Statement of policy and purpose of policy
1. CRA GROUP LIMITED (the Employer) is committed to equal opportunities for all staff and applicants.
2. It is our policy that all employment decisions are based on merit and the legitimate business needs of the organisation. The Employer does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour or nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, disability, religion or belief, age or any other ground on which it is or becomes unlawful to discriminate under the laws of England and Wales (referred to as Protected Characteristics).
3. Our intention is to enable all our staff to work in an environment which allows them to fulfil their potential without fear of discrimination, harassment or victimisation. The Employer's commitment to equal opportunities extends to all aspects of the working relationship including:
4. This policy is intended to help the Employer achieve its diversity and anti-discrimination aims by clarifying the responsibilities and duties of all staff in respect of equal opportunities and discrimination. The Employer will promote effective communication and consultation between the Employer and staff concerning equal opportunities by means it considers appropriate.
5. The principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.
6. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. This policy may be amended at any time by the Employer, in its absolute discretion.
Who is responsible for equal opportunities?
7. Achieving an equal opportunities workplace is a collective task shared between the Employer and all its staff. This policy and the rules contained in it therefore apply to all staff of the Employer irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all employees, directors and officers, consultants and contractors, casual or agency staff, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers or interns (referred to as Staff).
8. The board of directors of the Employer has overall responsibility for this policy and for equal opportunities and discrimination law compliance in the workplace and the Recruitment Manager has been appointed as the person with day-to-day operational responsibility for these matters.
9. All Staff have personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, to treat colleagues with dignity at all times and not to discriminate against or harass other members of Staff, visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members. In addition, Staff who take part in management, recruitment, selection, promotion, training and other aspects of career development (referred to as Managers) have special responsibility for leading by example and ensuring compliance.
10. Managers must take all necessary steps to:
What is discrimination?
11. Discrimination occurs in different ways, some more obvious than others. Discrimination on the grounds of any of the Protected Characteristics is prohibited by law, even if unintentional, unless a particular exception applies.
12. Direct Discrimination is less favourable treatment because of one of the Protected Characteristics. Examples would include refusing a woman a job as a chauffeur because you believe that women are not good drivers or restricting recruitment to persons under 40 because you want to have a young and dynamic workforce.
13. Direct discrimination can arise in some cases even though the person complaining does not actually possess the Protected Characteristic but is perceived to have it or associates with other people who do. For example, when a person is less favourably treated because they are (wrongly) believed to be homosexual or because they have a spouse who is Muslim
14. Indirect discrimination arises when an employer applies an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice which in fact puts individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic at a disadvantage, statistically and this is unjustified. To show discrimination the individual complaining also has to be personally disadvantaged. An example would be a requirement for job candidates to have ten years' experience in a particular role, since this will be harder for young people to satisfy. This kind of discrimination is unlawful unless it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
15. Victimisation means treating a person less favourably because they have made a complaint of discrimination or have provided information in connection with a complaint or because they might do one of these things.
16. Harassment is:
17. Harassment can arise in some cases even though the person complaining does not actually possess a Protected Characteristic but is perceived to have it (for example, when a person is harassed because they are (wrongly) believed to be homosexual) or associates with other people who possess a Protected Characteristic (for example, because they have a spouse who is Muslim).
18. Harassment may include:
19. Other important points to note about harassment:
20. This could be direct or indirect discrimination, and is any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
21. Any Staff member who considers that they may have a disability is strongly encouraged to speak with the Recruitment Manager, particularly if they experience difficulties at work because of their disability so that any reasonable adjustments to help overcome or minimise difficulties can be discussed. For these purposes, disability includes any physical or mental impairment which substantially affects your ability to perform day to day activities and has lasted (or is likely to last) more than 12 months. Disclosure of this information will be treated in confidence, if you wish it to be, so far as is reasonably practicable and we will do our best to handle matters sensitively and to ensure that you are treated with dignity and with respect for your privacy.
22. We will consult with you about whether adjustments are needed to avoid you being disadvantaged and may ask you to see a doctor appointed by us, to advise on this. We will seek to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider a particular adjustment unreasonable we will explain why and try to find an alternative solution.
23. Managers with responsibility for managing a member of Staff who they know or think to be disabled should speak to the Recruitment Manager to ensure that all relevant duties are complied with.
Making employment decisions fairly
24. As noted above, the Employer will recruit employees and make other employment decisions concerning promotion, training, dismissal and related issues. on the basis of objective criteria.
25. Managers should only stipulate criteria or conditions for employment decisions (including job selection, promotion and redundancy) which are based on a legitimate business need and which do not go further than is needed to satisfy that need. If you are in any doubt about whether particular criteria or conditions are indirectly discriminatory or justifiable, then please speak to the Recruitment Manager.
26. Managers involved in recruitment must:
27. The Employer is legally required to verify that all employees have the right to work in the UK. Prior to starting employment, all employees must produce original documents to the Employer's satisfaction, irrespective of nationality. Information about the documents required is available from the Relationship Manager.
28. The Employer monitors applicants'
as part of our recruitment process. We do this to assess the effectiveness of our measures to promote equal opportunities and to help us identify and take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination, under-representation and potential disadvantage and improve diversity. Provision of this information is voluntary and the information is kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated here. The information will not be used as part of any decision-making process relating to the recruitment or employment of the person providing the information. Our recruitment policies must be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure people are being treated fairly and according to ability and merit.
Staff training, career development and promotion
29. Training needs may be identified during the normal appraisal process. Appropriate training to facilitate progression will be accessible to all staff.
30. All promotion decisions will be made on the basis of merit and according to proportionate criteria determined by legitimate business need.
31. Staff diversity at different levels of the organisation will be kept under review to ensure equality of opportunity. Where unjustified barriers to progression are identified, these will be removed.
Conditions of service
32. Access to benefits and facilities and terms of employment will be kept under review to ensure that they are appropriately structured and that no unlawful barriers to qualification or access exist.
Discipline and termination of employment
33. Any redundancy selection criteria and procedures that are used, or other decisions taken to terminate employment, will be fair and not directly or indirectly discriminatory.
34. Disciplinary procedures and penalties will be applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.
Discipline and termination of employment
35. Part-time and fixed-term staff will be treated the same as full-time or permanent staff of the same position and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (pro-rata, where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.
What to do if you encounter discrimination
36. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination, you should follow the Employer's Grievance Procedure.
37. Every member of Staff has a responsibility to combat discrimination if they encounter it. Staff who observe or are aware of acts that they believe amount to discrimination directed at others are encouraged to report these to the Recruitment Manager.
38. Any grievance or report raised about discrimination will be kept confidential so far as this is practicable. We may ask you if you wish your complaint(s) to be put to the alleged discriminator if disciplinary action appears to be appropriate. It sometimes may be necessary to disclose the complaint or take action even if this is not in line with your wishes, but we will seek to protect you from victimisation and, if you wish, we will seek to protect your identity. You should be aware that disciplinary action may be impossible without your co-operation or if you refuse to allow relevant information to be disclosed.
39. Staff who raise a complaint about or report discrimination in good faith will be protected from retaliation or victimisation. As long as you act in good faith, the fact that you have raised a complaint or report will not affect your position within the Employer, even if the complaint is not upheld. Making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith is a misconduct offence and will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary policy. Any member of Staff who attempts acts of retaliation or victimisation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
40. If you make a complaint, it may be necessary to ask you to stay at home on paid leave while investigations are being conducted and the matter is being dealt with through the appropriate procedure. This may particularly be necessary in cases of alleged harassment.
Non-compliance with equal opportunities rules
41. Any breach of equal opportunities rules or failure to comply with this policy will be taken very seriously and is likely to result in disciplinary action against the offender, up to and including immediate dismissal.
42. Staff should also note that:
Review of this policy
43. The board of directors of the Employer will keep this policy under review.
44. The Employer encourages Staff to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved or ask any questions if they are unsure about any part of this policy or how it is applied by contacting the Recruitment Manager.