Equality and diversity
The Considerate Constructors Scheme was recently asked to present to the Highways Agency and the UKCG who were both interested to understand how equality and diversity is addressed through the Code of Considerate Practice, and what examples of good practice the Scheme’s Monitors have seen which address this issue.
The Scheme’s Code consists of five sections, two of which, Community and Workforce, have particular regard for how the site or company is dealing with equality and diversity. Overarching everything are the values of the organisation which are covered under Appearance. Please see below for a few examples of where the Monitor’s Checklist looks at this issue:
Enhancing the Appearance
1.10 How are company values and corporate identity promoted?
- Companies should be promoting good employment and service practices as part of their company values.
- Sites should seek ways to demonstrate that E&D issues form part of the values of their organisation.
Respecting the Community
2.1 Are all those affected by the work identified, notified and kept informed, and shown courtesy and respect?
- Those affected by the work may be people with disabilities – how have they been notified?
- People affected may use English as a second language – should important information be translated?
2.3 and 2.8 Is the site contributing to and supporting the local community and businesses and promoting local employment?
- Does the workforce reflect the community in which it is working? Corporate social responsibility policies should govern this.
- Are local opportunities being created?
- Are schools being visited to promote construction as a career?
2.5 How does the site team ensure that all those affected, including visitors, are treated with consideration, courtesy and respect?
2.7 How are compliments, comments and complaints recorded and managed?
- Are complaints being analysed according to gender, ethnicity etc.?
- How do we know whether sections of the community are being, or feeling, excluded?
Caring for the Workforce
5.1 Does the site demonstrate a commitment to respect, fair treatment, encouragement and support?
- How is the company equalities policy implemented on sites?
- Is it covered sufficiently at induction and toolbox talks etc.?
- We aim to make sites more attractive to the potential employment pool in terms of:
- Attitude and behaviour
- Harassment and bullying
- Recognising other religions and cultural needs
- Dedicated and appropriate requirements for women
- Single parents and flexible working
- Those with disabilities
5.2 Are personal development needs identified and is training promoted?
- Are companies monitoring the equality of access to training?
5.3 Does the site care for the health and well-being of the workforce?
- Is the occupational health of all groups considered?
5.4 Are suitable, hygienic and well-maintained welfare facilities provided within a reasonable distance of the work area?
- Accessibility of facilities, are separate changing rooms required and religious needs met?
5.6 How does the company encourage new people into the industry?
- Issues include providing careers advice, apprenticeships, work placements etc.
5.8 How is the site providing for the needs of a diverse workforce regardless of gender, age, religion or ability?
- Is literacy and numeracy training available?
Examples of Good Practice
When a Monitor visits a registered site or company, he or she will note down the good practice that they have witnessed. These examples are collated by the Scheme and shared with the rest of the industry through the Examples of Good Practice guide and the Scheme’s website. Monitors have seen many examples of sites implementing initiatives which address equality and diversity and a collection of these examples can be viewed by downloading the document below.
This document is broken down into three sections; the first looks at general good practice and then specific examples referring to employment and service provision.
These examples demonstrate the commitment registered sites and companies have made in improving the image of construction through addressing the issue of equality and diversity. It is essential that the industry continues to consider those who work in construction and those who are affected by it, and that it strives to be seen as an equal and diverse employer.
The Examples of Good Practice guide has now been incorporated into the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub, which hosts a wealth of best practice tips, expertise, guidance and case studies to help constructors raise industry standards.