Wokingham Medical Centre is committed to providing diversity and equality to all employees whether full time, part time or temporary. We therefore wholeheartedly accept our legal obligations under the legislation, identified below, which makes it generally unlawful to discriminate directly or, indirectly in recruitment, employment or after employment on the grounds of:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage & Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Race ( which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins )
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or belief
These are known as ‘protected characteristics’.
We also undertake not to discriminate unfairly on the grounds of trade union membership and activity, political or religious belief and unrelated criminal convictions.
There are two types of discrimination that are unlawful: direct and indirect discrimination.
Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age. Indirect discrimination is where the employer applies a practice, requirement or condition which applies equally to all individuals, but which:
- Has an adverse disproportionate impact on a group of people because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age and
- The employer cannot show it to be justified, and
- It causes detriment to the individual.
Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.
Every employee is entitled to a working environment which promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying, harassment or victimisation will be tolerated.
The employer is committed to implementing equality of opportunity in carrying out all its various functions. We are committed to the development of effective policy, strategy and standards and to the introduction of monitoring and information systems to review and evaluate progress towards the achievement of equality of opportunity.
The employer recognises the effects of historical disadvantage and past discrimination, and will, where appropriate and within the law, take positive action to achieve equality of opportunity.
We believe much can be achieved by developing policies, practices and procedures to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination and realise that real progress toward equality of opportunity requires a programme of action, which involves the commitment and participation of all staff.
The employer believes that equal opportunities require a genuine commitment to this policy from everyone. For us this also has a duty to adhere to the key guidance in establishing, monitoring and evaluating our responses to the Equality Act, Disability Discrimination Act [DDA]; Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act and all Amendments related to those Acts.
All members of staff together with those involved in all activities are required to conduct themselves in accordance with our Equality and Diversity Policy. They are required to take personal responsibility in this area and work towards promoting respect for individuals. This will entail identifying and removing inappropriate behaviour and changing practices which perpetuate inequality and taking necessary action to challenge unfair, discriminatory or racist practices.
Members of staff can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of the Practice, for any act of unlawful discrimination. Staff who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees or customers are disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the practice disciplinary procedure.
Race equality policy
The employer acknowledges that the society within which we live is enriched by the ethnic diversity, culture and faith of its citizens.
We believe staff have a professional commitment to ensure that we know how to make effective personalised provision for employees, including those for whom English is an additional language or who have special educational needs or disabilities, and how to take practical account of diversity and promote equality and inclusion in our training.
The Surgery strives to ensure that the culture and ethos of our practice is such that, whatever the heritage and origin of our employees, everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect.
All employees (including learners and apprentices) will be provided with the opportunity to experience, understand and celebrate diversity.
The definition of institutional racism is “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to employees because of their culture, colour or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people.”
Definition of a racist incident:
“any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”
Our aims for promoting racial equality and challenging racial discrimination include:
- Ensuring that staff from all racial groups are encouraged to achieve to their full potential.
- Maintaining an inclusive ethos.
- Acknowledging the existence of racism and being proactive in tackling and eliminating racial discrimination.
- Promoting at every opportunity the surgery ethos of welcoming and valuing everyone irrespective of their race, colour, religion, ethnic or national origin, age or sexual orientation.
- Ensuring that equality is an integral part of all our training.
Actions to ensure race equality
The Surgery will:
1. Undertake a race equality audit on an annual basis.
2. Where monitoring demonstrates disadvantages in employment or under-representation, the Surgery will undertake positive action measures allowed by law to rectify this. Such as;
- Provide facilities or services to meet the particular needs of people from under-represented groups.
- Target job training at particular groups that are under-represented in a particular area of work.
- Encourage applications from groups that are under-represented in such areas.
- The Race Equality Policy will be reviewed annually by the Practice Manager.
3. The Surgery will ensure that our quality assurance processes identify good practice.
4. The Surgery will endeavour to ensure that our staff team reflects the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society in which we live.
5. All racist incidents will be recorded and reported to the Manager. All incidents will be resolved sensitively, in a manner, which supports the victim and both sanctions and educates the perpetrator.
All staff, learners and apprentices will:
1. Be made to feel valued members of the Surgery.
2. Be encouraged to reach their full potential.
3. Be supported in their development.
4. Have their views, backgrounds and beliefs respected by colleagues and peers.
5. Act as role models through the positive relationships they foster with colleagues and peers.
Monitoring by Ethnicity
The Surgery recognises ethnic monitoring as essential to ensure that no ethnic group is being disadvantaged, and that monitoring leads to action planning. We will build on that approach to tackle other key areas identified.