Diversity & Equal Opportunities Policy
- Policy Statement
Allcool is committed to supporting, developing and promoting diversity and equality in all of its activities and aims to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based on the values of fairness, dignity and respect. Allcool will support and develop staff through providing everyone with access to facilities, personal and career development opportunities and employment on an equal basis regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, transgender identity or religion/belief.
This policy builds on the foundation of equality and anti-discrimination legislation and strives, not only to comply with legal requirements, but to use these to ensure that Allcool endeavours to exemplify best practice.
Allcool values diversity and recognises that the organisation is greatly enhanced by the different range of backgrounds, experiences, views, beliefs and cultures represented within its staff. Our aim is to embrace diversity in all of its activities and acknowledges that variety and difference are intrinsic to the success and future development of its business.
We expect all employees and contractors to act in accordance with this Policy.
Our objective is to build a fully inclusive organisation. This will be achieved by:
- Making the best use of the range of talent and experience available within the workforce and
- Building a culture that encourages dialogue;
- Allcool and employees fulfilling their legal obligations.
The principles of the diversity and equal opportunities policy are:
- To develop and promote a culture of diversity and equality throughout the organisation;
- To develop and promote a culture of fairness, integrity and dignity;
- To support all staff, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, sexual
orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief;
- To prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination;
- To deal with all forms of discrimination consistently, promptly and effectively;
- To ensure that the Diversity and Equality policy influences and informs the culture of Allcool.
The policy applies to all staff employed on a full time or part-time basis, on permanent or temporary contracts.
- Legislative Framework
This Policy is underpinned by legislation, which places individual responsibilities on Allcool staff and visitors and includes:
- Human Rights Act 1998
- The Civil Partnership Act 2004
- The Gender Recognition Act 2004
- The Equality Act 2006
- Equality Act 2010
The above list is not exhaustive and will be reviewed regularly.
Under the above Equality legislation it is unlawful to:
- Discriminate directly against anyone and treat him/her less favourably than others because of
a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have, (perception discrimination) or
because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic, (discrimination by
- Discriminate indirectly against anyone by applying a criterion, provision or practice which
particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic;
- Subject someone to harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic (pregnancy and
maternity and marriage and civil partnership are excluded);
- 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;
- Discriminate against someone in certain circumstances because of a protected characteristic
after the working relationship has ended.
The protected characteristics are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Equal opportunities is a principle that emphasizes that opportunities in employment, education and other areas are available to all. Equal Opportunities in particular relates to a Legal Framework, which makes it illegal to discriminate against people because of a protected characteristic they have.
Diversity is a broader concept that builds upon the progress made through equal opportunities. Everyone is different and diversity is about recognising, respecting and valuing the differences we each bring to work.
Equal opportunities and diversity work together by identifying and addressing any inequalities and barriers faced by people and by valuing, learning and benefiting from the diverse cultures in society and our staff.
Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic they have.
Discrimination by association
This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possesses a protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess the protected characteristic.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied universally, but its effect disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.
Harassment is uninvited and unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic and makes a person feel intimidated or humiliated.
Victimisation is where someone is treated less favourably because they have made a complaint about discrimination or harassment or have given evidence relating to a complaint.
It is essential that all members of Allcool behave with dignity, courtesy and respect and to act in a non-discriminatory manner at all times.
Allcool has a legal responsibility for demonstrating that it treats all groups of staff fairly in its employment practices. This includes promoting good relationships between different groups of staff and ensuring equality of opportunity.
We will also:
- Aim to achieve a healthy work-life balance for all staff, improve retention.
- Ensure employees and job applicants, will receive no less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability or age.
Will investigate all matters of alleged discrimination, harassment and inappropriate behaviour promptly and thoroughly.
Will 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.
Will treat all applications for flexible working patterns on a fair and equitable basis and will provide reasonable and objective reasons when such requests must be refused.
Legal responsibilities also extend to employees, and Allcool therefore expects all staff, contractors and agency staff to act in accordance with this Policy when delivering Allcool’s business.
Staff are expected to treat colleagues and every service user fairly and with respect.
Every member of staff is an essential member of a team and should feel able to develop their skills and play their part fully in the organisation.
Staff should actively encourage non-discriminatory practices and challenge any incidences of behaviour that fail to comply with this policy.
All staff should undertake appropriate diversity and equality training.
- Application of the Policy
Recruitment and Selection
Recruitment advertising will encourage applications from all sectors of the community reflecting Allcool’s commitment to diversity and equality. Job descriptions, person specifications and recruitment advertisements will be written on the basis of the essential and justifiable requirements of the position. Shortlisting, appointment and rejection decisions will be transparent and justifiable and will be supported by written comments.
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.
- Advice and Complaints
All staff who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment have the right to seek redress. Verbal or physical abuse by anybody will not be tolerated. Allcool may discipline staff who are found to be abusive.
- Policy Framework and Support
This policy will be available on Allcool’s intranet, included in staff induction and within the Employee Handbook.
Any information disclosed to Allcool in relation to diversity and equality issues will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with legislative requirements.
- Policy Review
This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure it remains in line with legislation and Allcool’s organisational principles.