Catch22 reserves the right to amend this policy, following consultation, where appropriate.
Date of last review: February 2023
Date of next review: February 2024
What is the Equality & Diversity Policy Statement about?
Catch22’s vision is to have a strong society where everyone has a good place to live, a sense of purpose and good people around them. As an organisation, we exist to ensure that these are achievable for everyone, no matter what their background may be. We demonstrate this by promoting equality and celebrating diversity and inclusion across our workforce.
This policy statement sets out Catch22’s organisational approach to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion is taken into account both in the treatment of its employees and in service delivery arrangements. It sets out Catch22’s commitment to providing a workplace that provides equality of opportunity and is free from harassment and discrimination. It also sets out the arrangements for ensuring that we respond positively to the different needs in the people we work with and that all our service users are able to gain access and benefit equally from the work we do.
By inclusion we mean that everyone who makes up the Catch22 community, has a contribution to make and we will work to make the kind of environment that will be receptive, welcoming and inclusive to all our people.
Everyone accessing a Catch22 Service should do so in an environment in which they are safe to be themselves, which is inclusive and values diversity. We also expect that all our people should be treated with dignity and respect. More information about practically creating strong, safe and trusting teams is available within each Hub.
By making sure we promote equality, diversity and inclusion, we will be helping everyone to perform at their best and realise their potential.
Who is the policy for?
This policy statement covers all those who represent or work at Catch22 including trustees, employees, consultants and volunteers.
Through our organisational approach to equality and diversity we will:
- integrate equality and diversity into all parts of Catch22’s planning, standard setting, monitoring and evaluation;
- ensure as far as possible that the diversity of the organisation is appropriate to the communities we serve;
- ensure that all stakeholders are empowered to respond positively and appropriately to matters relating to Equality and Diversity and to promote inclusion wherever this is possible;
- work strategically to eliminate all forms of unlawful discrimination and create an environment for our employees and the people we work with that is free from harassment and discrimination – so that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and benefit from the work we do regardless of their background;
- ensure that through all our policies and procedures we promote equality, diversity and inclusion wherever practicable;
- take all necessary steps to remove organisational barriers to equality and diversity where it is practicable and legal to do so;
- ensure that the diversity of the people we work with is respected and their needs relating to equality and diversity are mainstreamed into day to day operational performance and planning;
- ensure that we comply with the relevant legislation and statutory codes.
Catch22 will commit to delivering inclusive and accessible services and take action to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010. Each hub is required to demonstrate how they have considered the Equality Duty before and at the time decisions are made in relation to the provision of our services.
In addition, all hubs are expected to contribute to activities undertaken by Catch22 to advance equality of opportunity by sharing good practice, learning and challenges via network forums and events so that we can continue to take action to identify and remove barriers.
For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply:
- “Equality and Diversity” covers race, gender, disability, sex, gender reassignment, colour, nationality and ethnic origin, marital or civil partnership status, family responsibility, sexual orientation, age, religion, religious belief or profound philosophical belief, and persons with a criminal record that do not pose a risk to the people we work with. These are known as “protected characteristics”. It also covers other matters of personal difference that may cause an individual to be unfairly and negatively judged and categorised in relation to their competence and/or suitability for a particular role and/or occupation. It is impossible to give a definitive list of such matters but they may generally be regarded as prejudices related to personal appearance, presentation and perceptions of economic/social status.
- Direct discrimination is considered to take place when a person is treated less favourably than others in the same circumstances because of a protected characteristic. It is also a discriminatory act to segregate, harass or victimise people on these grounds.
- Indirect discrimination means applying conditions, setting requirements, having particular practices, or asking for certain qualifications that will adversely affect one particular group more than another and cannot be justified in terms of what is actually required to do the job.
- Associative discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
- Perceptive discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against based on a perception that individual has a protected characteristic where the individual does not in fact, have that protected characteristic.
- Discrimination arising from disability is where an individual has been treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of a disability. The reason for the unfavourable treatment is immaterial. This type of discrimination is unlawful where the employer knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, that the person has a disability. Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Long term will normally be taken to mean that the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months.
- Institutional racism is where an organisation as a whole is perceived to act in a discriminatory manner, and can be unwitting in character. It refers to the culture of an organisation, as well as the processes and procedures. The culture can be perceived to be alienating, oppressive and discriminatory to minority groups.
Catch22 is committed to equality and diversity ensuring that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. This is achieved by adhering to legislation and utilising the feedback from our people to promote inclusive practices. A full list of the legislation that our policies ensure compliance with, and that we take account of in service delivery and employment is at Appendix A.
In addition, Catch 22’s commitment extends beyond legal obligations to also include the following additional characteristics: young people with a caring responsibility (defined as being the primary caregiver to another young person or adult.)
Looked after young people or children in care (defined being in the care of the Local authority for more than 24 hours).
Catch22 are committed to upholding the Equality Act 2010. All employees (and volunteers) working in our services must understand and enact this Legislation.
Ultimately, Catch22 will work to ensure that we celebrate individuals in a positive and inclusive manner.
How is this policy put into practice?
Communication of this policy and any amendments or additions to it will be made by various means but primarily through:
- Our internal communications forums
- Induction procedures
- Training (including as a minimum training for all new employees and volunteers)
- Link-Up meetings (Catch22’s Staff Consultation Forum) and circulated minutes.
This policy statement is further underpinned and put into practice by the detailed policies set out in Section 7.
External marketing and publicity
All Catch22 publicity materials will reflect the aims and principles of the Equality & Diversity policy. The language and concepts contained in all Catch22 documents and formal communication will be consistent with this policy. Our general publicity material will be anti-discriminatory and efforts will always be made to review material to ensure that it is not unintentionally discriminatory and does not reinforce negative images of people and groups identified in this policy.
Sexist, racist and other discriminatory language will not be used. Language, whether written or oral, will not identify jobs with a particular gender, and gender linked words will be avoided. Discriminatory jibes or disparaging terms for particular groups will not be acceptable; neither will colloquial language which may be perceived as disparaging by the recipient. All relevant publicity will state that Catch22 operates a policy of encouraging, enabling and ensuring Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for all.
Monitoring and action planning
The Catch22 People Team in conjunction with the organisations Senior Leadership Teams are responsible for putting in place arrangements for the review of equality data, associated action planning and to ensure that issues of equality, diversity and inclusion are taken into account in practice and service delivery.
Each Operational Hub will put into place arrangements and accountabilities that are appropriate to its structure and context. Where possible existing structures and groups will be used by Operational Hubs for this purpose eg practice groups. Internal communications forums will be used to publish the arrangements made for the management of equality diversity. Strategic / Operational Directors alongside their Senior Leadership Teams will be responsible for maintaining and developing a current action plan setting out the issues which are being addressed in their area of the business (as appropriate) in a 12 month period.
Inclusion and access
Access to premises and the design of building interiors will always be considered when new properties are acquired with a view to ensuring that all users of buildings are able to enjoy use of facilities and, in accordance with the limits of legal requirements, that no person is prevented from accessing services or employment by reason of disability or other form of personal difference.
Catch22 will take action to remove or reduce any barriers which may put disabled people at a substantial disadvantage to non-disabled peers whilst accessing any of our services. Catch22 will as far as is reasonably possible, plan ahead and anticipate adjustments.
Catch22 will respect a person’s request to change name and pronoun and will seek to consistently use preferred pronouns and names in order to protect a person’s confidentiality.
A transgender person may wish to be referred to by a different name and pronoun and require their gender marker to be changed on documents and systems. The vast majority of documentation can and should be changed upon request as it simply enables you to identify a particular individual within your setting and has no other ramifications. In many instances, it is not even necessary to see a formal name change document. For young people, it is important to check with the person prior to engagement as to whether they have notified their parents as to their preferred status as some young people will be identifying as transgender for the first time.
Reasonable adjustments are actions taken to remove or reduce barriers to participation, aiming to eliminate disadvantage and ensure that our services are inclusive. Reasonable adjustments should be assessed on a case by case basis.
Catch22’s Chief People Officer is ultimately accountable for ensuring that Catch22 provides an environment for its workers and job applicants in line with the commitments in this policy.
All staff have responsibility for ensuring that the culture of the organisation is one where individuals are comfortable about disclosing issues of diversity and difference and where individuals are respected and able to fulfil their potential. In particular individual members of staff must:
- be familiar with the provisions of the Charity’s Equality & Diversity policies and abide by these.
- demonstrate respect for difference and work to ensure that all colleagues are respected and service user needs met irrespective of gender, race, profound belief, age, disability, sexual orientation and other considerations of personal diversity.
- raise any issues regarding a potential breach of this, or related Equality & Diversity Policies with an appropriate manager.
- where appropriate take responsibility at service level for collating monitoring data and helping young people understand its positive benefits and uses.
- attend and positively contribute to Equality & Diversity Training events.
- seek to meet at least ‘on target’ performance standards for Valuing Diversity under the Charity’s ‘Competencies for Contribution & Performance’ framework.
- positively present the Charity’s approach to Equality & Diversity to external stakeholders and partners.
Employees should be aware that a personal breach of this policy and/or the provisions of related policies may result in disciplinary action.
Recruitment and Selection
The Charity has a separate Recruitment and Selection Policy that sets out in detail how its practices ensure equality of access and opportunity both for external applicants and current staff seeking transfer and/or promotion opportunities. In particular:
- All posts will normally be openly advertised to a wide group of potential applicants. Exceptions to this general rule are subject to clear and transparent criteria as set out in the Recruitment & Selection Policy.
- The creation of temporary posts will be subject to review and such posts only established where there is a clear business need.
- All managers must be trained in recruitment and selection techniques and assessed/licensed as competent before being permitted to chair selection panels. Directors are accountable for ensuring that all managers chairing selection panels are competent to do so.
- Applicants will be invited to share any special needs that need to be considered within the design of selection processes and, where appropriate and practicable to do so, adjustments will be made to account of any disability or other equality based consideration.
- Other than to determine if the applicant has any special needs or if any disability-related adjustments are required, applicants should not be asked any questions related to their health during recruitment processes.
- Applicants will not be asked to disclose their age or health details as a part of the selection process.
- Applications and success rates are monitored and openly reported to Senior Managers and the Catch22 EDI forum; and any anomalies will be investigated and acted upon.
- The charity does not unfairly discriminate against ex-offenders, care leavers or any other individuals who have a protected characteristic as defined by the Equality Act. Its detailed code of practice is attached at Appendix A.
Terms and Conditions
The interpretation and application of conditions of service will be monitored to ensure that they are consistent with this policy. This will be the responsibility of the EDI forum.
Different workers have different needs and regular review of conditions of employment will show how, if possible, we can meet those needs.
Training and employee development
This policy statement will be brought to the attention of all employees, both existing and newly appointed.
All staff will receive equality of access to training and qualification opportunities in line with the relevant charity policies.
Positive consideration will be given to all reasonable requests for adjustments to a training programme in order to meet the needs of a staff member who has a disability and/or caring responsibilities. Adjustments will be made wherever it is practical and affordable to do so.
Where appropriate and as part of a programme of positive action, the Charity may, from time to time, organise supportive training for groups of employees who have been under-represented in order to encourage them to take advantage of opportunities within the Charity.
The Charity will monitor access to training and development opportunities and report findings and recommendations to its senior managers. This monitoring data will also be published in such a way that all staff can inspect it.
Language is dynamic and words in common usage are always changing. Terms used within diversity and equality frameworks are no different and people must be prepared to accept the lead given by the various groups themselves as to which words are acceptable.
However, no language deemed sexist, racist or in any way discriminatory, is acceptable. Definitions of sexist, racist or discriminatory language cannot be set in concrete, but the individual’s perception of the language must be sensitively acknowledged. In describing disabilities the charity will use the most accurate description possible.
Should any member of staff feel language being used in the workplace is inappropriate, they must raise the matter through normal line management or their staff or union representative.
Breaches of this policy and complaints
Breaches of this policy may be regarded as a disciplinary matter and dealt in accordance with the Charity’s Disciplinary Policy & Procedure, with sanctions for serious breaches including the potential for dismissal.
Individuals wishing to make a complaint regarding the personal impact of this policy or a breach of this policy should seek HR advice as to the most appropriate route to follow. Potential routes are:
- a complaint under the Grievance Policy
- a complaint under the Whistleblowing Policy
- a formal or informal complaint under the Catch22 Disciplinary Policy.
This policy and its impact will be regularly reviewed and evaluated. The Charity reserves the right to change this policy in the light of such reviews but only after having conducted an assessment as to the impact of changes on key groups of workers. This shall be achieved through the normal staff consultation mechanisms, supplemented by additional consultation work e.g. focus groups, where appropriate.
Detailed responsibilities are set out within each specific policy.
This policy statement is supported by detailed policies in the following areas:
- Code of Conduct
- Recruitment & Selection