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  • Equality & Diversity Policy




Policy Statement

Entech is committed to the active promotion of equality and diversity in all its work. It is totally committed to attracting, retaining and motivating a diverse workforce. It aims to adopt policies and practices that will maximise the abilities, skills and experience of all its’ staff. It encourages a culture where all employees and other non-Company workers are valued and can contribute to our mission to increase the economic prosperity of the people.

The Company will mainstream equal opportunities and diversity into all its business and functions.The Company's commitment to Equal Opportunities and Diversity will be demonstrated through its policies, practices, training and development and all its work. All Company employees have a responsibility for ensuring that the Company's principles on Equal Opportunities and Diversity are upheld and best equality practices are implemented.

Corporate Responsibilities

Equality of opportunity will be applied throughout the Company. The responsibility for promoting equality within Entech rests with the Chairperson, Board Members, Chief Executive, Directors, Managers and staff.

The Company has both a legal and moral obligation to ensure that an employee, other non-Company worker, or potential employee is not subjected to unlawful or unjust discrimination. It is of benefit both to the individual and Entech at large to remove discrimination in any form from the workplace.

Entech can be held legally responsible for any act of discrimination in employment and in its provision of goods, services and facilities. Disciplinary proceedings may be taken against an individual employee found guilty of discrimination.

The Company has an Equal Opportunities and Diversity Group which meets regularly and whose responsibility it is to recommend equal opportunities and inclusive policies, practices and positive action initiatives that should be adopted by the Company. The Group also monitors and evaluates the Company's progress in addressing under-representation in its workforce and customers. Any employee can raise issues with this Group, their own manager, their union official or the Human Resources department.

Management Responsibilities

Management will ensure that recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion procedures result in no job applicant or employee receiving less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, trade union membership or nonmembership, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or being a part-time or fixed term worker. The Company’s objective is to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and otherwise treated solely on the basis of their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.

To achieve equality and diversity as a Manager you shall work with the Company to:

  • Treat people as individuals with consideration and respect for their needs.
  • Provide services and opportunities that are open to all.
  • Provide a welcoming, supportive and safe environment for all employees and visitors.
  • Commit to developing an Companyal culture that values all people and the individual contributions that they make.
  • Provide appropriate learning and development opportunities to facilitate the effective delivery of services.
  • Inform and consult employees in relation to policy development.
  • Encourage the recruitment of employees from all parts of the community.
  • Influence other employers and agencies to be aware of their responsibilities under relevant legislation and through this help to create a culture that encourages and promotes diversity.
  • Carry out, monitor and review the impact of our policies and services in order to identify changes and improvements. Actions will be taken to deal with difficulty and obstacles identified.
  • Accept our responsibilities and work within the requirements set out in all relevant legislation.
  • Ensure that the mechanism for reporting incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying can be accessed by all staff, through the Positive Work Environment Policy and to monitor and inform Human Resources of any instances of harassment, bullying and discrimination. Human Resources will record, evaluate and prepare reports for the Equal Opportunities Group as appropriate. Any information supplied will protect the employee's confidentiality, as far as it is practicable to do so. Human Resources will arrange a disciplinary hearing where it is deemed that the matter warrants such intervention.
  • Take prompt action to stop harassment, bullying or discrimination as it is identified.
  • Ensure as far as possible that offensive or potentially offensive material is not displayed in the workplace.
  • Establish and maintain an environment free from harassment, bullying and discrimination.
  • Ensure that all employment practices, facilities and services are inclusive, and positively promoting the principles of equality and diversity.
  • Ensure that all employees, non-GHG workers, contractors and customers are made aware of this policy by including the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Statement in Invitation to tender documents and other such relevant documents.

Management Guidance

Discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of their disability, sex or marital status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sexual orientation, trade union membership or non-membership, age or being a part time or fixed term worker, in relation to recruitment, training, promotion, benefits, terms and conditions of employment and dismissal.

Disability

It is unlawful to discriminate unjustifiably against an individual with a disability on the grounds of their disability in relation to recruitment, promotion, transfer, training, benefits, terms and conditions of employment (including the physical features of the premises within which they are expected to carry out their duties) and dismissal.

It is also unlawful to harass someone in employment on the basis of their disability. Harassment means any unwanted conduct, which is reasonably perceived by the disabled person to violate their dignity, or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them to work.

A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day to day activities.

The law states that less favourable treatment of disabled persons is justified if, and only if, the reason for it is both material to the circumstances of the particular case and substantial. In addition, employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments where any arrangements they make, place an individual with a disability at a substantial disadvantage to a person who is not disabled. Less favourable treatment of an individual with a disability cannot be justified in circumstances where the employer is under a duty to make a reasonable adjustment but fails to do so without justification.

Race

It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of a person’s colour, race, nationality, ethnic origins or national origins in relation to recruitment, training, benefits, terms and conditions of employment and dismissal. The race discrimination legislation applies to full-time and part-time employment. Race discrimination may be direct or indirect.

Direct discrimination is where on racial grounds a person is treated less favourably than other people would be. The test is whether the individual would have received the same treatment but for their race. It is indirect discrimination if a provision, criterion or practice is applied which puts persons of a different race or ethnic or national origin at a particular disadvantage and cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

You must also take steps to ensure that employees are not racially harassed. If an employee is racially harassed, the employee may resign and claim unfair constructive dismissal. In addition, such behaviour may result in a complaint of race discrimination.

Religion or Belief

Discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is where an individual is treated less favourably than others because of their religion or belief. The test is whether the individual would have received the same treatment but for their religion or belief.

It is indirect discrimination if a provision, criterion or practice is applied which puts persons of a particular religion or belief at a particular disadvantage, and cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

You must also take steps to ensure that individuals are not harassed or victimised on the grounds of their religion or belief. If an individual is harassed or victimised, they may resign and claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Sex

It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual, male or female, on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation or marital status in relation to recruitment, training, benefits, terms and conditions of employment and dismissal. The sex discrimination legislation applies to full-time and part-time employment. Sex discrimination may be direct or indirect.

It is direct discrimination if a female is treated less favourably than a male, or vice versa, or where a married person is treated less favourably than a single person. The test is whether the individual would have received the same treatment but for their sex, sexual orientation or marital status.

It is indirect discrimination if a provision, criterion or practice is applied which is applied equally to a man but which puts or would put women at a particular disadvantage when compared with men which cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Again, the same applies to a male comparing himself to a female.

You must also take steps to ensure that employees are not sexually harassed. If an employee is sexually harassed by the other sex, which can include unwanted physical advances, verbal abuse and non verbal gestures or looks which are intended to embarrass, humiliate or be intimidatory, the employee may resign and claim unfair constructive dismissal. In addition, such behaviour may result in a complaint of sex discrimination.

Age

It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of age, both on a direct and indirect basis, unless there is objective justification.

Direct age discrimination is where an individual is treated less favourably than others because of their age. The test is whether the individual would have received the same treatment but for their age, and there is no objective justification for doing so.

It is indirect age discrimination if a provision, criterion or practice is applied which puts or would put persons of a certain age group at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons and there is no objective justification for the provision, criterion or practice.

Objective justification relates to pursuing legitimate aims and proportionality, ensuring that the action of an employer is appropriate and necessary.

You must also take steps to ensure that individuals are not harassed or victimised on the grounds of their age. If an individual is harassed or victimised, they may resign and claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Part-Time Workers

The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 introduced new rights for part-time employees. The Regulations ensure that part-time employees are not treated less favourably in their contractual terms and conditions than comparable full-timers.

The Part-time Workers Regulations ensure that part-timers are not treated less favourably than comparable full-timers in their terms and conditions, unless it is objectively justified.

This means part-timers are entitled, for example, to:

  • the same hourly rate of pay,
  • the same access to company pension schemes,
  • the same entitlements to annual leave and maternity/parental leave on a pro rata basis,
  • the same entitlement to contractual sick pay, and
  • no less favourable treatment in access to training.

Fixed Team Workers

The Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 came into force on 1 October 2002.

The Regulations prevent fixed term employees being treated less favourably than similar permanent employees, and limit the use of successive fixed term contracts.

Vicarious Liability

The Company is liable for the acts of its employees carried out during the course of employment. This will apply whether as a Manager you approved of or encouraged the acts, and even if you had no knowledge that the acts were occurring.

The Company may be able to avoid liability if it can demonstrate that it took reasonable steps to prevent the acts, or acts of that description, from occurring. In order to make use of this defence, it is advisable that the following minimum steps are taken:

  • have in place and issue to all employees a statement on equal opportunities;
  • ensure that the content of the statement is fully explained to all employees, including existing and new workers; and
  • undertake equal opportunities/discrimination training with all managerial or supervisory staff who deal with recruitment, promotion, grievance and disciplinary matters.

Diversity

What is Diversity

People are not alike. Everyone is different. Diversity therefore consists of visible and non-visible factors, which include personal characteristics such as sex, race, age, background, culture, disability, personality and work-style. Harnessing these differences will create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, their talents are fully utilised and Company goals are met.

Diversity involves valuing everyone as an individual – valuing people as employees and service users.

But there is no single way of treating employees, as each one will have their own personal needs, values and beliefs.

Managing Diversity

Managing diversity is about ensuring that all employees have the opportunity to maximise their potential and enhance their self-development and their contribution to the Company.

It recognises that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and perceptions, which can make the way work is done more efficient and make products and services better. Managing diversity successfully will help the Company to nurture creativity and innovation and thereby tap hidden capacity for growth and improved competitiveness.

Managing diversity is not just about complying with the law but developing best practice. It involves a continuous process of development and not a one off initiative. The focus should be on fairness and inclusion ensuring that merit, competence and potential are the basis for all decisions about recruitment and development.

Managers should address work/life balance challenges in ways that take account of employee and Company needs and offer subtle choices and options.

It should be made clear to employees that everyone has personal responsibility to uphold the standards.

Diversity issues should be included in induction programmes so that all new employees know about the Company values and policies.

Any form of harassment or discriminatory behaviour must be reported to management ie discrimination to other employees, visitors and/or service users.

Management of diversity goes beyond equal opportunity. Instead of merely allowing a greater range of people the equality of opportunity diversity embodies the belief that people should be valued for their difference and variety. Equal opportunity focuses on disadvantaged groups, diversity is about individuality.

Responsibilities

The implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy and the provision of training will be the responsibility of all managers in relation to the services each provides. The identification and eradication of discriminatory behaviour either in the workplace or in service delivery is the responsibility of all employees.

In addition, it is the responsibility of individual employees to:

  • Provide equality of opportunity and access to all services and to avoid unlawful discrimination in employment or service provision.
  • Not to induce others to discriminate as employees or service providers.
  • Draw the attention of management to alleged discriminatory acts or practices.
  • Neither victimise nor attempt to victimise other employees or service users on the grounds that they have made complaints or provided information about discrimination or harassment.
  • Neither harasses abuse nor intimidate residents, employees or others. Where employees commit such actions, they will be liable to action under the Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure.

Implementation

In addition to working within the framework of the corporate Equality and Diversity Policy we will implement the following practical measures:

Recruitment

When advertising a position it is unlawful to indicate an intention to discriminate unlawfully, therefore, advertisements should ensure that advertisements do not exclude or reduce applications from a particular group.

It is unlawful for employers to give orders to employment agencies to discriminate.

Word of mouth recruitment should be eliminated as should the use of only internal advertisements as this may be seen to perpetuate the potential for discrimination.

Each individual should be assessed by his or her personal capability to carry out a given job and no assumptions should be made as to which sex is able to perform certain kinds of work. Avoid any reference to gender specific job roles e.g. Store man.

The disclosure by a job applicant of a criminal conviction will not necessarily exclude them from taking up a post. All disclosures of this nature will be considered according to its relevance to the Company and the nature of the position for which they are applying. Spent convictions will not be considered by the Company.

Any qualifications or requirements applicable to a job, which effectively inhibit application from one sex or a particular group, for example, should only be retained if they are necessary and justifiable in terms of the job to be done.

It is unlawful to put pressure on others to omit to refer for employment; it is also unlawful for others to publish an advertisement, which indicates an intention to discriminate unlawfully.

Short-listing of Candidates

A short-list should be drawn up on the basis of requirements for the position and should not show a bias towards or against any particular groups.

You should make sure that you make notes on how you made your selection.

A shortlist criteria must be drawn up to justify your selection for interview.

Applications and Interviewing

You must complete interview assessment forms showing why applicants were or were not successful. These must be completed allocating marks awarded under each category.

The interviewer should maintain notes and records of matters discussed. Questions for interview must be set for all candidates and only these used for all interviewed.

Do not ask any questions that may be construed as showing a bias against any particular or potential candidates.

If involved in the interviewing process you must be aware of stereotyping and avoid stereotypical assumptions.

Selection Tests and Criteria

Criteria and tests should be objective and related to requirements of the job.

Staff who short-list, interview and select should be clearly informed of the criteria and know how to interpret them consistently.

Any staff involved in the recruitment process will have received the appropriate Equal Opportunities training.

Promotions, Transfers and Training

Staff responsible for transfers and training are instructed to apply selection criteria without unlawful discrimination.

You must draw up specific criteria relating to the job to give you guidance in selection of the correct person in promotions.

You must follow the interview process and ensure you complete the interview assessment form for promotions.

You must ensure that any agreements or custom or practice regarding transfers must be amended if they are found to be discriminatory.

Contact the Human Resource department if you require further guidance.

Monitoring

You must ensure that all applicants are asked to complete a form denoting their sex, race, ethnic origin, age and any disabilities.

This form will be used solely for the purposes of monitoring the effectiveness of this policy.

This policy will be monitored and revised on a regular basis by the Human Resources department. Should any shortcomings in the Equality and Diversity Policy be revealed, specific action will be taken as and when necessary to make good any shortfall.

For further information contact us on:

Phone: 01442 898 900
Email: info@entechts.com