Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy
This Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy (also called the Equality and Diversity Policy) has been written in accordance with best practice and has been drafted in line with current Equality Legislation.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers may utilise positive action in recruitment and promotion. ‘Positive action’ means the steps that an employer can take to encourage people from groups with different needs, or with a past record of disadvantage or low participation, to apply for jobs. Employers are permitted, not required, to take positive action. One of the conditions of the positive action provisions is that employers must not routinely treat people with a protected characteristic more favourably: it must be used only in tie-break situations.
The Equality Act also makes it unlawful for a company to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, age, or sexual orientation. It is also possible for employees to claim for discrimination on a combination of two of these grounds. Similarly, if your employees discriminate against a colleague or customer, your company could be held vicariously liable for their acts, and be responsible for paying the compensation or damages to the victim of the discrimination.
If a company can prove that it has done all that was reasonable to prevent the discriminatory acts from occurring then its liability can be reduced or entirely eliminated. Having an equality policy and apprising all staff of its existence is one of the things that a reasonable employer should do.
This Diversity and Equality Policy contains the following sections:
1. Policy Statement
2. Objectives of this Policy
3. Designated Officer
4. Definition of Discrimination
5. Types of Discrimination
6. Unlawful Reasons for Discrimination
7. Positive Action in Recruitment
8. Reasonable Adjustments
9. Responsibility for the Implementation of this Policy
10. Acting on Discriminatory Behaviour
11. Advice and Support on Discrimination
12. The Extent of the Policy
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