EPUT pledges support to tackle racism of all forms

People pose for a photo as the charter is signed

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has pledged support to tackle all forms of racism after signing UNISON’s anti-racism charter today.

As part of UN Anti-Racism Day, which took place last week, EPUT today signed the trade union’s charter which commits the organisation and its leaders to a range of pledges designed to prevent racial bias.

It includes championing a racially diverse workforce, having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives and providing equality training for all staff.

The trust will also be expected to report on its ethnicity pay gaps and monitor disciplinary and grievance processes to ensure outcomes are fair.

Sean Leahy, Executive Director of People and Culture at EPUT, said: “We are honoured and proud to sign UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter today. We respect and value the diversity of people who access our services, and the people who make up our workforce.

“We are continuously building upon the coaching, resources and support we provide to our workforce to ensure that all colleagues understand the importance of equality inclusion. Teams are encouraged to report exclusion, discrimination and anything that may have a negative impact on people from minority or marginalised groups. We see signing this charter as a further progression in our quest to stamp out discrimination of all forms across our entire organisation.

Staff and managers discuss anti-racism

“We have more than 350 staff engagement and equality champions who receive training and support to promote equality and inclusion across the trust to all our staff members, but we are never standing still and want to make sure equality and inclusion is a part of everything we do.”

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Daphne Lewis said: “Black employees often have a different experience of to their white colleagues even in the NHS, with Black workers more likely to enter disciplinary processes bur less likely to receive training.

“But by signing this pledge, EPUT is continuing its work to tackle discrimination head on.

“Fairer workplaces are better workplaces, meaning a better experience for everyone who relies on NHS services in Essex, not just staff.

“We applaud EPUT for making this commitment.”