EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES & DIVERSITY POLICY STATEMENT

Policy statement
Mane Contract Services Ltd is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants. We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.

The Company aims to ensure that no employee or candidate is subject to unlawful discrimination, either directly or indirectly, on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, age, political beliefs, and membership or non-membership of a trade union (the protected characteristics).

The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.

All staff have a duty to act in accordance with this policy and treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, regardless of their status. Your attention is drawn to our separate Anti-Harassment and Bullying policy.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and may be amended at any time.


Who is covered by the policy?

This policy covers all individuals working at all levels and grades, including senior managers, officers, directors, employees, consultants, contractors, trainees, homeworkers, part-time and fixed-term employees, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency staff (collectively referred to as staff in this policy).


Who is responsible for this policy?

All managers must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example and ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy and promote our aims and objectives with regard to equal opportunities. Managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practice.

If you are involved in management or recruitment, or if you have any questions about the content or application of this policy, you should contact the HR Manager.


Scope and purpose of the policy

This policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with staff and to relations between staff
members at all levels. This includes job advertisements, recruitment and selection, training
and development, opportunities for promotion, conditions of service, pay and benefits,
conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

We will take appropriate steps to accommodate the requirements of different religions,
cultures, and domestic responsibilities.


Forms of discrimination

Discrimination by or against an employee is generally prohibited unless there is a specific
legal exemption. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or
unintentionally.

Direct discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favourably because of one or
more of the protected characteristics set out above. For example, rejecting an applicant on
the grounds of their race because they would not "fit in" would be direct discrimination.

Indirect discrimination occurs where someone is disadvantaged by an unjustified provision,
criterion or practice that also puts other people with the same protected characteristic at a
particular disadvantage. For example, a requirement that applicants for a job must be clean
shaven puts members of some religious groups at a disadvantage. Such a requirement will
need to be objectively justified.

Harassment related to any protected characteristics is prohibited. Harassment is unwanted
conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity, or creating an
intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment
is dealt with further in our Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy.

Victimisation is also prohibited. This is less favourable treatment of someone who has
complained or given information about discrimination or harassment, or supported
someone else's complaint.


Recruitment and selection

We aim to ensure that no job applicant suffers discrimination because of any of the
protected characteristics above. Our recruitment procedures are reviewed regularly to
ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Job
selection criteria are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are relevant to the job and are
not disproportionate.

Job advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage
particular groups from applying. They should include an appropriate short policy statement
on equal opportunities and a copy of this policy shall be sent on request to those who
enquire about vacancies.

We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market and,
where relevant, to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or
underrepresented in our organisation. Where appropriate, use may be made of lawful
exemptions to recruit suitably-qualified people to cater for the special needs of particular
groups.

Applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There
are limited exceptions which should only be used with Human Resources approval. For
example:

  • Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments).
  • Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.
  • Positive action to recruit disabled persons.
  • Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the decision-making process).

Applicants should not be asked about past or current pregnancy or future intentions related
to pregnancy. Applicants should not be asked about matters concerning age, race, religion
or belief, sexual orientation, or gender reassignment without the approval of Human
Resources (who should first consider whether such matters are relevant and may lawfully be
taken into account).

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK.
Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or
apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to
produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy
current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from Human
Resources or the UK Border Agency.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in our organisation, we monitor applicants' ethnic group,
gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age as part of the recruitment procedure.
Provision of this information is voluntary and it will not adversely affect an individual's
chances of recruitment or any other decision related to their employment. The information
is removed from applications before shortlisting, and kept in an anonymised format solely
for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to
avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.


Staff training and promotion and conditions of service

Staff training needs will be identified through regular staff appraisals. All staff will be given
appropriate access to training to enable them to progress within the organisation and all
promotion decisions will be made on the basis of merit.
Workforce composition and promotions will be regularly monitored to ensure equality of
opportunity at all levels of the organisation. Where appropriate, steps will be taken to
identify and remove unjustified barriers and to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or
underrepresented groups.

Our conditions of service, benefits and facilities are reviewed regularly to ensure that they
are available to all staff who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful
obstacles to accessing them.


Termination of employment

We will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not
directly or indirectly discriminatory.

We will also ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without
discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary
action.


Disability discrimination

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so
that we can support you as appropriate.

If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact
your Human Resources Department to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help
overcome or minimise the difficulty. The Human Resources Department may wish to
consult with you and your medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments. We will consider
the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider a
particular adjustment would not be reasonable we will explain our reasons and try to find
an alternative solution where possible.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they place
disabled workers, job applicants or service users at a substantial disadvantage compared to
other staff. Where reasonable, we will take steps to improve access for disabled staff and
service users.


Fixed-term employees and agency workers

We monitor our use of fixed-term employees and agency workers, and their conditions of
service, to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits, training,
promotion and permanent employment opportunities. We will, where relevant, monitor
their progress to ensure that they are accessing permanent vacancies.


Part-time work

We monitor the conditions of service of part-time employees and their progression to
ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits and training and
promotion opportunities. We will ensure requests to alter working hours are dealt with
appropriately.


Breaches of this policy

If you believe that you may have been discriminated against you are encouraged to raise the
matter through our Grievance Procedure. If you believe that you may have been subject to
harassment you are encouraged to raise the matter through our Anti-Bullying & Harassment
Policy. If you are uncertain which applies or need advice on how to proceed you should
speak to the HR Manager.

Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and
investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure. Staff who make such allegations in
good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations
which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under our
Disciplinary Procedure.

Any member of staff who is found to have committed an act of discrimination or
harassment will be subject to disciplinary action. Such behaviour may constitute gross
misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. We take a strict approach to
serious breaches of this policy.


Monitoring and review of the policy

Equal Opportunities practice is developing constantly as social attitudes and legislation
change. The Company will keep its policies under review and will implement changes where
these could improve equality of opportunity. This commitment applies to all the Company’s
employment policies and procedures, not just those specifically connected with Equal
Opportunities and Diversity.