EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

A) STATEMENT OF POLICY

  1. Community Embrace UK recognises that we live in a society where discrimination still operates to the disadvantage of many groups in society.
  2. Community Embrace UK believes that all persons should have equal rights to the recognition of their human dignity, and to have equal opportunities to be educated, to work, receive services and to participate in society.
  3. Community Embrace UK is committed in the promotion of equal opportunities within Harlow, and any affiliated organizations, through the way we manage the organisation and provide services to the community. In order to express this commitment, we develop, promote and maintain policies that will be conducive to the principles of fairness and equality in the workplace.
  4. The objective of this policy is that no person should suffer or experience less favourable treatment, discrimination or lack of opportunities on the grounds of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs,
    health status, HIV status, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, political beliefs or trade union membership, class, responsibility for dependents, physical attributes, ex-offender status as defined by the Rehabilitation of OffendersAct 1974, lack of formal qualifications where such qualifications are not formally required, or any other grounds which cannot be shown to be justifiable within the context of this policy.
  5. This policy will influence and affect every aspect of activities carried out by Community Embrace UK i.e. events promotions, educational services and other functions linked to Community Embrace UK, as determined by the management committee.
  6. In the provision of services, Community Embrace UK is committed to promoting equal opportunities for everyone, and throughout its activities, Community Embrace UK will treat all people equally whether they are:
    • Seeking or using our services.
    • Applying for a job or already contracted by us.
    • Trainee workers and students on work experience or placements.
    • Volunteer workers.

B) How the policy will be implemented and who is responsible?

The CEO has specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy.
Each head of department also has responsibilities and we expect all our
employees to abide by the policy and help create the equality environment which is
its objective.

In order to implement this policy we shall:

    • Communicate the policy to contractors, clients, volunteers and relevant others.
    • Incorporate specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing the equal opportunities policy into job descriptions and work objectives of all contractors.
    • Ensure that those who are involved in assessing, running and or promotion will be trained in non-discriminatory techniques.
    • Incorporate equal opportunity notices into general communications practices. Ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfill the objectives of the policy.

Conduct and general standards of behaviour

All contractors and volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and considerate manner at all times. Community Embrace UK will not tolerate behaviour such as:

    • making threats
    • physical violence
    • shouting
    • swearing at others
    • persistent rudeness
    • isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with certain people
    • telling offensive jokes or name calling
    • displaying offensive material such as pornography or sexist / racist cartoons, or the distribution of such material via the website, email / text message or any other format.
    • Any other forms of harassment or victimisation.

The items on the above list of unacceptable behaviours are considered to be disciplinary offences within Community Embrace UK and can lead to disciplinary action being taken. Community Embrace UK does, however, encourage all contractors and volunteers to resolve misunderstandings and problems informally wherever and whenever possible, depending on the
circumstances. However, whether dealt with informally or formally, it is important for all who may have caused offence to understand that it is no defence to say that they did not intend to do so, or to blame individuals for being over sensitive. It is the impact of the behaviour, rather than the intent, that counts, and that should shape the solution found both to the immediate problem and to preventing further similar problems in the future.

Complaints of discrimination

Community Embrace UK will treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any forbidden grounds made by contractors, trustees, clients or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the organisation’s grievance, complaints or disciplinary procedure, as appropriate and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in line with these procedures.

We will also monitor the number and outcomes of complaints of discrimination made by contractors, volunteers, clients and other third parties.

C) Legal Obligations
Equal Opportunities and Discrimination (Equality Act 2010)
The new Equality Act came into force in October 2010 and replaces all previous equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales – namely the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Sex Discrimination Act, the
Equal Pay Act, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, The Civil Partnership Act 2004, the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 (religions and belief and sexual orientation).

The Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics are: Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race , religion or belief sex and sexual orientation. In valuing diversity Community Embrace UK is committed to go beyond the legal minimum regarding equality.

The Equality Act 2010 harmonises and strengthens and replaces most previous equality legislation. The following legislation is still relevant:

  • The Human Rights Act 1998.
  • The Work and Families Act 2006.
  • Employment Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000 (as amended).

D) RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
The recruitment and selection process is crucially important to any equal opportunities policy. We will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that making selection and recruitment decisions will not discriminate, whether consciously or unconsciously, in making these decisions.

  1. Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy.
  2. Job descriptions, where used, will be revised to ensure that they are in line with our equal opportunities policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any personnel specifications.
  3. We will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of vacancies.
  4. All applicants who apply for jobs with us will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on their ability to do their job.
  5. Short-listing and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person where possible.
  6. Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of a discriminatory nature.
  7. Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other staff.

E) MONITORING

  1. We will maintain and review the employment records of all employees in order to monitor the progress of this policy.
    Monitoring may involve:-

    • The collection and classification of information regarding the race in terms of ethnic/national origin and sex of all applications and current employees;
    • The examination by ethnic/national origin and sex of the distribution of employees and the success rate of the applicants; and
    • Recording recruitment, training and promotional records of all employees, the decisions reached and the reason for those decisions.
  2. The results of any monitoring procedure will be reviewed at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of this policy. Consideration will be given, if necessary, to adjusting this policy to afford greater equality of opportunities to all applicants and staff.

Community Embrace UK will revise and review this policy regularly.

Approved on 17th February, 2017.

Review date: 21st February, 2018.

Signature:

Herty Ama Twumwaa (CEO & Founder)

Date: 19th February, 2017