Championing diversity and inclusion

Supporting diversity in the workplace is important to us. It isn’t just about complying with the law, it’s about recognising and valuing each other’s differences and treating each other fairly.

We want to do this because we think that when people can be themselves at work, not only do they perform better but they are also more creative and effective. It also helps us to better reflect the community we serve.  

At Dorset Council, we are committed to treating people fairly and are working towards being an employer of choice.     

Anyone who works for us or who applies for a job will not be treated less favourably than anyone else because of their 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 or trade union activity.

We participate in a number of benchmarking schemes. These help us to get an independent perspective on how we are doing as an employer and assist in identifying areas for improvement.   

Disability Confident Employer  

We are proud to be a Disability Confident Employer. The Disability Confident Scheme is an initiative that helps employers commit to attracting, recruiting and retaining people with disabilities, to ensure that they have the opportunities to fulfil their potential. The scheme has 3 levels and we have achieved Disability Confident Employer (Level 2).

This means we are committed to:  

  • ensuring our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible  
  • communicating and promoting vacancies  
  • supporting any existing employee who acquires a disability or long-term health condition, enabling them to stay in work

We offer an interview to every applicant for a Dorset Council role who declares a disability (e.g. physical, mental or neurodiverse) and who meets the essential criteria for the role.   

We are also keen to make our interviews accessible, so please let us know on your job application if you have a disability and provide details of any reasonable adjustments and we will be in touch before the interview to discuss and make the necessary arrangements.

This could include:  

  • allowing more time for the completion of an exercise, assessment or response to a question  
  • undertaking the interview virtually  
  • accessible interview room  
  • British Sign Language Interpreter  

If you are successful in getting the job, we will also do what we reasonably can to support you throughout your employment with us and will help you to seek support and funding, if needed, from Access to Work.   

Stonewall's Diversity Champions Programme  

We have signed up to become a Stonewall Diversity Champion to demonstrate our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Being a Diversity Champion means we have access to range of resources to ensure we continually review and make improvements so all of our employees can bring their best self to work. It also supports us in creating a safer and more supportive environment for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and prospective employees.  

Armed Forces Covenant  

We are part of the Dorset Armed Forces Covenant and encourage applications from those with military connections including spouses/partners. Your transferable skills, previous employment and experiences in the Armed Forces sector are recognised and appreciated and would be seen as valuable in helping you to undertake one of our varied and rewarding roles.  

Mindful Employer 

Mindful Employer is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace. We signed up for Mindful Employer as we are committed to supporting our employee wellbeing by creating a supportive and open culture where colleagues are able to talk about mental health. Employees can access mindfulness interventions and Talking Therapies as well as wellbeing advice.   

Employee Networks 

We are keen to support and promote the value of Employee Networks and actively encouraging their creation. Employee Networks are a 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 and input to policy development.  

A women’s network, disability network and a LGBTQ+ network are currently in the process of forming.  

Inclusion Allies and Champions

Inclusion Allies and Champions help us in creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace, where everyone can feel valued and respected.  Our allies and Inclusion Champions are advocates for diversity and inclusion and are proactive in helping to deliver our equality, diversity, and inclusion agenda, encouraging conversations about diversity and inclusion and acting when they see or hear biased behaviour.   

Family friendly and carer policies

In helping support employees to balance home and work lives, we have a range of policies and practices including:  

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

If you are an unpaid carer in your personal life, we offer a range of support, time off and flexible working arrangements to support you in this crucial role.  

Also, if employees are an approved foster carer or shared lives carer for Dorset Council, they can request time off as paid leave 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 consider providing separate diversity monitoring information such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or belief or whether you have a disability.  

Giving this information is voluntary and entirely confidential and if there’s something you don’t want to share; you can choose to prefer not to say. We use this information to analyse the diversity of job applicants and assess our recruitment practices.   

 

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