Tameside & Glossop has become the first Council & CCG to test and implement a new standard for equality and inclusion.
Tameside Council and NHS Tameside & Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), along with a number of Greater Manchester retailers, businesses and education institutions, have agreed to test and implement the Manchester Pride Charity’s ‘All Equals’ Charter.
The Charter is a set of values, principles and commitments that participating businesses and organisations in Greater Manchester must adhere to in order to ensure the inclusion and prevention of discrimination against LGBT+ people, both service users and staff.
The authority is among the very first organisations to beta-test the All Equals Charter, alongside organisations such as Manchester Metropolitan University, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Greater Manchester, Auto Trader UK, UKFast and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.
National data show that a third of LGBT+ employees have hidden their LGBT+ status at work for fear of discrimination, and research carried out by the charity over the past year has revealed that over 40% of LGBT+ people in Manchester have faced discrimination.
The aim of the All Equals Charter is to help create a consistent approach to achieving inclusion across the region. It will help businesses and organisations to understand how to identify and tackle any form of discrimination through the provision of a thought-through support system guiding them to achieve a truly diverse, inclusive and equal workplace.
Throughout the twelve-week process, the authority has worked closely with Manchester Pride to adopt the new standard. First, a ‘self-assessment’ was completed, looking at how the authority performs in relation to achieving inclusion of LGBT+ people and identifying areas to improve. Once the beta-testing period concludes in February, Tameside & Glossop’s full accreditation and ‘grade’ will be confirmed, and the authority will work closely with Manchester Pride to identify actions to fully enshrine the Charter in day-to-day working.
Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “It is my priority as the Greater Manchester Lead for Equalities to make sure that Tameside and Glossop lead by example on being an inclusive employer and public service provider. The All Equals Charter is a great tool to help us recognise and challenge discrimination or disadvantage experienced by the LGBT+ community.
“We are the first joint local authority and CCG to adopt the Charter and would highly recommend the rest of Greater Manchester to do the same so that LGBT+ people in the region can expect fair treatment, no matter what borough they live in or what service they require.”
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, said: “We believe that everyone deserves their whole selves to be accepted without exception. During our initial research period, we discovered that LGBT+ people in Greater Manchester are experiencing alarming levels of discrimination against other protected characteristics in addition to their sexual orientation in spaces deemed to be safe for LGBT+ people. We wanted to do something about it. In developing what has now become The All Equals Charter we have created a platform for us to work with businesses and organisations across Greater Manchester to take a look at everything from their procedures and policies relating to discrimination to the training and education offered to their workforces to create the optimum environment for LGBT+ people to thrive, whether this be at work or at play”.