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Equality, diversity and inclusion: Legal and policy context

We are working hard to develop an inclusive culture where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We are promoting equality and fairness for all.

We understand the importance and value of tackling discrimination and promoting equality between different groups of people, whilst addressing the diverse needs of individuals. Diversity is valuable to us because different perspectives, ideas, backgrounds, opinions and knowledge create a unique strength for our organisation. This better enables us to support and understand our customers and their stakeholders.

Legal Duties

Like any other employer and provider of services, SCW must comply with the Equality Act 2010. We operate by bidding for and winning business from organisations and statutory public bodies such as clinical commissioning groups.

Relying on public finances in this way means that we are subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which arises from the Equality Act 2010. We are also subject to several other equality and human rights-related acts, regulations and contractual requirements. This means that, in carrying out our activities, SCW is required to give due regard to the three aims of the PSED:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010

  • Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups by considering the need to:
    • Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
    • Meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
    • Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or other activities where their participation is low

  • Foster good relations between people from different groups

The PSED applies in relation to the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It requires us to publish one or more equality objectives that support the aims of the Duty and to publish regular information demonstrating that we comply with the Duty.

We therefore strongly believe that actions to deliver on equality and address health inequalities are not mutually exclusive but intrinsically linked i.e. health inequalities reflect the systematic differences in health (health gaps), which is associated with people’s unequal positions in society.

Given this, health inequalities relate to and interact with other structures of inequality, such as socio-economic, gender, ethnicity and disability.

Equality, diversity and inclusion in our workforce

To support us in developing and sustaining an equitable and inclusive workforce culture, we have made the following policy commitments:

  1. The Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) recognises the importance of having a diverse and engaged workforce and is committed to ensuring all our employees are able to be their best. The established employment practices, policies and procedures ensure that no employee, or potential employee, receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, religion or belief, age, trade union membership, disability, offending background, domestic circumstances, social and employment status, HIV status, gender reassignment, political affiliation or any other personal or social characteristic. Ensuring our workforce is diverse, and developing an inclusive culture, ensures that we are best placed to deliver services to our diverse stakeholders and to reflect the populations we serve.

  2. Diversity is viewed positively, we recognise that everyone is different and value the unique contribution that everyone’s experience, knowledge and skills can make. Achieving equality and inclusion is a stated objective of the CSU.

  3. The promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion is pursued through policies that ensure that employees receive fair, equitable and consistent treatment and that existing and potential employees are not subject to any form of discrimination and work in an environment where they can give their best.

  4. The CSU Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy seeks to help us to meet and exceed our responsibilities as a public-sector employer under the Equality Act (2010) and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

  5. This policy aims to complement other CSU and NHS-wide policies and agreements which address Equality and Diversity and Dignity at Work.

  6. It is a condition of employment that all employees respect and act in accordance with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Failure to do so will result in the disciplinary procedure being instigated, which could result in dismissal.

Our equality, diversity and inclusion policy is published here.