Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Human Rights Policy

Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Human Rights Policy

Our vision is to be a successful, caring and welcoming place for patients to receive dental care and advice. We want to create a supportive and inclusive environment where our staff can reach their full potential and care is provided in partnership with patients, without prejudice and discrimination. We are committed to a culture where respect and understanding is fostered and the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances will be positively valued.

This Policy will help us to achieve this vision.

Equality is about creating a fair society where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It is backed up by legislation designed to address unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender, trans-gender, partnership status, caring status, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief
Diversity is about the recognition and valuing of difference in its broadest sense. It is about creating a culture and practices that recognise, respect, value and harness difference for the benefit of the organisation, its employees and patients and other service users

Human Rights is about fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy in how people are treated and in the services that are provided

Discrimination is any form of unfavourable treatment. We recognise that any discrimination is harmful and is, in many cases illegal. Through this policy, through training and by example, we wish to demonstrate that we do not tolerate discrimination by anyone working at this practice.

Sex discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is gender or marital related. Discrimination according to sex is illegal under the terms of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. The Act applies equally to both men and women. Sex discrimination is when one person is treated less favourably on the grounds of his or her sex than a person of the other sex would be treated under similar circumstances and can be direct or indirect.

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination. It can be defined as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex which affects the dignity of those who work in the practice. This can include unwelcome physical or verbal conduct.

Race discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is related to colour, race or nationality. Discrimination according to race is illegal under the terms of the Race Relations Act 1976 and can be direct or indirect.

Racial harassment is a form of racial discrimination and might involve racist jokes or insults etc.

Religious discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of his or her religious beliefs. The Fair Employment Act 1989 enables employees who feel that they have been discriminated against on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion to take action against an employer.

Disability discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of disability. Occasionally a disability can limit a person’s capability for some forms of employment. Discrimination occurs when the treatment of the individual is unfavourable taking into account the disability.

Age discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of age. The Employment and Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 requires employers to foster a workplace culture in which discrimination and harassment, on the grounds of age, are unacceptable. Employers are also required to lay down procedures to enable employees to work past the age of 65 if they so wish.

Harassment is a form of discrimination where a person is made to fell uncomfortable because of their sex, race, disability, age or religion. It may involve action, behaviour, comments or physical contact which is found offensive, objectionable or intimidating by the recipient.

Victimisation is when the employer treats an employee less favourably than other employees are treated because he or she has brought or threatens to bring proceedings, or give evidence or information against an employer with reference to the Sex Discrimination, Race Relation or Equal pay Acts.

The right to have equal pay provides equality in terms of an employee’s contract where he or she is employed to perform work which is rated equivalent to that performed by a member of the opposite sex.

Legal responsibilities

The rights of our patients and our staff with regards to discrimination are protected by anti-discrimination legislation including:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
  • Employment Rights Act 1996

By adopting this Policy, we accept our responsibility to ensure that discrimination does not take place and that everyone is treated fairly and equally.

We are committed to tackling health inequalities and will:

  • Seek to provide services that meet the requirements of individuals and communities fairly, equitably and in a non-discriminatory way
  • Seek to embed the principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy in all that we do
  • Consider the needs of communities when we are planning and delivering our services
  • Consult, engage, involve and work in partnership with communities and individuals
  • Be accessible and flexible when providing our services taking the differing needs of individuals and communities into account
  • Equality impact assess our policies, programmes and processes and take action to address adverse impact where this is identified and where possible
  • Monitor and evaluate our services to ensure that they are meeting the needs of our patients, of carers and of family members

If you feel that you are the subject of discrimination or harassment, let the perpetrator know how you feel verbally or in writing asking him or her to stop the behaviour. Keep a record of the incidents, raise the issue with the Practice Manager and if the matter is not resolved, submit a written complaint.

All allegations are taken seriously.

Monitoring and review
We will monitor the effectiveness of this Policy and the impact