Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee & Staff Networks
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
This is the main vehicle for driving change through the organisation. The Committees role is to oversee Trust performance at meeting its statutory and mandatory obligations as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and meets bi-monthly.
Public Sector Equality Duty
The equality duty was developed in order to harmonise the equality duties and to extend it across the protected characteristics. It consists of a general equality duty, supported by specific duties which are imposed by secondary legislation. In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and 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.
These are sometimes referred to as the three aims of the general equality duty. The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
The Act states that meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people's disabilities. It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups. It states that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others.
The equality duty covers the nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Public authorities also need to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination against someone because of their marriage or civil partnership status. This means that the first aim of the duty applies to this characteristic but that the other aims (advancing equality and fostering good relations) do not apply.
The Equality Committee is also responsible for promoting, encouraging and ultimately delivering greater equality, diversity and inclusion for the benefit of the Trust service users and staff.
The approach of The Equality and Diversity Committee is based on the following principles:
- Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect
- Achieving equality requires awareness, understanding, commitment and positive action from very individual employee in the Trust at every level and across all disciplines
- Diversity must be recognised and valued.
The networks will meet regularly and are forums for staff to share experiences and provide mutual support and discuss issues affecting them with key decision makers
We have 4 networks and they are;
- Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Staff Network
- Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender (LGBT) Staff Network
- Disability Staff Network
- Faith Staff Network
The staff networks are looking for new members. If you are interested in joining or have any questions / queries then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 604 5893 (45893)
BME Staff Mentorship Programme
Research has demonstrated that the treatment and experience of BME staff within the NHS is significantly worse than that of white staff.
The publication of ‘The Snowy White Peaks of the NHS’ (Kline 2014) demonstrated that BAME staff were absent from the leadership of many organisations, even those which had substantial numbers of BME staff and where the organisation provided services to communities with large numbers of BAME patients. The report also showed that BAME staffs were treated less favourably in relation to promotion, grading, discipline, bullying and access to non-mandatory training.
Pennine Acute Trust’s published Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) metrics clearly shows that there is a lack of BAME representation at senior levels within the organisation. In August 2016 the Trust Board approved an action plan to address the disproportional representation; this plan included the introduction of a reciprocal or reverse mentoring scheme
The reciprocal mentoring scheme aims to mobilise the expertise and skills of our most senior leaders at Chief Executive, Chair and Executive Director level in order to offer their mentorship, advice and guidance to mentees from BAME backgrounds wanting to become future senior leaders within the NHS.
We have all the Exec’s on board who are looking forward for this scheme to start. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to be part of and for further development for yourself as an individual but also as a professional.