EQUAL OPPURTUNITIES STATEMENT
- It is The Employer’s policy not to discriminate against its workers and/or employees because of their gender, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, marital status, any gender reassignment, race, religion or philosophical belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability or age, pregnancy and maternity or trade union membership or the fact that they are a part-time worker or a fixed-term employee. The Employer will not tolerate discrimination by association and/or by perception and will not tolerate discrimination arising from disability. The Employer will not tolerate discrimination, because of any of the above grounds, of customers and/or clients in the provision of goods and services.
- The following paragraphs deal with the specific categories of workers and areas of work which we have identified as potentially giving rise to equal opportunities issues and provides more specific guidance on the parameters of our policy and approach to equal opportunities.
TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY?
- This policy applies to The Employer’s employees, whether permanent, temporary, or casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts, and to individuals such as agency staff and consultants.
- In addition, all workers have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, whether junior or senior to them. The Employer will not tolerate any discriminatory practices or behaviour and any such conduct may be viewed as gross misconduct entitling The Employer to dismiss you summarily.
PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
- The Human Resources department has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this equal opportunities policy and for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory framework prohibiting discrimination.
- All members of staff are responsible for the success of this policy and must ensure that they familiarise themselves with the policy and act in accordance with its aims and objectives.
SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF POLICY
- The Employer will not unlawfully discriminate because of gender, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, race, religion or philosophical belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability or age, pregnancy and maternity, trade union membership, or part-time or fixed-term status (“Protected Characteristics”).
- This policy applies, without limitation, to the advertising of jobs and recruitment and selection; to training and development; opportunities for promotion; to conditions of service, benefits and facilities and pay; to health and safety and to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures and to termination of employment including redundancy.
You are also prohibited from harassing another employee and/or worker on any of the grounds under 4.1. Harassment is defined as any unwanted conduct, related to any of the Protected Characteristics set out in paragraph 4.1 above, that has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It is not the intention of the perpetrator that is important when considering whether harassment has taken place but your perception of the behaviour. Harassment can range from extremes such as violence to less obvious forms such as ignoring someone. Forms of harassment might include (without limitation):
- Physical contact;
- Unwelcome remarks about someone’s race or marital status or any other Protected Characteristic;
- Persistent criticism;
- Jokes, offensive language, gossip, lewd or suggestive comments;
- Posters, obscene gestures, graffiti;
- Isolation, non-co-operation, and exclusion from social activities;
- Coercion for sexual favours;
- Failure to safeguard personal confidential information;
- Unnecessary body contact; threatened or actual assault or violence;
- Deliberate exclusion from conversations or work activities because of any Protected Characteristic;
- Display of “pin ups”, pornography, inflammatory or abusive literature or graffiti:
- Using email or the internet for the purpose of bullying or making abusive or offensive remarks related to any Protected Characteristic.
- You should be aware that, as well as committing a disciplinary offence, an individual found to have discriminated against a fellow employee/worker in the course of their employment may be personally liable to compensate the victim. In addition, harassment for whatever reason may constitute a crime under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine.
FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
- Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favourably because they have one of the Protected Characteristics or are thought to have a Protected Characteristic as set out in paragraph 4.1 or because they associate with someone who has a Protected Characteristic.
- Indirect discrimination occurs when an unjustifiable requirement, condition or practice is imposed, apparently to all individuals, but has the effect that certain groups of individuals (who share a Protected Characteristic as set out in paragraph 4.1) cannot comply with it or are put at a particular disadvantage.
- Discrimination also includes victimisation (less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that regard) and harassment.
BREACHES OF THE POLICY
- If you believe that you may have been disadvantaged because of any of the Protected Characteristics listed at paragraph 4.1 (or for any other reason) you are encouraged to raise the matter through The Employer’s grievance procedure. If you believe that you may have been harassed because of any Protected Characteristic listed at paragraph 4.1 (or for any other reason), you are encouraged to raise the matter through our grievance policy. Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure.
- Workers who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations of a breach in this policy, which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure and may result in summary dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct.
- The Employer will not tolerate retaliation against, or victimisation of any employee involved in bringing of a complaint of harassment or bullying under The Employer’s procedure. Such retaliation or victimisation will itself constitute a disciplinary offence, which may in appropriate circumstances lead to dismissal.
- If, after investigation, you are proven to have harassed any other worker or otherwise act in breach of this policy, you will be subject to disciplinary action. Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. The Employer will always take a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.
- As this policy applies equally to The Employer workers’ relations with clients and suppliers, if, after investigation, you are proven to have discriminated against or harassed a client or supplier you will also be subject to disciplinary action.