Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It is mostly backed by legislation designed to address unfair discrimination based on membership of a particular group of people.
Equal opportunity practices include measures taken by organisations like the Forestry Commission to ensure fairness in employment, dealings with customers and others. Equality practices should impact on every aspect of all our working and personal lives.
Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference in its broadest sense. It is about creating a culture and practices that recognise, respect, value and harness difference. It is the sense that no matter where you come from, who you are, or what your background is there is a place for you. Equality and Diversity are not interchangeable they need to sit together. There is no equality of opportunity if difference (diversity) is not recognised and valued.
The Forestry Commission has agreed to go beyond the minimum legal requirements set out for equality and diversity, in order to create an environment that includes all groups, maximises the potential of all employees, and values the variety of perspectives all employees bring to the workplace.
The aim of this booklet is to help Forestry Commission staff to produce policy and guidance that meets not only the legislation on equality and diversity, but also the Forestry Commission’s enhanced policy. The booklet looks in detail at the following areas:
- screening documents
- impact assessments
- record keeping
- publishing findings