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University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust first in UK to sign charter to promote equality and diversity in the workplace


University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has become the first NHS trust to sign up to Unite the union’s Unity over Division Charter designed to promote tolerance, equality and diversity in the workplace.

Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said the landmark signing of the charter is another step forward in Unite’s fight to stamp out racism and far right activities. The trust employs more than 16,500 staff.

Aloma Onyemah, head of equality diversity and inclusion at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “Signing up to the Unity over Division Charter with Unite is another positive step forward in our commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is embedded across our hospitals. 

“EDI is core to our values as a trust and the charter supports our wider ambition to ensure our talented workforce reflects the communities we serve, and our patients receive high quality care and service, regardless of background.”

Unite regional officer Mark Pettifer said: “This will be the first NHS trust to have signed up to the charter in the UK and is a significant move which, hopefully, will lead other public sector employers to follow suit. It is a template for tolerance and equality in the workplace.” 

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands Paresh Patel said: “The signing demonstrates a genuine commitment between Unite and the trust to work together, to educate and tackle racism head on.  

“Given that we have also celebrated Black History Month recently, this charter is a positive move to ensure that Unite continues to tackle racism within the workplace, regarding of the nature of the industry, business or organisation.”


Notes to editors:

Unite’s Unity over Division Charter sets out five core organisational principles which are aimed at building more inclusive and harmonious workplaces. 

•Unite and the employer will each appoint an inclusion champion who will be the lead person for the Unity over Division agenda. With the support of Unite and the employer their roles will be to collaboratively monitor, facilitate and promote workplace inclusion wherever possible. 

 •The employer will ensure that all staff members are given training on how to adhere to the company’s equality and diversity policy and will ensure that this document is reviewed annually. 

 •Unite and the employer will provide informative and up to date materials aimed at helping to promote equality and harmony within the workplace. 

 •Where there are local and national examples of hate crime and discrimination Unite and the employer will stand together to condemn such incidents

 •Where appropriate Unite and the employer will work with other agencies and organisations to promote cohesion both inside and outside the workplace.  


For more information please contact

Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940 / Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.