Diversity and Equity
The Company is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and to avoiding unlawful discrimination in employment or to customers.
This policy is intended to assist the Company to put this commitment into practice. Compliance with this policy should also ensure that employees do not commit unlawful acts of discrimination.
Striving to ensure that the work environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is an important aspect of ensuring equal opportunities in employment. The Company has a separate Dignity at Work policy which deals with these issues.
It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment on grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation or religion or belief, or because someone is married or is a civil partner. It is unlawful to treat someone less favourably on grounds of disability than others without that disability are or would be treated, unless the less favourable treatment can be justified, or to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to employment caused by disability. It is unlawful to discriminate unjustifiably on grounds of age in relation to employment. Discrimination after employment may be unlawful, e.g. in refusing to give a reference or in the form of reference given.
It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in the provision of goods, facilities or services to customers on grounds of sex (which may include gender reassignment), pregnancy, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origins. It is unlawful to discriminate, without justification, on grounds of disability or to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to using services caused by disability. The duty to make reasonable adjustments includes the removal, adaptation or alteration of physical features, if the physical features make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of services.
Some types of harassment or bullying will be unlawful discrimination.
It is unlawful to victimise someone because he or she has alleged unlawful discrimination or supported someone to make a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint.
Types of unlawful discrimination
Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another in comparable circumstances on a prohibited ground. An example of direct sex discrimination would be refusing to employ a woman because she was pregnant. Unlike the other forms of discrimination, direct discrimination on the grounds of age can be justified.
Indirect discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice is applied which is such that it would be to the detriment of a considerably larger proportion of the relevant group to which the individual belongs than to others, which is not objectively justifiable and which is to the individual’s detriment. An example of indirect sex discrimination could be requiring everyone to work full time unless there is a good reason, unrelated to sex, as to why the particular job has to be done on a full-time basis, since requiring everyone to work full time will normally adversely affect a higher proportion of women than men.
Harassment is where there is unwanted conduct related to one of the prohibited grounds which has the purpose of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person, or is reasonably considered by that person to have the effect of violating his or her dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her, even if this effect was not intended by the person responsible for the conduct.
Failure to make reasonable adjustments is where arrangements disadvantage an individual because of a disability and reasonable adjustments are not made to overcome the disadvantage.
Victimisation is where someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has alleged unlawful discrimination or supported someone to make a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint.
Equal opportunities in employment
The Company will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy.
Person and job specifications will be limited to those requirements that are necessary for the effective performance of the job. Candidates for employment or promotion will be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job, taking account of any reasonable adjustments that may be required for candidates with a disability. Disability and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary.
The Company will consider any possible indirectly discriminatory effect of its standard working practices, including the number of hours to be worked, the times at which these are to be worked and the place at which work is to be done, when considering requests for variations to these standard working practices and will refuse such requests only if the Company considers it has good reasons, unrelated to any prohibited ground of discrimination, for doing so. The Company will comply with its obligations in relation to statutory requests for contract variations. The Company will also make reasonable adjustments to its standard working practices to overcome barriers caused by disability.
The Company cannot lawfully discriminate in the selection of employees for recruitment or promotion, but the Company may use appropriate lawful methods, including lawful positive action, to address the under-representation of any group which the Company identifies as being underrepresented in particular types of job.
Customers, suppliers and other people not employed by the Company
The Company will not discriminate unlawfully against customers using or seeking to use goods, facilities or services provided by the Company.
Employees should report any bullying or harassment by customers, suppliers, visitors or others to their manager who will take appropriate action.
Every employee is required to assist the Company to meet its commitment to provide equal opportunities in employment and avoid unlawful discrimination.
Employees can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of, the Company for any act of unlawful discrimination. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence.
Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees or customers are disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Company’s Disciplinary Procedure. Discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice.
If an employee considers that they may have been unlawfully discriminated against, they may use the Company’s grievance procedure to make a complaint.
The Company will take any complaint seriously and will seek to resolve any grievance which it upholds. An employee will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if their grievance is not upheld, unless the complaint is both untrue and made in bad faith.
The Company is an equal opportunities employer and, as such, is committed to the principle of equal pay in employment.
The Company believes that its male and female workers should receive equal pay for like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value, and in order to achieve this will endeavour to maintain a pay system that is transparent, based on objective criteria and free from bias.
The Company will:
- On an ongoing basis, monitor of all its pay practices, including those for workers in non-standard employment and those absent on maternity leave
- Provide information to workers on the Company’s pay practices
- Ensure that workers are informed about how their own pay is calculated
- Provide suitable training and guidance for those members of staff involved in decisions relating to pay and benefits
- Consult with workers, their representatives or trade unions on the Company’s equal pay policy where appropriate.