Advantage is an equal opportunity employer and is fully committed to a policy of treating all of its employees and job applicants equally. Advantage will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, transfer, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, other terms of employment, discipline, selection for redundancy and dismissal.
Advantage will take all reasonable steps to employ, train and promote employees on the basis of their experience, abilities and qualifications without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In this policy, these are known as the “protected characteristics”.
Advantage will also take all reasonable steps to provide a work environment in which all employees are treated with respect and dignity and that is free from harassment and bullying based upon age, disability, gender reassignment, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In this policy, these are known as the “anti-harassment protected characteristics”. All employees are responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this policy.
Advantage will not condone or tolerate any form of harassment, whether engaged in by employees or by outside third parties who do business with Advantage, such as clients, customers, contractors and suppliers.
Employees have a duty to co-operate with Advantage to make sure that this policy is effective in ensuring equal opportunities and in preventing discrimination, harassment or bullying. Action will be taken under Advantage’s disciplinary procedure against any employee who is found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or intimidation. Serious breaches of this equal opportunities and dignity at work statement will be treated as potential gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. Employees should also bear in mind that they can be held personally liable for any act of unlawful discrimination or harassment. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may also be guilty of a criminal offence.
You should draw the attention of your manager to suspected discriminatory acts or practices or suspected cases of harassment or bullying. You must not victimise or retaliate against an employee who has made allegations or complaints of discrimination or harassment or who has provided information about such discrimination or harassment. Such behaviour will be treated as potential gross misconduct in accordance with Advantage’s disciplinary procedure. You should support colleagues who suffer such treatment and are making a complaint.
Advantage will also take appropriate action against any third parties who are found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful harassment against its employees.
Direct discrimination occurs when, because of one of the protected characteristics, a job applicant or an employee is treated less favourably than other job applicants or employees are treated or would be treated.
The treatment will still amount to direct discrimination even if it is based on the protected characteristic of a third party with whom the job applicant or employee is associated and not on the job applicant’s or employee’s own protected characteristic. In addition, it can include cases where it is perceived that a job applicant or an employee has a particular protected characteristic when in fact they do not.
Advantage will take all reasonable steps to eliminate direct discrimination in all aspects of employment.
Indirect discrimination is treatment that may be equal in the sense that it applies to all job applicants or employees but which is discriminatory in its effect on, for example, one particular sex or racial group.
Indirect discrimination occurs when there is applied to the job applicant or employee a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant’s or employee’s. A PCP is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant’s or employee’s if:
- it is applied, or would be applied, to persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share the protected characteristic
- the PCP puts, or would put, persons with whom the job applicant or employee shares the protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share it
- it puts, or would put, the job applicant or employee at that disadvantage, and
- it cannot be shown by Advantage to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Advantage will take all reasonable steps to eliminate indirect discrimination in all aspects of employment.
Direct discrimination against a person occurs where, a person is treated less favourably because of disability, either their own disability or because someone they are associated with has a disability.
Indirect discriminations occurs when a practice, criterion or provision which cannot be objectively justified is applied to everyone but results in person with a disability being placed at a disadvantage.
Disability arising from discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in connection with their disability.
- Duty to make reasonable adjustments and to provide auxiliary aids and services
This is a similar protection to indirect discrimination in the other protected categories.
Where a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of an employer, or any physical feature of the employer’s premises, places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, it will be the duty of an employer to take such steps as are reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, to remove the provision, criterion, practice or physical feature.
Advantage must take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids or services if this would make it easier for the disabled person to use their services. For instance, an appropriate auxiliary aid or service can include the provision of information on audiotape or provision of a sign language interpreter.
Advantage Group will not discriminate against a disabled person on the grounds of disability:
- In the arrangements i.e. application form, interview or arrangements for selection for determining to whom a job should be offered; or
- In the terms on which employment or engagement of temporary workers is offered; or
- by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering the disabled person a job for reasons connected with their disability; or
- in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity; or
- by subjecting him or her to any other detriment (detriment will include refusal of training or transfer, demotion, reduction of wage, or harassment).
- Advantage Group will accordingly make career opportunities available to all people with disabilities and every practical effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff, candidates and clients.
- Wherever possible [Recruitment Company] will make reasonable adjustments to hallways, passages and doors in order to provide and improve means of access for disabled employees and workers.
However, this may not always be feasible, due to circumstances creating such difficulties as to render such adjustments as being beyond what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
Advantage Group will not discriminate directly or indirectly, harass or victimise any person on the grounds of their age. We will encourage clients not to include any age criteria in job specifications and every attempt will be made to persuade clients to recruit on the basis of competence and skills and not age.
Advantage Group is committed to recruiting and retaining employees whose skills, experience, and attitude are suitable for the requirements of the various positions regardless of age. No age requirements will be stated in any job advertisements on behalf of the company.
Advantage Group will request age as part of its recruitment process but such information will not be used as selection, training or promotion criteria or in any detrimental way and is only for compilation of personal data, which the company holds on all employees and workers and as part of its equal opportunities monitoring process.
This Diversity Policy also covers the treatment of those employees and workers who work on a part-time basis, Advantage Group recognises that it is an essential part of this policy that part time employees are treated on the same terms, with no detriment, as full time employees (albeit on a pro rata basis) in matters such as rates of pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, parental and domestic incident leave and access to our pension scheme. [Recruitment Company] also recognises that part time employees must be treated the same as full time employees in relation to training and redundancy situations.
Advantage Group is committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs or any other basis protected by legislation is unlawful and will not be tolerated by Advantage.
This policy prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee or worker of Advantage Group.
Examples of prohibited harassment are:
- verbal or written conduct containing derogatory jokes or comments;
- slurs or unwanted sexual advances;
- visual conduct such as derogatory or sexually orientated posters;
- photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures which some may find offensive;
- physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or any interference because of sex, race or any other protected category basis;
- Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favours;
- Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
If you believe that you have been unlawfully harassed, you should make an immediate report your Manager or Operations Manager followed by a written complaint as soon as possible after the incident.
Your complaint should include:
- Details of the incident
- Name(s) of the individual(s) involved
- Name(s) of any witness(es)
Advantage will undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations. If it is concluded that unlawful harassment has occurred, remedial action will be taken.
Any employee(s) who Advantage finds to be responsible for unlawful harassment will be subject to the disciplinary procedure and any sanction may include termination. Any person who discriminates or harasses may be personally liable for payment of compensation to the person offended, in addition to any compensation payable by Advantage Group. There is no statutory cap on the amount of compensation which may be awarded in discrimination cases. Under the Criminal Justice Act 1994, harassment became a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison term of up to 6 months. Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the penalties for aggravated harassment are an unlimited fine and/or 5 years imprisonment.
GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY
Advantage recognises that any employee or worker may wish to change their gender during the course of their employment with the Company.
Advantage will support any employee or worker through the reassignment.
Will make every effort to try to protect an employee or worker who has undergone, is undergoing or intends to undergo gender reassignment, from discrimination or harassment within the workplace.
All employees and workers will be expected to comply with Advantage’s policy on harassment in the workplace. Any breach of such a policy will lead to the appropriate disciplinary sanction.
Where an employee is engaged in work where the gender change imposes genuine problems Advantage will make every effort to reassign the employee or worker to an alternative role in the Company, if so desired by the employee.
Any employee or worker suffering discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment should make recourse to the Company’s grievance procedure.
RECRUITMENT, ADVERTISING AND SELECTION
The recruitment process will be conducted in such a way as to result in the selection of the most suitable person for the job in terms of relevant experience, abilities and qualifications. Advantage is committed to applying its equal opportunities policy statement at all stages of recruitment and selection.
Advertisements will aim to positively encourage applications from all suitably qualified and experienced people. When advertising job vacancies, in order to attract applications from all sections of the community, Advantage will, as far as reasonably practicable:
- Ensure advertisements are not confined to those areas or publications which would exclude or disproportionately reduce the numbers of applicants with a particular protected characteristic.
- Avoid setting any unnecessary provisions or criteria which would exclude a higher proportion of applicants with a particular protected characteristic.
Where vacancies may be filled by promotion or transfer, they will be published to all eligible employees in such a way that they do not restrict applications from employees with a particular protected characteristic.
However, where, having regard to the nature and context of the work, having a particular protected characteristic is an occupational requirement and that occupational requirement is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, Advantage will apply that requirement to the job role and this may therefore be specified in the advertisement.
The selection process will be carried out consistently for all jobs at all levels. All applications will be processed in the same way. The consultants responsible for short-listing, interviewing and selecting candidates will be clearly informed of the selection criteria and of the need for their consistent application. Person specifications and job descriptions will be limited to those requirements that are necessary for the effective performance of the job. Wherever possible, all internal applicants will be interviewed by at least two interviewers and all questions asked of the applicants will relate to the requirements of the job. The selection of new staff will be based on the job requirements and the individual’s suitability and ability to do, or to train for, the job in question.
With disabled job applicants, Advantage will have regard to its duty to make reasonable adjustments to work provisions, criteria and practices or to physical features of work premises or to provide auxiliary aids or services in order to ensure that the disabled person is not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled.
If it is necessary to assess whether personal circumstances will affect the performance of the job (for example, if the job involves unsociable hours or extensive travel), this will be discussed objectively, without detailed questions based on assumptions about any of the protected characteristics.
TRAINING AND PROMOTION
Advantage will train all line managers in Advantage’s policy on equal opportunities and in helping them identify and deal effectively with discriminatory acts or practices or acts of harassment or bullying.
Managers will be responsible for ensuring they actively promote equal opportunity within the departments for which they are responsible.
Advantage will also provide training to all employees to help them understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to equal opportunities and dignity at work and what they can do to create a work environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Where a promotional system is in operation, it will not be discriminatory and it will be checked from time to time to assess how it is working in practice. When a group of workers who predominantly have a particular protected characteristic appear to be excluded from access to promotion, transfer and training and to other benefits, the promotional system will be reviewed to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT, BENEFITS, FACILITIES AND SERVICES
All terms of employment, benefits, facilities and service will be reviewed from time to time, in order to ensure that there is no unlawful direct or indirect discrimination because of one or more of the protected characteristics.
Advantage is committed to equal pay in employment. It believes its male and female employees should receive equal pay for like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value. In order to achieve this, Advantage will endeavour to maintain a pay system that is transparent, free from bias and based on objective criteria.
MONITORING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DIGNITY AT WORK
Advantage will regularly monitor the effects of selection decisions and personnel and pay practices and procedures in order to assess whether equal opportunity and dignity at work are being achieved. This will also involve considering any possible indirectly discriminatory effects of its working practices. If changes are required, Advantage will implement them. Advantage will also make reasonable adjustments to its standard working practices to overcome substantial disadvantages caused by disability.