Improve outcomes. We can harness equality and human rights to deliver our core business or charitable purpose, drive innovation, and improve practice and outcomes. This help our organisations:
- understand and meet people’s most important needs, and adapt as circumstances change
- articulate people’s needs as rights
- improve public services
- transform a campaign or policy ask – from a wish list, to a call for a public body to deliver on accountable standards
- hold authorities to account
- root our work in our values, and translate values into action
- effectively involve people.
Motivate talented staff and volunteers. Creating an inclusive environment helps staff be more productive and creative. When everyone is valued and treated with respect, organisations benefit from higher staff morale and loyalty.
Meet legal obligations. Our organisations have a range of legal obligations in relation to equality and human rights. And in particular, when providing services and employing staff.
Attract funding – especially public sector funding. Many funders want to support organisations with good practice in equality and human rights.
In particular: public sector funders and commissioners are bound by the Human Rights Act 1998 (and a duty not to act in a way that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights). And the Equality Act 2010 (with additional duties to give due regard to advancing equality of opportunity, fostering good relations and eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation).
Voluntary organisations funded to deliver services on behalf of a public sector body may have requirements in line with these, or have their own duties under these laws.
Avoid legal action. Getting to grips with equality and human rights issues helps protect us from failing to meet our legal responsibilities as an employer or service provider. Costly legal action can damage both reputation and staff morale.
Comply with regulators’ standards and codes of practice. For example: the Scottish Social Services Council requires social services employers to promote promote staff welfare and equal opportunities. And it requires workers to ensure the right of service users to control their lives and exercise their rights.