Equality and diversity in the workplace

Physiotherapist with hearing loss advises patient

King’s values every person equally - as an individual and for what they bring to the Trust. We actively promote fairness, justice and equality of opportunity to ensure that all our services and employment policies are free from discrimination. We work hard to ensure that they are accessible and appropriate for everyone in the community we serve and the people we employ.

We are fortunate to employ a workforce which represents the population that we care for and this means being open to the value of differences in age, disability, gender, marital status, race, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.

To achieve this, we ensure our recruitment, training, promotion and disciplinary procedures and policies are sensitive to these differences, and we try to root out bullying and harassment in all parts of our organisation. We believe we have an obligation to do this as a public sector organisation, and we think that doing so makes us better able to treat our patients as well as making King’s a better place to work.

Our vision, which applies to staff, patients, and patients’ families, is to be ‘effortlessly inclusive’. To realise that vision, we aim to:

  • treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times
  • challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice
  • recognise and embrace diversity
  • ensure equal and easy access to services
  • ensure equal access to employment and development opportunities
  • consult and engage with staff, patients and their families to ensure that the services and the facilities of the Trust meet their needs.

Positive attitude to disability

Two ticks disability symbol

Here at King’s we use the ‘two-ticks’ disability symbol to show that as an employer we have a positive attitude to applications from disabled people. You will see the symbol displayed on our job adverts and application forms.

It is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to employers who have committed to employing, retaining and developing the abilities of their disabled staff. To use this symbol, we make five commitments regarding recruitment, training, retention, consultation and disability awareness. These include:

  • interviewing all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and considering them on their abilities
  • making every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment.

If you are an applicant with a disability and would like to be considered under the guaranteed interview scheme, please ensure the reruiter is aware of this by ticking the relevant box on your application form.

Training and development

Equality and diversity awareness is woven throughout our mandatory training programme for line managers and recruitment and selection workshops. We also include diversity and awareness training as part of the main induction scheme for all employees.

We offer a range of development opportunities to support equality and diversity, including:

  • the national Breaking Through top talent programme
  • Towards Strategies for Success initiatives
  • an in-house management programme for staff at the start of their career
  • a self-marketing course aimed at junior and middle managers to help staff improve their prospects at the Trust
  • impact assessment training for employees who carry it out
  • a range of other courses including deaf and disability training for frontline staff and managers and e-learning packages covering subjects such as British Sign Language (BSL).

In addition, we offer managers workshops on basic conflict resolution skills with a focus on managing working relationships, early intervention and mediation skills.

We are taking part in the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement programme to enable us to make the critical connection between diversity and inclusion and our core business. Taking part will help us to identify what we need to do differently to deliver top-quality care to all our service users.

King’s is also working closely with NHS London to develop and implement the Equality Delivery System (EDS) at the Trust. The EDS provides trusts with a framework to help them to comply with the 2010 Equality Act.

Staff interest groups

As part of our commitment to encouraging inclusion and eliminating prejudice, we have three staff interest groups:

  • Cultural Diversity Group (CDG)
  • Disability Staff Interest Group (DSG)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Forum and Transsexual Forum (LGBF)

These give you a forum where you can air your opinions, discuss ideas and help to ensure the Trust delivers on its equality commitments. They also give you a chance to network with colleagues and get involved in organising Trust-wide events to celebrate diversity and promote equality.

Diversity champions

If you have any queries about equality and diversity at the Trust or want some advice, talk to one of our Diversity Champions. These are members of staff who act as role models, challenge peers’ inappropriate behaviour and ensure that we consider equal opportunities and inclusion in everyday meetings and discussions.