The purpose of this policy is to state clearly SRP’s belief in equality for all, and to explain the duties of the organisation and its employees in ensuring that this is achieved.
No employee will be discriminated against on the grounds of his/her gender, marital status, race, colour, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, transgender status, religion, belief or age. In addition, employees who are working part-time or on fixed term contracts will not be discriminated against. Employees will not be discriminated against because they are, or are not a member of a trade union. This policy applies to all aspects of SRP’s 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.
Not only will SRP not tolerate any discrimination against employees, we will also not tolerate discrimination in relation to potential employees, customers, suppliers, visitors or any other individuals with which this organisation interacts.
Our aim is to ensure that all employees have an equal opportunity to contribute to the organisation, to progress and to be heard within SRP – regardless of any factor that might give rise to discrimination.
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 to work full time may put women at a particular disadvantage as they may have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement will need to be objectively justified.
Harassment related to any of the 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. SRP will not tolerate harassment of any sort. It is important that all employees are aware of how their behaviour might be interpreted. While SRP wants to ensure that all employees enjoy their time at work, employees should be sensitive to the way that any jokes, or other behaviour might be interpreted by others. Harassment is a disciplinary offence, and penalties might include dismissal for gross misconduct.
Victimisation is also prohibited. For example less favourable treatment of someone who has complained or given information about discrimination or harassment, or supported someone else’s complaint.
Recruitment and Selection
SRP aims to ensure that no job applicant suffers discrimination because of any of the protected characteristics above. SRP’s 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. Shortlisting of applicants should be done by more than one person wherever possible.
Job advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage groups with a particular protected characteristic from applying.
SRP takes steps to ensure that vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market.
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).
SRP is 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 the UK Border Agency.
If an employee is disabled or becomes disabled, SRP encourages the employee to disclose their condition so that the company can support the employee as appropriate.
If an employee experiences difficulties at work because of a disability, they may wish to meet the Practice Manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty.
Consultation with the employee and their medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments may be needed. SRP will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate the employee’s needs within reason. If SRP considers a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, it will explain its reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.
SRP 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, SRP will take steps to improve access for disabled staff and service users.
Fixed-Term Employees and Agency Workers
SRP monitors its 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. SRP will, where relevant, monitor their progress to ensure that they are accessing permanent vacancies.
SRP monitors 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. SRP will ensure requests to alter working hours are dealt with appropriately.
Clients, Suppliers and Local Community
SRP applies the same principles to supplies, clients and the local community. It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure that clients and suppliers are properly treated and that there is no unlawful discrimination against them based on gender, marital status, race, religion, age, sexuality, disability etc.
These principles are essential and the Company will ensure that they to all its dealings. Similarly, our employees are entitled not to be subjected to any detrimental treatment from clients or suppliers and if any problems occur in that area, the Director must be informed immediately.
If an employee considers that they have been discriminated against they should raise the issue with the Practice Manager.
If it would be inappropriate to raise the issue with the Practice Manager the employee should discuss the issue with another senior member of staff. It might be appropriate to raise a complaint in accordance with SRP’s grievance procedure.
SRP will investigate all complaints relating to discrimination and harassment. Once the investigation has taken place, a senior member of staff will meet with the employee who has raised the complaint to discuss the issue in more detail. At the conclusion of that meeting the manager will explain to the employee what action, will be taken.
If the employee is not satisfied with the response to the complaint s/he can appeal against the decision and the complaint will then be reviewed by another senior manager. Again, senior management will investigate the situation and then meet with the employee to discuss the issue in more detail. At the conclusion of that meeting the manager will explain to the employee what action, will be taken.
Confidentiality is an important part of the procedures provided under this policy. Every employee involved in the operation of the policy, whether making a complaint or involved in any investigation, is responsible for observing the high level of confidentiality that is required. Breach of confidentiality may give rise to disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.
The Line Manager investigating any complaints of harassment or discrimination will carry these out with sensitivity. Wherever possible, the matter will remain confidential. Where it is impossible to investigate the matter thoroughly without making people aware of the complaint the employee will be told who needs to know about the complaint and why. If the employee has any concerns about this aspect of the investigation these should be discussed with the manager investigating the complaint.
SRP will monitor data relating to equal opportunities. SRP will use this information to try to ensure equality, and to identify any actions that need to be taken to improve current practices.
All managers will be required to attend training relating to equal opportunities. No employee should be involved in recruitment interviewing until the appropriate training has been attended.
Steve Ritchie Partnership 2021