Diversity and Inclusion Policy
Last Updated 1 Feb 2019 in Wellbeing
Equality is one of our co-operative DOES Values and as such we take being inclusive very seriously. This policy outlines how we treat our stakeholders and what is expected of our colleagues.
Key points covered:
- Our commitment to diversity
- Our approach to bullying and harassment
1. Equal Opportunities Statement
The Society is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. You and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics).
2. About This Policy
2.1 This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.
2.2 The Society is committed to treating all colleagues with dignity and respect. This policy helps ensure the Society has a working environment that is inclusive for individuals with any Protected Characteristics, whether those individuals are colleagues, members, customers, visitors, suppliers, contractors, or in the communities we serve.
2.3 The Society defines diversity and inclusion as follows:
(a) Diversity is understanding, accepting, respecting and valuing differences between people.
(b) Inclusion is empowering colleagues and offering opportunities for all to reach their potential.
2.4 As a Society colleague, you can expect to:
(a) Be treated with respect and dignity in a fair and consistent way in an environment where behaviour is inclusive and inappropriate behaviour is not accepted.
(b) Access learning and development opportunities that are appropriate to your development.
(c) Be treated fairly and without bias in recruitment, secondment, promotion and progression.
(d) Have a fair and relevant review of performance, allowing you to assess your knowledge, skills and behaviours in relation to what is expected of a Society colleague.
2.5 This policy does not form part of any colleague's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
3. Who is responsible for this policy?
All colleagues are responsible for:
• Reading and understanding this policy and the Respect in the Workplace Policy . Acting in accordance with the policies and the Society’s wider commitment to diversity and inclusion at all times
• Working in partnership with managers to create an inclusive working environment in which differences are respected and valued.
• Ensuring that they treat others with respect. That language, behaviour and actions are aligned to this policy and the Society’s DOES values. At all times being mindful how their actions may be perceived and being alert to the sensitivities of other individuals.
• Reporting behaviours of others that are in breach of this policy or are contrary to the Society’s DOES values.
In addition, all managers are responsible for:
• Setting appropriate standards of behaviour, lead by example and ensure that those they manage adhere to this policy and the Society’s DOES values.
• Working alongside colleagues to create and sustain an inclusive environment where differences are respected and valued.
• Ensuring that decisions affecting employment, training, promotion and career development are fair, objective and free from discrimination.
• Investigating and addressing inappropriate behaviour where it is seen and/or reported to them by others.
4.1 You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former colleagues, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers or other work-related contacts or when wearing a work uniform), on social networks (see Use of Social Networks Policy), and on work-related trips or events including social events.
4.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
(a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.
(b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified.
(c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which 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 Respect in the Workplace Policy.
(d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else's complaint about discrimination or harassment.
(e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, 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.
5. Recruitment and Selection
5.1 Recruitment, promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person if possible.
5.2 Vacancies should generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.
5.3 Job applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.
5.4 Job applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law: for example, to check that the applicant could perform an intrinsic part of the job (taking account of any reasonable adjustments), or to see if any adjustments might be needed at interview because of a disability. Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check. Health or disability questions may be included in equal opportunities monitoring forms, which must not be used for selection or decision-making purposes.
If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate.
7. Breaches of This Policy
7.1 We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.
7.2 If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure, HR Advice Line or Speaking in Confidence. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
7.3 You must not be victimised or retaliated against for complaining about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.
8. Additional Support
8.1 If you require any additional support, you can speak to your Line Manager, PSG or you can independently contact the Employee Assistance Programme below.
8.2 Employee Assistance Programme
The Society have funded a FREE confidential helpline service for colleagues to talk to professionals on work or home related issues. All calls are treated in the strictest confidence and the Society does not have access to any information that you discuss with the service provider.
CALL 0800 073 1171 - A legal advice help line, managed by a team of qualified lawyers who can advise you and give you information on any legal issue, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Diversity & Inclusion Policy
Date of last review: