Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

  1. Context 

Equality means ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity, and is not treated differently  or discriminated against because of their actual or perceived characteristics. 

Diversity concerns taking account of the differences between people and groups of people,  and placing a positive value on those differences. 

Inclusion is successful when a person feels, simultaneously, that they are both similar to, and distinct from, their fellows. They perceive that the diversity of their talents, experiences and identities is valued at the same time that common ground is found. 

The HelpLine recognises the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion. We operate in  an increasingly diverse community, and we understand that the people who provide and use  our services have diverse characteristics and different experiences, needs and aspirations. 

Understanding, valuing and effectively managing these differences can help us widen  participation in and access to our services. It can also support the success of our Board, staff  teams and volunteers. 

The HelpLine is committed to creating an inclusive working environment where individual  differences are valued and respected, and in which each trustee, staff member and volunteer  is able to fulfil his/her potential and maximise his/her contribution. 

It is the responsibility of all trustees, staff members and volunteers staff to be aware of and to  apply this policy. The Board is fully committed to this policy and will endeavour to ensure its  full implementation. 

  1. Policy statement 

The HelpLine has a strong and clear commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. 2.1 Our services  

The HelpLine’s policies, procedures and practices strive to promote equality and fairness  amongst and between all members of the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, irrespective of  their background, characteristics and current circumstances. We recognise that this allows us  – trustees, staff and volunteers – actively to: 

  • treat every person with dignity and respect, recognising each person as an individual  and ensuring that we take the time to listen to and understand what is important to a  caller to The HelpLine who comes to us for support 
  • recognise, respect and welcome diversity amongst the people in our community promote our organisational values and the principles of equality and fairness and  apply them in setting up and delivering services and activities 
  • engage and seek the views of the people in our community, both those we work with  and those amongst people who are harder to reach and engage
  • ensure that all people (including those with physical and/or cognitive impairments)  may the confidential telephone and social media support we offer 
  • better articulate the needs of people in our locality (and nationally)  2.2 Employment and volunteering 

It is our policy that all eligible persons shall have equal opportunity for employment and advancement at The HelpLine on the basis of their ability, qualifications and aptitude for the  work. We believe that everyone has a right to equality of opportunity and to a good and  harmonious working environment where they are treated with dignity and respect. 

We will aim to provide opportunities for all sections of the community and continue to strive  to create an inclusive working environment in which difference is recognised and valued.  Bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and giving each person the opportunity  to contribute their skills and experience will help us to respond more effectively to the needs  of the people we serve. 

We will aim to maintain harmonious workplaces where all feel valued, respected and  included, irrespective of gender (including gender reassignment) marital or civil partnership  status, race or ethnic background, culture, religious belief or political opinion, disability,  pregnancy or maternity, having or not having dependents, sexual orientation and age. 

We will actively encourage and enable people to work or volunteer for us by (for example) offering flexible hours and taking account of caring responsibilities and commitments. 

We will actively recruit staff members and volunteers who speak community languages, and  who represent different community groups and cultures within the communities we serve. 

This commitment is not expressed contractually but is one which all individuals associated  with The HelpLine are expected to share. In order to provide high quality services, The  HelpLine needs to attract, recruit, develop and retain excellent people at all levels. Our  approach is based on three key principles: 

  • Equality: we work to promote equality of opportunity by seeking to remove barriers, eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity and access for all groups of  people 
  • Diversity: we accept each person as an individual and believe that everyone should  feel valued for their contributions. Through working together, we will deliver the best  possible services for the Jewish and wider community 
  • Inclusion: we create a working culture where differences are not merely accepted, but valued; where everyone has the opportunity to develop in a way that is consistent with  the values of impartiality, honesty, integrity and objectivity. Our aim is to be an  organisation where people feel involved, respected and connected to our success. 

We will be watchful of the dangers of too much focus on diversity and the potential for an  over-emphasis on difference, alienation and stereotyping. Equally we will remain aware that  too much focus on commonality can stifle innovation, and de-value different perspectives. 

Upholding these principles of equality, diversity and inclusion will also allow The HelpLine  to meet its legal responsibilities as an employer. They will be considered when The  HelpLine’s activities are reviewed or developed and when human resources policies are 

being updated. 

  1. Implementation 

The HelpLine Board of Trustees oversees the effective implementation of this policy. We  expect all involved with The HelpLine as Trustees, staff or volunteers to abide by this policy  and help to create the environment of equality, diversity and inclusion that it aims to maintain  at The HelpLine. 

The HelpLine is an equal opportunities employer and strives to ensure that no one is unfairly  discriminated against in our recruitment or selection processes. 

The HelpLine will act to ensure that its services are available to sections of the community. 

This policy is reviewed by The HelpLine Board 2-yearly. Updates to the policy and staff and  volunteer training are taken forward as appropriate. 

The HelpLine is committed to: 

  • fulfilling its obligations under legislation and associated codes of practice complying  with its own Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy 
  • taking lawful affirmative or positive action, where appropriate 
  • treating breaches of this policy as misconduct with the potential to lead to termination  of employment or volunteering 

To implement this policy The HelpLine will: 

  • incorporate its terms and spirit into general communications practices, for example  stating that The HelpLine strives to be an equal opportunities employer in all job  advertisements 
  • ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfil the objectives of the polic make all staff and volunteers aware that if they believe they have suffered any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation they are entitled to raise the matter with  the CEO or the Chairman of the NCO Board of Trustees, as appropriate 
  • ensure that all incoming trustees, members of staff and volunteers are provided with a  copy of this policy as part of their induction and that their specific responsibilities are  discussed and identified at the start of their tenure 
  • deal with complaints of discrimination seriously, promptly and in confidence. Every  effort will be made to ensure that members who make complaints will not be  victimised. Any complaint of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and  in confidence. Victimisation that is identified will result in disciplinary action and  may warrant dismissal 
  • not tolerate behaviours, actions or words that breach this policy and will deal with any instances in line with The HelpLine’s Disciplinary Policy 
  • identify any staff and workforce training needs to support observance of the letter and  spirit of this policy 
  • keep confidential records of ongoing matters dealt with in accordance with this policy  and The HelpLine’s Data Protection responsibilities