Example Equal Opportunities Statement and Action Plan - PDF

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                             Example Equal Opportunities
                              Statement and Action Plan

I am pleased to give my full support to this revised Equal Opportunities Statement and
Action Plan, which complement the Organisation-wide Policy Advice.

The organisation) is committed to treating all staff fairly and responsibly, with equality of
opportunity.

Every staff member has:
           the right to be treated fairly, regardless of their race, colour, ethnic or national
           origin, gender, marital status, responsibility for children or other dependants,
           disability, age, work pattern, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, trade
           union membership or activity, religious or political beliefs;
           the right to be considered fairly and on merit for promotion opportunities and for
           training and development opportunities that will help them meet the needs of the
           office;

       •   the right to be given all reasonable practical assistance to overcome problems at
           work which are associated with disability.

The statement and action plan have been agreed with our Trade Union colleagues and will
be reviewed regularly by the organisation workers Group.




Signature here
………………………………………
Name
Role, Organisation



Legislation


This statement has evolved in line with legislation, and puts into effect within the Service
such legislation as:
   • the Employment Act 1989;
   • the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978;
   • the Sex Discrimination Act 1975;
   • the Race Relations Act 1976;
   • the Disability Discrimination Act 1995;
   • the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000;
   • the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003; and
   • the Employment Equality (Religion/Belief) Regulations 2003.
   Policy not based on law, such as that concerning age, is as important as areas where
   there is specific legislation, and we will treat it equally seriously.

                                           -------------

The Human Resources (HR) team provide specialist advice on employment-related equal
opportunity matters, and are responsible for publicising and monitoring equal opportunity
policies.

1. Rights and responsibilities

   1.1. All staff will be treated solely on the basis of their ability, performance and
        suitability for the work.
   1.2. All staff working at the organisation must be familiar with and comply with its
        policies when carrying out their daily duties.
   1.3. Line managers are responsible for promoting equal opportunities in their own work
       teams and for ensuring that our business activities comply with equal opportunities
       legislation.

   1.4. The Trade Union fully supports the principles in this statement and is committed to
        the Equal Opportunities Action Plan to achieve full equality of opportunity.

2. Harassment

   2.1. Harassment and bullying of any organisation staff, contractor or member of the
        public engaged on organisational business are unacceptable. We are committed
        to promoting a harassment-free environment.

3. Positive action


We recognise that the promotion of equal opportunities involves more than just a
commitment to remove discrimination. We are committed to positive action to enable all
individuals to develop their full potential and, if necessary, to eradicate discrimination and
its effects.
4. Recruitment, selection and promotion

    4.1. Recruitment practices should keep to our equal opportunities policies. Internal
         adverts are placed on the organisation intranet, and all promotion opportunities
         are advertised internally and in our sponsor departments; they may also be
         posted on the Careers website. External advertisements for vacancies will be
         placed on the organisation website. Recruitment and careers literature should
         particularly encourage those who are under-represented at a particular grade, in
         a particular type of work, or in a particular area. Where appropriate, this will
         include positive action.
    4.2.   Job applicants should not face unnecessarily restrictive requirements for specific
           experience and qualifications. Individuals should be recruited or promoted solely
           on their merits, abilities and potential. The HR team monitor all advertisements
           and job descriptions.

    4.3. Anyone involved in recruitment or promotion should have received the
         appropriate training, including guidance on how to avoid discrimination. It is
         particularly important to avoid questions that discriminate against a particular
         group, including questions that assume the applicants share the same cultural
         background or experience as the members of the selection or promotion board.


5. Training and development
   5.1. Training has a key role in promoting equal opportunities. We will provide training to
        increase awareness of equal opportunities so that staff at all levels can perform
        their jobs effectively and develop their full potential – this includes ensuring that
        management courses cover the implementation of equal opportunities policies.

   5.2. Attending training courses can be difficult for part-time staff and those with family
        commitments, so we will try to make flexible arrangements.

6. Performance and accountability

   6.1. We monitor and evaluate the way we set equal opportunities performance
        measures and targets, and assess the results. The HR team review objectives,
        check the quality of 30% of appraisal reports, and send the performance report to
        RCU.
7. Employment practices and conditions of service

   7.1. Your contract letter sets out your terms and conditions of service. HR policies aim
        to help you combine your work and domestic responsibilities. They include rules
        on maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, job sharing and part-time working,
        flexible hours, special leave, career breaks and reinstatement. They also support
        childcare arrangements. We encourage you to make full use of the flexible
        working arrangements on offer so as to assist your career development.
8. Grievance and disciplinary procedures (including those relating to complaints of
   bullying, harassment and victimisation)
   8.1. The HR team can advise on the grievance and disciplinary procedures. If you
        think you have been treated unfairly, you may also wish to contact your trade
        union representative or Harassment Contact Officer.

9. Complaints and contacts
   9.1. If you believe that you have been harassed or discriminated against, you should
        talk to your line manager, HR officer, staff counselling or welfare officer, trade
        union representative, Equal Opportunities Officer, Harassment Contact Officer or
        Disabled Persons' Officer as appropriate.
   9.2. Within the organisation, the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Officer is (name),
        and the names of the trained Harassment Contact Officers are available on the
        intranet; please contact them for an informal discussion on any equal
        opportunities matter.
   9.3. For further advice, contact (name), Equal Opportunities and Diversity Officer (Ext
        No).
    9.4. Complaints will always be taken seriously and dealt with promptly. We may deal
         with them internally on either an informal (raised in discussion) or formal (in
         writing) basis. You also have the right to complain to an employment tribunal.

   9.5. If we find your complaint is justified, the person harassing you may be disciplined,
        and in serious cases can face dismissal. Staff guilty of sexual or racial
        harassment may also be personally liable under the Sex Discrimination or Race
        Relations Act as appropriate.
   9.6. Victimisation is where someone discriminates against a member of staff who has
        (or who is believed to have) begun or been involved in proceedings under the
        relevant legislation or departmental complaints procedures. Victimisation is
        unlawful and will not be tolerated in the organisation.
   9.7. However, if a complaint is not upheld and is found to have been made maliciously
        or not in good faith, then the complainant could be disciplined.




Revised (date)
GLOSSARY OF TERMS


Discrimination

 ‘Discrimination’ means treating a person less favourably than others are or would be
treated in similar circumstances, on grounds of his or her sex, race, colour, nationality,
ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age, marital status,
disability or working patterns. It includes ‘indirect discrimination’; that is, attaching a
requirement, practice or condition to an opportunity, which, even though it may apply
equally to all, excludes or puts at a disadvantage certain individuals or groups without any
objective justification.


Unconscious discrimination

While some types of discrimination are easily recognised, it is also important to guard
against its more subtle forms. These often result from general assumptions about the
characteristics and interests of particular groups, and can occur without any conscious or
deliberate intention to discriminate.


‘Positive’ discrimination and positive action

‘Positive’ discrimination (such as promoting someone because they are a woman or a
member of an ethnic minority) is as much against the law as ‘negative’ discrimination
(such as not promoting someone because they are a woman or a member of an ethnic
minority). However, positive action (for example, taking steps to encourage applications
from under-represented groups or to provide training to help them compete on equal terms
with the majority) is lawful, and may fall within the Sex Discrimination and Race Relations
Acts.


Harassment

‘Harassment’ includes a range of behaviour which, whether intentional or not, creates
feelings of unease, humiliation, intimidation or discomfort; or causes offence; or threatens
(or appears to threaten) job security or career prospects. It may be a single incident or
series of incidents. Some forms of harassment are obvious, such as bullying, physical
assaults, demands for sexual favours, or verbal threats or abuse, but others are more
subtle and there is no simple definition.
                                                         Organisation Name
                                                 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ACTION PLAN

Recruitment and selection
“Organisation’s recruitment and selection procedures fully reflect equal opportunities policies and current legislation.”
ACTION                                                   ACTION OFFICER TIMING           PROGRESS
1. Regularly review procedures.                          Name & role      Date, then     We have established a vacancy
                                                                          quarterly      improvement group to look at improving our
                                                                                         job adverts. They have taken on comments
                                                                                         from workshops and interview panels –
                                                                                         several revisions have already been made.
2. Make all Organisation staff aware of internally       Name & role      On all         We are investigating ways of targeting
advertised vacancies and promotion opportunities.                         occasions      minority ethnic groups/communities,
When we advertise vacancies outside the office, we                                       including sharing good practice with Race for
will target appropriate organisations or the specialist                                  Opportunity.
press or both, to ensure effective penetration of the                                    All vacancies are advertised on the intranet.
labour market.
3. Ensure all vacancy adverts are non-discriminatory     Name & role      Ongoing        The Organisation is an equal opportunities
in language, tone and content. All posts will be                                         employer. We encourage flexible working
considered for part-time or job-share working, unless                                    arrangements. Unless the advertisement
otherwise agreed by the Regional Director.                                               states otherwise, all posts are available on a
                                                                                         part-time or job-share basis. Staff who work
                                                                                         less than full-time hours or wish to job share
                                                                                         are encouraged to apply for vacancies.
4. Provide appropriate training in interviewing and      Name & role      As necessary   The HR team also run a pre-training
selection (including equal opportunities) to ensure that                                 workshop for all recruitment training including
panels select objectively and in a non-discriminatory                                    refresher courses, to explain our procedures.
way. All interviewers must complete initial training in
selection and interviewing, and then take refresher
training every three years. Details of trained
interviewers are published on the intranet.
Training and career development
“All staff will have equal access to training and development activities.”
ACTION                                                 ACTION OFFICER        TIMING      PROGRESS
5. Take measures to identify and overcome barriers, in Name & role           As          Access to training is monitored. Regular
consultation with Equal Opportunities Units as                               necessary   statistics are supplied to diversity lead.
appropriate.                                                                             Appropriate action is taken as necessary.
6. Identify and encourage opportunities for flexible   Name & role           Ongoing     New policy and practice is posted on the
working patterns.                                                                        intranet. All applications are considered
                                                                                         sympathetically. Currently we have people on
                                                                                         term-time working and compressed hours as
                                                                                         well as part-time or job-share working.
7. Publicise and support local childcare facilities and   Name & role        Ongoing     We support X nursery in X. The organisation is
holiday play schemes.                                                                    an employer partner and provides childcare
                                                                                         subsidies to our staff. Information on childcare
                                                                                         provision in the region is published on the
                                                                                         intranet.

8. Ensure that all training and development activities    Name & role        Ongoing     We check that training providers are aware of
are in line with our Equal Opportunities Statement.                                      the need to comply with equal opportunities.
9. Identify any particular equal opportunities training   Name & role        Ongoing     Equal opportunities training is mandatory for
needs and ensure that team training plans and                                            organisational staff.
Organisational Plan reflect the commitment to Equal
Opportunities.
10. Plan training courses to take account of any          Name & role        As          All identified needs are taken into account,
special needs, eg of part-time workers, staff with                           necessary   including access to events and meetings.
responsibilities for the care of children or elderly
relatives, and disabled people.
11. Ensure that staff are made aware of all training      Line managers,     Ongoing     Publicised on intranet and flyers/posters in
and development opportunities.                            Name & role                    communal areas.
Practical measures
“The organisation will take appropriate and necessary practical measures to support the equal opportunities statement.”
ACTION                                                  ACTION OFFICER TIMING         PROGRESS
12. Monitor recruitment, selection for promotion and    Name & role     Continuous    We got a x% response rate to a re-survey of
career development to identify any statistically                                      equal opportunities.
significant anomalies.
13. Monitor the take-up of training courses to identify Name & role     Ongoing       Directors will monitor and encourage
anomalies.                                                                            attendance at training.
14. Appoint Harassment Contact Officers who are         Name & role     Immediately We have a network of trained Harassment
representative of the gender, grade and location mix                                  Contact Officers in place who are
within the organisation, and ensure they are fully                                    representative of the gender, grade and
trained.                                                                              location mix within the organisation, covering
                                                                                      areas x. All grades and the gender mix are
                                                                                      represented
Practical measures
“The organisation will take appropriate and necessary practical measures to support the equal opportunities statement.”
ACTION                                                  ACTION OFFICER TIMING         PROGRESS
15. Identify any special needs, including special       Name & role     As            Occupational Health provide workstation
equipment, needed to help individual members of staff                   necessary     assessments for new and existing staff; and
to do their job.                                                                      have undertaken an access audit in areas x.
                                                                                      Online workstation assessments are imminent.
                                                                                      A request for a prayer room has been
                                                                                      received. This can be booked by request
                                                                                      Each year we will review staff needs for all
                                                                                      staff that have special equipment or
                                                                                      reasonable adjustments or other staff who
                                                                                      have declared a disability.
16. Identify any special needs of visitors to the       Name & role     As            We have an event organiser checklist.
organisations buildings when arranging meetings or                      necessary     The access audit ensures accessibility to the
interviews, and make any necessary arrangements to                                    building and services.
ensure their safety and comfort.
17. Ensure that fire wardens get ongoing training on    Name & role     Ongoing       Facilities Management action
fire evacuation procedures in organisation buildings,
particularly with regard to persons with special needs.
18. Ensure that no offensive material is displayed in   Name & role     Ongoing       Complaints can be made to Harassment
offices or put on personal computers etc.                                             Contact Officers if this occurs
19. Make all staff aware of the existence and function  Name & role     Ongoing       Intranet, induction seminars and line manager
of Equal Opportunities Officer, Diversity Officer and                                 workshops.
Harassment Contact Officers                                                           Learning at Work day
                                                                                      Internal group
                                                                                      Equal opportunities monitoring
20. Raise awareness of the importance of equal          Name & role     As            Intranet, induction seminars, visits by HR to
opportunities principles by talks and publicity.                        opportunity   team meetings, information in the induction
                                                                        arises        pack and a workshop on equal opportunities
                                                                                      and diversity.
21. Make sure all staff are aware of their Department’s Name & role     Ongoing       This is covered at induction seminars and line
grievance procedures and of the seriousness of                                        manager workshops. We also post information
harassment and offences.                                                              on the intranet (but have not yet harmonised
Practical measures
“The organisation will take appropriate and necessary practical measures to support the equal opportunities statement.”
ACTION                                              ACTION OFFICER TIMING             PROGRESS

22. Provide information to new entrants on our equal     Name & role     As             A Harassment Contact Officer leaflet is given
opportunities statement and plan and our complaints                      necessary      to all new starters.
procedure during induction
23. Provide an informal, as well as formal, recourse for Name & role     Continuous     Harassment Contact Officers network – advice
individuals who feel they are suffering from harassment                                 given on all options i.e. informal/formal.
as stated in Organisational Advice Notes.

Management
“Management will carry out their duties in accordance with our established equal opportunities statement.”
ACTION                                                 ACTION OFFICER TIMING          PROGRESS
24. Monitor substantive promotions within the          Name & role       Annually at  All information is now available on the HR
organisation according to the equal opportunities                        reporting    database. We review regularly and take
statement and identify any potential barriers to                         year end     appropriate action if we detect disadvantage
advancement.                                                                          for any groups.
25. Try to ensure that no member of staff in your area Name & role       Ongoing
of responsibility experiences harassment from any line
manager or colleague.
Management
“Management will carry out their duties in accordance with our established equal opportunities statement.”
ACTION                                                    ACTION OFFICER TIMING       PROGRESS
26. Promote mutual tolerance and respect for others’      All staff      Ongoing      New legislation came into force in Dec 2003.
religious and ethical beliefs and practices.                                          All staff have been briefed via the intranet of
                                                                                      their responsibilities. All staff receive equality
                                                                                      and diversity training.
27. Review HR procedures to ensure that they are          Name & role    Ongoing      We have set up a Vacancy Improvement
sufficiently sensitive to equal opportunities principles.                             Group.
                                                                                      We regularly issue updates on the law and
                                                                                      advice notes.
                                                                                      We were awarded the ‘two ticks’ symbol
                                                                                      (Positive about Disability) for good practice.

28. Ensure that job descriptions and objectives are    Name & role           Ongoing        The HR team consider job descriptions when
    accurate and fair.                                                                      submitted by line managers, and challenge
                                                                                            any contraventions.
                                                                                            We follow performance management
                                                                                            guidelines, which include a competency
                                                                                            framework.
29. Consult trade unions over the formulation and      Name & role           Ongoing and    The Trade Union is always consulted.
implementation of equal opportunities policies and                           at regional
action plans.                                                                meetings
30. Plan meetings to take account of part-time         Name & role           Ongoing        We monitor progress through L&D evaluation
workers and those with caring responsibilities.                                             forms, feedback to line managers. A staff
                                                                                            attitude survey, and complaints to Harassment
                                                                                            Contact Officers.
31. Ensure that all staff and line managers            All staff             Ongoing        Covered on line manager workshops,
understand and are committed to carrying out their                                          recruitment workshops and diversity training.
personal responsibilities in implementing
organisational equal opportunities policy.