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Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Definitions.

 

Equality – is the current term for “equal opportunities”.  It is based on the legal obligation to comply with anti-discrimination legislation.  Equality protects people from being discriminated against on the grounds of group membership i.e. sex, race disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief or age.

Diversity – Implies a wide range of conditions and characteristics.  In terms of organisations and their workforce it about valuing and reaping the benefits of a varied workforce that makes the best of peoples talents whatever their backgrounds.  Diversity encompasses visible and non-visible individual differences.  It can be seen in the make-up of the workforce in terms of gender, ethnic minorities, disabled people etc., about where those people are in terms of management positions, jog opportunities and terms and conditions in the workplace.

In this policy, Discrimination means discriminating where a person is treated less favourably on grounds of sexual orientation, gender, adopted gender, marital status, disability or race as defined in the Sex Discrimination Amendment Act 2007, Gender, disability and Race Relations (inc Disability Discrimination Act Legislation 2006 and Race Relations Amendment Act 2000) and  the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 2006

In this policy, Indirect Discrimination means the imposition of a requirement or condition which is applied or would be applied equally to persons not of the same sex, marital status, racial group or disability group, but, which is such that the proportion of persons of the same gender, marital status, racial group or disability sufferer who can comply with it is considerably smaller than the proportion of persons who cannot comply with it.

Which Serenity Health cannot show justifiable, irrespective of sex, marital status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin or disability of the person to whom it is applied.

Which is to the detriment of the individual concerned because he/she cannot comply with it.

In this policy, Harassment means repeated, unreciprocated and unwelcome comments, looks, actions, suggestions or physical contact that is found objectionable and offensive and that might threaten an employee’s job security or create an intimidating environment.  Harassment can be sexual, racial or directed against people with disabilities or those who are undergoing gender reassignment treatment.

Introduction

 Serenity Health recognises that it is in its own best interests as well as in the interests of its employees that full utilization is made of the skills of the total workforce and that discrimination and/or harassment therefore is unacceptable.

Purpose

All members of staff employed by Serenity Health and all applicants for employment shall be afforded Equal Opportunities in employment, irrespective of their gender, preferred gender, marital status, race, religion, creed, colour, disability or sexual preference.

Recruitment, training and promotion to all individuals will be on the basis of job requirements and the individual’s ability and fitness for work.

Scope

All members of staff employed by Serenity Health and all job applicants.

Related policies

Whistle blowing – Bullying and harassment policy – Complaint procedure.

Procedure

In the application of the Equal Opportunities policy, it is essential that managers guard against discrimination/harassment on the basis of possible preconceptions that individuals, because of their gender, preferred gender, marital status, race or disability possess characteristics which would make them unsuitable for employment.  Examples of such preconceptions may be that individuals, because of their membership of a particular group would;

Lack commitment to work.

Have outside commitments that would interfere with work.

Possess poor mental/physical ability.

Be unable to get on with/communicate with other staff, Service Users or public.

Produce an anticipated unfavourable reaction from other staff, Service Users or public.

Be unsuitable for the job because of a feeling that certain types of work are only suitable for certain groups of people.

Be unable to supervise.

Possess limited career intentions.

Be unwilling to undertake training.

Have poor standards of behaviour/conduct.

Have limitations imposed by cultural background/religious beliefs.

Serenity Health emphasises that discrimination/harassment as a consequence of any such preconceptions is unacceptable.

Limitations which are imposed by management for convenience rather than out of necessity and which affect certain groups of staff more than others may effectively result in indirect discrimination and should be eliminated.

All applicants for posts with Serenity Health shall be given as much clear, accurate information about posts in advertisements, job descriptions, personal specifications and interviews necessary to enable them to assess their own suitability for a post.

Recruitment literature shall not imply that there is a preference for one group of applicants (e.g. by use of photographs of only members of a certain racial group/sex) unless there is a genuine occupational qualification which limit’s a post to a particular sex or racial group, in which case, this must clearly be stated.

However, in accordance with the Sex Discrimination Amendment Act 2007, Gender, disability and Race Relations (inc Disability Discrimination Act Legislation 2006 and Race Relations Amendment Act 2000) and  the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 2006.

 Section 48 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Section 38 of the Race Relations Act 1976, Serenity Health may encourage persons of a particular racial group, birth gender or preferred gender to apply for vacancies where, during the previous 12 months, the proportion of persons of that group amongst those working that department/workplace is small in comparison with the proportion of persons of that group either employed by Serenity Health or amongst the population of the area from which Serenity Health normally recruits.  But, after encouraging such applications, each candidate must be considered on his/her merit and suitability for the post and their membership of an under represented group shall not influence the appointment.

Advertisements and recruitment drives should be aimed at as wide a group of suitably qualified and experienced people as possible.

All applicants shall be informed that Serenity Health encourages equal opportunities and operates an equal opportunity policy.  Such information could be conveyed on advertisement, job application forms or job descriptions.

All personal  specification forms for posts shall include only requirements that are safe and justifiable for the effective performance of the job, as requirements that are convenient rather than necessary may be discriminatory.

 

Application forms should be as clear as possible and shall not be used as a test of literacy.

All interviews shall be thorough, conducted on an objective basis and shall deal only with the applicant’s suitability for the job and ability to fulfill the job requirements.  It is not discriminating to ask questions about such matters as applicant’s home commitments, but, where such questions are asked, it is important to explain the reasons for asking them.  They should be asked in a way in which they can be reasonably answered and they must be asked consistently to all applicants and related to the job criteria.

All staff shall be encouraged to discuss their career prospects and training needs with their line managers.

Serenity Health will not discriminate on the basis of birth gender, preferred gender,, marital status, disability status or race in the allocation of duties or shifts between staff employed on the same grade with the same job descriptions, except where such duties are specifically covered by the Factories Act 1961.

It is the policy of Serenity Health that we will not discriminate in the provision of training courses.  Appropriate training shall be provided to enable staff to perform their jobs safely and effectively.  Such training will make provision where necessary for individuals returning to work following prolonged absences and/or breaks in service.

Reverse Discrimination.

It is not possible to counter the effects of past discrimination practices by reverse discrimination, that is, discrimination in favour of underrepresented groups who may have suffered from discrimination on the basis of race or sex.  However, Serenity Health will attempt to ensure that the effects of past discriminatory practices, where and if they existed, are not perpetuated.

It is unlawful to apply reverse discrimination to employees or applicants (except disabled people) in all circumstances, except by encouraging applicants and employees to apply for jobs or training in accordance with above.  In relation to disabled people, employers have a legal obligation to employ a quota of disabled people (currently 3% of the workforce).  When below quota, it is not unlawful to discriminate.  Although not bound in law, Serenity Health is committed to the principal

Monitoring.

The management team at Serenity Health will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Equal Opportunity policy.  Personnel policies and procedures shall be kept under regular review to ensure they do not operate against Equal Opportunities.

Where there is evidence that any employee/applicants are not being offered equal opportunities, then this matter shall be investigated by management to see if there are any policies or criteria which exclude or discourage members of under represented groups and if so, whether these policies and criteria are justifiable.

Grievance.

Any complaints of discrimination or harassment against employees shall be pursued through the grievance procedure.

Failure to comply with the provision of this policy and failure to discharge properly legal obligations under the appropriate Acts will result in disciplinary action being taken.

Disciplinary action may also be taken in cases where instructions and/or pressures are brought to bear to discriminate, victimise or harass.

This policy can be read in conjunction with the “Whistleblowing policy”

 

 

Title:   

Equal Opportunities and Diversity

Prepared by: 

The Management Team

Issue/review date:

January 2018

Review date:   

January 2019

Status:

Approved – Care Home Manager

 

March 9, 2018

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