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This strategy and action plan sets out how Aspen Healthcare will meet the equality duties as set out in the Equality Act 2010. It sets out Aspen’s equality goals and objectives and outcomes and has been developed to move beyond legal compliance and is accompanied by a detailed action plan. This will support Aspen Healthcare to initiate best practice and to improve both working and service conditions.
Aspen Healthcare already has Equal Opportunities at Work Policy which is reviewed and updated every 3 years, or in line with changes in legislation or guidance.
To ensure that the policy is operating effectively an analysis of the current workforce and also analysis of applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) is necessary. This will identify any issues arising and enable Aspen to take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.
In order to undertake this analysis effectively we will need to accurately collate and record data relative to the workforce and applicants using an appropriate system. To date the systems in place have not allowed for this to be carried out, however, a new HR software system (iHCM) is currently being implemented that will provide the means to do this.
We aim to remove or minimize disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics, taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
We currently offer flexible working patterns where this can be accommodated in the business to meet the needs of employees with caring responsibilities, for example parents returning from maternity or adoption leave. We will endeavour to continue to support requests from employees while meeting the business needs.
Our objective will be to have, and maintain, a diverse workforce that is representative of the community and users that access our services.
All our staff undertake Equality and Diversity e-learning during their induction period and this will continue to be reviewed annually by the HR Director to ensure it is fit for purpose. This will ensure that managers and staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace in addition to providing staff with training and skill to deliver personal, fair and diverse services competently with dignity and respect. This is in addition to any supplementary training that is delivered on Welcome Days for new starters that are specific to a hospital / facility.
Aspen as a whole, and each hospital / facility / department will demonstrate and pursue a policy of zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment in accordance with the Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy and breach of this will be dealt with under the Aspen Disciplinary Policy.
As all our policies and procedures are reviewed they will be subjected to Equality Impact Assessments to ascertain any differential impacts of groups with specific protected characteristics and propose actions to address them. To help us move towards our goal of ‘Beyond Compliance’ we will appoint a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Group Lead to share updates with the Leadership team and attend the national conference.
An Equality and Diversity action plan is attached with the strategy to help us achieve our aims and objectives of being ‘Beyond Compliance’ and ‘Investing in Excellence’. We believe excellence will be achieved through a diverse workforce treating each other, and all people with whom they have contact, with dignity and respect.