HOPE – Promoting non-discrimination in social housing and post-employment for Roma
Starting September 2019, HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation is implementing HOPE project, in partnership with the Resource Center for Roma Communities, as project coordinator. The project is funded by the European Commission’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program 2014-2020 and has a duration of 20 months.
Based on expertise and previous experience, the Resource Center for Roma Communities is responsible for coordinating the Housing component and HEKS/EPER Romania for coordinating the Roma inclusion post-employment component.
The project’s objectives are: fighting post-employment discrimination of Roma and supporting their inclusion at the workplace, supporting local authorities in implementing existing anti-discrimination legislation and policies for Roma inclusion in the field of housing and facilitating efforts to better inform Roma of their rights and for accessing social housing.
The expected results are: improved knowledge on Roma inclusion post-employment for 40 HR and middle management employees, improved knowledge of Roma employees regarding their rights and responsibilities and the organization’s rules, increased collaboration between Roma and non-Roma employees, increased capacity in implementing existing anti-discrimination legislation and policies for Roma inclusion in the field of housing for 30 LPAs, improved knowledge and competences in the field of social housing for 30 local experts for Roma, increased capacity in monitoring, reporting and preventing forced eviction cases for 15 NGOs.
Updates on project implementation:
In September-December 2019, collaboration agreements were signed with nine companies from Cluj and Bihor counties. The activity fields of the companies are diverse: cables, food industry – restaurant, collecting, sorting and recycling waste, furniture.
A questionnaire on Roma inclusion at the workplace was developed. The questionnaire has three sections: one for HR personnel, one for middle management (e.g. shift managers) and one for employees (Roma and non-Roma). A total of 296 questionnaires were applied in the nine companies: 222 were completed by employees, 64 by middle management and 10 by HR personnel. The report based on the collected data will present information regarding the personnel’s retention rate, possible reasons for a low retention rate of Roma employees, interactions between co-workers and with management inside the companies.
In March 2020, the following deliverables were finalized:
- Report on the personnel retention rate, the possible reasons for a low retention rate of Roma employees, the interactions between co-workers and with management inside the companies. This report presents the results of the first round of questionnaires applied by HEKS/EPER Romania’s experts in companies from Bihor and Cluj counties, during November 2019 – January 2020. The report has two parts: the first part presents the results of questionnaires completed by employees and the second part presents the results of questionnaires completed by managers and Human Resources specialists.
- Guide on post-employment Roma inclusion. After an introduction regarding the Roma population from the project region, the presentation and interpretation of the main results from the previously mentioned report, the guide indicates a series of strategies for increasing the employees’ retention rate.
The trainings with the collaborating companies were finalized in July 2020. Trainings have been organized in 8 companies from Cluj and Bihor counties, with a total of 84 participants. The training programme included both a theoretical and a practical part. The main topics on the agenda were: the Report on the personnel retention rate, the possible reasons for a low retention rate of Roma employees, the interactions between co-workers and with management inside the companies (personalizing the results for each company), introducing the Guide on Roma inclusion post-employment as a working instrument to HR and middle management, recommendations to increase Roma and other vulnerable employees retention (induction strategies, motivational strategies, appraisal strategies). In the next phase, the trainers will assist HR and middle management in implementing the Guide on Roma inclusion post-employment. An action plan will be personalized for each collaborating company.
In August 2020, the revised edition of the Guide on post-employment Roma inclusion was finalized. A range of organizational measures are presented in this guide, with the motivational aim of raising the personnel retention rate mainly in the companies participating the study realized within HOPE project, but applicable in any entity having employees from vulnerable groups.