Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Our Mission Statement

We are committed to genuine equality of opportunity, the removal of discrimination and providing a high quality building service to all our clients.

How the policy will be implemented

The Quality and Diversity Manager will be responsible for the implementation of the policy. Through consultation and monitoring, we will review the policy regularly to meet the changing needs of our customers, suppliers, staff, Government regulations, and best practice guidance (including Key Lines of Enquiry).

The policy – equality and diversity

The policy clearly describes our aim to promote equality and diversity in the services we provide and shows our commitment to providing the best possible service to our clients.

Statement of Intent

George Hurst & Sons is committed to achieving equality and diversity at the heart of all its business activity. It defines equality as:

  • Removing unlawful discrimination of any type
  • Treating people fairly with dignity and respect
  • Making decisions about people based on individual merit not through bias, prejudice, assumptions or stereotyping
  • Creating an environment where everyone has fair and equal access to employment and promotion opportunities
  • Developing a working environment which is free from discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying
  • Providing equality of access to our services, making sure that we deliver high quality services to all our customers.

George Hurst & Sons Ltd defines valuing diversity as:

  • Recognising and respecting differences
  • Striving to achieve equal opportunities for an increasingly diverse customer and staff group
  • Providing appropriate services that match different needs and choices and that reasonable adjustments are made to ensure this takes place.
  • Encouraging understanding and good relations between people who have different backgrounds and experiences.

George Hurst & Sons is committed to fair and equal treatment for all people regardless of gender, reassignment, sexual orientation, marital / civil partner status, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, age disability, pregnancy or maternity, sex or any other reason. (Protected Characteristics)

George Hurst & Sons will make sure that customers, visitors, suppliers, staff and former members of staff have the same right and access to high standards of service. We also need to ensure that those groups also understand their responsibilities to George Hurst & Sons whilst on our premises and site and interacting with our staff.

George Hurst & Sons recognise ethnic and cultural diversity, which will let people from all ethnic groups achieve their potential and not suffer from racial prejudice or racial discrimination.

George Hurst & Sons will expect positive attitudes towards customers, staff, partners, job applicants and anyone with whom our staff work.

George Hurst & Sons will make sure that no unlawful or unfair discrimination takes place against an individual or group, directly or indirectly, because of their gender, reassignment, sexual orientation, marital / civil partner status, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, age disability, pregnancy or maternity, sex or any other reason.

All staff and suppliers (whilst working on our contracts) have a duty to act in accordance with this policy and treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, regardless of their status. Your attention is drawn to our separate Anti-harassment and bullying policy.

It is expected that staff and suppliers will demonstrate the following attitudes and behaviours towards customers, staff, partners, job applicants and anyone with whom our staff work:

You WILL ensure that any people you come into contact with during your work are treated equally and with respect

You WILL ensure that people visiting our office and sites are able to access facilities to maximise their visit and gain a positive appreciation of George Hurst & Sons

You WILL report any incidents you witness or hear about where people have been discriminated against, harassed or victimised to your line manager or a director immediately.

Failure to act appropriately or to report any incidents which later come to light may result in disciplinary proceedings for staff or future contracts being withdrawn from suppliers

This policy has been agreed by the Board of Directors.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and may be amended at any time.

Commitment

The Board of Directors are committed to tackling discrimination of any nature and are fully committed to encouraging equality and diversity throughout our business activities and services. The Board of Directors have overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with discrimination law. Day to day operational responsibility including regular review of this policy has been delegated to the Company Secretary.

The Board of Directors will make sure that:

  • It provides effective leadership and delivers a clear vision on its values relating to equality and diversity.
  • Its make up and leadership fairly reflect and represent the diversity of the company.
  • It has a recruitment policy and procedure that promotes equal opportunities.
  • It develops training and support for new and existing employees.

If you have any questions about the content or application of this policy, you should contact Kay Botcherby for further information.

Scope & Purpose of the Policy

This policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with staff and suppliers (whilst working on our premises or sites) and to relations between staff members and suppliers at all levels. This includes job advertisements, recruitment and selection, training and development, opportunities for promotion, conditions of service, pay and benefits, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures and termination of employment.

We will take appropriate steps to accommodate the requirements of different religions, cultures and domestic responsibilities.

Our equality, diversity & inclusion policy objectives 

  • Review the companies existing equality, diversity & inclusion policies, procedures, employment practices and managed to identify any gaps and establish a SMART action plan.
  • Raise awareness, understanding and knowledge across the company through communication and training in 2014
  • Review our suppliers and contractors to establish that they can demonstrate they have good equality working practices
  • Gain the Equality Gold standard

Forms of Discrimination

Discrimination by or against an employee is generally prohibited unless there is a specific legal exemption. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally.

Direct discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favorably because of one or more of the protected characteristics set out above. For example, rejecting an applicant on the grounds of their race because they would not ‘fit in’ would be direct discrimination.

Indirect discrimination occurs where someone is disadvantaged by an unjustified provision, criterion or practice that also puts other people with the same protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. For example a requirement to work full time puts women at a particular disadvantage because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement will need to be objectively justified.

Harassment related to any of the protected characteristics is prohibited. Harassment is unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment is dealt with further in our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy.

Victimisation is also prohibited. This is less favourable treatment of someone who has complained or given information about discrimination or harassment, or supported someone else’s complaint.

Recruitment & Selection

We aim to ensure that no job applicant suffers discrimination because of any of the protected characteristics above. Our recruitment procedures are annually reviewed to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Job selection criteria ensure that they are relevant to the job and are not disproportionate.

Job advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage groups with a particular protected characteristic from applying.

We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market and though all channels available to us where appropriate. (and where relevant to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or underrepresented in our organisation. – Remove)

Applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited, exceptions.

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.

Applicants should not be asked about past or current pregnancy or future intentions related to pregnancy. Applicants should not be asked about matters concerning age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or gender reassignment.

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment status, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the UK Border Agency.

Staff Training and Promotion and Conditions of Service

All staff will be given appropriate access to training to enable them to progress within the organisation and all promotion decisions will be made on the basis of merit.

Workforce composition and promotions will be regularly monitored to ensure equality of opportunity 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.

Our conditions of service, benefits and facilities are available to all staff who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them.

Job descriptions and specifications are consistent for each role and are available for inspection on the company system

Termination of Employment

We will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory.

We will also ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.

Disability Discrimination

If you are disabled or become disabled, (*The Equality & Human Rights Commission defines disability as “a disabled person is a person with a disability. A person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.) We encourage you tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate.

*Source http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your direct line manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. We may wish to 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 a particular adjustment would not be reasonable we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they place disabled workers, job applicants or services users at a substantial disadvantage compared to other staff. Where reasonable, we will take steps to improve access for disabled staff and service users when visiting our premises and sites.

Fixed Term Employees and Agency Workers

We monitor our use of fixed term employees and agency workers, and their conditions of service, to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits, training, promotion and permanent employment opportunities. We will, where relevant, monitor their progress to ensure that they are accessing permanent vacancies.

Part Time Work

We monitor the conditions of service of part-time employees and their progression to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefit and training and promotion opportunities. We will ensure requests to alter working hours are dealt with appropriately

Breaches of This Policy

If you believe that you may have been discriminated against you are encouraged to raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure. If you believe that you may have been subject to harassment you are encourage to raise the matter through our Anti-harassment Policy. If you are uncertain which applies or need advice on how to proceed you should to the Kay Botcherby.

Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure. Staff who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under Disciplinary Procedure.

Any member of staff who is found to have committed an act of discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action. Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. We take a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.

Monitoring and Review of the Policy

This policy is reviewed annually by the Company Secretary in line with current legislation.

We will continue to review the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving its objectives

Services

We are committed to giving customer the high quality building service and to meet the diverse needs of our customers. We will do this by:

  • Providing services that meet the different needs of individuals, groups and local communities
  • Encouraging good relations between people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, age, disability or any other reason
  • Treating people fairly regardless of ethnicity when they use our services
  • Carrying out equality audits in all our service areas to make sure we are meeting our legal duties
  • Setting equality targets and performance indicators for all service areas

Partners

It is a condition of any contract that all contractors, partners, consultants and suppliers meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and will remove all forms of discrimination within their organisation. This will form part of the new sub – contractor and supplier evaluation form which will now be completed annually to ensure that policies and processes are reviewed an updated as necessary.

Implementation

The Directors will make sure that this policy is effectively implemented.

All employees and those working on behalf of or in partnership with George Hurst & Sons will carry out work in line with this policy.

We will carry out the actions and targets set out in the Equality and Diversity Action Plan and we will review and amend the plan regularly.

Monitoring

We will monitor the ethnic origin, gender and disability of our employees to see how effective the recruitment and equality policies are. We will consider ways to address under representation.

The Directors will look at best practice and consider whether changes are needed to improve equality within George Hurst & Sons.

Communication

The policy is communicated via company inductions, training including Tool Box Talks.

Reviews

This policy will be reviewed regularly and a formal review will take place every 12 months to make sure that equality and diversity continues to form the basis of all our services and employment practices.

This policy will be reviewed if there are any changes in Government legislation.