Equal Opportunities Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide equal opportunities to all in employment, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, nationality, national origin, sexuality, religion, hours of work, marital status and social class. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
All employees, whether part time, full time or temporary, will be treated fairly and equally. 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 organisation.
Every employee is entitled to a working environment which promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. The commitment to equal opportunities in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense, and this policy is fully supported by senior management.
The Directors have overall responsibility for monitoring this policy and will review it annually. The Company will actively promote equal opportunities throughout the organisation through the application of employment policies which will ensure that individuals receive treatment that is fair and equitable and consistent with their relevant aptitudes, potential skills and abilities. All managers and supervisors will seek to ensure that all employees comply with these principles.
Opportunities for training, development and promotion will be drawn to the attention of all eligible employees, and all will be considered equally, on the basis of for example, ability and skills offered. Similar parameters will be applied in the recruitment of new employees. The Company will operate a pay system which is transparent, based on objective criteria, and free from sex or any other bias.
The Company recognises that all employees should be treated with respect and dignity, and that a working environment should be provided which is free of any form or harassment (sexual, racial or other), and bullying.
Any such incidents will be dealt with under the Company’s Disciplinary Procedure and in severe cases may result in dismissal.
Breaches of our equal opportunity policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
If an employee considers that he or she has been treated less favourably, they should make use of the Company’s Grievance Procedure. (If appropriate) (If it cannot be resolved within the Company, the matter will be dealt with under the National Agreement’s disputes and differences procedure)
Monitoring and Review Arrangements
The Company recognises that the regular monitoring of ethnic origin and sex of employees and applicants is essential to the thorough review of the effectiveness of this policy and to this end the Company will initiate equal opportunity monitoring. The Company also undertakes to monitor pay rates and grading so that no conscious or unconscious bias will occur in the pay rates of men or women.
The successful implementation of this policy depends upon the regular examination and progress towards equal opportunity and the development of local initiatives. To this end the HR department may start their own monitoring and review procedures.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure
The Company will ensure that any individual or group employees who believe that they have experienced direct or indirect unfair discrimination are properly represented in any grievance proceedings. Any employee who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly in connection with his/her employment should raise his/her grievance through the appropriate Grievance Procedure when every effort will be made to secure a satisfactory resolution. In addition the Company will ensure that any employee making a complaint of unfair discrimination will be protected from any victimisation in any form
(If appropriate) (If an employee’s grievance cannot be resolved within the Company, the matter will be dealt with under the National Agreement’s disputes and differences procedure).
The Company confirms that it will continue to treat unfair discriminatory conduct by any member of staff as a disciplinary offence.
Training and Advertising
The Company will train, develop and promote on the basis of merit and ability. The Company will also provide suitable and relevant equal opportunity training as necessary for all staff, including line supervisors and managers. The Company will seek to encourage employees and applicants who may have been traditionally discriminated against or where there are none or very few of that sex or race in any particular job or location.
When vacancies are advertised both internally and externally, the Company will continue to ensure that such advertising, both in placement and content, is compatible with the terms of this policy. To this end, opportunities will be taken through language, images or declarations, as appropriate, to show that the Company is an equal opportunities Company. In particular terms this means that the wording of advertisements will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that any hidden discrimination is avoided or discriminatory wording is avoided. Every effort will be made to ensure that the advertisements that are placed on the internet, in newspapers and trade publications reach as wide a readership as possible.
This may include the placing of advertisements in ethnic publications and women’s magazines.
All recruitment documentation (application forms, job descriptions etc) will similarly be objective and free of potentially discriminatory material.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it unlawful to refuse to recruit, to refuse employment benefits or opportunities or to dismiss because a person is physically or mentally disabled (as defined in the Act). In brief this means that anyone who is unable to carry out “normal day to day activities” including an inability to concentrate (i.e those mentally ill) and those who are perceived to be unable to carry out day to day activities (including those who are HIV positive), and this inability lasts or is likely to last for twelve months or more. The definition also includes those with past disability i.e who have a history of disability, as well as those currently impaired. We will make every effort to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace and to working arrangements where the current conditions are disadvantageous to disabled people.
Trade Union Membership / Non-Membership
There is no requirement that any employee should be a member of a trade union. It is solely a personal decision for all employees as to whether they wish to join a trade union, and the Company confirms that the employment, training and development of any employee will not be influenced in any way by whether or not they are in union membership.
The Company recognises its responsibilities to part-timers, fixed term contract workers and temporary workers and will ensure that they do not suffer less favourable treatment as a result of their hours/method of working.