Equality and Diversity Policy

August 2022

Positive Futures is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our workforce and volunteers, and eliminating discrimination in all its forms.

The aim is for our organisation to be truly representative of all sections of society, and for each employee and volunteer to feel respected and able to give their best. 

The organisation by providing goods, services and facilities is also committed to being against discrimination of customers and the general public.

Positive Futures believes that there is a direct link between discrimination and oppression and mental distress, due to the effect it has on identity, self-esteem and opportunities to achieve self-fulfilment, and is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in its own policies and procedures and in any other areas where it may have influence.

We, therefore, wish to work in a way that: 

  • Recognises that everyone is different and works to create an environment that includes everyone and is open to different points of view.
  • Treats everyone fairly no matter their race, ethnic background, religion, sex, gender sexuality, physical or mental disability, health status (including HIV and AIDS), appearance and expression, age, marital status, parental status, and caring responsibilities.
  • Recognises the intersectionality of discrimination by having multiple protected characteristics can lead to specific discrimination. 
  • Employs and develops staff that reflect the communities we work in, and aims to achieve a good balance of people from different backgrounds including lived experience of mental health at all levels of the organisation. We recruit staff fairly and openly to help us to achieve a varied workforce.
  • Makes sure that any private contractors who provide services on our behalf show a commitment to equality and diversity by having fair employment practices and providing a consistent standard of customer service, and receive a copy of this policy.
  • Ensures that the services provided by us are relevant and accessible to all sectors of the community we serve. 
  • Regularly reviews policies and practices relevant to equalities and diversity, and monitors our performance with regard to these.
  • Promotes awareness of the causes, forms and effects of discrimination amongst its Trustees, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and members.
  • Promotes awareness of the causes, forms and effects of discrimination amongst its Trustees, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and members.

This policy’s purpose is to:

  1. Provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time and volunteering. 


  1. Not unlawfully discriminate based on protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010:
    • age
    • disability 
    • gender reassignment
    • marriage or civil partnership
    • pregnancy and maternity
    • race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin)
    • religion or belief
    • sex
    • sexual orientation
  1. Oppose and avoid all forms of discrimination. This includes:
    • pay and benefits
    • terms and conditions of employment
    • dealing with grievances and discipline
    • dismissal
    • redundancy
    • leave for parents
    • requests for flexible working
    • selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities 
  2. Go beyond our statutory requirements and be an anti-discrimination organisation

The organisation commits to:

  1. Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion as they are good practices and make business sense and are in line with the core values of the organisation. The organisation exists to serve its local community by promoting mental health, desitmatising mental illness, combating prejudice and providing services for all who need them.
  1. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, oppression, victimisation and discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. 
  1. Training managers, all other employees and volunteers about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff and volunteers conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination. All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public
  1. Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities.

    Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.

    Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.
  1. Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
  1. Make decisions concerning staff being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
  1. Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
  1. Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

    Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
  1. Equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. To achieve this some people may need adaptive arrangements and additional support.

Monitoring and Oversight

Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the Board of Trustees. The Board will, however, appoint a CEO who will be responsible for the operation of the policy.

Membership of the organisation is open to all. Positive recruitment of people from local minority groups should be undertaken with sensitive planning of promotional material and by nurturing links with organisations representing these groups. Membership leaflets and application forms shall include a monitoring form inviting members to volunteer confidential information regarding gender, ethnicity, age and disabilities.

The staff and volunteers should also be invited to complete confidential monitoring forms and any notable gaps identified in the workforce should be addressed if possible (eg through targetted advertising).

 Monitoring may involve:

  • the collection and classification of information regarding race in terms of ethnic/ national origin, gender, and trans in terms of if their sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity and disability broken down into physical and mental.
  • the examination by ethnic/national origin, sex and disability of the distribution of employees and volunteers and the success rate of the applicants.
  • Recording recruitment, training and promotional records of all employees and volunteers, the decisions reached and the reason for those decisions.

Confidential information regarding gender, age ethnicity and mental health problems will be obtained by means of monitoring forms and regular surveys within Positive Futures services. This information will be fed into the organisation’s monitoring system.

A report monitoring diversity shall be produced yearly for the Board of Trustees. This information will be used to review the progress and impact of the Policy. Any issues to be addressed from the report will be decided at this level and the Board will direct any actions to be taken to Managers.

Our disciplinary and grievance procedures

Details of the organisation’s grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures can be found at [Somewhere]. This includes with whom an employee should raise a grievance – usually their line manager.

Use of the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures does not affect an employee’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.

Glossary of Terms

Managing Diversity 

The concept of managing diversity accepts that the workforce consists of a diverse population of employees and members and users will also be diverse.

This diversity consists of visible and non-visible differences, including factors such as gender, age, background, race, disability, mental health status, personality and work style. It is founded on the belief that harnessing these differences will create a productive environment where everybody feels valued and where talents are being fully used to meet organisational goals.

Equal Opportunities

Treating everybody fairly and equally regardless of their background or lifestyle.

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another, for example, on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin, nationality, gender, sexuality, disability (including mental illness), living with HIV or other blood-borne viruses, religion or belief age, marital status, caring responsibilities, gender re-assignment or age.

Indirect Discrimination

This includes practices which look fair, but which are unfairly discriminatory in their effect. For example, a job may make a requirement or condition which may be applied equally to everyone, but which has a disadvantageous effect on people of one gender or ethnic group, because a considerably smaller proportion of them can comply with it and its use is not justified by a ‘real need’.

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination occurs when, for a reason related to his/her disability, a disabled person is treated less favourably than other people, and this treatment cannot be justified. It also occurs when an employer or service provider fails to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the disabled person, and the failure cannot be justified. An employer cannot justify less favourable treatment if, by making a reasonable adjustment, it would remove the reason for the treatment.

Reasonable Adjustment

A reasonable adjustment is any step or steps an employer can reasonably take to prevent arrangements made by them or physical features of premises occupied by them from putting a disabled person at a disadvantage in comparison with a non-disabled person.


Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another because that person has, for example, asserted rights under any of the discrimination laws or has helped another person to assert such rights or given information to the relevant statutory body, or because it is suspected that the person might do any of these things.


Harassment occurs where, on grounds of race, colour, gender, disability, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, religion or belief, age (or any other personal characteristic) a person is subjected to unwanted conduct which has the purpose (intentionally) or effect (unintentionally) of: (i) violating that person’s dignity; or, (ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.