Diversity Champions and Confidentiality
Does anyone have any useful and SPECIFIC protocols/guidance that an Equality/Diversity Champion – a volunteer role – should be given in order to get the balance right/appropriate between “confidentiality” to a distressed individual AND the wider risks to other individuals or the organisation if the matter being raised is not addressed through established procedures. The following backcloth of expected best practice is good but it needs spelling out I think with specific and tangible advice.Any suggestions?
Naturally,any organisation should be very careful at the outset of the appointment of Champions to secure high and ongoing visibility for these roles and remit. It must be also be made clear within internal publicity that there might be instances when the Champion identifies allegations which go beyond the remit of the role and these cases would be referred to HR as appropriate. A person meeting a Diversity Champion should therefore be provided with a written statement of “ground rules” which includes the caveat that if a matter reported to them is so serious as to put others or the organisation at risk, it will have be acted upon. In order to further secure understanding and “buy in” of these considerations, a sustained programme of in house training should be delivered to existing staff with provision made for inducting new staff.And there should be on going publicity for the intiative backed up with staff/customer surveys. Third party harassment claims et al could fall off the radar if there are is clear guidance and identified steps. Training for the Champions should also include technical knowledge(legal framework) ad soft skills/in house policy awareness.