Equality & Diversity Policy with Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures
The Equal Opportunities Policy with Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures has been written in accordance with current best practice. It also reflects positive action provisions currently in force.
This document has been reviewed for compatibility with the GDPR. A reference to the Company's Data Protection Policy and its applicability to any and all personal data used in relation to this policy has been added. Contact details under "Advice and Support on Discrimination" have also been updated.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers may utilize 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 compensation or damages to the victim of the discrimination.
In addition to a standard Equal Opportunities Policy, this document also contains Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures which set out the steps to be taken by employees who feel that they have been subjected to discrimination; the action their employer must take in response; and the disciplinary consequences for those guilty of discriminatory conduct.
This policy includes the dedicated grievance procedure and disciplinary procedure in line with the Equality Act 2010 and the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The grievance procedure established in this Equal Opportunities Policy differs from the standard Grievance Procedure (available from the list of related documents on the right) in that it requires discrimination related grievances to be made to the designated officer (who should be more experienced or better positioned to deal with equal opportunity issues).
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 equal opportunities policy and apprising all staff of its existence is one of the things that a reasonable employer should do.
This Equal Opportunities Policy with Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures 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. Dedicated Grievance Procedure
11. Employees Engaging in Discriminatory Conduct
12. Disciplinary Procedure
13. Advice and Support on Discrimination
14. The extent of the Policy
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