Empower recognises that discrimination is unacceptable and it is in the interests of our agency and our team to use the skills of the total workforce and so we should always be working to recruit a diverse workforce.
Our aim is that Empower’s team will be truly representative of all sections of society, and that each team member feels respected and able to give their best.
The purpose of Empower’s Diversity and Equality policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in our team.
It is the aim of Empower and everyone who works for our agency to ensure that no team member, contractor or job applicant receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) in recruitment or employment on grounds of protected characteristics, including:
- Gender / gender reassignment
- Marriage / civil partnership
- Pregnancy / maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sex or sexual orientation
Our team will not discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass customers or clients because of these characteristics.
All team members, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit, will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.
All team members will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential.
This policy and the associated arrangements shall operate in accordance with statutory requirements. In addition, any guidance or codes of practice issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, any Government Departments, and any other statutory bodies will be taken into account.
Our diversity and equality commitments
- To promote equality in the workplace, which we believe is good management practice and makes sound business sense.
- To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our team are recognised and valued.
- Every team member is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all.
- No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
- To ensure that training, development and progression opportunities are available to all team members.
- To review our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
- Breaches of our equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
- This policy is fully supported by the agency leadership team.
- The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.
Responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation and operation of the arrangements will rest with the agency Directors.
Directors and managers will ensure that they and their staff operate within this policy and arrangements, and that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to avoid discrimination.
Each manager will ensure that all their team are aware of the policy and the arrangements, and the reasons for the policy, and that grievances concerning discrimination are dealt with properly, fairly and as quickly as possible and that proper records are maintained.
The Directors will be responsible for monitoring the operation of the policy in respect of team members and job applicants, including periodic audits.
Empower team member responsibilities
Responsibility for ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination rests with all team members and the attitudes of the team are crucial to the successful operation of fair employment practices. In particular, all team members should:
- Comply with the policy and arrangements.
- Not discriminate in their day-to-day activities or induce others to do so.
- Not victimise, harass or intimidate other staff or groups who have, or are perceived to have, one of the protected characteristics.
- Ensure no individual is discriminated against or harassed because of their association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
- Inform their manager if they become aware of any discriminatory practice.
Third party harassment occurs where an agency team member is harassed, and the harassment is related to a protected characteristic, by third parties such as clients or customers.
Empower will not tolerate such actions against its team, and the team member concerned should inform their manager at once that this has occurred. Empower’s Directors will investigate and take reasonable steps to ensure such harassment does not happen again.
Employment related policies
All employment policies and arrangements have a bearing on equality of opportunity. The agency policies will be reviewed regularly and any discriminatory elements removed.
Rights of disabled people
Under the terms of this policy, Empower’s Directors are required to:
- Make reasonable adjustments to maintain the services of an employee who becomes disabled, for example, training, provision of special equipment, reduced working hours.
- Include disabled people in training/development programmes.
- Give full and proper consideration to disabled people who apply for jobs, having regard to making reasonable adjustments for their particular aptitudes and abilities, to allow them to be able to do the job.
Briefing sessions will be held for team members on equality issues as required. These will be repeated as necessary. Equality information is also included in induction programmes.
Training will be provided as necessary for team members on this policy and the associated arrangements. All team members who have an involvement in the recruitment and selection process will receive specialist training as required.
There will also be regular assessments to measure the extent to which recruitment to first appointment, internal promotion and access to training/development opportunities affect equal opportunities for all groups.
Where appropriate, equality impact assessments will be carried out on the results of monitoring, to ascertain the effect that the company policies and our services/products may have on those who experience them.
The information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and it will not be used for any other purpose.
If monitoring shows that the company, or areas within it, are not representative, or that sections of our workforce are not progressing properly within the company, then an action plan will be developed to address these issues.
This will include a review of recruitment and selection procedures, company policies and practices, as well as consideration of taking legal positive action.
Diversity and Equality policy review
The effectiveness of this policy and associated arrangements will be reviewed annually under the direct supervision of the Directors of Empower Agency.