ResQ Youth International recognises the benefits of diversity where people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and perceptions which make the way work is done more efficient, goods and services more valued. It is for these reasons that ResQ Youth International is committed to be a diversity leader in the not-for-profit sector by: • Providing a diversity inclusive environment in which everyone has the opportunity to fully participate and is valued for their distinctive skills, experiences and perspectives. • Incorporating diversity into its business practices through its corporate social responsibility initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life for its Board of Directors, volunteers, and or staff their families, communities and society at large.
2.0. POLICY STATEMENT
Valuing and managing diversity mean that ResQ Youth International will: • Facilitate equal employment opportunities based on relative ability, performance or potential; • Help to build a safe work environment by taking action against inappropriate business behaviour that does not value diversity including discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation and vilification; • Develop flexible practices to meet the differing needs of our volunteers and or staff and that those we serve; • Attract and retain a skilled and diverse staff and volunteers as an employer of choice; • Enhance customer service and market reputation through a business that respects and reflects the diversity of our community; • Make a contribution to the economic, social and educational well-being of the communities it serves;
Improve the quality of decision-making, productivity and teamwork; • Meet the relevant requirements of legislation, human rights, Ministers and the Board; • Align with world leading practice, and;
• Create an inclusive environment for all.
Non-inclusive behaviours include: Direct discrimination is denying a person of an opportunity or treating them less favourably because they belong to a particular group or category. For example: not employing or serving a person based on their gender. Indirect discrimination occurs when an action or policy which appears to treat everyone equally, has a discriminatory effect against a certain group of people. For example: holding meetings or providing service after normal hours when groups with family responsibilities would find it hard to attend. Harassment is any form of behaviour that is unwelcome, and which offends, humiliates or intimidates a person. Sexual Harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual attention. This may be obvious or indirect, physical, or verbal, intentional or unintentional, or behaviour that creates a sexually hostile or intimidating environment. Bullying is the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others that may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate behaviour. The behaviours can be physical, verbal or non-verbal. For example: assaulting, shouting or isolating a person in the service group. Victimisation is when a person is treated less favourably for making a complaint or providing information as a witness. For example: refusing to acknowledge a person, removing or reducing benefits. Vilification is conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of another person or group of persons on the grounds of race, ethno-religious beliefs, HIV or AIDS, transgender or homosexuality. For example: graffiti that encourages hatred of a particular race of people.
Key terms: Diversity is recognising and valuing the unique contributions people can make because of their individual background and different skills, experiences and perspectives. People differ not just on the basis of race and gender, but also in other dimensions such as lifestyle, education, physical ability, age and family responsibility. Inclusion is actively valuing a person or group’s diversity and making them part of ResQ Youth International, by providing opportunities for their full participation at every opportunity – regardless of differences such as age, gender, physical or mental ability and culture or family responsibilities. Vicarious liability is a legal term used to describe when a person or organisation has knowledge or is a witness to discrimination, harassment or workplace bullying and fails to take reasonable action to prevent it from occurring (including reporting). The person and/or the organisation can be held legally responsible and cannot claim not to have known. Corporate Social Responsibility is a continuing commitment by the business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development and environment protection while improving the quality of life of the Board member, volunteers and or staff their families and the local community and society at large. It is a genuine attempt to build meaningful relationships between the corporate sector and the rest of society.
• Ontario Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act
• Disability Discrimination Act
• Labour Relations Act
• ResQ Youth International Code of Conduct.
5.0 IMPLEMENTATION ResQ Youth International diversity program will move through a diversity continuum to support a culture that not only acknowledges and values diversity, but also has the capability to manage diversity in the workplace and respond to diversity within our customer base. This will involve a program of service that provides a supportive and inclusive environment policies and practices as well as good and service responsive initiatives.
6.0 ENFORCEMENT ResQ Youth International does not tolerate non-inclusive behaviour and upholds the law aimed at preventing vicarious liability. To achieve this ResQ Youth International expects its Board, volunteers and or staff to: • Uphold and demonstrate ResQ Youth International core values and behaviours during business hours or at after hours work functions; • Regularly attend/complete diversity awareness training;
• Understand and comply with Diversity policies and procedures; • Know how to appropriately access and use the Resolution;
• Be assertive to prevent inappropriate and non-inclusive behaviours of discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation and vilification; • Willingly adapt their behaviours if required to ensure appropriate conduct.
Resolution Options Model
ResQ Youth International supports any staff, volunteers and customers who are subjected to inappropriate behaviours through its Resolution Options Model. There are three resolution options the employee can choose from as follows: • Informal complaint – usually a verbal complaint about a minor incident. The most suitable resolution option here is the person is encouraged to address and resolve the issue with the other party directly. They can also seek information or assistance from the Executive Director. • Formal Complaint (internal) – more serious complaint which is put in writing to the Executive Director. A formal investigation is likely to occur. • Formal Complaint (external) – usually for an extremely serious complaint lodged with an external provider e.g. Anti-Discrimination Commission. A formal investigation will occur. Support is available to decide which option to choose and includes: • The Board or Directors – It is the responsibility of the president or his designate to ensure that all relevant information are collected and come to a resolution