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Equal Opportunities Policy
1. Statement of Policy
The Residential Property Tribunal Service (RPTS) is committed to treating its members, staff and users fairly. Our policy is to give fair treatment regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, gender, marital status, disability, domestic responsibilities or sexual orientation. RPTS undertakes to promote an environment which is both non-discriminatory, and which aims to reflect the diversity within our society. Our aim is to ensure that individuals do not feel and are not subject to discrimination in any form.
This policy statement has been endorsed by the Management Board of RPTS.
2. Related policies and procedures
The RPTS Equal Opportunities Policy is in accordance with and in the spirit of the following guidelines:
- · The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) policies on managing diversity.
- Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) Code of Conduct.
- Relevant legislation.
3. Implementation of policy
The implementation of this policy will fall under three headings.
Action will be taken on an ongoing basis to ensure that
- the recruitment of new members to panels reflects as far as possible the diversity of society and the regions that panels serve
- the management of panel members and staff is conducted in accordance with good equal opportunities practice
- periodic training is carried out for members and staff to maintain and enhance their knowledge and awareness of equal opportunities issues
Panel users are treated on a fair and equal basis, so that
- all users receive fair treatment in their dealings with panel members and staff;
- facilities are made as accessible as possible for those with disabilities (NB this may not always be practicable at hearings where the choice of venue is limited);
- facilities are made available where possible for those with visual or hearing problems;
- translators or translations are made available where possible to those who have problems in speaking or understanding English.
RPTS will monitor its policies and actions continuously to ensure that they conform with best equal opportunities practice. Reports will be submitted as required to the DCLG and the Cabinet Office.
This policy will be reviewed from time to time by the Management Board and will be updated as necessary in line with current best practice.
Any complaints arising from this policy and its application will be handled through the established RPTS complaints procedure.
8. Roles and responsibilities
Within RPTS, the following roles and responsibilities have been identified:
Management Board has the overall responsibility for this policy, for its implementation, monitoring and review.
- Panel Presidents are responsible for implementing the policy in relation to the recruitment and management of their members, and through them for adhering to equal opportunities good practice in hearings and in the decisions that committees and tribunals reach.
- Panel Chairmen are responsible for good equal opportunities practice in the hearings and in the decisions with which they are concerned
- the Operations Director has overall responsibility for good equal opportunities practice in the recruitment and management of panel staff and in their dealings with panel users and other members of the public.
- Regional Managers are responsible under the Operations Director for good equal opportunities practice in the recruitment and conduct of their staff in their panels.
Comments and proposals for amending this policy statement should be sent to the Chief Executive , RPTS, 10 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7LR