Equality & Diversity Policy

People Policies – Equality & Diversity Policy. Effective Date:08/04/2022. Document ID:MG-1-022-01.

1. Introduction

The Company is committed to equality of opportunity and to providing a service and following practices which are free from unfair and unlawful discrimination. The aim of this policy is to ensure that no person receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be relevant to performance. It seeks to also ensure that no person is victimised or subjected to any form of bullying or harassment.

The terms equality, inclusion, diversity, and equity are at the heart of this policy.

‘Equality’ means ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential free from discrimination. ‘Inclusion’ means ensuring everyone feels comfortable to be themselves at work and feels the worth of their contribution. ‘Diversity’ means the celebration of individual differences amongst the company/workforce. ‘Equity’ means recognising barriers and that some groups are more advantaged than others, and putting measures in place to eliminate these barriers, ensuring equal opportunities for all. We will actively support diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure that our workforce is valued and treated with dignity and respect. We want to encourage everyone in our business to reach their potential.

We value people as individuals with diverse opinions, cultures, lifestyles and circumstances. This policy covers all our people, consultants, contractors, volunteers, casual workers, and it applies to all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, training, deployment, career development, and promotion. These areas are monitored, and policies and practices are amended if necessary to ensure that no unfair or unlawful discrimination, intentional, unintentional, direct, or indirect, overt or covert exists.

All managers must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, and lead by example and ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy. Managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practice.

Equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and compliance with the law is to the benefit of all individuals in our Company as it seeks to develop the skills and abilities of its people. While specific responsibility for eliminating discrimination and providing equality of opportunity lies with managers and supervisors, individuals at all levels have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. The personal commitment of everyone to this policy and application of its principles are essential to eliminate discrimination and provide equality and equity throughout the Company.

All our people will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training, or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the Company.

Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of
discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal without notice.
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.

This policy does not form part of the Contract of Employment and the Company has the right to vary this policy.

2. The Law

It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment because of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion, or belief, or because someone is married or in a civil partnership. These are known as “protected characteristics”. Discrimination after employment may also be unlawful, e.g., refusing to give a reference for a reason related to one of the protected characteristics.

3. Discrimination

You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people, including job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers, and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace and on work related trips or events (including social events). Below is a summary of the different categories of discrimination:

3.1 Direct Discrimination

Where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because of their sexual orientation.

3.2 Indirect Discrimination

When there’s a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but it has a worse effect on some people (particularly with protected characteristics) more than others.

3.3 Harassment (including sexual harassment)

Where a person is harassed because of their protected characteristics which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

3.4 Victimisation

Retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about
discrimination or harassment.

3.5 Disability Discrimination

This includes direct and indirect discrimination, any less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to lessen disadvantages caused by a disability.

3.6 Associative discrimination

Where an individual is discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.

4. Our Commitment

We are committed to:
• Creating an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of our people are recognised and valued.
• Ensuring that everyone is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. • • No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
• Providing training, development, and progression opportunities to all staff, where necessary.
• Understanding equality and inclusion in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense.
• Taking steps to ensure equality amongst our workforce such as ensuring that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse range of potential candidates and, where relevant, to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or underrepresented in our Company, taking positive action to recruit disabled people, and ensuring there are no unlawful barriers to accessing our employment opportunities, training, progression opportunities, benefits and facilities.
• Regularly monitoring Diversity in our workforce to ensure equal opportunities throughout the company where appropriate measures will be taken to identify and remove unnecessary obstacles and to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.
• Monitoring and reviewing this policy annually.
• Providing services to which all clients are entitled regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

5. People’s Responsibilities

Every person is required to assist in meeting the Company’s commitment to provide equal opportunities in employment and prevent discrimination. Individuals will be held personally liable for any act of unlawful discrimination. People who commit serious acts of harassment (including sexual harassment) may be guilty of a criminal offence and therefore incidences may be reported to the Police.
Any acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against one person to another or any of our customers will be classed as disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.
If any of our people feel they may have been unlawfully discriminated against, they should follow the Company’s Grievance Procedure to make a complaint. The Company will take any complaint seriously and will seek to resolve any grievance that is found to be upheld.

6. Equal Opportunities Statement

6.1 Age

We will:
• Ensure that people of all ages are treated with respect and dignity.
• Ensure that people are given equal access to the relevant employment training, development, and promotion opportunities.
• Challenge discriminatory assumptions about younger and older people.

6.2 Disability

We will:
• Provide any reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people have access to our services and employment opportunities. If we that a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, we will discuss this with you and try to find alternative solution where possible.
• Challenge discriminatory assumptions about disabled people.
• If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate.

6.3 Race

We will:
• Challenge racism wherever it occurs.
• Respond swiftly and sensitively to racist incidents.
• Actively promote race equality and inclusion in the Company.
• Offer equal access for everyone including representation, services, employment, training and pay.
• Take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against everyone.

6.4 Gender

We will:
• Challenge discriminatory assumptions about gender.
• Take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against everyone.
• Offer equal access for everyone including representation, services, employment, training and pay.
• Provide support to prevent discrimination against any person who have or who are about to undergo gender reassignment.

6.5 Sexual Orientation

We will:
• Ensure that we take account the needs of everyone, including the LGBTQ+ communities.
• Take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against everyone.
• Offer equal access for everyone including representation, services, employment, training and pay.

6.6 Religion or Belief

We will:
• Ensure that each person’s religion or beliefs and related observances are respected and accommodated wherever possible.
• Respect people’s beliefs where the expression of those beliefs does not impinge on the legitimate rights of others.

6.7 Pregnancy or Maternity

We will:
• Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity during pregnancy or maternity leave.
• Challenge discriminatory assumptions about pregnancy or maternity.
• Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged during pregnancy or maternity leave and that we take into account the needs of our people during pregnancy or maternity leave.

6.8 Marriage or Civil Partnership

We will:
• Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity regardless of marriage or civil partnership status.
• Challenge discriminatory assumptions about the marriage or civil partnership of any of our people.
• Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged because of their marriage or civil partnership.

6.9 Part time and fixed term work

We will ensure that people on part time and fixed term contracts are treated the same as those who are on full time or permanent contracts and enjoy less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro rata bases where appropriate) unless different treatment is justified.

6.10 Equal Pay

We will ensure that all employees have the right to the same contractual pay and benefits for carrying out the same work, work rated as equivalent work or work of equal value.


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