Equal Opportunities Policy
Version 1.0 – 15 April 2020 (latest)
The purpose of this Equal Opportunities Policy is to communicate our commitment to equal opportunities in employment with the aim of ensuring that all employees and job applicants are treated fairly and equally and that our working environment is free from all forms of discrimination.
The policy applies to all staff within Ember, including employees and other workers, such as agency workers, temporary workers and contractors. All staff are expected to put this policy into practice. A copy of this policy is available to all staff and job applicants on the Ember website.
Any questions about the policy should be directed to Pierce Glennie or Keith Bradbury.
This policy does not form part of employees’ contracts of employment. The policy is regularly reviewed and may be amended at any time.
We commit to:
- Encouraging equality and diversity in recruitment and the workplace, with decisions made fairly and irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including colour, ethnic or national origins and nationality), religion or belief or sexual orientation ("the protected characteristics")
- Creating a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are valued and all complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination are taken seriously. This includes any social events that occur in the course of employment, whether organised by Ember or not
- Providing appropriate training for managers and other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality policy. The nature of this training will develop as we grow and we're always open to ideas on how we can improve
- Reviewing employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and updating them and this policy to take account of changes in the law
Forms of Discrimination
The following are forms of discrimination that this policy aims to avoid:
When a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic that they either have or are thought to have. Direct discrimination can also occur by way of association, which is when a person is treated less favourably because, for example, their spouse or partner or other relative has the protected characteristic.
When a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to everyone, but has a disproportionately adverse effect on people who share a particular protected characteristic. A person with the protected characteristic who is disadvantaged in that way has the right to complain.
To be justified the provision, criterion, or practice must be necessary for legitimate business reasons in circumstances where less discriminatory alternatives are not reasonably available.
Where someone is treated unfavourably because they have raised a complaint under this policy or taken legal action, in relation to any alleged act of unlawful discrimination, against Ember or because they have supported someone else in doing this.
Unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can take many different forms and may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments, emails or physical contact that causes offence or are objectionable.
Harassment may involve a single incident or persistent behaviour that extends over a period of time and can occur even if someone did not mean to cause offence. It also means that a person can be subjected to harassment by behaviour that is not aimed at them directly but which they nonetheless find unpleasant.
Harassment is always unacceptable and where it relates to a protected characteristic it will amount to an unlawful act of discrimination.
Discrimination arising from Disability
In addition to the above, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because of something that is the result, effect or outcome of their disability, unless the treatment is necessary and can be objectively justified. Furthermore, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled applicants, employees or other workers are not substantially disadvantaged.
Creating equal opportunities in the workplace
There are a number of ways in which we aim to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace, including:
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection procedures will be free from bias or discrimination. Recruitment procedures will be conducted objectively and will be based upon specific and reasonable job-related criteria. Decisions regarding an individual’s suitability for a particular role will be based on aptitude and ability.
We will consider making appropriate reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process to ensure that disabled applicants are not substantially disadvantaged.
Wherever possible, vacancies will be advertised as being suitable for flexible working, to encourage applications from individuals seeking work on a part time or job share basis and we will consider taking appropriate positive action to enable or encourage applications from persons with a protected characteristic that is under represented within Ember.
Career development and training
All staff will be given an appropriate induction to enable them to fulfil the responsibilities of their role.
All employees will be encouraged to develop to their full potential and we will not unreasonably deny an employee access to training or other career development opportunities. These will be identified as part of an ongoing performance management process and will be determined objectively, taking into account the needs of the business and available resources. Selection for promotion will be based on objective criteria and decisions will be made on the basis of merit.
Employment policies and practices
We aim to ensure that employment policies and practices, including any rules or requirements, do not directly or indirectly discriminate and are applied in a non-discriminatory manner. In particular we will ensure that all disciplinary decisions are fair and consistent and that selection for redundancy is based on objective criteria.
We will make reasonable adjustments to the working environment or any work arrangements that alleviate any substantial disadvantage these cause disabled staff.
We will aim as far as reasonably practicable to accommodate the requirements of different religions and cultures and will consider requests from employees to vary or change their working hours to enable them to care for a dependant.
Equal Opportunities Monitoring
We will monitor the effectiveness of this policy to ensure that it is achieving its objectives and adjust the policy, or implementation of the policy, as required. Information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.
How to report discrimination or harassment?
You should raise any concerns or grievances with your manager. They will deal with them confidentially (except with your permission) in line with the principles laid out in this policy. If you do not feel comfortable raising an issue with your own manager, you can also raise it with either of the founders (Keith or Pierce) or another manager of your choosing.
Any employee who is found to have committed an act of discrimination, or breached this policy in any other way, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Non–employees will be subject to appropriate formal action that may involve terminating any contract or agreement.
Use of Ember’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures does not affect your right to make a claim to an employment tribunal.