Equality, diversity and inclusion policy
We are committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination.
- Equality is about equal opportunities and protecting people from being discriminated against (see our Equal opportunity and discrimination policy).
- Diversity is about recognising respecting and valuing differences in people.
- Inclusion refers to an individual’s experience within the workplace and in a wider society, and the extent to which they feel valued and included.
The aim is for our workforce to be representative of society and our customers, and for everyone to feel respected and able to give their best. We are also committed against unlawful discrimination of customers, suppliers or the public.
The purpose of our policy
The policy’s purpose is to:
- provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time
- not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
- oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities
We commit to:
- Ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion being at the heart of our culture and wellbeing focus.
- Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense.
- Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all colleagues are recognised and valued.
This commitment includes training managers and all other colleagues about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include colleagues conducting themselves to help us provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.
All colleagues should understand they, as well as us, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow colleagues, customers, suppliers and the public.
We will take seriously all complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow colleagues, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of our work activities. Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under our grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.
We will improve by
- Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all colleagues, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
- Decisions concerning colleagues being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
- Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
- Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.
Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and our supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
The equality, diversity and inclusion policy is fully supported by our senior management.