Equality and Diversity Policy

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Jigsaw Homes Group is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and it is at the heart of everything that we do.

The Group is totally opposed to all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, national origin, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, belief or lack of religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment status, being married or a civil partner, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation, disability or age.

We recognise our responsibilities to increase our understanding of all forms of discrimination, so we can educate and raise awareness as a landlord, managing agent, employer, contractor, partner and purchaser to eliminate discrimination.

We will endeavour to make equality, diversity and inclusion pivotal to our business by being self‐critical, looking at our practices and policies to ensure they constantly evolve to allow us to continuously improve, monitor and where necessary take action. EDI is one of our top priorities.


This policy aims to support the delivery of our vision Creating Homes, Building Lives and applies to all employees, board members and any person or organisation that any member of Jigsaw Homes Group has contact with in undertaking its activities as landlord, managing agent, employer, contractor, partner and purchaser.

Policy Statement

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination whilst at work and in the wider society.

The Act protects individuals from unfair treatment when accessing employment and private and public services, on the basis of ‘protected characteristics’: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including ethnic and national origin, colour and nationality), religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership (in employment only). In the case of disability, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to their workplaces to overcome barriers experienced by disabled people.

Equality is ensuring every individual has the opportunity to make the most of their talents. No‐one should be disadvantaged because of where they are from, what they do or don’t believe, their sexual orientation, gender identity or if they have a disability.

Equity recognises that each person does not start from the same place and allocates resources and opportunities as needed to achieve an equal outcome. By acknowledging this we are able to make adjustments to imbalances.

Diversity is what makes us different; it is the existence of different characteristics in a group of people. This could be anything that makes us unique from cognitive skills and personality traits as well as the things that shape our identity like age, disability, gender, sexual orientation and cultural background.

Inclusion is ensuring that all our employees are accepted and welcomed, irrespective of their cultural background, national origin, age, religion or belief, gender or marital status. Inclusive cultures allow employees to feel valued and supported and feel part of the organisation’s success.

Global Diversity Practice suggests that openness to EDI widens access to the best talent leading to enhanced innovation, creativity, productivity, engagement and results. Businesses with a healthy balance of men and women are 21% more likely to perform better than their competitors and businesses with a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 33% more likely to out perform competitors.

Our Commitment
Our aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of our customers and the areas we work within, and for employees and customers to have a sense of true belonging where they are seen and valued for who they are, which helps everyone to thrive. We will continue to be transparent with our policies, data and good practice building an evidence based approach to future targets/action required.

Our Board, Executive Team and Equality Street Group will ultimately drive change linked to this policy, through discussion, ensuring relevant data is collected/analysed and constantly reviewing the action plan. We believe this approach will help to create a culture where equality, diversity and inclusion are natural to all employees and stakeholders, as peoples experience and knowledge will be broadened about all differences within our society.

Board have adopted this Policy, identified a lead member with responsibility for oversight and monitor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through KPIs such as our Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap report and understand how the Senior Executives and Equality Street Group will work together to make a really difference.

Equality Street:
The Equality Street group was formed to help colleagues consider the experiences and challenges that many people experience daily, and to encourage colleagues to apply the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion to their everyday lives.

We will support employee representatives from across the business to attend Equality Street Group meetings quarterly and discuss key themes about good practice, barriers within our business and initiatives that can help to raise awareness within the wider workforce. We will support the Equality Street Group to advocate and champion all matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. To help to build this sense of true belonging, with a safe environment for conversations to take place, they have created a set of values which they believe encourage conversations and education, the values are harmony, equality, acceptance, respect and trust.

The Group consistently makes its commitment clear through different communication platforms and its actions will mainly be communicated under the Equality Street banner. Jigsaw Equality Street is our forum to promote and raise awareness of all protected characteristics included in the Equality Act 2010.

To increase the profile of the group’s work, there is a new section on the employee intranet which will provide information to employees. They can identify who is their department representative, access minutes from meetings, and view the engagement plan that has been developed to highlight upcoming events.

The Senior Management Team will play a key role in promoting, advocating and shaping the sense of belonging for all by helping to create our objectives and further action which is required, linked to our Jigsaw values ‐ Innovation, Empowerment and Collaboration. The Senior Management Team are required to attend two Equality Street events each, every year. This could be attending a Time to Talk session, observing a meeting or getting involved in one of the events. This helps senior managers to understand how employees feel about key themes so they can shape action within the workforce and so they can understand the importance of inclusivity when managing people and devolve the information to employees within the business.

We will provide consistent messaging about key topics like Black Lives Matter plus create new focus on emerging topics when society in general start to look at an area in more detail. This will ensure we continually evolve the discussions taking place and ensure they are relevant and future focused when looking at all areas of EDI.

Jigsaw is proud of our social impact and will show our commitment by supporting our communities and the people living there. We achieve this in a number of ways by promoting opportunities for employees to get involved in community activities and Equality Street events. This aspect has been key to engaging employees from different areas within the business, for a common purpose and has generated some great relationships and ideas across the business.

Employees may take up to two paid days per year for charitable support or Equality Street work. This must be related to the vision or aims of the Group.

Our Key Objectives
Ensure our social impact is clearly visible as a landlord and managing agent. Our Neighborhood Plans will respond to the needs and aspirations of our local communities. We will continue to support equality of opportunity providing social investment funding for community projects, supporting our customers into employment or training, providing a financial inclusion service and continuing to work with partners providing housing for vulnerable people across a range of client groups ensuring we adapt our services to meet the needs of those individuals.

Implement an EDI dashboard, which will be an effective tool to allow us to measure effectively our progress and identify if there are any areas we need to improve.

We will continue to expand the analysis of our Gender Pay Gap and Ethnicity Pay Gap. An ongoing assessment of the gender pay gap will be in operation across the business to determine any areas which need to be addressed to ensure parity. An annual report detailing the outcome is uploaded to the Government and Group website; and data regarding ethnicity will continue to be included in this assessment.

Create a working environment free from bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, monitoring the proportion of employees with protected characteristics within Employees Relations processes grievances, disciplinaries etc).

Continue to ensure our Recruitment and Selection policy is inclusive to all. We have increased the number of apprenticeships and in certain areas we have it written into our contract that we will recruit from our local area, helping to make us as diverse as those communities and also drawing on their skills.

To build on the success of Time to Talk we will continue to facilitate virtual sessions as well as increasing the number of interactive events to ensure we have a diverse range of topics and initiatives for employees to be involved in.

Ensure all employees receive Equality & Diversity training during their probation period and then refresher sessions every two years. The refresher sessions will include topical issues to create an active discussion which educates by raising awareness.

Recent Good Practice

It’s important that we celebrate the good practice which we have already developed across our business; some examples of this are detailed below.

As Covid‐19 restrictions eased the Equality Street Group have arranged more in person events to allow colleagues to take part in EDI activities, including a walking float in the Lancaster and Wigan Pride events, a focus on religion with a private tour of Salford Cathedral, and a tour of Bolton’s central Mosque Zakariyya Jaam’e Masjid to observe sunset prayers and learn more about the festival of Ramadan and taking part in a ‘time for a cuppa’ event at one of our extra care homes for over 55’s raising money for Dementia awareness.

During Covid‐19, office based colleagues began to work from home which disrupted all in‐person meetings and consequently put a strain on the momentum surrounding EDI practices. The group wanted a safe space for colleagues to feel a sense of belonging and engage in conversation so devised ‘Time to Talk’ sessions which are interactive, online discussion groups available to all employees to gain a better understanding around the themes of equality, diversity and inclusion.

The sessions are hosted by either a guest speaker from within Jigsaw Homes, or a specialist outside of the organisation who discuss a particular experience relating to them. Topics have ranged from challenging gender stereotypes, sexual orientation, infant loss awareness, hidden disabilities, mental health support, menopause and being a carer.

Through the power of conversation, colleagues have gained a better understanding of the varied lived experiences of other people and have enabled the organisation to create a more tolerant working environment that celebrates differences and encourages colleagues to be themselves.

On average, 30 colleagues attend each Time to Talk session, however, Neurodiversity Awareness had around 60 attendees. Through our quarterly survey, we included a Net Promoter Score to gauge feedback, and more than 50 colleagues said they had found the sessions useful in terms of educating themselves on certain subjects, hearing about other people’s experiences and to gain support.

The survey also asked employees what topics they would like to see discussed more under the umbrella of equality and diversity and several suggested a larger focus on the menopause so we introduced Time to Talk sessions about the menopause every six weeks. These sessions are regularly attended by an average of 10‐12 colleagues and have actively tackled the social stigma surrounding the menopause and public
discussions about it.

Following on from Time to Talk feedback we are planning to create a menopause policy to offer increased support to women in peri and post menopausal stages within a working environment.

Managers will be given specialised training to help support and understand colleagues experiencing menopausal symptoms. This policy is planned to launch in October 2023 in line with national menopause awareness day.

We have a well established group of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA’s) who have a range of experience and knowledge who assist managers and employees by dealing with mental health and well being issues ensuring we can act quickly to support employees when needed within the work place. We have invested in ongoing training for this group which has been valuable keeping skills up to date and giving MHFA’s the confidence to assist in critical situations.

Unconscious bias information has been included in EDI training & is especially useful for managers who undertake recruitment and selection as part of their role.

Our sewing for employment courses, run by Latifi hands in Ashton and Latifi hands in Oldham, are aimed at ethnic minority ladies. The sessions are very popular and aim to engage women in skills to enable them to set up their own businesses.

The Everyday Creative English course held in Oldham and Bury is aimed at ethnic minority residents with limited levels of English language. The sessions teach how to use English language in everyday situations such as travelling, shopping and making an appointment at the GP. It also has the benefit of enabling social interaction, communication and building confidence.

Annually we work in partnership with Oldham Coliseum theatre to celebrate International Women’s day, aimed at women from all ethnicities and backgrounds, through a host of activities to improve health and wellbeing, build confidence and self belief.

Our Oldham Work Club, held at the OBA Millennium Centre, although open to all, attracts predominantly ethnic minority residents who are far away from the job market due to language barrier, work experience and other personal issues, due to the personal approach and language experience offered by the Neighborhood Engagement Officer running the club.

Our Oldham food pantry, offering low cost food from surplus supplies based at Anchor Mill, attracts predominantly ethnic minority residents. As a result the supplies reflect the requirements and cooking styles and diets.

We will be working in partnership with the Town Youth participation scheme (TYPS) and GM Housing First on recruitment initiatives tailored to engage young people, many who have been in the care system and street homeless.

Bridges will continue to run relevant campaigns throughout the year to target under represented groups, and they also have a specialist ethnic minority’s independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA).

Monitoring and Delivery

The action plan developed will create further conversations with the Equality Street Group and Senior Executives to ensure we are self critical to allow our practices and policies to constantly evolve.

Equality Street centres equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of all our work and through difficult conversation, thought provoking education and engaging experiences, it has created powerful change throughout Jigsaw Homes.


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