Equality and diversity
Equality and Diversity are integral to all our activities and in every aspect of the work that we do. We aim to respond to the wide social diversity within the communities in which we operate, and ensure that we fully reflect this in our policies and procedures and through the day-to-day delivery of services.
We aim to treat everyone with respect and value their differences. We do this by providing excellent customer service, in which everyone's quality of life is considered to be of great importance.
Equality and Diversity Strategy
Our Equality and Diversity Strategy reflects our values and provides a framework through which we work to fulfil our obligations. It demonstrates our commitment to dealing with discrimination, ensuring no one feels disadvantaged or excluded, and providing opportunities for our customers, staff and Board Members.
Equality and Diversity Working Group
Our Equality and Diversity Working Group is made up of both customers and staff, who meet six times a year. The Group oversees Paradigm's approach to equality and diversity and supports staff and residents in recognising and valuing the diversity of our communities.
Faiths and Cultures
Sometimes people belong to a religion because they are born into it. Others follow a faith because they have chosen its ideals and ways of life. We should not make assumptions about a person’s religion, or if indeed they have one, from their ethnic background.
This Quick Guide to Faiths and Cultures aims to teach us about some of the main religions of Paradigm customers, so that we can better understand the diverse cultures and faiths held by our neighbours, and how they are observed.
Access to Our Services
We aim to ensure everyone is able to access our services and in particular take into account the needs of disabled, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
- All our communications are available in large print, on CD and audio tape, in Braille or translated into another language.
- If you call us we can arrange an interpretor and customers can also contact us using Typetalk.
- If you visit our offices we provide portable hearing loops.
Our Customer Access Strategy details what we are currently doing to provide the very best services in a way and at a time that is convenient for our customers. We are committed to ensuring that our customers have a choice in how they access our staff and our services and that we tailor the way we provide services and information to meet individual customer needs wherever possible. This strategy incorporates the views of our customers.
What is an Equality Impact Assessment?
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are the method we use to review our services to ensure that they are available to any customer who needs to use them irrespective of who they are and where they live. We look at the customer characteristic groups defined by the Equality Act 2010 which are:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnerships
- Maternity and pregnancy
- Religion or belief
- Sex (Gender)
- Sexual Orientation
Where any barriers to accessing our services are identified we look to see how we can remove or overcome them. If we find that one group of customers have a different experience of our service and express lower satisfaction than other customer groups we will investigate further to identify potential reasons for this and whether further action is needed to address this difference in experience.
We complete an equality impact assessment for new strategies, policies and procedures. Our Resident Forum and Board will review the outcomes of the equality impact assessment as part of the approval process required for new strategies and policies.
Paradigm Housing has a rolling programme of Equality Impact Assessments that involve both staff delivering the service and customers. Using the customer profile information provided by customers is a key part of the equality impact assessment process.
Some of the improvements we have made since launching our new strategy in 2013
We are continually making improvements to the accessibility of our services to all sections of the community steered by our staff Equality and Diversity Working Group.
Along with a range of other changes, in the last year we have:
- signed up to the CIH Equality & Diversity Charter which is an opportunity to make public our commitment in this area
- delivered awareness campaigns on the following issues:
- Harassment & Bullying
- Duty of Care & Safeguarding
- Hidden Disabilities
- regnancy, Maternity & Paternity
- Prejudice and Tolerance
- welcomed speakers on the following topics:
- Use of Tenant Insight Data
- Digital Inclusion
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Property Condition (including Hoarding)
- provided assistance, via the Tenancy Sustainment Team to around 200 households. Advice and assistance is typically provided in the areas of debt, welfare / housing benefits, homelessness and property condition issues, including hoarding.
- raised over 300 orders for aids and adaptations to assist residents with a disability
- been active in promoting digital inclusion amongst our residents
- developed new Equality & Diversity training for our staff
- undertaken Equality Impact Assessments for the following strategies / policies:
- Resident Involvement Strategy
- Rent Recovery Policy
- Lettings Policy
- ASB Policy
- Duty of Care / Safeguarding Policy
- Tenancy Management & Tenure Policies
Priorities for action 2015-16
Interested to know what we’re planning to achieve over the next year? Our agreed action plan for 2015-16 is available here.