Diversity and inclusion Policy
This policy sets out Genesis Housing Association’s commitment
towards Diversity and Inclusion. It applies to all employees of
Genesis, whether on permanent or fixed term contracts, working full
time or part time hours. It also applies to bank workers, agency
workers, volunteers, consultants, contractors and work experience
This policy will:
- enhance our reputation as an employer, and help attract,
motivate and retain staff. The recruitment, retention, training and
promotion of colleagues regardless of their background, through our
recruitment practices and through celebrating their differences,
and being mindful of protected characteristics
- ensure better and more inclusive service provision for our
- encourage an active approach towards tackling discrimination,
which will minimise complaints, disciplinary action and employment
- encourage greater awareness and understanding of the different
Equality: an understanding that:
- every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of
their lives and talents, a right to be treated the same as everyone
else, and believing that no one should have poorer life chances
because of where, what or whom they were born, what they believe,
or whether they have a disability
- certain groups within society experience common forms of
Diversity: an active approach that:
- recognises, values and takes account of people's different
backgrounds, knowledge, skills, needs and experiences
- encourages and uses those differences to create a cohesive
community and effective workforce.
Inclusion: to positively strive to meet the
needs of different people and taking deliberate action to create
environments where everyone feels respected and able to achieve
their full potential.
Network Group: this is a staff group with
defined terms of references which seeks to support and represent
colleagues of a similar background across the business.
Protected characteristics: as defined in the
Equality Act 2010, these are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation.
3. Policy statement
Genesis is committed to respecting and promoting diversity,
inclusion and equality for customers, staff, stakeholders and
We will not discriminate, harass or victimise anyone regardless
of their background, characteristics or beliefs.
In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, we will not tolerate
any discrimination, harassment or victimisation of someone because
they have or are perceived to have a "protected characteristic" or
are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic.
Although Genesis is not a "public body" within the meaning of
the Equality Act, we have adopted and give due regard to the aims
of the Equality Duty as part of our policy. Giving due regard means
consciously thinking about the aims as part of the process of
decision-making. See Section 12 for details on the aims and the
We recognise a statutory duty to challenge any instances of
discrimination as an employer, landlord, service provider, partner
and through contractors and procurement.
Our customer and staff forums will provide insight so we
constantly monitor the way we work to improve the delivery of our
services so they are inclusive and meet the diverse needs of our
people and customers.
The HR Director, or an appropriate delegate will report
regularly to the Genesis staff forum and staff network groups on
diversity and inclusion matters
Similarly, the Customer Experience Director, or an appropriate
delegate, will report regularly to the customer forums on related
Diversity and inclusion assessment and improvement plans will be
completed for all new and changed projects, strategies,
restructures, policies and procedures etc.
We will encourage customers and staff with lived experience of
Diversity and Inclusion to provide training and support for
customers, staff and stakeholders.
As essential best practice we will systematically monitor our
service delivery and employment practices to ensure equality of
opportunity and eliminate any discriminatory behaviours, policies
Where we keep data on protected characteristics for customers
and staff, we ensure that the principles of the Data Protection Act
1998 and our data protection policy are followed.
4. Customer involvement
By understanding the background of our customers and celebrating
their diversity we will be able to more effectively deliver the
right services, for the right people at the right time.
We will harness the expertise of our customers, staff and
stakeholders, with the overall objective of helping our customers
to thrive within their communities.
We will build up coalitions with customer forums and external
providers in the areas where we have a presence to enable customers
to have greater input into how we deliver our services.
Closely aligned to our volunteering offer, we will offer our
customers opportunities to get involved more directly with our
diversity and inclusion activities at a level which suits them.
This could be in the form of a one - off activity, or a regular
time commitment. We will be clear about how much influence and time
commitment each volunteering opportunity involves and provide
feedback about what the activity achieved.
5. Staff responsibilities
Employees must be aware of and take responsibility for diversity
and inclusion in their behaviour with customers, colleagues and
Managers are accountable for communicating and disseminating
this policy to all employees to ensure that all employees are fully
aware of their individual and legal responsibilities, and that
diversity and inclusion remain a key part of all that we do .
Senior managers will ensure that adequate resources are provided
for encouraging, promoting and monitoring this policy.
If an employee, in undertaking duties and responsibilities on
our behalf, witnesses a discriminatory incident, they have a duty
of care to other employees and members of the public to challenge
discriminatory behaviour and practice where it is safe to do so,
and in the case of racist and other discriminatory incidents, e.g.
Hate Crime, a duty to report and record the incident to police,
their line manager or the HR Department.
6. Recruitment, retention and progression
We apply the principles of the Equality Act 2010 when designing
and reviewing our recruitment processes and policies. Where
specialist agencies highlight best practice in recruitment,
retention and progression matters, we will recommend that these
practices are implemented in the wider business.
When commissioning training for career progression we will
ensure that the principles of this policy are followed, through
digital learning opportunities, ‘lunch and learns’ and discussions
via groups and forums.
7. Partnership working
We will form partnerships with specialist agencies who will add
value to our work and together we will develop innovative solutions
to meet the needs of our customers.
When commissioning contractors and third party services, we will
insist that their policies on equality, diversity and inclusion
match or exceed this policy.
We will promote best practice when Diversity and Inclusion
partnerships make practical changes for our people and staff that
directly contribute towards Genesis corporate values.
Our day-to-day work will continue to support and facilitate
Genesis Diversity and Inclusion activities through our Network
groups, Genesis staff forum, and customer forums including the
Women’s Network, G Force, The LGBT Customer Forum, and BAME
network, Customer Disability Forum, Faith and Belief/Older Persons
Working Groups. Lunch and Learns with key stakeholders will provide
information on Diversity and Inclusion issues that affect staff and
Genesis will investigate all claims of discrimination in a
thorough and serious manner and fully support any legitimate claims
of discrimination. An employee or customer who feels they have been
discriminated against within the scope of this policy should raise
the matter through the grievance and dignity at work policies and
procedures (for employees) and Comments, compliments and complaints
policy (for customers).
9. Background Legislation
Equality Act 2010:
The Act includes an Equality Duty requiring public bodies to
have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation
and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a
protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected
characteristic and people who do not share it.
Having due regard means consciously thinking about the above
three aims of the Equality Duty as part of the process of
decision-making. Although Genesis is not a "public body" within the
meaning of the legislation, we have adopted these aims as part of
- Equality Duty for public sector (EHRC website)
- Data Protection Act 1998
10. Diversity and inclusion
A Diversity and Inclusion Assessment has been completed as part
of this policy review and a copy is available on request. The
assessment was made as part of an independent assessment on the
organisation’s diversity commitment by the Schneider Ross Agency,
with the following summary findings:
We currently do not keep reportable data on maternity/pregnancy,
gender reassignment and marriage/civil partnership for staff or
There are no observable correlations between staff and customers
in the other respective areas.
There are issues with under-reporting and possible gaps in the
collected data, which needs addressing.
No change to policy content was made following the assessment.
To request a copy please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
for further information on our commitment to equality and diversity
at Genesis please visit our website.
11. Customer engagement and impact
This policy has been developed in close liaison with customers
from our regional committees and focus groups. Suggested changes
that were incorporated into the final policy were:
- amended definitions of diversity and inclusion
- make commitment towards public equality duty clearer.
- clarify several statements throughout the text, eg learning
commitment, customer involvement etc.