The aim of this policy is to ensure that all members of staff know that they are able to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and are able to achieve their full potential in their job. The Company will make decisions without reference to discriminatory criteria. All members of staff must be aware of this Equal Opportunities Policy and should abide by its terms at all times including in their dealings with clients and candidates. To this end, all members of staff will receive training in equal opportunities and will be required to participate in the Company's ongoing training and development programme.
The definition of discrimination
In a number of areas the law protects employees and discriminatory conduct or omissions are prescribed by Government legislation. There are specific concepts of discrimination which make it clear what is unlawful.
The first area, which has become known as direct discrimination, occurs when an individual is treated less favourably than another person on any of the aforementioned grounds. It does not matter that you may believe you are acting in the interests of the individual or the employee if your less favourable treatment is on one of these grounds. This is because if you would not have treated a person who did not possess that characteristic in the same way this is direct discrimination.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a requirement or condition is applied to an employee that the employee finds he/she is not able to meet because of one of marital status, sex or race and which cannot be shown to be objectively justified. This means that if the requirement or condition has a disproportionate effect on the particular group it will be indirect discrimination; that is a considerably smaller proportion of one sex, those who are married or of one race can comply when compared to the other sex, single people or other racial groups.
Whilst this concept may appear technical it is of importance since the Company may incur liability if you, in the scope of the duties entrusted to you, apply requirements or conditions that are discriminatory against a particular group.
Disability discrimination does not have a concept of indirect discrimination because the legislation goes further and requires the Company to make a reasonable adjustment to seek to take away the disadvantage a disabled person may have in the workplace because of the disability. This means that the Company will consider alternative means by which a disabled person may be able to carry out the job or alternatively whether other steps may be possible.
Victimisation occurs where an individual is treated less favourably by fellow workers for asserting the above rights and this would not have happened if these rights had not been asserted.
Company Policy Statement
The Company will not tolerate discrimination on any grounds and operates an active Equal Opportunities Policy. However, it cannot operate to stamp out discrimination unless it is made aware that this is happening. Discrimination may be treated as part of the disciplinary procedure, grievance procedure or as sexual harassment depending upon its nature. The Equal Opportunities Policy will apply at all stages from recruitment, throughout employment to issues of termination of employment, and in connection with all dealings with clients and candidates.
All recruitment procedures followed by the Company will be on the basis of fair and objectively justified criteria. Where job applicants have a disability the position of the Applicant will be reviewed and all possible steps will be taken to ensure that the Applicant does not suffer from any disadvantage in the recruitment process.
Throughout your employment you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner that is not discriminatory and the Company will take all possible steps to ensure that equal opportunity is maintained. This will include:
Ensuring that job specifications relate to the requirements for the performance of the job and that all advertisements published or displayed, whether on its own behalf or on behalf of its clients and candidates, do not discriminate unless the nature or circumstances of the job specifically require an individual of a particular sex or religion. (The Company recognises that it will never be acceptable to discriminate on the grounds of marriage and discrimination will rarely be justified on disability grounds.)
Providing equal opportunity training as the Company considers it is appropriate to enable you and other staff to implement equal opportunities.
Monitoring the ethnic and gender composition of the workforce. This will be done in accordance with accepted practice as recommended by Equal Opportunities bodies or good human resources practice. All monitoring will be used only for the purpose of equal opportunity monitoring and will be anonymous.
In the case of disability, considering what steps may be taken to ensure disabled individuals are not disadvantaged.
Any complaints of discrimination and/or breaches of this Equal Opportunities Policy should be reported to Kate Allen, Managing Director as soon as possible.