For Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, equality means everybody having the same chances to reach their goals and potential, regardless of their starting-point and individual differences. Diversity acknowledges that all of us are different – we are individuals who share a lot, and whose differences mean that we can all contribute something unique to our communities and workplaces.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service sees equality and diversity as underpinning every aspect of our role as an employer and as a provider of essential services to our communities.
Why and how do we focus on equality and diversity?
We recognise and celebrate the fact that that each of us is a unique individual, and we value this diversity in our workforce and local communities.
As well as a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to promote equality, we have a strong commitment to providing the highest possible standards of service delivery, that we are a good employer, and that we encourage diversity in our workforce. We constantly try and improve equality in all our activities, to work in ways that support diversity, and to make sure the culture of the Service reflects our commitments.
We make sure our employment policies, procedures and practices comply with the law, and in many cases go further. For example, we run positive action events to encourage under-represented groups to apply for employment with us. We have good relationships with many community-based groups, who help us think of different ways to support the recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce, and to work more effectively with the wide range of communities we serve. .
With other agencies and groups we also support a wide range of local equality, diversity and cultural awareness events and celebrations. More details are contained on the equality events page.
How do we know we are providing equality in our employment and services?
Our Equality and Diversity policy helps us make sure that all our employees are aware of their equality and diversity responsibilities, and that we have a fair, clear and consistent approach to meeting our equality and diversity obligations.
We carry out Impact Assessments for all out policies and working practices. These look at the probable effect of our ideas and actions across a range of headings such as health and safety, legal compliance, value for money, and equality and diversity is high on the list of assessment priorities.
Our Single Equality Scheme includes an Action Plan, setting out the actions we will take to ensure high standards of equality and diversity practice, along with who is responsible, and a timescale for achieving the actions. The Action Plan is reviewed regularly by a senior management Equality and Diversity Steering Group.
There are also regular reports on equality and diversity progress to the Fire and Rescue Authority (link to meeting minutes) and its Strategy and Human Resources Committee (link to meeting minutes).
We are members of Fairness, Respect, Equality Shropshire (FRESh) , and Respect and Fairness Telford (RAFT), which are both local independent equality and diversity advisory, support,campaigning and monitoring organisations.