Equal Opportunities Statement
1. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STATEMENT
We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. You and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics).
2. THE POLICY
2.1 This policy, in compliance with the Equality Act 2010, sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.
2.2 This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers.
2.3 This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment, and we may amend it at any time.
3.1 You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers, and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers, or other work-related contacts), and on work-related trips or events including social events.
3.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
(a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because of their sexual orientation.
(b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others and is not justified. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.
(c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment is dealt with further in our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy.
(d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.
(e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
4. RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
4.1 We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the UK Border Agency. If your entitlement to work in the UK is withdrawn or ceases it is likely we will have to terminate your employment with immediate effect.
4.2 To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in our organisation, we may monitor applicants’ ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary, and it will not adversely affect an individual’s chances of recruitment, or any other decision related to their employment. The information is removed from applications before shortlisting and kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.
5.1 If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate.
5.2 If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your line manager or the Group HR Department to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. Your line manager or the Group HR Department may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser 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.
6. BREACHES OF THIS POLICY
6.1 We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.
6.2 If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure or through our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy as appropriate. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
6.3 There must be no victimisation or retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.