EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION POLICY
1 COMMITMENT TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
1.1 We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in the workplace.
1.2 We will ensure that our employees, applicants, Candidates and Clients receive equal treatment regardless of their 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 COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
2.1 We believe that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas, thinking and approaches which make the way we work more effective, efficient and innovative.
2.2 We aim to be truly representative and have an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all are recognised and respected. We embrace difference for everyone’s benefit.
3 COMMITMENT TO INCLUSION
3.1 We work together so that everyone feels valued and included. Our working environment promotes dignity, where every person feels respected and able to give their best, and there are opportunities available to all. We encourage everyone to talk openly, inclusively, and extend compassion to others.
3.2 We will foster a safe community for all employees to come together, speak up, and seek support. We also encourage feedback about how we can create a more inclusive environment.
4 TACKLING DISCRIMINATION
4.1 We do not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, applicants, Candidates, Clients, suppliers and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with Clients, suppliers or other work-related contacts) and on work-related trips or events including social events.
4.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
4.2.1 Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.
4.2.2 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. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they are more likely to have childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.
4.2.3 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.
4.2.4 Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.
4.2.5 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.
5.1 Recruitment (both internal and in the course of our business), promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination.
5.2 Advertisements must avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.
5.3 Applicants and Candidates must not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, they should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.
5.4 Applicants and Candidates must not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law: for example, to check that the applicant could perform an intrinsic part of the job (taking account of any reasonable adjustments), or to see if any adjustments might be needed in the recruitment process because of a disability.
5.5 We will not accept any discriminatory instructions from a Client, such as an instruction to exclude Candidates of a particular race or introduce Candidates of a specific gender. If any employee is given such an instruction, they must decline the instruction or refer the matter to the CEO.
If an employee is disabled or becomes disabled, we encourage them to tell us about the condition so that we can consider the reasonable adjustments and support which may be appropriate.
Part-time and fixed-term employees must be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy terms and conditions which are no less favourable (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate).
8.1 We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Complaints Procedure, Grievance Procedure and/or Disciplinary Procedure as appropriate.
8.2 A serious case of non-compliance:
8.2.1 by an employee may amount to gross misconduct, potentially resulting in dismissal; and
8.2.2 by a Client or supplier may result in termination of our contract with that Client or supplier.
9 QUESTIONS & COMMENTS
9.1 Questions or comments about this policy are welcomed and, where applicable, should be referred by employees to their line manager. Other interested parties should contact the CEO at [email protected].
9.2 Any internal concerns about non-compliance can also be reported under the company’s Whistleblowing Procedure.