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We proactively consider equality when carrying out work by mainstreaming it into our core business.
We recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce and aim to make our services and assistance available to all.
Equality and diversity is a key component of good management, as well as being legally required, socially desirable and morally right.
We're committed to maintaining a culture which recognises and rewards individual achievement and merit, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation as well as working pattern, full-time or part-time, and contract status, permanent or fixed term.
Under public sector equality duty, we have a general duty to have due regard and the need to:
We proactively consider equality when carrying out work by mainstreaming it into our core business. It is not a marginal activity but a key component of what we do.
We are continuing to develop a robust evidence base of equality data, in relation to the delivery of our functions and regarding how we act as an employer. This includes extending arrangements for consultation and involvement to ensure that we take into account the views of people affected by the delivery of our functions.
We have published a suite of equality outcomes alongside our Strategy and Operating plan. The outcomes articulate how we can maximise our strategic impact through realising economic, social and community benefits for particular groups of people.
HIE carries out Equality (people) Impact Assessments to inform policy development, increasing the scope and effectiveness of our support. Our assessments also help to inform our equality outcomes.
This policy sets out our approach as an employer to equality and diversity. We are fully committed to eliminating unlawful and unfair discrimination and value the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation.
These reports showcase our progress in mainstreaming equality in the Highlands and Islands, not only in how we operate as an organisation but as a core value and driver of success in the business and communities we support.
We're committed to ensuring that the principals of equal pay for all employees are fairly and consistently applied. Our equal pay statement in 2019 relates to gender, disability and race. For further information on our gender pay gap and occupational segregation please refer to our Equality Mainstreaming April 2019 report.
HIE recognise the benefits of a positive and open relationship with our recognised trade union, PCS. As part of our commitment to working in partnership we offer paid facility time to our workplace representatives to enable them to carry out union activities and duties. As an organisation, we derive benefits from allowing paid facility time.
There is no statutory entitlement to paid time off to undertake activities. However trade union representatives are entitled to be granted reasonable unpaid time off to participate in trade union activities.
Trade Union activities include:
For each HIE employee who is an official representative of an independent TU recognised by HIE as the employer, the Facility Time cost is reported. This calculation for HIE for the period April 2020 to March 2021 is:
Trade union representative: 1
FTE: 0.05, 84 hours per annum
Percentage of total pay bill spent on facility time: 0.02%
Percentage of total paid facility time spent on paid activities: 100%
The gender pay gap is the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across the organisation or the labour market. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. In 2021 the gender pay gap in Scotland was 10% (Close the Gap).
HIE’s most recent gender pay gap report was based on data as at 31 March 2022, showing a mean gender pay gap of 12.2% across the workforce.