As a growing organisation, Striding Out believes that diversity in the workplace brings strength to an organisation, as well as a breadth of expertise, productivity and value. To ensure that this is carried out, our Equal Opportunities Policy is an integral part of our recruitment, HR and operational responsibilities.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES - STATEMENT OF POLICY
Striding Out is committed to being an equal opportunity employer and service provider, and has a policy for this purpose. Our policy covers all aspects of employment and service delivery from advertising, selection recruitment and training to conditions of service and reasons for terminating the relationship.
To ensure that this policy is operating effectively (and for no other purpose) the company will maintain records of employees' and applicants' racial origins, gender and disability. Ongoing monitoring and regular analysis of such records provide the basis for appropriate action to eliminate unlawful direct and indirect discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.
Simon Ireland-Davies, Managing Director, is responsible for the effective operation of the company's Equal Opportunities Policy.
The Company is fully committed to the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination and values the differences that a diverse workforce and client base brings to the organisation.
The Company will not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, disability, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation, family status or any other irrelevant factor and will build a culture that values meritocracy, openness, fairness and transparency.
All employees are responsible for the promotion and advancement of this policy. Behaviour, actions or words that transgress the policy will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in line with the Company's disciplinary policy.
Objectives relating to fair and inclusive practices will be included in all employees' performance indicators and will form an integral part of performance reviews throughout the year.
The policy is applicable to all employees, clients, communities, suppliers and contractors, whether permanent or temporary. The policy applies to all processes relating to employment and training and to any dealings with customers and clients. Decisions relating to customers and communities will be based on business-related criteria only and any irrelevant information will not form part of the process.
Details of the policy
1. Vacancy advertising:
a. Wherever possible, all vacancies will be advertised simultaneously internally and externally.
b. Steps will be taken to ensure that knowledge of vacancies reaches all potential applicants.
c. All vacancy advertisements will include an appropriate short statement on equal opportunity.
2. Selection and recruitment:
a. Selection criteria (job description and employee specification) will be kept under constant review to ensure that they are justifiable on non-discriminatory grounds as being essential for the effective performance of the job.
b. Wherever possible, more than one person must be involved in the selection interview and recruitment process, and all should have received appropriate training in equal opportunities.
c. Reasons for selection and rejection of applicants for vacancies must be recorded.
3. Positive action - training, promotion and conditions of service:
a. Wherever possible, efforts will be made to identify and remove unnecessary/unjustifiable barriers and provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service to meet the special needs of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented groups.
4. Personnel records:
a. In order to ensure the effective operation of the equal opportunity policy (and for no other purpose) a record will be kept of all employees' and job applicants' gender, racial origins and disability
b. Employees will be able to check/correct their own record of these details. Otherwise, access to this information will be strictly restricted.
c. Such records will be analysed regularly and appropriate follow-up action taken.
5. Ex offenders:
As an organisation using the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Striding Out complies fully with the CRB Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
Striding Out is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
We have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all Disclosure applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
A Disclosure is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
Where a Disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person within Striding Out and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.
Unless the nature of the position allows Striding Out to ask questions about your entire criminal record, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
We ensure that all those in Striding Out who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
We make every subject of a CRB Disclosure aware of the existence of the CRB Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.
We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
The objectives of this Equal Opportunities Policy are to:
a. Ensure that the company has access to the widest labour market and secures the best employees for its needs.
b. Ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment, and that, wherever possible, they are given the help they need to attain their full potential to the benefit of the company/etc and themselves.
c. Achieve an ability-based workforce which is in line with the working population mix in the relevant labour market areas.
Striding Out seeks to employ a workforce which reflects the diverse community at large, because we value the individual contribution of people.
Promoting equality of opportunity means that everyone is treated solely on the basis of competence and merit, regardless of gender, parental or marital status, ethnic or national origin, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other criteria not specifically related to potential skills and abilities.
Striding Out will endeavour to provide a working environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the above grounds. This applies in the recruitment, selection, employment conditions, training and promotion of all Striding Out’s employees and amongst those who use the service provided by Striding Out, both clients and supply chain.
Striding Out’s Equal Opportunities Codes of Practice expand on current equal opportunities legislation, outline how we endeavours to implement and promote this policy, and give specific guidelines to employees providing an employment agency service to clients and candidates.
The Codes of Practice have been devised with regard to the recommendations for employment agencies issued by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
All new employees will undergo training and/or briefing as part of their induction to enable them to meet the requirements of this policy and the Codes of Practice. All employees will be regularly updated to ensure that they are kept aware of any change in the policy, the Codes of Practice and relevant legislation. This policy is included in our staff handbook.
Striding Out employees will not accept any unlawful condition or requirement which is not justified by the genuine needs of the job.
It is the responsibility of every employee to commit to this Policy and the Codes of Practice and to read and comply with them.
Striding Out will not tolerate any acts which breach the Policy and all instances of such behaviour or alleged behaviour will be taken seriously, be fully investigated and may be subject to the Company's disciplinary procedure.
The company welcomes the input of all its employees in this area.
Any member of staff with a comment or query should contact Heather Wilkinson.
The policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to reflect changes in the law, demographics and internal business requirements. Progress relating to the policy will be recorded annually and a full report will be presented to the senior management team to debate progress and review the policy status.
Simon Ireland-Davies, Managing Director Dated 1.10.2010
This Policy supersedes all previous versions of Striding Out’s Equal Opportunities Policy.