DIFERA is Liberate’s employer accreditation scheme.
This is the first scheme in the Channel Islands to award organisations with a quality mark that demonstrates to employees (past, present and future), to clients and suppliers that your organisation places Diversity, Inclusion, Fairness, Equality, Respect and Acceptance at the heart of what you do.
The accreditation scheme is a natural development from the Channel Islands Equality and Diversity Awards that launched in September 2016. It is hoped that several of the early adopters of the Accreditation Scheme will also be nominees when the awards are next held in March 2018.
A DIFERA approach to diversity
The business case for diversity and inclusion is well-rehearsed. Organisations that embrace diversity and inclusion are:
- better able to serve a diverse clientele;
- less likely to experience a discrimination claim;
- able to produce a wider range of solutions to business problems;
- more creative;
- able to choose from a wider talent pool when recruiting;
- more likely to retain staff who feel their individual needs are met;
- offering flexible working arrangements that provide benefits to the organisation such as longer opening hours at no extra cost;
- known as a good organisation to work for.
All these things are provable positive outcomes from diversity and inclusion. However, Liberate questions whether this is the right approach to the subject.
Had you asked a Victorian industrialist about the health and safety of his workers he would have asked you to provide a business case for why he should care if they suffer in his mills and factories. Today, we know better. We know that, as leaders of organisations, we have a moral duty to keep our employees safe, irrespective of any legal obligations.
In a global ecomony that, through technology, is shrinking the gaps between peoples and countries almost daily, this is how we should also approach diversity and inclusion in our organisations – as a moral duty rather than as an investment that provides a return.
What is involved?
The scheme aims to provide organisations across the Channel Islands with a quality mark that can be used to demonstrate their credentials as a diverse and inclusive employer.
On joining the scheme, Liberate undertakes an audit of your employees from which we produce a report that sets out where your organisation is now on its DIFERA journey. Liberate then facilitates the forming of a DIFERA champions group within your organisation and works with you to produce a DIFERA strategy.
Liberate offers your champions training to enable you to train your colleagues and provide inductions to new starters. Depending on your organisation, Liberate might be required to provide further specialist training.
Having met the above requirements and completed any remedial work required by the audit, your organisation will be admitted as an accredited member of the DIFERA Scheme.
Becoming a member of the DIFERA Employer Accreditation Scheme entitles you to:
- use the Liberate DIFERA Employer Scheme Accredited Member badge on all your correspondence, literature, marketing material, social media and Internet channels;
- use the Liberate DIFERA Employer Scheme Accreditation in your recruitment advertising and literature to attract a wider range of candidates who also care about DIFERA;
- a listing on Liberate’s website as a DIFERA accredited employer;
- become a preferred supplier of Liberate;
- a 20% reduction in training course fees for any of Liberate’s open training sessions;
- a 20% reduction in conference ticket prices for any of Liberate’s DIFERA conferences;
- early bird entry to Liberate’s Channel Islands Equality & Diversity Awards and early bird application for a table at the awards ceremony (due in March 2018);
- access to our telephone helpline for all your employees giving them a confidential service through which to report concerns or ask advice regarding DIFERA at work;
- use Liberate personnel to sit on a panel when your organisation needs to take unbiased decisions regarding employees, such as for recruitment, promotion, disciplinary and dismissal purposes (this service is chargeable per hour but offered exclusively to Scheme members);
- utilise membership of the Scheme and the results of the audit as evidence in defence of a discrimination tribunal claim against your organisation;
- feel a warm glow because you are supporting the work that Liberate does to educate on the importance of diversity, inclusion, fairness, equality, respect and acceptance!
What does it cost?
There is a sliding scale of fees that is based on the number of employees in an organisation.
Due to the amount of work to induct an organisation into DIFERA there is an initial cost payable to undertake the audit, facilitation and training in year one. In subsequent years a nominal membership fee is charged.
Organisations that wish to remain members of DIFERA after year three are required to undertake another audit to ensure that they are maintaining the standard required for membership.
A version of the scheme for small businesses (less than 20 employees) will be launched later in 2017.
For more information and to arrange a meeting to discuss the scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org