Equality and Diversity Policy

The Company believes that our success is a direct result of the experience and quality of our employees. We are, therefore, committed to focusing our employment procedures and practices on maximising the potential of each unique individual. We believe this is best achieved by developing our employees’ talents, whilst recognising their differences.

By treating people fairly and equally and by accepting and embracing their diversity, we can also improve our market competitiveness, foster innovation, enhance our corporate social responsibility and create an inclusive and positive working environment for all employees.

It is the policy of the company that no person acting on our behalf shall discriminate in any situation against another individual or group, directly or indirectly, because of age, sex, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation.

The Company also endorses the principle that the workforce at each location should reflect, as far as is reasonably possible, the community within which it operates.

These principles apply to recruitment selection, training, promotion, transfer, pay and benefits and performance appraisal procedures, in addition to all terms and conditions of employment.
Scope

This Policy covers all our employees, regardless of position or status, and to contractors and subcontractors.
Aims:

  • To ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community
  • To offer fair treatment in every aspect of working life in the company, from our written procedures through to every decision made
  • To promote a culture where each employee and colleague is treated with respect and dignity and recognises the value that a diverse workforce can bring

To achieve these aims, the company commits to the following:

  • Ensure that the principles of this Policy are embedded in HR strategy and all policies and procedures are regularly monitored and reviewed
  • Provide awareness training and guidance to all employees and managers to ensure our commitment to diversity is known and understood. This will be achieved mainly through Diversity Awareness Training, e-Induction, Managers’ Guide Training, our Employee Handbook and Company Connections
  • Monitor and measure diversity at every stage of employment to remove any direct or indirect associative and perceptive discrimination
  • Challenge and investigate discriminatory behaviour and enforce the disciplinary procedure, when this is considered necessary
  • Support the Diversity Champions in promoting equality and diversity across the Company
  • Communicate and regularly review the positive initiatives that have been implemented and ensure ever-wider access to them
  • Support the communities in which we live and work to ensure that we are involved, accessible and socially responsible
  • Work with external groups and advisory bodies to keep up to date with market practice and how issues are dealt with.
    Recruitment

The Companies recruitment and selection procedure is based solely on the necessary and justifiable job requirements and the individual’s suitability.

Job profiles and person specifications are drawn up for every post to be filled. Where posts are advertised externally, consideration is given to the most appropriate outlets to ensure that a wide range of potentially suitable applicants have the opportunity to apply.
Selection methods, including interviews, are conducted in accordance with documented and standardised procedures and checklists, designed to ensure that discrimination forms no part of the recruitment process. The objective is to make each appointment on the grounds of selecting the most suitable candidate for the post.

Training and Development
Through its performance management procedure, we ensure that all staff are given an opportunity to take part in both job specific training and have an individual Performance Plan designed to promote their opportunities and career advancement within the Company. The appraisal process is carried out in accordance with clear and laid down criteria to ensure that its application is free from discrimination at every stage.

Selection Processes for Promotion
Whenever undertaking processes to select between groups of staff, for instance for promotion or in redundancy situations, the company undertakes to ensure that a fair and consistent procedure is applied and that the selection criteria applied are free of discrimination and based on objective assessments of competence. Promotion opportunities are available to all of our employees on an equal basis.

Flexible Working
The Company recognises the benefits of flexibility in working arrangements. Furthermore, we recognise the rights of all employees working under such arrangements to be treated fairly and consistently in comparison to fulltime, permanent employees and to be given the same opportunities for development.

The treatment of pay and benefits for employees on flexible working arrangements is consistent with full time entitlements, wherever possible, these are provided on a pro rata basis.

Disability & Special Needs
When a disabled person or anyone with special needs applies for a job, we always consider application based on relevant skills, experience and knowledge. If you are disabled or have special needs, we will do our best to adapt the job and the workplace to meet the needs of individuals.

Pay Awards
The Company’s arrangements for determining employees’ salaries are based on the principle of rewarding individual merit and of providing equality of pay and reward for all employees.

We operate a variety of pay review mechanisms, many of which incorporate union involvement and/or participation of staff consultative forums, and these arrangements are designed to ensure that pay awards are based on objective criteria, free from discrimination and have due regard to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.

Grievance and Harassment
While it is hoped and intended that most problems relating to employment in the company can be resolved on an informal basis, the Grievance Procedure exists so that causes of genuine concern can be dealt with equitably.
Any employee who believes he/she has been discriminated against should raise the matter under the Grievance Procedure, or where appropriate, the Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy, or by using the Open Door Policy (where any employee can discuss any matter with her/his manager or another manager or any Director, in complete confidence).

By having clear and well-publicised grievance and harassment procedures in place, we ensure that every opportunity is given to address any area or situation where discrimination is perceived to have arisen.

Disciplinary Procedure
The Company takes a serious view of any and all discrimination and breaches of this Policy are deemed as misconduct. Any such actions will be investigated as possible disciplinary offences and dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

All staff have a shared responsibility to ensure that the Equality and Diversity Policy is adhered to and to promote dignity and equality of opportunity and outcome at work.

Responsibilities
Whilst we all have a collective responsibility to ensure this Policy is successfully adopted, there are specific responsibilities within this:

The Management Team
The Management Team fully endorses this Policy and holds ultimate responsibility for reviewing and achieving its aims. The Management Team recognises its role in being responsible and accountable for the development of diversity awareness in the company and, as such, will lead by example.

Managers
All managers are responsible for implementing and enforcing this Policy and ensuring that their teams and employees are aware of their responsibilities. Managers should promote, respect and encourage each employee to reach their full potential and deal appropriately with any breach of this Policy.

Managers will ensure all employees are trained and made aware of their responsibilities under this Policy, through Diversity Awareness Training, e-induction, Managers’ Guide Training, our Employee Handbook and Company Connections.
Employees
All employees of the company, at every level, have an individual responsibility for ensuring equality of opportunity and adherence to this Policy.

This can be achieved by respecting the right to work in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination, exhibiting the correct behaviours and challenging colleagues who fall short of these expectations.

Human Resources
This Policy is owned by the Management Team, who are responsible for its effective implementation and regular review. The Management Team will continuously review all related policies, monitor employment practices and provide relevant advice and support to managers in championing diversity across the Company.

Monitoring
We continuously review this Policy, together with all of our employment policies and practices to maintain our focus on equality of opportunity.

To ensure that this Policy and other procedures are operating effectively, the Management Team will continue to monitor and measure the records of our employees, benchmark our performance as a Company and ensure that any patterns or trends are identified and resolved.

To achieve the aims and commitments of this Policy, the Management Team will ensure that further regular monitoring will take place. This will be in the form of:

  • Quarterly statistics, broken down into diversity categories, to be reviewed by the Management Team. Where necessary, targets and performance management objectives will be set for specific areas in need of improvement, along with the necessary support and training.
  • Management Team monitoring of our central employee database, to ensure the application and effectiveness of this Policy.
  • Raising any issues or trends regarding diversity with the Managers.