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Equality & Diversity Policy

Policy Statement

RESOLVE is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all of its practices and activities and aims to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based upon the values of dignity, courtesy and respect. The business will support and develop the staff and student populations through providing all with access to facilities, personal and career development opportunities, employment and study on the basis of equality.

Under the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics are the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful. The protected characteristics (section 4) under the Act are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation.

RESOLVE is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation and to fostering good relations between different groups.

This commitment supports the organisational principles of the business and upholds the ethos of establishing a culture based on dignity, courtesy and respect.

This policy builds upon the foundation of equality legislation and anti-discrimination guidance and strives, not only to comply with legal requirements, but to use these to ensure that RESOLVE endeavours to exemplify best practice.

RESOLVE values diversity and recognises that the business is greatly enhanced by the disparate range of backgrounds, experiences, views, beliefs and cultures represented within its staff and learner populations. The institution aims to embrace diversity in all of its activities and proudly acknowledges that variety and difference are intrinsic to the wellbeing and future development of the business.

The Equality and Diversity policy underpins the Mission of RESOLVE and is integral to the success of the business as a world-class training provider and an employer of choice.

This is an over-arching policy designed to outline the fundamental principles of RESOLVE’s commitment to equality and diversity and will be supported by specific equality policies and action plans.

The policy applies to all learners and applicants, to all applicants for posts with RESOLVE, to all staff employed on a full time or part-time basis, to all staff on permanent or temporary contracts, to agency staff, to honorary title/contract holders and visitors undertaking duties in the name of RESOLVE and to sub-contractors undertaking work on all providers premises.

Legislative Background

Under Equality legislation it is unlawful to:

  • Discriminate directly against anyone and treat him/her less favourably than others on the grounds of the protected characteristics of: age (unless this can be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim), disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation. This also includes discrimination based on perception of the person e.g. a belief that someone is gay or a belief that someone is disabled even if this is not actually true.
  • Discriminate against someone for reasons relating to their association with a person on the grounds of the protected characteristics of race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, disability, gender reassignment, sex and e.g. discriminating against an employee/learner because they have a disabled dependant.
  • Discriminate indirectly against anyone by applying a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people with a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation) unless the person applying the provision can justify it as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
  • Subject someone to harassment for reasons relating to age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation. This includes behaviour that an individual finds offensive on these grounds even if the behaviour is not directed at the individual. It also includes failure of an employer to take reasonable steps to protect an employee from persistent (3 occasions or more) third party harassment.
  • Victimise someone because s/he has made, or intends to make, a complaint or allegation or has given or intends to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination in line with the Equality Act.

Objectives:

The aim of this policy is to ensure that in carrying out its activities RESOLVE will have due regard to:

  • Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
  • Advancing equality of opportunity, across all the activities of the business between different groups.
  • Fostering good relations between people of a diverse background.

In the implementation of this policy RESOLVE will aim:

  • To develop and promote a culture of equality and diversity throughout the business and its practices.
  • To develop and promote a culture of dignity, courtesy and respect.
  • To support all staff and learners – on their business premises or ours, including provision of relevant support relating to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation.
  • To work to prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination.
  • To deal with all forms of discrimination consistently and effectively.
  • To ensure that the Equality and Diversity policy influences and informs the culture of RESOLVE.

Definitions:

Equal opportunities refers to the elimination of unlawful and unfair direct and indirect discrimination of particular groups and promoting equal access, treatment and outcomes that take into account specific needs of individuals.

Diversity - Diversity encompasses visible and non-visible individual differences that includes, but is not limited to, differences protected by anti-discrimination legislation. Appreciating diversity is about valuing differences and recognising that everyone through their unique mixture of skills and experience has their own valuable contribution to make.

It is the aim of RESOLVE that individuals and groups within the business are not only treated on the basis of equality, but that their diverse contributions to the cultural and business life of the organisation are recognised and developed.

Roles and Responsibilities:

It is incumbent upon all members of staff within RESOLVE to behave with dignity, courtesy and respect and to act in a manner that does not unlawfully discriminate at all times. This extends to work carried out on our client’s premises.

Role of Staff

  • Actively to encourage non-discriminatory practices and to report any incidences of behaviour that fail to comply with this policy.
  • To support the aims of the Equality and Diversity policy.
  • To undertake appropriate equality and diversity training.

Role of Learners

  • Actively to encourage non-discriminatory practices and to report any incidences of behaviour that fail to comply with this policy.
  • To support the aims of RESOLVE’s Equality and Diversity policy alongside (or where one is missing) instead of that of their employer.
  • To be aware of equality and diversity issues.

Role of Heads of department

  • To ensure that all members of staff within each relevant business area receive the appropriate equality and diversity training.
  • To investigate all matters of alleged discrimination, harassment and inappropriate behaviour promptly and thoroughly and report any instances to the Quality Manager immediately.
  • To ensure that selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes, staff development opportunities and disciplinary and grievance processes are fairly and consistently applied to all staff.
  • To treat all applications for flexible practices on a fair and equitable basis and to provide reasonable and objective reasons when such requests must be refused.
  • To ensure that selection and admissions procedures, assessment processes, career development opportunities and disciplinary and complaints procedures are fairly and consistently applied to all learners in accordance with safeguarding policies.
  • To ensure that equality and diversity issues are considered as part of the business annual planning processes.
  • To ensure that they work to promote equality and diversity as an integral part of the services they and their teams provide and the policies and procedures they both develop and apply.
  • To report any instances in breach of this policy by any staff member (on ours or a client’s premises) to the Quality Manager immediately in order for them to be recorded, investigated and/or resolved.

Role of the Quality Manager

  • To ensure appropriate equality and diversity awareness and training is provided for all staff.
  • To support Heads of Department in implementing the policy.
  • To ensure that recruitment advertising, selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes and disciplinary grievance processes are fair and transparent and are consistently applied.
  • To monitor employment equality data and to publish the findings of monitoring activity, as appropriate.
  • To advise Board on legal compliance and best practice in all matters relating to equality and diversity.
  • To devise and recommend policies, procedures and action plans to ensure that all legislative requirements are met and best practice adopted.
  • To collect and review data relevant to diversity and equality matters relating to learners or employees on a regular basis and recommend changes to policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • To advise on the provision of appropriate training and awareness-raising in relation to all equal opportunities and diversity matters.

Role of the CEO

  • To provide leadership in the operation and implementation of the Equality and Diversity policy.
  • To control the financial and budgetary resources required to implement this policy.
  • To integrate equality and diversity considerations into corporate planning.

Role of Annual planning Managers meeting

  • To encourage, foster and promote a culture of equality and diversity in the business.
  • To ensure consistency of this policy with other policies and initiatives, making recommendations and providing advice on implementation of the policy
  • To control the financial and budgetary resources required to implement this policy.
  • To integrate equality and diversity considerations into corporate planning.

Application of the Policy: Staff

Recruitment and Selection

  • Recruitment advertising will encourage applications from all sectors of the community reflecting the Businesses commitment to equality and diversity.
  • Recruitment advertising will appear in publications appropriate to the audience capable of producing the best candidates (subject to budget considerations).
  • Job descriptions, person specifications and recruitment advertisements will be written on the basis of the essential and justifiable requirements of the position.
  • Short listing, appointment and rejection decisions will be transparent and justifiable and will be supported by written comments.
  • The policy will be promoted through the induction process

Grading and Promotion

All grading and promotions criteria and procedures will be free from prejudice and must be applied equitably and consistently.

Staff Development

All staff will have equal access to induction, personal and career development opportunities and facilities.

Performance Management

Probation and appraisal procedures will be clear and transparent and will be applied fairly across all staff.

Discipline and Grievance

Disciplinary and grievance procedures will be applied fairly and transparently for all staff.

Allegations of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedures for staff.

Applications of the Policy: Learners

Recruitment, Selection and Admission

  • All information contained in prospectuses, websites and other material used in the recruitment of learners should promote equality of opportunity and make reference to this policy.
  • All staff involved in the recruitment, selection and admission of learners will have an awareness of equality and diversity.
  • The policy will be promoted through the induction process.

Assessments

There will be clear, consistent and transparent criteria for learner assessments and all assessments will take place on an equal opportunities basis.

Career Planning and Participation

Where required learners will have access to career planning support and will be encouraged to participate fully in the business, cultural and social life of their working environment.

Discipline and learner Complaints

  • Discipline and learner complaints procedures will be applied fairly and transparently for all learners;
  • Allegations of harassment or discrimination will be dealt with under RESOLVE Disciplinary Code.

Training

Equality and diversity awareness-raising and training will be mandatory for all staff at induction. Information will be offered to all learners at enrolment in order to raise awareness of equality and diversity and the contents of this policy.

Communication

This policy will be held at our head office – available on our website and also be available in printed form on request and, if requested, will be made available in different formats (for example large print, audio). Anyone requiring a copy of the policy in another language should make their request known to us and we will take appropriate steps to accommodate.

Monitoring
Statistics will be gathered to monitor equality across all aspects of RESOLVE processes and will be used to inform future practice.

Confidentiality
Any information disclosed to the business in relation to equality and diversity issues will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with legislative requirements.

Breach of Policy
Contravention of the Equality and Diversity policy will be treated as a disciplinary matter and offenders will be dealt with under RESOLVE Disciplinary policy for staff or the learner Disciplinary Code.

Revision
This policy will be revised annually.

Sources of Further Guidance:

Equality Act 2010
Human Rights Act 1998

Equality & Human Rights Commission:
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service):
http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461

Equality Challenge Unit:
http://www.ecu.ac.uk/