusion
  2. Monitor the needs of existing and potential clients and use this information to improve service delivery and business planning
  3. Actively engage with people from different protected groups and provide opportunities to develop better understanding and promote good relations between people with different protected characteristics by providing opportunities for clients to shape the services they receive
  4. Seek to develop partnerships with other voluntary, community led, private sector or public bodies with a good track record in equality and inclusion in order to improve our service delivery
  5. Ensure information provided is clear, accessible and where necessary materials are provided in alternative formats
  6. Provide a mechanism for complaints or comments to be made confidentially.
  7. Encourage our personnel to anticipate the needs of clients, particularly those with a disability, and make reasonable adjustments as necessary.

Employment

In relation to personnel and employment we will aspire to:

  1. Ensure our policies, practices and procedures do not unlawfully discriminate against any employees and ensure they comply with equality legislation and codes of practice.
  2. Investigate and actively challenge any incidences of bullying, harassment or victimisation and take appropriate steps to as set out in relevant policies, minutes standing orders and procedures.
  3. Ensure we our staff respect equality, diversity & inclusion while in our employ.
  4. Ensure our decision making processes are transparent and aligned to the principles of fairness.
  5. Ensure that we monitor the effectiveness of our confidential system for complaints (grievance).
  6. Monitor and take account of the differing needs of all protected groups, in particular, the needs of people with a disability, in line with upholding the principles of equality legislation, providing reasonable adjustments where needed.
  7. Take appropriate steps to ensure we recruit, retain and develop staff from a broad range of backgrounds and that potential job candidates are not unlawfully discriminated against.
  8. Ensure we provide opportunities for the development of all personnel regardless of whether they work full time or alternative working patterns such as shift work or part time hours.
  9. Work to remove barriers to participation by creating channels of communication and opportunities for people to have their say in or comment on decisions that affect them.
  10. Utilise positive action initiatives in the recruitment process where appropriate such as with the protected characteristic of disability.
  11. Ensure we have adequate systems in place to collect and analyse equality monitoring information across the 9 protected characteristics

Procurement

In relation to procurement we will aspire to:

  1. Require potential suppliers and contractors to demonstrate adherence to equality and diversity best practice.
  2. Use equality practice as part of the evaluation criteria for selecting potential suppliers or contractors.
  3. Ensure our procurement processes are open to a diverse range of suppliers.

4. Responsibility

  1. The responsibility for the Equality, Diversity & Human Rights policy rests with the directors of Eyes Down Limited.
  2. All staff and in particular those in a position of leadership or management, are required to ensure they are familiar with the contents of this policy, that they model the behaviours set out in the policy and they do their part to ensure that this policy is embedded, implemented and adhered to within their area of responsibility.
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