Equality & Diversity Policy
The purpose of this policy is to promote equal treatment for all employees or potential employees irrespective of sex (including gender reassignment), race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or belief, disability, age, marriage or civil partnership, part-time working and ex-offender status.
Any treatment of an individual, which is considered to be discriminatory, harassment or bullying, will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and any employee who conducts such behaviour towards a fellow employee, client or supplier, will be subject to the Company’s disciplinary procedure. In serious cases, such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and result in summary dismissal.
To ensure that the Company complies with The Equality Act 2010 legislation and does not conduct or condone any unlawful discrimination.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination is unlawful when it takes place on one of the following grounds (the ‘protected characteristics’): race, nationality, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, disability, age, religion or belief and ex-offender status.
Direct Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably on, or for a reason related to, one of the above protected characteristics.
It is also Direct Discrimination when someone is treated worse than someone else because they associate with someone with a protected characteristic or because they are perceived to have a protected characteristic.
It is also Discrimination when a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected to their disability and this cannot be justified by the needs of the business or when the business fails to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement is applied to everyone and by doing so puts a certain group of people or groups of people at a disadvantage and cannot be justified by the needs of the business, e.g., stating that all applicants must be over six tall disproportionately disadvantages women and would be unlawful unless it could be justified on genuine business grounds.
Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably than others because that person has, in good faith, made a complaint or allegation under the Equality Act, or has acted as a witness for someone connected with proceedings under the Act, or has been involved in any way with the enforcement, or intends to do any of these things.
B. Equality and Diversity
All employees and contractors have a duty to act in accordance with this policy as well as a duty not to discriminate against each other and not to help anyone else do so.
The Company is committed to equality and diversity in all its employment practices, policies and procedures. No employee or potential employee will receive less favourable treatment due to their race, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, religion or belief, sex, gender reassignment or marital or civil partnership status.
Recruitment, Transfers and Promotions
All appointments will be made solely on merit.
The Company’s recruitment processes aim to provide the basis for an equitable and informative interview and for the screening and selection of applicants. Personal details, which are not necessary for a recruitment decision – such as marital or civil partnership status, number of children, gender or race are therefore not requested or considered.
The Company will not insist upon higher education or professional qualifications other than those that are necessary for the job. In assessing qualifications it will not be assumed that overseas diplomas or degrees are of a lower standard than their UK equivalents. Experience may count as an equivalent to professional qualifications, the requirements for which may then be waived, wherever possible.
Prior to commencement of the selection process, managers will ensure that all selection criteria are relevant to the job requirement and are not unlawfully discriminatory.
Training and Development
The Company’s training programmes will be designed to support the aims of the Equality and Diversity initiatives. Stereotyping, prejudice or any other form of discrimination will be eliminated from all internal courses. Every effort will be made to select external courses that also meet these requirements.
The criteria for selecting employees for training opportunities will be non-discriminatory. These will be based upon the employee’s merits and abilities, business needs and the availability of appropriate work related courses. Wherever practicable training will be arranged so that all categories of employees may attend.
All employees should be appraised annually and there will be positive encouragement to discuss suitable development and training opportunities.
Redundancy and Redeployment
The selection for redundancy and/or redeployment will be conducted in a manner that avoids any direct or indirect discrimination.
C. Employment of Those With Disabilities
It is the Company’s policy to employ the best person for the job, and not to unlawfully discriminate against employees who have a disability or who have had a disability in the past; this may be achieved by taking account of any “reasonable adjustments”. The purpose of this document is to set out that policy. It does not confer any contractual rights.
What should you do if you believe you are disabled?
If the Company is aware that someone has a disability, as defined in The Equality Act 2010 and subsequent government guidance, the practical effect, or effects, if any, of that disability on the individual’s ability to do the job may be discussed with the employee, as well as how any such effects might be reduced.
It will not, however, always be apparent that someone has a disability. If the Company is not aware that an employee has a disability, it is difficult to offer him or her the same help and assistance. If any employee believes that he or she has a disability and would like to discuss how the Company might be able to assist to enable him or her to do their job better, then please contact their Line Manager or the Human Resources Department.
Wherever possible the Company will make reasonable adjustments to any physical features of its premises and working arrangements that may place a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage. In such circumstances, the Human Resources Department should be consulted at the earliest stage. Where appropriate, the Company will make reasonable adjustments to take account of any specific needs that disabled employees may have.
The Company aims to ensure that all terms and conditions of employment, opportunities for promotion and training, disciplinary, grievance and redundancy procedures, and induction procedures do not discriminate against disabled employees.
If the Company is concerned about an employee’s health and the way it affects his or her ability to carry out his or her job, the employee may be asked to undergo a medical examination. This applies to all employees, whether or not they are disabled.
Divulging information about an employee
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Company will not divulge any information about an employee’s disability unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Such disclosures will usually only be necessary to ensure that a reasonable adjustment can be implemented. Where it becomes necessary to pass on such information, the matter will be discussed with the disabled employee in the first instance, and will ensure that the information divulged to any third party is necessary.
Employees who become disabled
The Company aims to be supportive to any employee who becomes disabled and, where justified, will make reasonable adjustments to the premises or working arrangements. This will involve consulting with the disabled employee at the appropriate time(s), about his or her needs and any effect that the disability might have on any future employment.
The Company aims to ensure that all recruitment practices and procedures do not discriminate against disabled people.
D1. Dignity At Work
The Aim is to have a workplace which is free from harassment and bullying and to ensure that all employees (and contractors on site) are treated with dignity and respect.
It is the responsibility of all employees and contractors to comply with this procedure and the particular responsibility of supervisors and managers to ensure it is carried out, with a view to developing and maintaining a working environment in which harassment and bullying are understood by all to be unacceptable.
This procedure applies to all employees, however the procedure set out below does not apply once you no longer work for us.
Company’s position on bullying and harassment
All employees (and contractors) have a duty not to bully or harass each other nor to help anyone else to do so.
The Company will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace or at work related events, whatever the seniority of the perpetrator. Neither will it tolerate retaliation or victimisation of any person involved in the bringing of a complaint of harassment or bullying.
The Company will take appropriate action if any of our employees are bullied or harassed by a customer or supplier.
If after investigation, the Company decide that an employee has harassed or bullied another worker then they may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal. Retaliation or victimisation may also constitute a disciplinary offence, which may in appropriate circumstances lead to summary dismissal.
Formal allegations of bullying and harassment will be treated seriously. Investigations will be carried out as promptly and as confidentially as possible. Employees who make allegations of bullying and harassment in good faith will not be treated less favourably as a result.
False accusations of harassment or bullying can have a serious effect on innocent individuals. False allegations made in bad faith will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.
What type of treatment amounts to bullying or harassment?
‘Bullying’ or ‘harassment’ are phrases that apply to treatment from one person (or a group of people) to another that is unwanted and that has the effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliation or offensive environment for that person.
Examples of bullying and harassment include:
- Verbal abuse or offensive jokes or pranks related to a person’s characteristics;
- lewd or suggestive comments;
- display of ‘pin-ups’, pornography, inflammatory or abusive literature or graffiti;
- deliberate exclusion from conversations or work activities;
- withholding information a person needs in order to do their job;
- physical abuse such as hitting, pushing or jostling;
This list is not exhaustive.
Bullying does not include legitimate, constructive and fair criticism of an employee’s performance and behaviour at work. An occasional raised voice or argument is not bullying.
It is important to recognise that what one employee may find acceptable, another may not. For this reason, all employees must treat their colleagues with respect and appropriate sensitivity.
D2. Dignity At Work Procedure
Any complaint of harassment or bullying will be handled sensitively, in a timely and confidential manner with a view to ensuring, so far as practicable, minimal stress to those involved.
The Company recognises the right of employees to determine for themselves whether the words or behaviour of others is acceptable to them and to bring a complaint in respect of harassment or bullying. The determination of whether a complaint of harassment or bullying is valid and, if so, what disciplinary action should apply shall be a management decision.
All employees involved in an investigation are expected to respect the need for confidentiality. Failure to do so may be considered a disciplinary offence.
An employee who considers himself or herself to be the victim of harassment or bullying may, in some cases, be able to resolve the matter by explaining clearly to the perpetrator(s) that their behaviour is unacceptable and must be stopped. Employees may wish to ask a colleague or a Manager to put this on their behalf or to be present when they confront the perpetrator(s).
If the above approach does not work or if you do not want to try to resolve the situation in this way, or if you are being bullied by your Line Manager, you should raise the issue with a more Senior Manager or the HR Department. They can try to resolve the situation informally by telling the alleged perpetrator(s), without prejudicing the matter, that there has been a complaint that their behaviour is having an adverse effect on a fellow colleague; that any such behaviour is contrary to our policy; that the continuation of such behaviour could, if substantiated, amount to a serious disciplinary offence. The perpetrator would be informed that the discussion was informal and confidential.
The purpose of this informal procedure is to resolve the matter without recourse to disciplinary action.
Formal Complaints Procedure
In the event that informal resolution of the matter is unsuccessful or considered inappropriate in the circumstances, the employee may make a formal written complaint about the harassment or bullying to their Line Manager or Human Resources Department. This letter should include a sufficient explanation of the nature of the bullying or harassment.
Where the employee and the alleged perpetrator(s) work in close proximity to each other, the Company may think it is inappropriate for them to continue to do so whilst the complaint is being investigated, if so, the Company may transfer or send home one, both or either.
Any complaint will be investigated impartially and, so far as practicable, confidentially. The complainant will be invited to a meeting to discuss the allegations of harassment or bullying as soon as is reasonably practical. This meeting will normally be held by a Manager and possibly an HR Representative.
The complainant will be asked to provide the following details (if not already provided): the name of the alleged harasser or bully, the nature of the harassment or bullying, the dates and times the harassment or bullying occurred, the names of any witnesses, and any action already taken by the complainant to resolve the matter informally.
The complainant may bring a fellow worker, a certified trade union representative or trade union official as a companion. Should the employee wish to exercise their right to be accompanied in the meeting, they should make a reasonable request to do so.
The complainant will be notified in writing of the outcome of this investigation, as soon as is reasonably practical.
Where the evidence gathered in the investigation indicates that a disciplinary offence may have been committed, a hearing will be convened after appropriate notice under the Company's disciplinary procedure. In accordance with that procedure, the alleged harasser or bully will receive sufficient details of the allegations against him or her and of any statements made by witnesses and will be given a full opportunity to respond.
Should the complainant remain dissatisfied with the decision they may appeal in writing within five working days of the decision, stating the grounds for the complaint and the reasons for dissatisfaction to the HR Department. The complainant will be invited to an appeal meeting as soon as is reasonably practical. They may be accompanied by a fellow worker, a certified trade union representative or trade union official and should submit a reasonable request to do so. Where possible, the appeal will be heard by a Manager or Director who has not previously been involved in the case. A HR Representative may also be present.
The final decision will be given in writing to the employee as soon as is reasonably practical. This decision is final and binding as there is no further level of appeal.
E. Visitors and Clients
Wherever appropriate, we aim to apply the principles of the above policies to any visitors to our premises and expect all employees to do the same. We would hope that clients would observe similar standards of conduct to those detailed in this procedure, but we clearly have no control over this. If an employee feels that a candidate or client’s behaviour constitutes harassment or bullying, they should contact their Line Manager or the Human Resources Department as soon as possible.
The Senior Management at Servoca fully supports the above policy.
All those persons referred to within the scope of this policy are required to adhere to its terms and conditions.
It is the responsibility of all employees to comply with the Company's Equality and Diversity Policy, and the particular responsibility of supervisors and managers to ensure it is carried out. This is with a view to developing and maintaining a working environment at the Company in which discrimination, harassment and bullying are understood by all to be unacceptable and that all employees have a right to be treated equally. To this end, a copy of this Policy and Procedure is provided to all employees (on the HR section of the Intranet), who are expected to familiarise themselves with it and abide by its provisions.
Individual Line Managers are responsible for ensuring this policy is applied within their own area and the objectives are met. Any queries on the application or interpretation of the policy or procedure must be discussed with the Human Resources Department prior to any action being taken. The Human Resources Department is available to advise managers on fairness and consistency in all areas. The managers are responsible for maintaining this. They must ensure that the minimum standards established within this policy are adhered to within their area of responsibility; and review the effectiveness of the policy.
Revisions, amendments or alterations to the policy may be implemented following the consideration and approval of the HR Department.
All employees are responsible for playing their part in achieving the objectives of the above Policy. All employees, at every level, must:
- Co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equal opportunity;
- Not induce or attempt to induce others to practice unlawful discrimination;
- Not victimise anyone as a result of them having reported or provided evidence of discrimination;
- Not harass, bully, abuse or intimidate others on account of their race, gender etc;
The Company will take any breach of the terms of this policy very seriously. Appropriate disciplinary action, which could include summary dismissal, will be taken against any employee of whatever seniority, who contravenes this policy. Serious offences, such as harassment and bullying, may be dealt with as gross misconduct.
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Servoca Secure Solutions Limited holds SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status for the provision of Security Guarding, Door Supervision & Key Holding