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Yorkshire Housing equality, diversity and inclusion policy

Our commitment

Yorkshire Housing is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and creating a working environment that is inclusive and free from discrimination or harassment. Respect is one of our values, and this policy confirms our commitment to equality diversity and inclusion in employment and service delivery.

We value diversity and recognise the benefits of employing a diverse workforce. As an employer and through our work in providing homes and services, we will help ensure fair treatment for all members of the community regardless of race, ethnic origin, nationality, gender, disability, religion, marital status, maternity, sexuality or sexual orientation, or age.

Our duties

Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a responsibility as a social housing provider to promote equality of opportunity. The Act makes discrimination unlawful in relation to the nine ‘protected characteristics’ (see below).

While Yorkshire Housing is not a public body, we take account of the Public Sector Equality Duty when delivering services that are public in nature. Under this Duty we must give due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate discrimination harassment and victimisation
• Advance equality of opportunity
• Foster good relations (tackling prejudice and promoting understanding).

The Social Housing Regulator sets out the regulatory standards which require registered housing providers to respond to the needs of diverse residents. Registered providers are required to treat all residents and tenants with fairness and respect including those with protected characteristics and those with additional support needs.

Equality Act 2010 – protected characteristics: age, marriage and civil partnership, religion and belief, disability, pregnancy and maternity, sex, gender re-assignment, race and sexual orientation

Our principles

Yorkshire Housing aims to be an open, inclusive and diverse. Our Respect value means we believe everyone has a right to be treated with dignity, fairness and respect. These principles guide our work:
• Value the diversity and talents of all individuals
• Support and empower people to succeed in our organisation
• Create a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace
• Understand the diverse needs of our customers
• Promote equality of opportunity in employment and services
• Deliver appropriate, flexible and accessible services
• Challenge prejudice discrimination and harassment
• Promote equality diversity and inclusion with our customers, partners, stakeholders and supply chain.

Our approach

We are committed to creating a positive and inclusive culture with a well-trained workforce. To help achieve a diverse workforce we monitor recruitment and progression against protected characteristics.
Equality and diversity is included in training for all colleagues and Board members and specific training is provided appropriate to roles. The Head of HR and Communications is responsible for equality and diversity training.

Positive action
We recognise that overcoming barriers to equality of opportunity can require positive action. We will consider measures where we believe we can address such barriers, for example:
• Ensuring fair representation of minority communities in the workforce and governance structure
• Setting targets for recruitment of under-represented groups, such as women in trade roles
• As a ‘positive about disability’ employer support recruitment of people with disabilities
• Use apprenticeships and other training opportunities to encourage applications from underrepresented groups.

Harassment anti-social behaviour and domestic violence
We are committed to dealing promptly and effectively with harassment (racial and other), anti-social behaviour and domestic violence affecting customers and employees. We employ a specialist team to deal with serious cases and support field staff in tackling issues affecting customers and communities where we work.
We have effective policies and procedures on dignity at work and whistleblowing.

We are committed to achieving best value in procurement while upholding our equality and diversity principles. We ensure this policy is reflected in all suppliers or contractors working on our behalf and our principles are maintained in their dealings with customers and colleagues. Where appropriate, we will use opportunities that arise through procurement to achieve social value and inclusive outcomes.

Data protection
The use of personal information will be treated with full regard to data protection legislation. We will ensure data is processed lawfully, accurate, secure, relevant and retained for the appropriate period.

This policy is approved by the Board of Yorkshire Housing, who with the Chief Executive have overall responsibility for policy and compliance with equality legislation and regulation.
The executive is responsible for implementation and monitoring of performance.
The Staff Forum is consulted on policy and practice.
The policy is reviewed every two years.