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The Northwest Regional Development Agency manages all operations from its Headquarters at: PO Box 37 Renaissance House Centre Park Warrington Cheshire WA1 1XB Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400 e-mail: Information@nwda.co.uk

Equality & Diversity Policy & Guidelines

In addition, there are five area offices for local implementation activities as follows:

A Guide for Northwest Regional Development Agency Employees

Greater Manchester Giants Basin Potato Wharf Castlefield Manchester M3 4NB Tel: +44 (0)161 817 7400 Fax: +44 (0)161 831 7051

Cumbria Gillan Way Penrith 40 Business Park Penrith Cumbria CA11 9BP Tel: +44 (0)1768 867 294 Fax: +44 (0)1768 895 477

Merseyside Station House Mercury Court Tithebarn Street Liverpool L2 2QP Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)151 236 3731

Lancashire 13 Winckley Street Preston Lancashire PR1 2AA Tel: +44 (0)1772 206 000 Fax: +44 (0)1772 200 049

Cheshire Brew House Wilderspool Park Greenalls Avenue Warrington WA4 6HL Tel: +44 (0)1925 644 220 Fax: +44 (0)1925 644 222

visit: www.nwda.co.uk www.englandsnorthwest.com

This document is available in large print, Braille, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Somali, Urdu and Hindu The Equal Opportunities and Diversity Statement was prepared with the assistance of Equality North West

August 2004 NWDA KADM 08/03 17722


Foreword

This document demonstrates the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s total commitment to ensuring that equality and diversity are integral to all that we do. This commitment is important not just because it is morally right. The strength of our region has always been in the drive and talent of our people. If we are to build a region fit for the twenty first century we must harness that diverse strength regardless of race, gender, disability or class. If we succeed we will drive forward the economic regeneration of our region while at the same time ensuring equality of opportunity for all the people of England’s Northwest.

Steven Broomhead Chief Executive

The Regional Economic Strategy for England’s Northwest states that the region should “actively promote policies for social inclusion and sustainable communities by pursuing equality of opportunity, eliminating the barriers imposed by racial, cultural and other forms of discrimination.” In recognition of the contribution it can make to this task the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has devised an Equal Opportunities and Diversity Strategy comprising a Policy Statement and a series of Objectives. These are set out in this leaflet.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency’s Policy Statement The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is committed to valuing diversity by promoting and implementing equality of opportunity in all its activities. This commitment is based on the rationale that improving the business success and performance of the region depends on all its people having a stake in its future. Achieving this will depend on developing and implementing the business case for equality, and promoting policies to achieve sustainable communities and social inclusion as identified in the Regional Economic Strategy. We recognise that we can reduce disadvantage experienced by many people by making our activities more responsive to different and various individual and community needs. The NWDA values the diversity of the population of the region and wants its activities to be accessible, relevant and meaningful to everyone.

In brief, the NWDA believes that valuing and managing diversity is about recognising and appreciating individual needs and differences and treating everyone with dignity and respect.

We will work towards an environment and culture where everyone is encouraged and supported to develop their full potential regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, sexuality, marital status, nationality, religion, political affiliation, class or any other individual characteristics which may limit a person’s opportunities in life.

Equal Pay Act 1970 (amended by Equal Pay Regulations 1983)

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (amended 1986; Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999; Indirect Discrimination and Burden of Proof Regulations 2001)

Race Relations Act 1976 (Race Relations Amendment Act 2000)

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Protection from Harassment Act 1995

Human Rights Act 1998

Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 – operational September 2002

Employment Act 2002

The aim of this policy is to ensure that the NWDA is an organisation which recognises and values diversity and intends to be an example of good practice. This will be achieved by implementing equal opportunities across the whole spectrum of the NWDA’s business, the three main dimensions of this being: ■

As employer As a deliverer of programmes ■ By playing a leadership role through partnership and facilitation

This commitment is underpinned by the relevant legislation which includes:


Objectives Equal opportunities in the NWDA can be translated into the following objectives:

Guidelines for Northwest Regional Development Agency employees Implementing Equality and Diversity good practice.

valuing and respecting diversity and benefiting from our differences; creating a positive, safe, accessible environment and culture in which discrimination has no part and where everyone can achieve their full potential; listening to, engaging and collaborating with a wide range of partners and staff in order to continually improve our equality practice;

promoting equal opportunities in all aspects of employment;

supporting positive action programmes where there is a clearly identified need;

mainstreaming equal opportunities into all employment and business decisions by developing systems and processes which are accessible and transparent;

ensuring all projects and programmes supported by NWDA investment mainstream equality and diversity as core components;

The NWDA has a commitment to equality and diversity across its operating remit. All employees and Board members are expected to promote this commitment in the ways in which they interact with contractors, service providers and partners.

being accountable by target setting, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing progress on a regular basis;

Equal opportunities and diversity are about treating everyone fairly and equally depending on their individual needs. However, this does not always mean treating everyone the same. Dignity and respect are fundamental to this agenda as are social and economic inclusion.

taking necessary action when non-compliance with the Policy is identified;

securing resources to ensure that the Equal Opportunities & Diversity Strategy is implemented.

The NWDA must integrate these foundation principles into the way in which it operates and the way it is perceived to operate. This includes what is said and what is done. This is the responsibility of everyone. All employees are expected to promote and implement this commitment with programme deliverers and partners and pursue it via project development and appraisal.

Following benchmarking exercises against the dimensions and objectives, an action plan is now in place. Further details can be obtained from the Chief Executive, Steven Broomhead.

1. Planning meetings and conferences Demonstrating good, inclusive practice ●

Who is involved? Are they the ‘usual suspects?’ What opportunities exist for involving new contributors? What added value will there be for involving others? Is there a balance of speakers and presenters? Whilst recognising that certain key roles are filled by particular individuals what opportunities exist for looking ‘outside the box’ when listing possible contributors?

Are communications in an accessible language/suitable typeface and print size? Are there a variety of formats: large print/Braille/tape/symbols/picture supported text?

Are there any dates you should try to avoid? These may be anything from religious festivals to school holidays.

How work/family friendly are your timings? Are you sure you really need to start very early/take up the whole day/finish late/plan it for a Friday/in the summer and locate on a main holiday route etc?

Is the venue fully accessible? Is there car parking? Are there good public transport links? Is the map up to date and readable? Are there suitable facilities for wheelchair access?

Is there a hearing loop available and/or a signer if necessary?

Does the evaluation form request information regarding sex, race, age and disability for monitoring purposes?

Do the refreshments cater for a range of dietary needs? Is the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food served on separate plates? Please note fish is not a vegetarian option. Is there adequate seating provided for those who need it? Will there be people available to provide assistance if required?

2. Contributing to meetings and conferences Creating an inclusive atmosphere ●

Do you ensure that you welcome and talk to new people both formally and informally?


Do you explain acronyms to new people?

Do you take up opportunities to make clear your support of the equality and diversity agenda by suggesting ideas to mainstream/asking constructive questions of speakers/supporting others/constructively challenging traditional assumptions?

Is core information available in alternative formats and languages?

Are NWDA’s criteria for sponsorship and support clear and well publicised?

When inviting individuals to contribute to the event do you publicise your commitment to equality and diversity and request that they ensure it is addressed in their contributions? Do you draw attention to contexts that are exclusive (eg football)? Do you challenge offensive jokes and comments even if the target or subject of them is not present?

Acronyms often do need explaining!

If utilising images of people are they inclusive and do they show some individuals doing non-traditional roles?

Visual jokes and contexts can, sometimes unwittingly, reinforce traditional stereotypes and be offensive. Can you find alternative ways of communicating your message?

Do you have differently designed and administered procedures and processes for small and large organisations?

Do you offer small organisations different support, advice and guidance from that offered to large organisations?

What positive action strategies do you implement and monitor to promote inclusiveness and diversity?

How do you positively try and ensure that you involve a wide and diverse range of organisations and individuals?

Can feedback be given in different ways and is this publicised and encouraged?

5. The Law and Policy Compliance and Practice ●

3. Language and Images Awareness and action

The Agency’s recommended font for print correspondence is Arial, the minimum size is 10 point. For web sites the preferred font is Verdana San Serif or Arial. In addition the Agency makes all key documents available on request in; large print, Braille, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Somali, Urdu and Hindu.

Are you aware of the key laws that you are obliged to adhere to regarding sex, race, disability and human rights?

Would you be able to advise others on how to identify and implement a positive action strategy?

6. Fit for purpose One size does not fit everyone

Is the font style clear and easy to read?

Are the colours acceptable for those with visual impairments?

How flexible are your processes and procedures?

Do not assume that medium and large organisations and partnerships have up to date and active equal opportunities and diversity policies.

8. Further Help More details and information can be found on the following websites: Equality North West www.equality.org.uk Equal Opportunities Commission www.eoc.org.uk

Do not assume that local or voluntary sector groups and partnerships are necessarily fully representative or inclusive.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive, is Chair of the Equal Opportunities & Diversity Group.

Local Strategic Partnerships (LSP’s) are to face stricter accreditation to ensure they become more inclusive and effective. Revised guidance will be available from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. A research exercise undertaken in the summer revealed that membership of LSP’s varied widely. Although 60%

Would you know what to expect and look for in an organisation that was implementing good practice?

4. Advertising and marketing Making things accessible

The Government will expect RDA’s to assess how their work is likely to affect different groups and take action to ensure that they are taking this into account, from the beginning of the policy development process and during its subsequent implementation and evaluation. This policy appraisal process is commonly referred to as mainstreaming. (Supplementary Guidance to RDA’s is available on www.dti.gov.uk/rda/guide).

Do you ask others for a copy of their equality and diversity policy and strategy? Do you know what an up to date equality and diversity policy and strategy should look like?

Have you read and understood the NWDA Race Equality Scheme?

Do you make assumptions about certain roles or jobs?

7. Additional Information

included a housing association representative, only 35% included a faith organisation, 20% had a resident’s group member, 20% had a black or minority ethnic group member and 30% had a young person representative.

Commission for Racial Equality www.cre.gov.uk Disability Rights Commission www.drc-gb.org Age Positive (Dept for Work & Pensions site) www.agepositive.gov.uk


http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Equality_Diversity