This policy document relates to Equality & Diversity and jLiving’s responsibility to ensure that our services promote equality of opportunity and eliminate discrimination.
jLiving Policy Statement
This policy sets out jLiving’s commitment to ensuring that all tenants, board members, employees, consultants, contractors and associates are treated fairly and equally. jLiving embraces and welcomes diversity and views it is a core element of its business and ethos. jLiving aims to illustrate and reflect this in its policies, services and working practices. jLiving is committed to the concept and practice of equality of opportunity and believes that everybody is entitled to equality of opportunity irrespective of:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage & Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy & Maternity
- Religion & Belief
- Sexual Orientation
Commitment to Equality
Our tenants and people are the essence of our business therefore our commitment is to ensure and endeavour that jLiving has the best possible approach to embrace the diversity of our tenants and their needs as well as ensuring that our services remain fair, equal and accessible to all.
jLiving fully accepts its obligations under:
- Equality Act 2010
- Public Sector Equality Duty 2011
- The Regulatory Framework for Social Housing 2012
jLiving is committed to:
- Ensuring that equality and diversity is integral to every aspect of its operations
- Eliminating unlawful discrimination
- Promoting equality of opportunity
- Taking positive action and acting proactively.
Commitment to Equality
jLiving’s role as a provider of services – providing a range of accessible facilities and services to meet the differing needs of individuals.
jLiving’s role as an employer – ensuring and promoting fair recruitment and providing a safe and accessible working environment that is free from harassment, danger or discrimination.
jLiving’s responsibility to its tenants and their communities – ensuring that board members, staff and partner agencies actively seek to improve the quality of life for its tenants.
jLiving expects this commitment from all staff, board members, contractors, associates and partner agencies with which it works, similarly there is also an expectation that all tenants will also support this commitment. jLiving will promote its policy through all areas of service delivery.
This Policy supports the values of the Association:
- To provide high quality accommodation and related services that are affordable and represent good value.
- To have integrity and honesty in all that we do, operating with transparency and openness.
- To achieve high standards of customer care by listening and responding to our tenants views and aspirations.
- To respect that our tenant group is made up of individual people with a range of specific needs, targeting services and support accordingly.
- To provide an environment within which tenants feel safe and secure.
- To value, promote and facilitate the continued independence of our tenants.
- To promote a sense of community amongst our tenants.
- To allow all tenants within our supported accommodation and accommodation for younger people, especially those who may have been isolated from the Jewish community, to live where there is the opportunity to celebrate the Jewish culture.
This Policy fulfils current the requirements of the Regulatory Framework for Social Housing which oblige the Association to – ‘ Understand and respond to the diverse needs of our tenants by treating all tenants with fairness and respect, demonstrate that we understand the different needs of our tenants, including in relation to the protected characteristics and tenants with additional support needs.’ jLiving remains committed to meeting the requirements and obligation of any future changes to the Regulatory Framework for Social Housing in England.
jLiving will actively seek to identify and respond to the needs of minority and disadvantaged groups and to ensure equality of opportunity in terms of:
Housing & Services
- Access to housing and support services.
- Quality of accommodation and other services offered to those in need.
- Quality of maintenance and related services provided for tenants.
- Protection of tenants rights in relation to racial and other forms of harassment including ASB and abuse.
- Design and development of new housing – refurbishment of existing stock and repairs and adaptations to tenants homes.
- Quality and suitability of design used in the development of new stock and refurbishment.
- The buying of goods and services for jLiving tenants and staff.
- Ensure that no resident, member of staff, consultant, contractor or supplier is discriminated against.
- Ensure that housing services are accessible, and appropriately tailored (with reasonable adjustments where necessary) to the individual needs of residents.
- Develop practices which will provide genuine equal opportunities for all.
- Have in place and monitor a responsive complaints procedure.
- Have in place and monitor a responsive aids and adaptations procedure.
- Promote diverse resident participation in key decision-making and service improvement.
- For people protected by The Equality Act, we will allow more time than we would usually to provide information we need.
- Provide specialist support at our resident involvement events if needed, such as a sign language interpreter.
Requesting reasonable adjustments
We let people know that we can provide reasonable adjustments in the following ways:
- By including a note on our published documents indicating that we can provide the document in an alternative format on request
- At the commencement of a tenancy
- At the time of Support Planning
- By publishing our policy on our website
How we decide what is a reasonable adjustment
The Equality Act does not define what is ‘reasonable’ but guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggest that the most relevant factors are:
• The effectiveness of the adjustment(s) in preventing or reducing the disadvantage for the disabled person
• The practicality of us making the adjustments
• The availability of our resources including external assistance and finance
• Any disruption to the service that making the adjustment may cause.
We will monitor the reasonable adjustments made via our Housing Operations Sub Committee, recording all requests and responses and discussing with the senior management team where necessary. This information, where necessary, will also be recorded in our complaints data.
- Those responsible for the recruitment, selection and management of jLiving staff will have a good understanding of cultural diversity and positive action. This will ensure that individuals from commonly discriminated against groups are not disadvantaged in applying for and gaining employment with jLiving and are not hindered in the progression of their career within the organisation.
- Personal characteristics specified for a post will only be those which are necessary for the tasks and responsibilities involved.
- Advertisements for posts will ensure that people from disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities and women are positively encouraged to apply and are not disadvantaged in applying especially where there is under representation.
- The selection of individuals to undertake any post within jLiving will be based on the applicants skills, knowledge and capability to perform the specified and assigned tasks.
- Job related training opportunities and career development courses will be available to all members of staff within jLiving and positive action training will be provided where necessary.
The Board & Subcommittees
- jLiving will monitor the composition of the Board and association Sub Committees and will seek members from under – represented groups subject to the 6 year tenure rule as prescribed by The Code of Governance 2020.
- jLiving expects and demands that all major contractors will have Equality Policies that conform with jLiving’s own policy and will share the same approach in terms of Equal Opportunities and that smaller contractors will adhere to jLiving’ policy.
jLiving has a statutory duty not to discriminate
jLiving has a duty to communicate its policy to contractors, other agencies, tenants and service users and applicants.
jLiving where possible and appropriate and upon reasonable request, will translate documents for those individuals for whom English is not their first or second language. jLiving will also, where reasonable and appropriate, reproduce documents for those individuals who may be sight-impaired.
The Board of jLiving will approve and monitor the effectiveness of this Policy and will be supplied with statistics relating to tenant groups, housing and job applicants at regular intervals. The Senior Management Team will allocate human and financial resources to ensure the implementation and delivery of the Equality Policy and will remain mindful of any new legislation that may affect the policy.
jLiving staff will understand and support the Equality and Diversity Policy and all related procedures and will ensure positive application of the Policy.