Equal Opportunities Policy

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Equal Opportunities Policy

Veitch Penny is committed to a policy of treating all its employees and job applicants equally. 

No employee or potential employee shall receive less favourable treatment or consideration on the ground of race or perceived race, colour, religion or belief, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, family status, marital or civil partner status, fixed-term status or part-time status or will be disadvantaged by any conditions of employment that cannot be justified as necessary on operational grounds. 
All staff are expected to comply with this policy and to ensure that such conduct does not occur.

 

Principles

There should be no discrimination because of race or perceived race, colour, religion or belief, family status, health, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, political opinions, nationality or marital or civil partner status, fixed-term status or part-time status.

Veitch Penny will appoint, train, develop, reward and promote on the basis of merit and ability.

All employees have personal responsibility for the practical application of the Employer’s Equality Policy, which extends to the treatment of job applicants, employees (including former employees), customers and visitors.
Special responsibility for the practicable application of the Employer’s equal opportunities policy falls upon senior management involved in the recruitment, selection, promotion and training of employees.

The Employer’s Grievance Procedure is available to any employee who believes that he or she may have been unfairly discriminated against. The harassment complaints procedure set out in this policy is available to any employee who believes that he or she may have been harassed. Employees will not be victimised in anyway for making such a complaint in good faith. Complaints of this nature will be dealt with seriously, in confidence and as soon as possible.
Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who is found to have committed an act of unlawful discrimination. Serious breaches of this policy and serious incidents of harassment will be treated as gross misconduct. Allegations of discrimination which are not made in good faith will also be considered as a disciplinary matter. Confidential records of ongoing matters dealt with in accordance with this policy will be kept.

In the case of any doubt or concern about the application of this policy in any particular instance, consult the Employer’s senior management.
The Employer will keep under review its policy, procedures and practices on equal opportunities.
We monitor workforce diversity monitoring on a regular basis to ensure that there is equal opportunities in the workplace.
Veitch Penny is committed to complying with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011’s diversity and equality policies, and with all current and any future anti-discrimination legislation and associated codes of practice including, but not limited to:

The Equality Act 2010 and statutory instruments and regulations issued there under
Relevant Practice Notes issued from time to time by The Law Society, including the Practice Note entitled “Equality Act 2010”.
Guidance notes and Directives issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
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and any relevant modifications amendments and additions to the foregoing

Recruitment and Selection

  • The following principles should apply whenever recruitment or selection for positions takes place:
  • individuals will be assessed according to their personal capability to carry out a given job;
  • assumptions that only certain types of person will be able to perform certain types of work must not be made;
  • any qualifications or requirements applied to a job which have or may have the effect of inhibiting applications from certain types of person should only be retained if they can be justified in terms of the job to be done;
  • any age limits applied to a job should only be retained if they can be justified in terms of the job to be done;
  • recruitment solely or primarily by word of mouth should be avoided if its effect is or may be to prevent certain types of person from applying;
  • selection tests should be specifically related to job requirements and should measure the person’s actual or inherent ability to do or train for the work;
  • selection tests should be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain relevant and free from any unjustifiable bias, either in content or in scoring mechanism;
  • applications from different types of person should be processed in the same way;
  • written records of interviews and reason for appointment and non-appointment should be kept;
  • questions should relate to the requirements of the job; if it is necessary to assess whether personal circumstances may affect job performance, this should be done objectively without questions or assumptions being made which are based on stereotyped beliefs about certain types of person;
  • where the Employer’s arrangements for recruitment and selection put disabled people at a substantial disadvantage due to a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless objectively justified;
  • no decisions regarding recruitment or selection should be made by a person who has not read and understood this policy.

Promotion, Transfer and Training


The following principles should apply to appointments for promotion, transfer and training:

  • assessment criteria and appraisal schemes should be carefully examined to ensure that they are not unlawfully discriminatory;
  • assessment criteria and appraisal schemes should be monitored and, where such criteria or schemes result in predominantly one group of workers gaining access to promotion, transfer or training, they will be checked to make sure this is not due to any hidden or indirect discrimination;
  • promotion and career development patterns will be monitored to ensure that access to promotion and career development opportunities in particular groups of workers are not unjustifiably being excluded;
  • traditional qualifications and requirements for promotion, transfer and training, such as length of service, and age, which may discriminate against certain groups of workers shall be reviewed and will only continue to be applied if genuinely justified;
  • policies and practices regarding selection for training, day release and personal development should not result in an imbalance in training between groups of workers unless this is objectively justified;
  • where the Employer’s arrangements in relation to promotion, transfer or training put disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage for a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless objectively justified.

Terms of Employment, Benefits, Facilities and Services

  • The following principles shall apply to terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services:
  • the terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services available to workers should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are provided in a way which is free from unlawful discrimination;
  • part-time workers should receive pay, benefits, facilities and services on a pro-rata basis to their full-time comparator unless otherwise objectively justified;
  • where the Employer’s arrangements relating to terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services put disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage due to a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless otherwise objectively justified;
  • pay and bonus criteria, policies and arrangements should be carefully examined and monitored, and if it appears that any group of workers are disadvantaged by them they will be checked to make sure that this is not due to any hidden or indirect discrimination.

Grievances, disciplinary procedures, dismissals and redundancies

Workers who, in good faith, bring a grievance (or assist another to do so) either under this policy, under the Employer’s Grievance Procedure or otherwise in relation to an equal opportunities matter will not be disciplined, dismissed or otherwise victimised for having done so.

No member of any group of workers will be disciplined or dismissed for performance or behaviour which would be overlooked or condoned in another group unless there is genuine and lawful justification for this.

Redundancy criteria and procedures will be carefully examined to ensure that they do not operate in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.
The provision of voluntary redundancy benefits will be equally available to all workers concerned unless there is a genuine and lawful justification for doing so otherwise.


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