Equality and Diversity Policy
- Equality and Diversity Statement
- About this Policy
- Who is responsible for this Policy?
- Recruitment and Selection
- Training, Promotion and Conditions of Service
- Termination of Employment
- Part-time and Fixed-term Employees
- Breaches of this Policy
1.1 Digital Futures Limited is committed to promoting equal opportunities and diversity in employment. We recognise that every person is an individual with different needs, preferences and abilities and we aim to reflect this diversity in everything we do, including attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.
1.2 We also strive to be inclusive through respecting one another, promoting and achieving equality of opportunity, valuing diversity, and providing an accessible, responsive service to our customers.
1.3 You and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics).
2.1 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that our commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity is reflected in all employment processes, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.
2.2 This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers (the Users).
3.1 Our Human Resources Department has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with discrimination law. Day-to-day operational responsibility for this policy, including regular review of this policy, has been delegated to Samantha Smithson-Biggs. However, it is the responsibility of all Users to support the policy by ensuring that Digital Futures’ activities promote equality and diversity.
3.2 All managers must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example, and ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy and promote our aims and objectives with regard to equal opportunities and diversity. Managers will be given appropriate training on equality and diversity awareness, equality and diversity recruitment and selection best practice. The Human Resources Department has overall responsibility for equality and diversity training.
3.3 If you have any questions about the content or application of this policy, you should contact our Human Resources Department to request training or further information.
3.4 This policy is reviewed annually by the Human Resources Department, unless there is a significant change in the relevant legislation which triggers a review before then.
3.5 Users are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved by contacting the Human Resources Department.
4.1 You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers, and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers, or other work-related contacts), and on work-related trips or events including social events.
4.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
- (a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.
- (b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.
- (c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
- (d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.
- (e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
4.3 Discrimination, harassment, and victimisation are disciplinary offences which may lead to dismissal.
5.1 Digital Futures will ensure that recruitment practices fulfil the requirements set in this policy.
5.2 Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted based on merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting will be done by more than one person and with the involvement of the Human Resources Department, where possible. Our recruitment procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated based on their relevant merits and abilities.
5.3 Vacancies are generally advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.
5.4 We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market and, where relevant, to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or underrepresented in our organisation. Where appropriate, the Human Resources Department may approve the use of lawful exemptions to recruit someone with a particular Protected Characteristic, for example, where the job can only be done by a woman. The advertisement will specify the exemption that applies.
5.5 Job applicants will not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants will not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.
5.6 Job applicants will not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited exceptions which should only be used with the approval of the Human Resources Department. For example:
- (a) Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments).
- (b) Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.
- (c) Positive action to recruit disabled persons.
- (d) Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the selection or decision-making process).
Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check.
5.7 To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in our organisation, we monitor applicants’ ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary, and it will not adversely affect an individual’s chances of recruitment, or any other decision related to their employment. The information is removed from applications before shortlisting and kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.
6.1 Training needs will be identified through regular appraisals. You will be given appropriate access to training to enable you to progress within the organisation and all promotion decisions will be made based on merit.
6.2 Workforce composition and promotions will be regularly monitored to ensure equality of opportunity and diversity at all levels of the organisation. Where appropriate, steps will be taken to identify and remove unjustified barriers and to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.
6.3 Our conditions of service, benefits and facilities are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are available to all of you who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them.
7.1 We will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory.
7.2 We will also ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.
8.1 If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to inform us about your condition so that we can support you appropriately.
8.2 If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may contact the Human Resources Department to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. The Human Resources Department may consult with you and your medical adviser about possible adjustments. We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider that a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.
8.3 We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they might place anyone with a disability at a substantial disadvantage. Where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to improve access.
9. Part-time and Fixed-term Employees
Part-time and fixed-term employees are treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate) unless different treatment is justified.
10.1 We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure and serious cases of discrimination, harassment and victimisation may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.
10.2 If you believe that you have suffered discrimination, harassment, and victimisation you can raise the matter through our grievance procedure. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
10.3 There must be no victimisation or retaliation against Users who complain about discrimination. However, making a false allegation and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our disciplinary procedure.