Equal Opportunities Policy statement
The Company is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of treating all its employees and job applicants equally. The Company will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, transfer, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, other terms of employment, discipline, selection for redundancy and dismissal.
It is the policy of the Company to take all reasonable steps to employ and promote employees on the basis of their abilities and qualifications without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex and/or sexual orientation. In this policy, these are known as the ‘protected characteristics’ The Company will appoint, train, develop and promote on the basis of merit and ability alone.
Employees have a duty to co-operate with the Company to ensure that this policy is effective to ensure equal opportunities and to prevent discrimination. Action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure will be taken against any employee who is found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful discrimination. Serious breaches of the equal opportunities policy will be treated as potential gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal Employees should also bear in mind that they can be held personally liable for any act of unlawful discrimination.
Employees must not harass, bully or intimidate other employees for reasons related to one or more of the protected characteristics. Such behaviour will be treated as potential gross misconduct under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may also be guilty of a criminal offence. The Company has a separate dignity at work policy which deals with these issues and sets out how complaints of this type will be dealt with.
Employees should draw the attention of their line manager to suspected discriminatory acts or practices. Employees must not victimise or retaliate against an employee who has made allegations or complaints of discrimination or who has provided information about such discrimination. Such behaviour will be treated as potential gross misconduct under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Employees should support colleagues who suffer such treatment and are making a complaint.
Direct discrimination occurs when, because of one of the protected characteristics, a job applicant or an employee is treated less favourably than other job applicants or employees are treated or would be treated.
The treatment will still amount to direct discrimination even if it is based on the protected characteristic of a third party with whom the job applicant or employee is associated and not on the job applicant’s or employee’s own protected characteristic. In addition, it can include cases where it is perceived that a job applicant or an employee has a particular protected characteristic when in fact they do not.
Discrimination after employment is also unlawful if it arises out of and is closely connected to the employment relationship, for example refusing to give a reference or providing an unfavourable reference for a reason related to one of the protected characteristics.
The Company will take all reasonable steps to eliminate direct discrimination in all aspects of employment.
Indirect discrimination is treatment that may be equal in the sense that it applies to all job applicants or employees but which is discriminatory in its effect on, for example, one particular sex or racial group.
Indirect discrimination occurs when there is applied to the job applicant or employee a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant’s or employee’s. A PCP is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant’s or employee’s if:
· It is applied, or would be applied, to persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share the protected characteristic,
· The PCP puts, or would put, persons with whom the job applicant or employee shares the protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share it,
· It puts, or would put, the job applicant or employee at that disadvantage, and
· It cannot be shown by the Company to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
The Company will take all reasonable steps to eliminate indirect discrimination in all aspects of employment.
Victimisation occurs when an employee is subjected to a detriment, such as being denied a training opportunity or a promotion, because they have raised or supported a grievance or complaint of unlawful discrimination, or because they have issued employment tribunal proceedings for unlawful discrimination or they have given evidence in connection with unlawful discrimination proceedings brought by another employee. However, an employee is not protected if they give false evidence or information, or make a false allegation, and they do so in bad faith. Post-employment victimisation is also unlawful, for example refusing to give a reference or providing an unfavourable reference because the former employee has done one of the protected acts set out above.
The Company will take all reasonable steps to eliminate victimisation in all aspects of employment.
Sources of recruitment
The recruitment process will be conducted in such a way as to result in the selection of the most suitable person for the job in respect of abilities and qualifications. The Company is committed to applying its equal opportunities policy at all stages of recruitment and selection.
Advertisements will aim to positively encourage applications from all suitably qualified people. When advertising job vacancies, in order to attract applications from all sections of the community, the Company will, as far as reasonably practicable:
1. Ensure advertisements are not confined to those areas or publications which would exclude or disproportionately reduce the numbers of applicants with a particular protected characteristic;
2. Avoid setting any unnecessary provisions or criteria which would exclude a higher proportion of people with a particular protected characteristic.
Where vacancies may be filled by promotion or transfer, they will be published to all eligible employees in such a way that they do not restrict applications from employees with a particular protected characteristic.
However, where, having regard to the nature and context of the work, having a particular protected characteristic is an occupational requirement and that occupational requirement is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, the Company will apply that requirement to the job role and this may therefore be specified in the advertisement.
The selection process will be carried out consistently for all jobs at all levels. The selection of new staff will be based on the job requirements and the individual’s suitability and ability to do, or to train for, the job in question. Person specifications and job descriptions will be limited to those requirements that are necessary for the effective performance of the job. Candidates for employment, promotion or transfer will be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job.