Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Imagine
We have always been committed to the values of equality and social justice at Imagine; it’s central to our core principles of independence and empowerment. But what we do must match what we say, and we believe that we could do better. To that end we have been reviewing and refreshing our approach to equality and inclusion, and we have developed a new strategy with a three year action plan. You can view both the summary and full document of the Equality and Inclusion Strategy here on the ‘I’ drive.
In September last year, all staff attended an Equality and Inclusion training and development programme designed specifically for Imagine. Elaine Bowes – who designed and delivered this programme – is continuing to work with us on our improvement plans. She is chairing the Equality and Inclusion Task and Finish Group, which we have established to focus on delivering the commitments of the strategy. This group comprises people from all areas of the business, and they have all commenced work on their specific local improvement programmes.
We are currently reviewing – through Equality Analysis (or Impact Assessments) – key areas of policy and practice, and we have obtained the DWP Two Ticks Disability Symbol Award. This means that we are committed to deliver on five objectives:
- To interview all disabled job applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities
- To ensure that there is a mechanism in place to discuss at any time, but at least once a year, with disabled employees that can be done to make sure they can develop and use their abilities
- To make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in their employment
- To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make the commitments work
- Each year to review the five commitments and what else has been achieved, to plan ways to improve on them and to let employees and the Jobcentre Plus know about the progress and future plans.
We have also signed the Mindful Employer Charter – which means that amongst a number of things we will
- show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues;
- Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment;
- Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health issues.
Both the Two Ticks Award and the Mindful Employer Charter are especially important to us as they herald our commitment to be a positive and proactive employer with respect to disabilities and in particular mental health disabilities. Over the coming months you will see further evidence of these commitments. In the meantime we are keen to hear your views on our Equality and Inclusion Strategy, and we will keep you posted on developments.