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Equal Opportunities

The company handbook is subject to change. Please review regularly

       2.7a Statement

       2.7b Policy

       2.7c Definitions

       2.7d Who is Accountable?


2.7a      Statement

The Company encourages a working environment that values individual differences and creates an inclusive organisational culture based on trust, respect, and team work, and which is free from unfair discrimination, harassment or victimisation of any kind. 


The Company is committed to dealing fairly with an increasingly diverse workforce and ensuring no one employed directly or indirectly, or dealing with the Company, is treated less favourably on grounds of gender, pregnancy, marital status, gender reassignment, sexual-orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, religious belief, age or disability, or is disadvantaged by any provision, criteria or practice which cannot be shown to be justifiable.


This policy supports our aim of striving for a work environment that values diversity and equal opportunities, and prohibits all forms of harassment.



2.7b     Policy

  1. There will be no discrimination on account of sex, race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability, or disadvantage by any other condition or requirement that is not essential for carrying out the job.

  2. The Company will follow NACRO guidelines in respect of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

  3. The Company will appoint, train, develop and promote on the basis of objective criteria, personal performance, merit and ability.

  4. Employees have personal responsibility for the practical application of the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy, which extends to the treatment of clients, suppliers, the public and other employees, whether temporary or permanent, full- or part-time.

  5. Everyone involved in the recruitment, selection, promotion and training of employees has a special responsibility for the practical application of the Company’s Equal Opportunity Policy and will receive guidance in this aspect of their role.

  6. Where there is under representation of particular groups, the circumstances will be investigated and, where appropriate, practical measures taken to remedy the situation.

  7. The Grievance Procedure is available to any employee who believes that he or she may have been unfairly treated in any way associated with this policy. All complaints of discrimination will be taken seriously and handled with sensitivity, and with due regard to confidentiality issues.

  8. No-one will be treated in any detrimental manner for raising a grievance, or supporting another who has. All complaints will be investigated thoroughly by an independent manager.

  9. Acts of direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation/bullying will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Framework and could lead to dismissal.

  10. Examples of what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour, and therefore gross misconduct, include: 

  • spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone

  • copying memos that are critical about someone to others who do not need to know

  • ridiculing or demeaning someone – picking on them or setting them up to fail

  • exclusion or victimisation

  • unfair treatment

  • ‘ganging-up’

  • overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position

  • unwelcome sexual advances – touching, standing too close, display of offensive materials

  • making threats or comments about job security without foundation

  • deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading and constant criticism

  • preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities

  11. If there is any doubt about inappropriate treatment under the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy, employees             should consult the Human Resources Department.  Any such conversations will be strictly confidential.



2.7c      Definitions

Discrimination can occur in a number of ways:

  • Direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favourably for a reason related to one of  the grounds  set out above

For example: Direct racial discrimination would occur where a person refuses to employ someone  because of their race

  • Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to all, but is discriminatory in effect and cannot be justified.

For example: Indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex  would occur if a height requirement was placed on job applicants that would be likely to eliminate more women than men, and the requirement could not be justified for that particular role. 

  • Victimisation occurs where a person who has alleged discrimination, or who has assisted a complainant, is treated less favourably for this reason.

For example: Victimisation would occur if an employer dismissed an employee on spurious grounds because she had made a complaint that she had suffered discrimination at work.

  • Harassment  occurs where a person is subjected to unwanted conduct with the purpose or effect of violating his/her dignity or creating a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

For example, unwanted physical conduct, inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance etc can constitute harassment. In Northern Ireland singing of sectarian songs, sectarian remarks, comments may constitute sectarian harassment.

NB: - The above examples are for illustration only and the list is not exhaustive.



2.7d     Who Is Accountable?

The Company is liable for the acts of its employees in the course of their employment. However, as an individual, you may also be legally liable if you:

  • commit an act of unlawful discrimination;

  • instruct, or pressurise another person to commit an act of unlawful discrimination;

  • help someone else to commit an act of unlawful discrimination.


You must therefore have a clear understanding of the consequences of behaviour which constitutes unlawful discrimination, victimisation and/or harassment.  These may include:

  • disciplinary proceedings, which may in serious cases lead to summary dismissal;

  • individual legal liability under the Equality Act 2010

  • exposing the Company to legal liability for your discriminatory acts


Revision A1

Section 2.7:  Equal Opportunities


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