We believe diversity, inclusion and flexibility are at the core of our business. We strive to create an inspirational work environment where:
- Everyone is treated with fairness, dignity and respect
- Ideas, collaboration and innovation are encouraged
- Our culture is inclusive with regular, open and honest communication
- Information and opportunity are accessible to all
- Flexible working is the norm
We see diversity and inclusion as more than just policies and practices. It is embraced at all levels and an integral part of who we are as a company, how we operate, manage and lead and how we see our future.
1.1 The Group supports the principle of equality in employment and opposes all forms of discrimination, harassment and victimisation in any aspect of employment.
1.2 The Group is fully aware of its responsibilities as an employer and acts in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
2. Forms of Discrimination
2.1 Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally.
2.2 Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more of the grounds set out in section 5.1.
2.3 Indirect discrimination occurs where an individual is subject to an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which puts them at a particular disadvantage because of, for instance, their sex or race.
2.4 Discrimination also includes victimisation (less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that regard) and harassment.
3. Disability Discrimination
3.1 If an employee is disabled, or becomes disabled in the course of their employment with the Group, they are encouraged to tell us about their condition. This is to enable the Group to support the employee as much as possible. The employee may also wish to advise their Line Manager of any reasonable adjustments to their working conditions or the duties of their job which they consider to be necessary, or which would assist them in the performance of their duties.
3.2 An employee’s Line Manager may wish to consult with the employee and their medical adviser(s) about possible reasonable adjustments. Careful consideration will be given to any such proposals and they will be accommodated where possible and proportionate to the needs of the job.
3.3 Nevertheless, there may be circumstances where it will not be reasonable for the Group to accommodate suggested adjustments and we will ensure that we provide the employee with information as to the basis of our decision not to make any adjustments.
4.1 Harrassment is unwanted conduct which has the purpose of effect or violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Condoning such conduct may be harassment in itself.
4.2 The Group recognises that harassment may take many forms. It may relate to a person's protected characteristics such as age, gender reassignment, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or sex.
4.3 Harassment can also include the actions of third parties such as customers, suppliers or visitors to the Group's premises.
4.4 The Group believes that the dignity of every person must be respected. Harassment of colleagues, visitors or customers is unacceptable conduct and will be regarded as gross misconduct. The highest standards of conduct are required of everyone regardless of seniority.
4.5 Harassment may involve a behaviour that is found offensive even if not directed at the person, and nor does that person themselves possess the relevant characteristics.
Examples of unacceptable conduct include but are not limited to:
- verbal abuse, or insulting behaviour;
- sexist or racist jokes, jokes about an individual’s sexual orientation or jokes about an individual’s physical or mental attributes;
- the display or circulation of sexually suggestive or racially abusive material;
- bullying, coercive or threatening behaviour;
- the ridicule or exclusion of an individual for cultural or religious differences, on the grounds of disability;
- unsolicited or unwelcome sexual advances, including touching, staring or commenting;
- comments of a sexual nature about a person’s appearance or dress.
4.5 Harassment, and particularly sexual, racial or disability harassment, will be regarded as gross misconduct for disciplinary purposes. Accordingly, employees guilty of harassment run a serious risk of summary dismissal.
4.6 Equally, an allegation of harassment must not be made lightly. If it is found that an allegation of harassment has been made without foundation and maliciously then this will also be regarded as gross misconduct for disciplinary purposes.
5.1 We strive to treat all employees with dignity and respect. The Group is committed to ensuring that its work places are free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation because of the following ‘protected characteristics’:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage & civil partnership
- Pregnancy & Maternity
- Religion and similar beliefs
- Sexual orientation
5.2 We strive to protect all employees and applicants for employment from discrimination, harassment and victimisation
Equality in employment covers all aspects including the following:
- recruitment and selection
- allocation of work
- training and development
- remuneration & benefits
- general facilities
- performance management
- termination of employment
5.3 The Group aims to ensure that no job applicant receives less favourable treatment on any of the unlawful grounds listed in section 5.1.
5.4 The Group undertakes to review periodically its recruitment & selection criteria and procedures to maintain a system where individuals are recruited, selected, promoted, and treated solely on the basis of merit and ability.
5.5 If an existing employee becomes disabled the Group will make every effort to retain him or her within the workforce whenever reasonably practicable.
5.6 The Group believes that all employees should immediately appreciate what would amount to discrimination in any form. It is against the Group’s policy for anyone to discriminate against, harass or victimise another employee/worker or to encourage or condone the actions of another person who is discriminating, harassing or victimising or to fail to report such action. The Group will not tolerate acts which breach this policy. Such offences are regarded seriously and will be dealt with under the Group’s Disciplinary Procedure, which could result in the termination of employment of someone who acts in contravention of this policy.
5.7 All employees have a right to equality and have a duty to implement this policy. Any employee has the right to invoke the Group’s formal Grievance Procedure if they feel that they have been discriminated against, harassed or victimised during the course of their employment. Any complaint will be treated seriously and in a confidential manner. Issues should be raised with the Department Manager/Director, or if preferred for whatever reason, direct with their HR Business Partner.
5.8 The Group undertakes to distribute and publicise this policy to all employees as appropriate.
6. Your Responsibility
6.1 It is your responsibility to ensure your own conduct conforms to the expected standards and reflects this policy.
6.2 The aim of this policy is to encourage harmony and respect amongst individuals so as to promote good working practices with a view to maximizing the performance and the return to the Group and its employees.
6.3 If equality is not applied then valuable talent and potential are wasted. Moreover when discrimination, harassment or victimisation takes place they bring about a climate of fear, insecurity and poor work performance. As well as being illegal it affects profitability and morale. It is therefore vital that you understand your responsibilities.
6.4 Equality is taken very seriously by the Group and willful failure to apply these policies or evidence of discrimination, harassment or victimisation will result in disciplinary action which may include your dismissal.