Equal Opportunities Policy

We are committed to the principle of equal opportunities in employment and opposed to any form of less favourable treatment or financial reward through direct or indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation to employees or job applicants on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, marital/parental status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

We recognise our obligations under the following legal frameworks:

  • The Human Rights Act
  • The Sex Discrimination Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome
  • The Race Relations Act
  • The Codes of Practice published by the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the European Commission

Employment Practices

We accept personal responsibility for adhering to the principles of equal opportunity. We will actively promote equal opportunities to ensure that individuals receive treatment that is fair and equitable and consistent with their relevant aptitudes, potential skills and abilities. People are recruited and selected, promoted and trained on the basis of merit only. We recognise that sexual, racial and other forms of harassment can cause problems at work and we are committed to ensure that this kind of unacceptable behaviour does not take place in the workplace.

Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

We ensure that any person who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or subjected to direct or indirect discrimination can raise the matter through the appropriate grievance procedure and every effort will be made to secure a satisfactory resolution. We ensure that any person making a complaint of discrimination will be protected from any victimisation in any form and we will continue to treat unfair discriminatory conduct by any person as a disciplinary offence.

Rehabilitation of Offenders

It is our policy not to discriminate against anyone who has a spent conviction under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  Under that Act it is unlawful to refuse, to engage or to dismiss on the grounds of a spent conviction.  A conviction becomes spent after a period of time that runs from the start of the sentence.  It is our policy to comply with the Act.

Equal Pay

We acknowledge that men and women are entitled to be paid equally without any bias on the grounds of gender and that this right is set out in the Treaty of Rome and is enforceable under the UK’s Equal Pay Act. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for the same work or for work rated as similar and of equivalent value. We will review existing and future pay policies and structures and continue to monitor the their impact.

We recognise that pay discrimination based on other personal details apart from gender is also unacceptable. We are committed to ensuring all employees’ pay is dependent only on their skills, experience, commitment and responsibility, and is not affected by their race, ethnicity, religious belief, marital/parental status, gender identity or any other demographic details.

We minimise the possibility of discriminatory bias arising in pay structures and will accordingly fairly pay all employees, justly rewarding everyone for their contributions to our continuing success.

Workplace Harassment

Harassment is unsolicited and unwelcome workplace behaviour, which adversely affects the dignity of the recipient. Where the behaviour is motivated by gender, gender expression, marital or parental status, race, ethnicity, nationality or disability it also amounts to infringement of equal employment opportunity. We are committed to ensuring that no harassment or victimisation at work, whatever the motivation, is overlooked or condoned. Such behaviour can range from extreme forms such as violence or bullying to less obvious actions like practical jokes and ridiculing people. Conduct becomes harassment if it persists and it has been made clear that it is regarded as offensive by the recipient, although a single offensive act can amount to harassment if it is sufficiently serious.

Any form of harassment will be considered a potential disciplinary matter. If the harassment is of a sexual nature or motivated by racial discrimination then it will be treated as especially serious.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a particular form of harassment that is of a sexual nature and has the effect of making the harnessed person feel demeaned, disrespected, or even unsafe. It is conduct at work directed towards an employee by another employee or group of employees which is of a sexual nature, or which is based on a person’s sex or gender, and which is regarded as unwelcome or offensive to the recipient. The following are examples, which illustrate the sort of conduct, which may be treated as sexual harassment. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • Unwanted physical contact, or conduct which is intimidatory, or physically or verbally abusive. Harassment can also be non-verbal, for example, staring or gestures;
  • Suggestions that sexual favours may further a person’s career, or that refusal may hinder it;
  • Sexual advances, propositions, suggestions or pressure for sexual activity at or outside work;
  • Derogatory or demeaning remarks based on gender, or the display of sexually explicit material in the workplace.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is a particular form of harassment that is motivated by casual or explicit racism or xenophobia. It is conduct at work directed towards an employee by another employee or group of employees which is of a racial nature, or which is based on a person’s race, ethnicity or nationality, and which is regarded as unwelcome or offensive to the recipient.

The following are examples that illustrate the sort of conduct, which may be treated as racial harassment. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • Jokes about race.
  • Offensive names used.
  • References to people by offensive racist descriptions.
  • Verbal or physical abuse because of a person’s race, ethnicity or nationality.
  • Detrimental behaviour because of a person’s race.
  • Denial of opportunity because of race.

Resolving Workplace Harassment

A situation of harassment may be resolved informally, by talking directly to the person who is responsible for the harassment. However if a person believes they are the subject of harassment they should make a formal complaint to the company director. Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, the alleged harasser may be suspended on full pay while the matter is being investigated under our disciplinary procedures.

A formal complaint of any form of harassment will be fully investigated. The alleged harasser will be informed of the complaint, and we will endeavour to ensure that investigation into sexual harassment is conducted by a worker of the same sex as the complainant. If relevant, as part of the investigative process, witnesses will be interviewed. As far as possible confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigative process. Neither complainant nor alleged harasser will be victimised in any way. However, the making of a malicious complaint, which is known to be false, may itself result in disciplinary action against the complainer because it could be regarded as misconduct.

Where an employee is found to have harassed another employee we will decide the appropriate action (if any) in the light of all the evidence. Such action may include disciplinary action, dismissal (in serious or repeat cases), a job transfer, or counselling.

The aim throughout is to resolve the complaint of harassment sensitively, impartially, effectively and quickly.

Where a harasser is retained in employment, we will monitor the situation to ensure that the harassment has stopped. It is a disciplinary offence to victimise or retaliate against a person who has, in good faith, made, supported or assisted in the making of a complaint of harassment. There will be no victimisation of any person for making or supporting or assisting a complaint of harassment – even if the complaint is not upheld – provided the action was taken in good faith.

Monitoring and Review of Arrangements

We monitor our policies to ensure that we pursue an effective policy of equal opportunity. This policy will be regularly reviewed to ensure we are taking all reasonable steps to promote equality and diversity and avoid discrimination.


 

Approved for annual review by Mark Pellant, Company Director, January 2016.