Championing diversity and inclusion

Supporting diversity in the workplace is important to us.

It is about:

  • complying with the law
  • recognising and valuing each other’s differences
  • treating each other in a fair way

We do this because:

  • when people can be themselves they perform better, are more creative and effective
  • it helps us to better reflect the community we serve

We commit to treating people in a fair way and are working towards being an employer of choice.     

We treat anyone who works for us or applies for a job with us as equal. We will not treat you in a different way because of your:

  • age
  • disability
  • sex
  • gender identity
  • marital status
  • race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins)
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • pregnancy
  • responsibility for dependents
  • unrelated criminal conviction
  • trade union activity

We take part in many benchmarking schemes.

They help us:

  • to get an independent perspective on how we are doing as an employer
  • identifying areas for improvement

Disability Confident Employer  

We are proud to be a Disability Confident Employer. The Disability Confident Scheme:

  • helps employers commit to attracting, recruiting and retaining people with disabilities
  • ensures that people with disabilities have the opportunities to fulfil their potential

The scheme has 3 levels and we have achieved Disability Confident Employer (Level 2).

We achieved this because we: 

  • ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible  
  • communicate and promote vacancies
  • support employees to stay in work when they develop a disability or long-term health condition

We offer an interview to everyone who declares a disability
and meets the essential criteria for the role.

We are keen to make our interviews accessible. Let us know on your job application if you have a disability and need any reasonable adjustments.

This could include offering: 

  • more time to complete an exercise, assessment or respond to a question
  • a virtual interview
  • an accessible interview room  
  • a British Sign Language Interpreter 

If we offer you a job, we will do what we can (within reason) to support you throughout your employment with us. We will help you to seek support and funding, if needed, from Access to Work.  

Stonewall's Diversity Champions Programme  

We have signed up to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion to show our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Being a Diversity Champion gives us access to a range of resources. The resources help us review and improve so that all our employees can bring their best self to work. It helps us to create a safer, more supportive workplace for our LGBTQ+ employees.

Armed Forces Covenant  

We are part of the Dorset Armed Forces Covenant. We encourage applications from those with military connections including spouses/partners. We recognise and appreciate the value of your:

  • transferable skills
  • previous employment
  • experiences in the Armed Forces sector

 They are great assets to put towards one of our varied and rewarding roles. 

Mindful Employer 

Mindful Employer aims to increase awareness of mental health in the workplace. We signed up for Mindful Employer because we commit to:

  • support our employees' wellbeing
  • create a supportive and open culture where colleagues can talk about mental health

Employees can access mindfulness interventions and Talking Therapies as well as wellbeing advice. 

Employee Networks 

We support and promote Employee Networks and encourage their creation. They are a great way to get to know people with a shared interest such as a protected characteristic. They give our employees the opportunity to:

  • share experiences
  • raise awareness of issues
  • input to policy development

The following networks are currently forming:

  • a women’s network
  • a disability network
  • an LGBTQ+ network
  • an ethnic minority employee network

Inclusion Allies and Champions

Inclusion Allies and Champions help us in creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace. A workplace where everyone can feel valued and respected. 

 Our allies and Inclusion Champions are:

  • advocates for diversity and inclusion
  • are proactive in helping to deliver our equality, diversity, and inclusion agenda
  •  encouraging conversations about diversity and inclusion
  • acting when they see or hear biased behaviour

Family friendly and carer policies

We have a range of practices and policies to help employees balance home and work lives. They include:

  • generous maternity leave and pay  
  • paternity leave  
  • shared parental leave 
  • adoption leave and pay

Unpaid care in your personal life is a crucial role. To support this we offer:

  • a range of support
  • time off
  • flexible working arrangements

Approved foster carers or shared lives carers for Dorset Council can request time off as paid leave. They can request this to help with some of the time commitment needed to carry out this important role. 

Diversity Monitoring  

When you apply for a job with us, we ask you to provide diversity monitoring information such as:

  • ethnicity
  • sexual orientation
  • religion, or belief
  • whether you have a disability

Giving this information is voluntary. It is entirely confidential. If there’s something you don’t want to share  you can choose "prefer not to say". We use it to check the diversity of applicants and assess our recruitment practices.