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Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

1 Statement

We promote a working environment in which diversity is recognised, valued and encouraged. We acknowledge the multicultural and diverse nature of the workforce and society. We are committed to principles of fairness and mutual respect where everyone accepts the concept of individual responsibility.

All staff receive the company handbook which sets out a comprehensive equal opportunities policy and additional information on bullying and harassment and the internal procedures to raise a query or report an issue with respect to these matters.

It is the responsibility of staff and the board of directors to make sure they observe and adhere to this policy at all times. We view any breach seriously. We will investigate and potentially take disciplinary action. This may include dismissal in instances we consider gross misconduct.

We recognise that discrimination in the workplace in any form is unacceptable and in most cases unlawful. Our policy seeks to ensure job applicants and employees are treated fairly and without favour or prejudice. We are committed to applying this throughout all areas of employment. This includes recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits, rewards and promotion, dealing with grievances and disciplinary issues.

Our policy complies with current legislation. We review it regularly and will update it if the law changes. All changes are reflected in our staff handbook that is in addition reviewed annually or as required, whichever is soonest. However, we recognise that equality of opportunity is best achieved by day-to-day commitment from everyone. We offer support and training where necessary to achieve and maintain this.

This is a group wide policy and applies to all subsidiaries within Inspired PLC.

The Company is committed to providing and promoting opportunities for staff and job applicants. We are committed to creating a working environment which enables everyone to work to the best of their skills and abilities and without the threat of discrimination or harassment arising. As a Company we pride ourselves on treating all members of staff equally, irrespective of their or their “Associated Persons” gender, sex, pregnancy or maternity status, marital status, race, colour, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment (“Protected Characteristics”). An Associated Person may be a member of staff’s family, friends or other dependants.

Whilst the Company is committed to treating all employees equally, the success of this policy requires equal input from all employees. All employees are required to comply with their obligations to promote a working environment free from discrimination. You should treat your colleagues, customers and members of the public as you would expect to be treated yourself and respect the Protected Characteristics of others.

2 Recruitment Process

We aim to ensure that no job applicant suffers from discrimination of any form during the recruitment process. Our application and interview process are reviewed to ensure that they do not put any particular group at a disadvantage.

We will not ask unnecessary questions about an applicant’s personal affairs during the recruitment process. Questions about a prospective employee’s health will usually be left until the offer stage unless the questions are raised to identify any particular needs for the recruitment process, for a genuine occupation need or because we wish to establish at the outset the ability of a candidate to perform an intrinsic feature of the job i.e. heavy lifting.

As part of the recruitment process, we will require all prospective employees to produce appropriate ID (originals must be produced) to demonstrate that individual’s legal right to work in the UK before employment is allowed to commence.

We may, as part of any equal opportunities monitoring programme, request job applicants to complete an Equal Opportunities Form which will be detachable from the main application and used solely for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunities.

3 Discrimination

Discrimination can take a number of different forms:

  • a) Treating someone less favourably because of one or more Protected Characteristic i.e. rejecting a job applicant because they are a different race or are pregnant. This is known as direct discrimination.
  • b) Applying an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which, although applied equally across all employees or job applicants, places some individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic, at a disadvantage i.e. requiring job applicants to have 10 years’ driving experience would prevent individuals under the age of 27 from applying for the role. Unless this requirement for 10 years’ driving experience can be justified this will be an act of indirect discrimination.
  • c) Bullying or harassment.
  • d) Treating someone less favourably because they have raised a complaint of discrimination or given information about discrimination or supported a colleague’s complaint. This is known as victimisation.
  • e) There are additional acts of discrimination which extend to staff who suffer from a disability (whether mental or physical).

The law governing equality within the workplace extends protection to members of staff who have an association with a person with a Protected Characteristic. For example, an act of discrimination may arise where a staff member is harassed or feels harassed because they have a child who is disabled. You should also be aware that protection is extended to those who are “perceived” to have a Protected Characteristic but in fact don’t. For example, subjecting a member of staff to homophobic banter because it is perceived, albeit incorrectly, that the member of staff is not heterosexual.

Although discrimination may appear to be complicated, members of staff are unlikely to breach our policy and the law as long as they treat all colleagues with respect and dignity regardless of a person’s Protected Characteristics.

No member of staff will be denied access to training or promotion on grounds of any Protected Characteristics.

No member of staff will have their employment or engagement terminated because of a Protected Characteristic.

Access to services, benefits and facilities will be made available to all staff equally having regard to their grade or position.

4 Ability Adjustments

If an applicant is unable to attend an interview or other recruitment stage for any reason, we will consider any reasonable adjustments that may assist the applicant in participating fully in the recruitment process and being given an equal opportunity to be considered for any vacancy.

Similarly, as an employee of the Company, we encourage you to discuss any condition you may have with us so that we can help you overcome or minimise any difficulty you may be experiencing in the workplace (whether a physical feature or compliance with a policy or procedure) or in the performance of your duties. This will allow the Company to explore any reasonable adjustments that could be made to keep you in employment or, where absent from work, to facilitate a return to work.

5 Training

As part of the induction process, staff are provided with suitable training concerning equal opportunities.

We will monitor staff training needs and where a training gap is identified, all staff will be given access to suitable training to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations.

If any member of staff feels they require additional support and training in this area, they should contact their line manager accordingly.

Approval date
1st March 2023

Next review date
Currently under Board review

Approved and authorised by
Mark Dickinson
Chief Executive Officer

View more group policies

Inspired PLC is committed to range of group policies including; anti-bribery and corruption, anti-discrimination and GDPR.

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Climate Change and the Environment Policy

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Complaint Process Policy

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