Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is fully committed to the principles of Equality and Diversity for a modern public service. As a public authority, we have an obligation to ensure that all staff are treated fairly and with respect. In order to fulfill our obligation, we have developed and implemented an Equality Scheme.
The Equality Scheme
Our Equality Scheme provides an overview of key objectives that we intend to implement over the next three years. It is effectively a strategy and a realistic action plan that outlines how we intend to meet our statutory obligations in relation to the public sector equality duty. Our scheme also includes equality objectives that both Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and our stakeholders have identified as a priority for the next three years.
Our action plan for our Equality Scheme includes short, medium and long-term objectives which will be supported by a wide range of initiatives. We review our Equality Scheme and objectives annually and we publish our progress on our website as part of our Equalities annual reporting.
The Equality Act 2010 sets out, within a legal context, the requirements for public authorities to prepare and publish relevant equality information. The legislation places a duty on public bodies to eliminate unlawful discrimination across all protected characteristics, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a characteristic and those who do not.
Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service will work towards building equality and diversity in respect of all protected characteristics which include;
4. Gender re-asignment
5. Marriage and civil partnerships
6. Pregnancy and Maternity
7. Sexual Orientation
9. Religion or belief
Equality and Fairness at Work Policy
We believe that our Equality and Fairness at Work Policy is of fundamental importance, and underpins all of our employment, management and service delivery policies and practices. Our “Dealing with Complaints of Harassment and Bullying Policy”, is aimed at ensuring that we create an environment which is free from harassment while encouraging everyone to treat colleagues with dignity and respect.
We recognise that policies are not enough to tackle issues of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Therefore we are committed to providing suitable and adequate training to all employees, starting with a mandatory Introduction to Equality and Diversity Course which forms part of our induction. Training is also offered throughout the year on a range of Equality (strands/characteristics) related topics.
The Equalities Forum - Driving Equality Through the Organisation
We have a dedicated Equalities Forum that works to drive Equality and Diversity throughout everything we do. The forum is made up of volunteer employees from all levels of the organisation, who are committed to Equality and Diversity. It includes operational and support employees, men and women who offer a wealth of diverse experience and backgrounds.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service runs and supports local, regional and national initiatives to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the workforce. Our Service has developed a locally focused Outreach Strategy and also supports regional and national initiative aimed encouraging people from groups currently under represented in the work force to consider a career with our Fire and Rescue Service.
Stonewall Diversity Champions
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions and works closely with Stonewall in promoting Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) equality. The Service takes part in the Stonewall Annual Workplace Equality Index in order to be informed on its progress every year. We have devised a Stonewall Equality Action Plan to assist the service with promoting equality for LGB staff and service users.