Equal Opportunity Policy Statement
Issue Date: September 2022 Rev 001
The Stepnell Group is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. Selection for employment, promotion, transfer, training and career advancement and access to benefits, facilities and services, will be fair and equitable based solely on merit and capability.
The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.
The organisation – in providing goods and/or services and/or facilities – is also committed against unlawful discrimination of customers or the public.
The Group’s policy is to:
1. Provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time and to job applicants, customers, clients and contractors.
2. Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of:
● gender reassignment
● marriage or civil partnership
● pregnancy and maternity
● race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin)
● religion or belief
● sexual orientation.
3. Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in:
● pay and benefits
● terms and conditions of employment
● dealing with grievances and discipline
● leave for parents
● requests for flexible working
● selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.
Stepnell Group Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
This details the measures The Group takes to ensure that the policy contributes to achieve its aims. This applies to all aspects of employment, from recruitment to dismissal.
The Stepnell Group commits to:
1. Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace which fosters positive employee relationships making the business stronger.
2. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all colleagues are recognised and valued.
This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination. All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.
Managers and workers in key decision-making areas will be trained on the discriminatory effects that provisions, practices, requirements, conditions and criteria can have.
3. Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities.
Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice. The Grievance Procedure will be published on The Group’s intranet site.
Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.
4. Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all employees, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
5. Make decisions concerning employees being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
6. Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
7. Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.
Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
We will also regularly review the advertising, recruitment and application materials and processes, and this policy.
8. The policy will be communicated to all workers and job applicants, and will be placed on the company’s intranet.
Customers and clients will be made aware of the policy on request, and of their right to fair and equal treatment, irrespective of race, colour, nationality, national or ethnic origins, sexual orientation, gender, religion/belief, disability or age.
Fair and equal treatment will be given to customers and members of the public by all employees. The business will investigate any complaints from employees that they are being bullied or harassed by a customer for reasons linked to protected characteristics, and take suitable action to prevent further incidents.
9. Where practical we will make reasonable changes to overcome physical and non-physical barriers that make it difficult for disabled employees to carry out their work, and for disabled customers to access our services. When an employee becomes disabled in the course of their employment, reasonable steps will be taken to accommodate their disability by considering adjustments to working practices and arrangements, or by considering redeployment and appropriate retraining to enable them to remain in employment with The Group, wherever reasonably possible.
10. Contractors who supply goods, materials or services to Stepnell Ltd will be expected to prohibit unlawful discrimination, bullying or harassment by contractors and their employees, and by any subcontractors and their employees. We will also encourage contractors and potential contractors to provide equality of opportunity in their employment practices.
Agreement to follow this Policy
The equality, diversity and inclusion policy is the responsibility of Tom Wakeford, Managing Director, and has the full support of the Board of Directors.