Youth Educare is committed to create a culture in which equality of opportunity and diversity are promoted actively and in which unlawful discrimination is not tolerated.
The Institute recognises the real educational and business benefits of having a diverse community of staff and students and is working towards building and maintaining an environment which values and celebrates diversity.
Youth Educare believes in the principles of social justice and aims to ensure that:
This policy applies to all business and academic staff, management committee members, governing body directors, full time and part time tutors, volunteers, students, service users and visitors to the institute, together with those contracted to work at or for the institute.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that in carrying out its activities the institute will have due regard to:
The Equality Act 2010 gives the key legislative requirements relating to equality and diversity. The Act identifies nine protected characteristics, age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation and marriage and civil partnerships. All nine characteristics are covered in the employment duties of the Act. The protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership is not included in the educational duties of the Act.
The Act outlaws unfair discrimination against an individual because of a protected characteristic and this includes the following types of discrimination:
· direct discrimination (including discrimination based on association or perception) – occurs when you treat a person less favourably than you treat another person because of a protected characteristic
· indirect discrimination - occurs when a practice has the effect of putting people sharing a protected characteristic within the general group at a particular disadvantage
· harassment – occurs when someone behaves in a way that creates an offensive, hostile, degrading, humiliating or intimidating environment for a person
· Victimisation - occurs if you treat someone badly because they have been involved in a claim or complaint about discrimination
· Discrimination arising from disability - occurs when you treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and cannot justify such treatment
· failure to make reasonable adjustments (for disabled people) – occurs when an organisation fails to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person to avoid the disabled person being placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person.
The Act has introduced a new public sector equality duty which requires the Institute to:
· Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
· Advance equality of opportunity
· Foster good relations
The first part of this duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation applies to all nine protected characteristics while the rest of the duty applies to eight of the protected characteristics and excludes marriage and civil partnerships.
This policy is guided by the following principles, that:
All board members, management, staff and students are responsible for ensuring the institute meets its legal obligations in respect of equal opportunities and maintains an environment where there is genuine inclusion and respect for diversity.
Individual members of the institute are responsible for promoting equality of opportunity, contributing to an environment free of fear or intimidation and ensuring that their behaviour and actions do not amount to unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation.
Visitors to the institute, together with those contracted to work at or for the institute will be expected to comply with this policy. Contractors or suppliers should also comply with equal opportunities legislation and if they are unable to demonstrate such compliance they should be excluded from consideration of the contract in question.
The institute recognises that it also has moral and social responsibilities that go beyond the legislation and it will contribute to the wider process of change through all aspects of its work and practices in order to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote Equality & Diversity.
The successful implementation of this policy relies on the mainstreaming of Equality & Diversity issues within the institute’s strategic plan, which in turn, is supported by operational plans of its directorates, curriculum centres and support areas.
The institute has also developed additional policies and procedures to support specific areas of Equality & Diversity such as inclusive learning, learning difficulties, mental health, bullying and harassment, staff development and student welfare.
The institute will assess the impact of this policy on staff and students to ensure it does not have an adverse impact for different groups of people, primarily in terms of race, gender and disability, as well as regarding age, religion/belief and sexual orientation.
The institute will take seriously any instances or alleged incidents of non-adherence to the Equality & Diversity policy by students, staff or visitors. Such instances or allegations will be investigated and where appropriate will be considered under the relevant disciplinary procedure for staff or students.
With regard to any breach of the policy by visitors, the institute will take appropriate action in relation to the nature of the incident.
Any complaint will be taken seriously and dealt with in a timely and sensitive manner as indicated in the ‘How Are We’ Performing procedure (complaints, compliments and suggestions) and in accordance with the relevant grievance and disciplinary procedures.
This policy will be reviewed annually or earlier should it become necessary by the Senior management.