Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

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Cleveland Fire Brigade Training and Administration Hub, Endeavour House, Stockton Road, Hartlepool TS25 5TH Tel: 01429 872311

1. Policy

1.1  Policy Statement

Cleveland Fire Authority’s purpose is to deliver an ‘Inclusive Fire and Rescue Service that ensures the Safety and Wellbeing of its Communities’. The Authority is fully committed to developing and supporting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in its workforce and in the planning, design and delivery of its prevention, protection and emergency response services.

The Authority will comply with equality laws and public duties and the Human Rights Acts. It will create a work environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation for all and will advance equality of opportunity for and foster good relations with staff, visitors, contractors, service users and members of the public regardless of their age, gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, creed, disability, trade union activities, political, or religious beliefs, sexual orientation or marital/parental status, or be disadvantaged by unreasonable conditions or requirements.

The Authority recognises that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are different things which need to be progressed together as it believes that equality of opportunity will only exist when difference is recognised and valued and everyone works together for inclusion.

1.2 Policy Context

Definitions

Equality enables us to create a fairer society and workplace where everyone can participate and fulfil their potential. It is supported by the Equality Act 2010 which is designed to address unfair discrimination, harassment and victimisation, to advance equality of opportunity, and to foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

There are nine protected characteristics: Age, Disability, Gender Assignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion and Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation.

Diversity is when we recognise and value difference. It is about creating a culture and practices that recognise, respect, value and embrace difference for everyone’s benefit.

Inclusion refers to an individual’s experience within the workplace and in wider society and the extent to which they feel valued and included.

Statutory Duty

The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discriminatory laws with a single Act. The public sector equality duty came into force on 5th April 2011 and is a duty on public authorities to consider how their policies or decisions affect people who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act; these being

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership (but only in respect of eliminating unlawful discrimination)
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

The Equality Duty is supported by specific duties which require us to:

  • publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty at least annually; and
  • set and publish equality objectives at least every four years

When publishing this information we are required to show how we comply with the Equality Duty. This means that our information must show how we are working to the three aims of the Equality Duty and have had due regard to the need to

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

From 6 April 2017 we are also legally required to publish information on:

  • gender pay gap (mean and median averages)
  • gender bonus gap (mean and median averages)
  • proportion of men and women receiving bonuses
  • proportion of men and women in each quartile of our Brigade’s pay structure

1.3 Policy Objectives

With equality, diversity and inclusion being embedded into all aspects of our work this policy significantly contributes to the achievement of the Authority’s mission to deliver an inclusive fire and rescue service and its three strategic goals to create safer, stronger communities; have a professional and inclusive workforce and secure stronger governance and management systems.

Our underpinning equality outcomes and objectives are:

Political and Professional Leadership

Equality Outcome: We will have political and professional leaders who promote and are accountable for the transparency, governance, performance and behaviours in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion

Equality Objectives

  • to seek regular opportunities for our leaders to promote equality, diversity and inclusion
  • to comply with legislation in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • to drive improvements in equality, diversity and inclusion
  • to promote and enforce professional standards of behaviour

Inclusive Culture

Equality Outcome: We will have a working environment that celebrates and supports equality, diversity and inclusion.

Equality Objectives

  • to create a working environment that is free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment
  • to support the mainstreaming of equality and diversity and the development of an inclusive culture
  • to positively engage and inform staff

Recruitment, Progression and Retention

Equality Outcome: We will have a diverse workforce that better reflects the communities we serve.

Equality Objectives

  • to proactively market the varied work of and the career opportunities within the fire and rescue service to attract and retain more applicants from diverse backgrounds
  • to have promotion processes that support equality, diversity and inclusion
  • to ensure the proportionate retention of staff in order to achieve appropriate representation of our diverse communities

Delivering Services to Diverse Communities

Equality Outcome: We will have accessible services that are responsive to the needs of our diverse communities

Equality Objectives

  • to use risk based intelligence to inform our Community Risk Management Plan and proactively improve the safety of our most vulnerable communities
  • to positively engage with our communities to shape the design and delivery of services

Positive Purchasing Power

Equality Outcome: We will have procurement that advances equality of opportunity and secures efficiencies.

Equality Objectives

  • to review our procurement arrangements to ensure they meet the aims of the Equality Act 2010
  • to improve transparency and accountability of equality and diversity in procurement

1.4 Policy Category

This policy is categorised as ‘Authority’ within the Key Document Framework.

1.5 Scope

This policy supports all staff, visitors, contractors, service users and members of the public. It applies to all policies, procedures and working practices and will influence the nature, shape and delivery of our services.

2. Organising

2.1 Cleveland Fire Authority (CFA) is responsible for:

  • setting the Authority’s strategic direction with regard to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • approving Authority’s Policies (delegated to the Executive Committee)
  • championing equality, diversity and inclusion in its membership, policies and practice

2.2 The Brigade’s Executive Leadership Team is responsible for:

  • demonstrating organisational leadership in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion
  • embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of working practice, policy and procedure
  • driving the Authority’s equality objectives making sure they are central to service delivery
  • keeping equality, diversity and inclusion on the radar of every member of staff
  • monitoring and reviewing the progress of the outcomes in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

2.3 The Director of Corporate Services is responsible for:

  • overseeing the implementation and development of this Policy
  • championing good practice with the Authority and throughout the Brigade
  • providing equality, diversity and inclusion monitoring reports

2.4 The Head of Human Resources is responsible for:

  • implementing this policy
  • communicating this policy and all related information to all staff
  • assisting with the development of this policy and its associated strategy
  • providing high quality advice and support on related matters
  • co-ordinating training and awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion

2.5 All Managers are responsible for:

  • complying with, and supporting the key principles of the policy
  • supporting staff who are affected by the policy
  • championing equality, diversity and inclusion
  • challenging inappropriate behaviours
  • demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion through the impact of their personal behaviour
  • establishing equality, diversity and inclusion key work objectives for all staff
  • discussing equality, diversity and inclusion within the Personal Development Reviews with staff
  • recording and capturing evidence of work that drives equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting that work on the Brigade’s website, staff magazines etc

2.6 All Employees are responsible for:

  • ensuring that regardless of an individual’s diversity they will work and operate in an environment that promotes the dignity and welfare of all staff or service users
  • undertaking and promoting training and awareness of equality, diversity and inclusivity issues
  • demonstrating and practicing equality, diversity and integrity
  • working in line with the Brigade’s core values and codes of conduct

2.7 Representative Bodies are responsible for:

  • working to the agreed union/management ethical code; promoting and maintaining good practice
  • agreeing the issues for information and consultation
  • communicating and engaging with Management and their members

3. Planning and Implementing

3.1 This Policy focuses on issues associated with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and our Core Values. The Authority’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2022 will drive the actions required against our equality objectives to achieve our equality outcomes.

3.2 This policy and associated strategy cuts across all aspects of our work and therefore all of our strategies. In terms of service delivery this particularly relates to our risk management, prevention, protection and emergency response strategies. In other areas it is specifically linked with our community and staff engagement and learning and development strategies.

3.3 There are a number of key documents that underpin our work in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion including:

  • Recruitment, Selection and Promotion Policy and Procedure
  • Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure
  • Grievance Policy and Procedure
  • Discipline Policy and Procedure
  • Flexible Working Policy and Procedure
  • Annualised Hours Policy and Procedure
  • Pay Policy Statement

3.4 To ensure that the Policy is fully integrated and embedded across the Brigade we will:

  • publish and promote our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy and Strategy to all staff, contractors and where appropriate, service users
  • train all employees to ensure that they understand their rights and responsibilities under the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy
  • build equality, diversity and inclusivity into our decision making, business planning and service delivery process
  • support local communities and encourage them to be involved with decision making about the services which affect them, designing our services to meet the differing needs of the community
  • work in partnership with voluntary, private and other public sector organisations and trade unions to ensure equal access to our services

4. Resource Implications

4.1 There are no financial resource implications associated with this policy. Resources associated with implementing any underpinning strategies will be identified within that particular strategy.

5. Equality Impact Assessment

5.1 This policy has been equality impact assessed in line with the Brigade’s Equality Impact Assessment Procedure.

5.2 The findings of the EIA conclude that the introduction of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy does not have a detrimental impact on any group of staff, including those with one or more protected characteristics. Conversely, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is considered to provide additional benefits to our communities and staff as it demonstrates the Authority’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and will therefore have a favourable impact in the context of protected characteristics.

6. Monitoring

6.1 The Risk and Performance Team will ensure the central monitoring of this policy and associated procedure and ensure that it is added to the Authority’s register of policies and strategies, and reviewed in line with timelines specified.

6.2 The Head of HR will monitor this policy to ensure it is being correctly and consistently applied across the Brigade and investigate any substantiated complaints or grievances which relate to diversity issues may be taken as a measure of a breach of this policy.

6.3 The Brigade will regularly collect, monitor and analyse diversity data specifically related to the nine protected characteristics.

7. Audit

7.1 This policy will be audited in accordance with the procedure detailed within the Authority’s Policy Framework.

8. Review

8.1 The DCS will undertake a review of this policy in 2022 to ensure it is taking account of any new or emerging political, social, technological, legislative, environmental, competitive, citizen or reputational factors.