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Equal Opportunities Policy Statement

It is the Company’s policy to establish and maintain a working environment, terms and conditions of service and employment practices and procedures which will ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, religion (or belief), colour, nationality, national or ethnic origin, sex, marital status, responsibility for dependants, disability, sexual orientation, trade union activity and age. Selection criteria and procedures will be kept under review to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.

All employees will be given equality of opportunity within the company and will be encouraged to progress with the organisation.

To ensure that there is no direct or indirect discrimination, recruitment and other employment decisions will be regularly monitored. The company is committed to a programme of action to make the policy fully effective.

Responsibility

All directors, managers and supervisory staff will ensure that the policy is followed both in act in spirit.

It is the personal responsibility of each and every employee to behave in line with the policy and treat colleagues, customers and suppliers decently and fairly.

Types of Discrimination

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion (or belief) or disability. There are four types of discrimination:

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

Direct – where an employer treats a person less favourably than they would treat someone from the opposite sex, from a different racial group, who had not had gender reassignment or without a disability.

Examples

  1. Not interviewing or appointing a woman because it is felt that, because of her sex, she would not fit in.
  2. Not considering job applicants for a particular racial group because it is felt they might be unreliable.
  3. Not appointing a person who is deaf because they could not hear important instructions.
  4. Not appointing a homosexual man to a job because it is believed he may make unwanted approaches to other male employees.

Indirect – where an employer applies a requirement or condition equally to all but where a smaller proportion of people from a particular group can comply with it cannot be justified as necessary for the job.

Examples

  1. Insisting on unnecessary height requirements
  2. Insisting on uniform or clothing which would be difficult for some people to wear (on religious or cultural grounds) and where no alternative is provided
  3. Unreasonably imposing working hours which make it difficult for those with caring/domestic responsibilities to do the job
  4. Social occasions organised by employees that all take place in licensed premises

Harassment – unwanted conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

Examples

  1. Employees tell jokes amongst themselves which are directed at race, sex, religion, disability or sexuality
  2. Displays of sexually offensive material, e.g. pin-ups
  3. Abusive, threatening or insulting words and/or behaviour
  4. Requests for sexual favours

Victimisation – when a person is treated less favourable when they have made a complaint in good faith whether or not the complaint was upheld.

Examples

  1. Refusal to give a reference in respect of an (ex) employee who has made an allegation of discrimination
  2. Refusing training or promotional opportunities to an employee who has previously made an allegation of discrimination

The company will not discriminate unlawfully nor will it tolerate discrimination on any grounds not covered by law, or any other factor irrelevant to the job.

 

Policy Implementation

In order to put this policy of equal opportunities into practice in the day-to-day operation of the business, we will:

  1. Maintain a programme of education, guidance and information to ensure key decision makers such as directors, managers and supervisory staff and those involved in personnel work are aware of the policy and their duty under legislation.
  2. Communicate to employees as to the standards of behaviour we require to avoid discrimination and employees’ duty under legislation.
  3. Provide a system so that an employee who believes he or she is suffering from discrimination can raise and resolve the matter.
  4. Monitor the application and effects of this policy by sampling on a regular basis.
  5. Review the policy on a regular basis

Grievance, Disciplinary and Disputes Procedures

The company will not ignore or treat lightly grievances or complaints from employees on the assumption that they are oversensitive about discrimination.

Grievances and complaints regarding discrimination will be thoroughly investigated by the company.

Where there is evidence to suggest that any employee has committed a discriminatory act, e.g. racial harassment, verbal abuse, physical violence, racial or sex discrimination or induced others to discriminate the disciplinary procedure will be invoked. These are serious employment issues.

Breaches of company policy will result in disciplinary action, which may lead to dismissal.

 

Further reading: Labour Standards Policy

 

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