THE HALO TRUST
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY
1. Policy Statement
The HALO Trust (‘HALO’) is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, celebrating and valuing diversity, eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and promoting good relations for all our staff, beneficiaries, visitors and partners. By fostering a culture of dignity and respect, we aim to ensure that every member of our staff achieves their full potential.
2.1 HALO is committed to promoting equality and celebrating diversity in everything we do. As a cornerstone of this commitment HALO will ensure equality of opportunity for all applicants for employment and employees currently within HALO. These principles of equality and diversity also apply to the manner in which HALO treats all those with whom it works, including its beneficiaries, visitors and partners.
2.2 HALO recognises that equality of opportunity and diversity is good management practice, and enhances HALO’s ability best to deliver to its beneficiaries. This policy will help all employees develop to their full potential. The resultant diverse talents and resources will be utilised fully to maximise the effectiveness of our organisation.
2.3 Fairness for everyone is a key aim, and equality of opportunity will be ensured in relation to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including caste, colour, ethnicity, language or nationality), religion or belief (including lack of religion or belief), opinions, gender, or sexual orientation. Throughout this policy, all commitments refer to fairness in respect of these ‘Protected Characteristics’.
3.1 Equal Opportunities: The prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of Protected Characteristics.
3.2 Diversity: Diversity means recognising and valuing individual differences – those that can be seen (such as gender, colour or physical appearance) and those that cannot be seen (such as education, sexual orientation, belief or opinion).
3.3 Direct Discrimination: Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of their Protected Characteristic, or that of someone with whom they associate, or because they are incorrectly perceived as having a particular Protected Characteristic.
3.4 Indirect Discrimination: This occurs where a policy, condition or practice (whether intentional or not) is equally applied but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified.
3.5 Harassment: Is any improper and unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person. Harassment may take the form of words, insinuations, gestures or actions which tend to annoy, alarm, abuse, demean, intimidate, belittle, humiliate or embarrass another or which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and for the purposes of this policy, includes bullying.
3.6 Victimisation: This occurs if a person receives less favourable treatment than others because it is suspected or known that they have raised or supported a complaint related to a Protected Characteristic.
HALO will not tolerate any kind of discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
4.1 Application and Recruitment
- HALO will not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any job applicant.
- No policy, condition or practice which discriminates against applicants will be applied unless it is unavoidable and justified by HALO’s organisational or other requirements.
- Where appropriate, lawful positive action may be undertaken to address imbalances in the workforce profile.
4.2 Promotion and Development
- Employees across all Protected Characteristics will have fair access to promotion and training.
- The profile of the workforce that receives promotion or training will be monitored to ensure adherence to this policy.
4.3 Retention and Leavers
- Wherever possible, HALO’s policies will promote equality and enable staff to work flexibly to meet their individual needs.
- Reasonable adjustments will be made wherever necessary to ensure staff reach their full potential.
- Former employees will not be discriminated against in any references.
4.4 Part-time and Fixed-term Employees
- Part-time and fixed-term employees will be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.
4.4 Code of Conduct
- HALO is committed to providing and promoting an inclusive culture in which all persons are treated with dignity and respect. Harassment and victimisation are in direct conflict with this aim and will not be tolerated.
- Employees who harass or victimise others will be disciplined. This may include dismissal of employees.
- Employees who experience harassment or victimisation should raise a complaint through their line manager or Human Resources.
- Formal allegations can be made by employees through HALO’s Grievance Policy and Procedure or direct to the Head of Human Resources
HALO’s Staff Code of Practice and Policies, Disciplinary Procedure and Grievance Policy and Procedure provide more detail on these arrangements.
All employees irrespective of their position in HALO are expected to promote equality and diversity in support of this policy. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace in any work-related context (when dealing with beneficiaries, visitors, partners or other work-related contacts) and on work-related trips or events including social events.
Every individual will:
- Treat others with dignity;
- Co-operate fully with measures introduced by HALO to ensure the equality of opportunity and celebration of diversity;
- Identify and inform management of any suspected discriminatory act or practice;
- Ensure that the principles of equality and diversity are applied in all dealings with members of the public, partners and beneficiaries;
- Avoid instructing or pressurising others to discriminate unfairly, or discriminate themselves in response to such instructions or pressure; and
- Avoid victimising anyone who has made a complaint alleging that unlawful discrimination may have taken place.
6. Breaches of Policy
- HALO takes a strict approach to breaches of this policy. Such breaches will be dealt with in accordance with HALO’s Disciplinary Procedure and may amount to misconduct resulting in dismissal.
- Employees who believe that they have suffered discrimination can raise the matter through HALO’s Grievance Procedure. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
- There must be no victimisation or retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under HALO’s Disciplinary Procedure.
A copy of this policy will be published on the HALO website. HALO will promote this policy to all staff via its induction programme and through training courses or refresher training for all employees. Training will be provided in the local language where required. All staff will be given the appropriate training they need in order to carry out their responsibilities in implementing this policy. Targeted training relating to emerging equality and diversity issues will be provided as required.
The Senior Management Team have overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with applicable laws. Day-to-day operational responsibility for this policy has been delegated to the Head of Human Resources. All employees have personal responsibility for the practical application of this policy.
This policy will be reviewed at least annually by the Trustees or more frequently if required. Employees are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved by contacting the Trustees or the Head of Human Resources.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and HALO may amend it at any time.
Last reviewed by Trustees on: 27 February 2018