Equal Opportunities Policy
We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all employees and job applicants.
We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
We do not discriminate against employees on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (together these are called ‘protected characteristics’).
The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which employees treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former employees. All employees have a duty to act in accordance with this policy and treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of employees, regardless of their status.
Equal opportunities training
Managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness, recruitment and selection best practice. If you have any questions about the content or application of this policy or would like some training, you should contact the Managing Director.
Scope and purpose of the policy
This policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with employees and to relations between employees at all levels. This includes job advertisements, recruitment and selection, training and development, opportunities for promotion, conditions of service, pay and benefits, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.
Forms of discrimination
Discrimination by or against an employee is generally prohibited unless there is a specific legal exemption. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favourably because of one or more of the protected characteristics set out above. For example, rejecting an applicant on the grounds of their race because they would not “fit in.”
Indirect discrimination occurs where someone is disadvantaged by a provision, criterion or practice that also puts other people with the same protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. For example, a requirement to work full time puts women at a disadvantage because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would need to be objectively justified i.e. be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Harassment and victimisation related to any of the protected characteristics
Recruitment and selection
We aim to ensure that no job applicant suffers discrimination because of any of the protected characteristics above. Our recruitment procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are considered based on their relevant skills and abilities.
Job selection criteria are also regularly reviewed to ensure that they are relevant to the job and are not disproportionate. Job advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying. They should include an appropriate short policy statement on equal opportunities and a copy of this policy shall be sent upon request to those who inquire about vacancies.
Applicants should not be asked questions about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited exceptions which should only be used with the Managing Director’s approval.
a) Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments).
b) Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.
c) Positive action to recruit disabled persons.
d) Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the decision-making process).
Applicants should not be asked about matters concerning the protected characteristics. We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. All prospective
The list of acceptable documents is available from the Managing Director or the UK Border Agency.
Training and promotion
Employee training needs will be identified through regular employee appraisals. All employees will be given appropriate access to training to enable them to progress within the organisation and all promotion decisions will be made based on merit.
Redundancy and disciplinary action
We will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not discriminatory. We will also ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.
If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate. If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your manager or the Managing Director to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty.
Your manager or the Managing Director may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments. We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider a particular adjustment would not be reasonable we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.
We monitor the conditions of service of part-time employees and their progression to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits and training and promotion opportunities. We will ensure requests to alter working hours are dealt with appropriately under our Flexible Working Policy.
Breaches of the policy
If you believe that you may have been discriminated against you are encouraged to raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure. If you believe that you may have been subject to harassment you are encouraged to raise the matter through our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy.
If you are uncertain which applies or need advice on how to proceed you should speak to your manager or the Managing Director. Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with this policy.
Employees who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations which are found to have been made in bad faith may, however, be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure. Any employee who is found to have committed an act of discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.
Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. We take a strict approach to any breaches of this policy.