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King's Cross Railway Lands Group (KXRLG): equal opportunities

KXRLG

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY

1. Introduction

1.1 This strategy sets out the actions which will be taken by the Kings Cross Railway Lands Group (KXRLG) to ensure that we provide equality of opportunity to any potential job applicant, member of staff, volunteer or service user.

1.2 The strategy is based on the principles contained in our Equal Opportunities Statement, which has been agreed by the Management Committee (MC) and which is set out below.

1.3 Implementing an Equal Opportunities Strategy should be seen as a developmental process, with progress being regularly monitored and evaluated by the group, and with amendments being made to the strategy accordingly.

2. THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STATEMENT

2.1 "The KXRLG is committed to actively opposing racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination faced by black and minority ethnic people, women, people with disabilities, lesbians and gay men, older and younger people and homeless people.

The KXRLG declares that it will introduce measures to combat all direct or indirect discrimination in its employment practices and in provision of its services.

The KXRLG will work to ensure that the Management Committee has a balanced representation from all sectors of the local community; and seek to ensure that the service it provides really meets the needs of the community in the most appropriate way, especially those who are most disadvantaged.

The KXRLG will develop and implement a programme of action to make this policy fully effective and will aim to make sure that no job applicant receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race/sex/colour/nationality/ethnic or national origins/marital status/sexual orientation/disability/age/ homelessness or for any other reason

All procedures implemented as part of the above commitment will be regularly monitored by the MC for effectiveness and changes made where appropriate."

3. Equal Opportunities in the Selection of Paid Staff

3.1 Whilst the MC has final and overall responsibility for ensuring that the Policy set out below is implemented effectively, a Selection Panel shall be appointed to oversee the appointment of staff. The panel will be responsible for implementing the procedure shown below, and for ensuring that potential or actual job applicants receive equality of opportunity.

3.2 External practitioners with experience of employment procedures can make a very positive contribution to the work of the Panel, and may be appointed if it is appropriate. The Panel will work to election procedure based on recommendations made by Voluntary Action Camden.

3.3 Each applicant should be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken by the Panel and for reasons for those decisions. The unsuccessful applicants should be given the opportunity to discuss their interview and the successful applicant should also be informed of the views of the Panel regarding their strengths and weaknesses, with opportunity for further discussion.

3.4 When the person appointed commences work, they would receive an Induction Pack, with information about the members of the group all internal procedures. An Induction Programme should be agreed, with sufficient time allowed to enable the member of staff to become familiar with the Group so that they feel confident to start work.

4 Management of Staff and Volunteers

4.1 Whilst the MC has final responsibility, the Office and Staff Working Group should ensure that all members of staff are being effectively managed so that they carry out their Work Programme based on their Job Description, and so that they receive proper support to deal with any problems which arise.

4.2 It is important that there are clear lines of responsibility so that each employee or volunteer has a Line Manager whom they may approach at any time and who has direct responsibility on day to day issues. Normally, one staff member will be responsible for volunteers.

4.3 Members of staff and volunteers are encouraged to raise any concerns they have at any time with any officer of the Group, their Line Manager, the Office and Staff Working Group or the MC, but if they feel that these concerns are not being properly addressed, it is possible that additional, ongoing support can be provided by a friend, colleague or Trade Union Officer who may be present at any discussions of this nature.

4.4 Every member of staff and volunteer will be encouraged to identify their specific training needs, and a programme of training courses will be provided in each financial year, as far as resources allow, so that these needs are met. Training in Equal Opportunities should be a part of this programme for staff, volunteers and members of the Management Committee.

5 Equal Opportunities in service delivery: a COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT approach

5.1 The Equal Opportunities Statement says that: "The KXRLG is committed to actively opposing racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination faced by black and minority ethnic people, women, people with disabilities, lesbians and gay men, older and younger people and homeless people.

5.2 We are not limited by our Constitution to the geographical area of the Railway Lands alone. There may be a wide range of other groups in the surrounding area who do not appear to view the Railway Lands as a high priority. They represent the views and needs of local people with regard to planning and developments issues and this is why we should work towards involving them in the Group.

5.3 In providing support to groups in this wider area we will also be strengthening our links with community groups and individuals so that they may become members of the group. Such links will assist in making our campaign to promote a community based development of the Railway Lands a success.

5.4 Thus, whilst we have a commitment to build a campaign for a community based development on the Railway Lands and to "oppose racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination" we should recognise that this is more likely to be achieved through an Equal Opportunities Strategy which includes a commitment, subject to resources being available, to carry out community development work with groups in our wider area of benefit.

6 An Anti-discriminatory Approach

6.1 Whilst a pro-active 'community development' approach is necessary to promote equal opportunities in a wider context, the KXRLG should also oppose racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination which we encounter in our day to day work.

6.2 For example, if we encounter racism or sexism when working with statutory or voluntary organisations, we should take this up with the organisation concerned.

7 Encouraging greater representation within KXRLG

7.1 The Group acknowledges that we must try to improve the representation and involvement within the group of a wide range of individuals and organisations which represent local communities in the area of benefit. The group also acknowledges that many of these groups face discrimination.

7.2 The group should identify a list of these groups which are not involved in the work of the KXRLG and we should set targets so that, for example, within six months we have contacted x groups, and within one year we will be working with y groups, and we intend that z groups will be represented on the MC.

7.3 When new members join the Management Committee they should also receive an Induction Pack and an Induction Programme so that they too become familiar with the workings of the group.

8 Responsibilities of Members, Staff and Volunteers

8.1 Each member of the group, staff members and volunteers should work in accordance with this strategy and: i) treat all colleagues in a fair and non-discriminatory way, respecting cultural differences; ii) should not themselves discriminate against any individual or group in employment or service provision; iii) should inform, in the first instance, an officer of the Group or their line manager, if they feel that any form of discrimination has taken place; if this action fails to resolve the issue satisfactorily or if further instances occur, it should be reported to the Management Committee.

8.2 Deliberate discriminatory action is a serious matter and should be dealt with by the Management Committee, at a Special Meeting if necessary.

8.3 The Equal Opportunities Statement should be publicised so that our commitments are widely known.

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