Equality policy

Specific Responsibilities

FiA has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and associated legislation and for observing relevant Codes of Practice.

All staff and volunteers have a responsibility not to discriminate or harass other staff, volunteers, service users and visitors and to report any such behaviour of which they become aware to the Manager or Chair of the Board.

The Manager is responsible for implementing the Equal Opportunities Policy and must apply the policy as part of their day-to-day management of FiA.

Forms of discrimination

The following are forms of discrimination that this policy aims to avoid:

Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic that they either have or are thought to have. Direct discrimination can also occur by way of association, which is when a person is treated less favourably because, for example, their spouse or partner or other relative has the protected characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to everyone, but has a disproportionately adverse effect on people who share a particular protected characteristic.  A person with the protected characteristic who is disadvantaged in that way has the right to complain.

Victimisation occurs where someone is treated unfavourably because he/she has raised a complaint under this policy or taken legal action, in relation to any alleged act of unlawful discrimination, against FiA or because he/she has supported someone else in doing this.

Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can take many different forms and may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments, emails or physical contact that causes offence or are objectionable.

Harassment may involve a single incident or persistent behaviour that extends over a period of time and can occur even if someone did not mean to cause offence. It also means that a person can be subjected to harassment by behaviour that is not aimed at them directly but which they nonetheless find unpleasant.  Harassment is always unacceptable and where it relates to a protected characteristic it will amount to an unlawful act of discrimination.

Discrimination arising from Disability – In addition to the above, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because of something that is the result, effect or outcome of their disability, unless the treatment is necessary and can be objectively justified. Furthermore, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled staff, volunteers and service users are not substantially disadvantaged.

Creating equal opportunities in the workplace

There are a number of ways in which FiA aims to ensure equal opportunities in the Drop in, including:

Recruitment and selection

Recruitment and selection procedures will be free from bias or discrimination. Recruitment procedures will be conducted objectively and will be based upon specific and reasonable job-related criteria. Decisions regarding an individual’s suitability for a particular role will be based on aptitude and ability. FiA will consider taking appropriate positive action to enable or encourage applications from persons with a protected characteristic that is under represented in the organisation.

Career development and training

All staff will be given an appropriate induction to enable them to fulfil the responsibilities of their role. All employees will be encouraged to develop their full potential and we will not unreasonably deny an employee access to training or other career development opportunities. These will be determined objectively, taking into account the needs of the project and available resources.

Selection for promotion will be based on objective criteria and decisions will be made on the basis of merit.

Employment policies and practices

FiA aims to ensure that employment policies and practices, including any rules or requirements, do not directly or indirectly discriminate and are applied in a non-discriminatory manner. In particular we will ensure that all disciplinary decisions are fair and consistent and that selection for redundancy is based on objective criteria.

We will aim as far as reasonably practicable to accommodate the requirements of different religions and cultures.

Working environment

All individuals have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and FiA takes reasonable steps to protect staff, volunteers, service users and visitors from discrimination, bullying or harassment and, in the event of a complaint, we will take appropriate action to prevent, as far as possible, a further occurrence.  

All staff and volunteers are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour in the Drop in

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

FiA will monitor the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving its objectives.

As part of this process we monitor:

•             the composition of job applicants and decisions in recruitment  

•             the composition of our workforce and volunteer team

Information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.

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