EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY

Introduction

This Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy applies to everyone who is connected to and interacts with us, including trustees, expert advisors, staff, consultants and volunteers. It is fully supported by the Director and the Board of Trustees.

This Policy will be reviewed every three years. This policy was implemented on 28.01.2021 and was last reviewed in [date].

This policy should be read alongside Restoration Trust’s policies on: Bullying and Harassment; Grievance and Disciplinary.

1.         VISION

The Restoration Trust is an inclusion organisation, and we are committed to celebrating diversity, promoting equality, fostering equal opportunities and tackling discrimination in all that we do. Our journey begins with listening to and understanding those who have lived experience of discrimination and exclusion. We will reflect on our experiences, assumptions and behaviours and commit to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisational culture.

We have the following aspirations for equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Equality – It is a fundamental principle of our policies that everyone is equally valued regardless of their personal characteristics. Our environment will promote dignity and respect for all, and will recognise and value individual differences. The Restoration Trust will ensure equality of opportunity for everyone who is connected with and interacts with us. We will actively challenge bias and prejudice, and we will work to remove visible and invisible barriers to participation. These barriers can include attitudes, physical barriers, and barriers around information and communication.
  • Equity – In addition to equality of opportunity, the Restoration Trust will work for equality of outcomes. This involves providing what people need for fair access to resources and decision-making, as well as to opportunities to realise their ambitions.
  • Diversity – The Restoration Trust recognises that we all have differences and we are all different in many ways. We will actively challenge discrimination and injustice. We will ensure that the people who work with us and participate in our projects will reflect society and the communities we serve.
  • Inclusion – The Restoration Trust will ensure that everyone is respected, is fully able to participate, and can be their full selves. We will identify existing ways of working that exclude people and we will model inclusive behaviours. We will champion the value of lived experience.  We will ensure that our actions and decisions are informed by and carried out in partnership with those facing discrimination and prejudice.
  • Accountability – The Restoration Trust will make itself accountable to those that it serves and supports.
  • Advocacy – The Restoration Trust will advocate for diversity, equality and inclusion in all its business. We will express our commitment, policies and practices publicly.
  • Collaboration – The Restoration Trust will collaborate with others to promote and implement diversity, equality and inclusion.
  • Resources – We will make sure that we have adequate resources to support effective action.

The Restoration Trust has adopted this policy as a way to help to achieve these aims.

2.         DISCRIMINATION

Protected Characteristics

We are committed to ensuring that everyone who works with us and our participants are not unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of possessing any of the protected characteristics as defined in The Equality Act 2010.  The protected characteristics are: race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital/civil partnership status, age, disability, pregnancy or maternity. The Restoration Trust will go further and ensure that we are inclusive towards the people who work with us and participate in our projects and that they are treated equally and respectfully regardless of their personal characteristics, including their economic status, class, part/fixed term status, or membership of a trade union.

Intersectionality

The Restoration Trust recognises the principle of Intersectionality and takes an intersectional approach to diversity, equality and inclusion. People have overlapping identities, including but not limited to the protected characteristics, and can experience multiple forms of discrimination simultaneously and in different ways.

What is Discrimination?

There should be no discrimination on any of the grounds set out above.  The types of discrimination which are prohibited are defined below.  Discrimination can occur in the following forms:

  • Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage or treated less favourably because of their membership of a protected group in relation to his or her employment.  Direct discrimination may occur even when unintentional. 
  • Indirect discrimination is putting a contractual practice or condition in place, which on the surface appears to be ‘neutral’ but, in reality, one of the protected groups finds the requirement more difficult to comply with.
  • Victimisation occurs where an individual is treated less favourably than colleagues or others connected with the Restoration Trust because he/she/they have taken action to assert their statutory rights and/or asserted their right not to be discriminated against as a member of a protected group and/or assisted a colleague with information in that regard.
  • Harassment occurs when an individual is subject to unwanted conduct which has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that individual or violating someone’s dignity because they possess a protected characteristic.
  • Associative discrimination occurs when an individual is subject to Direct Discrimination because they associate with another person who possesses a Protected Characteristic.
  • Discrimination by perception occurs when an individual is subject to Direct Discrimination because others think that they possess a certain protected characteristic.  This applies even if they do not possess this characteristic.
  • Harassment by a third party occurs when a third party who the organisation/business is not in control of and does not employ harasses an employee. 

3. IMPLEMENTING EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY

The Restoration Trust is particularly committed to maintaining equality of opportunity in the following areas:

  • recruitment and selection
  • promotion, reward, appraisal, transfer and training
  • terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services
  • grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • dismissals, resignations and redundancies
  • Leave for parents, requests for flexible working
  • References and post-employment checks
  • Compliance: The Restoration Trust will ensure that it complies with all relevant current legislation covering discrimination based on protected characteristics, race relations, disability discrimination, data protection, human rights and equality. The Restoration Trust will oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.
  • Publicity, marketing and recruitment: The Restoration Trust will actively seek to increase the number of people we work with who are from groups and communities that are under-represented in the culture and heritage industries. The Restoration Trust recognises that publicity, marketing and recruitment materials have an important impact in reinforcing or reducing stereotypes, so we will aim to make the idea of working with us or participating in our projects attractive to a wide range of people.
  • Recruitment and selection: We make recruitment and employment decisions on the basis of fair and objective criteria.  People will be assessed according to their capability to carry out a given job based on previous experience and not personal characteristics.  Job descriptions, person specifications and agreed criteria for recruitment and selection will form part of the recruitment process. Job specifications will only be based on experience and qualifications. We limit person specifications to requirements which are necessary for the effective performance of the job or role. Only where there is a need and where they can be objectively justified will personal characteristics be used in person specifications. We will also reduce the information provided to those shortlisting so that they do not know the name or characteristics of an applicant. In this way the chance of conscious or unconscious bias is reduced. Restoration Trust is committed to shortlisting those who are under-represented in a particular area, for example based on being disabled or from a BAME background, if they meet the essential criteria to carry out the role. Interviews are conducted on an objective basis and personal characteristics and circumstances such as home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary.  The same approach will be taken for progression and reward. Our selection procedures are reviewed every three years to ensure that they are appropriate for achieving our objectives and for avoiding unlawful discrimination.
  • Training and reasonable adjustments: The Restoration Trust aims to support the people we work with to achieve their full potential. All decisions are based on merit, aptitude and ability (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act). Appropriate training will be provided to enable people who work with us to reach their full potential and implement and uphold our commitment to equality of opportunity. Needs assessments of those who work with us and those who will be joining us will be carried out so that possible and reasonable adjustments are made to enable them to work with us. Promotion opportunities, benefits and facilities of employment will not be unreasonably limited and every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that everyone can participate fully in the workplace.
  • Breaches of this policy: The Restoration Trust will create a working and participation environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination. Everyone who interacts with us has a right to equality of opportunity and has a responsibility to implement this policy. Employees should understand they can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, against employees, participants, partners and the public. Breach of this policy is potentially a serious disciplinary matter and will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary policies and procedures. Anyone who believes that he/she/they may have been disadvantaged on discriminatory grounds which breaches this policy is entitled to raise the matter with the Director of the Restoration Trust, and if dissatisfied, submit an appeal to the Chair of the Restoration Trust Board of Trustees. This can be done by writing an email, direct message, text or post, or by telephone call to the Director or Chair of Trustees.

4.         TRAINING

The Restoration Trust will ensure that everyone who is employed by the organisation is provided with the appropriate equality, diversity and inclusion training which will be updated on a regular basis as required. Opportunities to join such training will be extended to consultants, trustees, expert advisors and volunteers as appropriate.

5.         INFORMATION GATHERING

The type of information that the Restoration Trust will collect, shall be based around the current UK equality legislation.  We aim to collect information relating to protected and personal characteristics of people who work and interact with us to monitor our progress against our action plan.

6.         MONITORING

The Board of the Restoration Trust has designated the Director as the person who has responsibility for ensuring that the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and action plan is regularly reviewed to ensure fairness, and also update the policy to take account of changes in the law.

The Board will monitor the progress of the action plan including progress against any key performance indicators.

7. ACTION PLAN

We have set ourselves the following diversity targets:

  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion to be a regular item on the Board agenda and on the Expert Panel agenda. By February 2021
  • We will appoint a Diversity champion from amongst the Trustees. By February 2021
  • We will include a commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion in our Strategic Plan and there will be DEI measures of success in the implementation of our Strategic Plan. By March 2021
  • Will work to diversify the Board of Trustees. By September 2021
  • We will continue to monitor progress against the action plan at every meeting of the Board. From February 2021