Policy 8.6 Epilepsy Action Online Academy Equity and Diversity Policy

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1 Policy 8.6 Epilepsy Action Online Academy Equity and Diversity Policy This policy includes: Equal Opportunity Anti-racism and religious tolerance Sexual harassment Introduction Epilepsy Action Online Academy provides epilepsy learning and education for people living with epilepsy, parents, carers and health professionals. The Online Academy is a key component of EAA s National Service Strategy to fulfil our commitment to deliver equitable and consistent services to all people living in Australia. It expands our services as part of Australia s digital economy and further broadens our national footprint to all Australians, especially those in rural and regional areas. The Online Academy strives, through a process of continuous improvement, to fully integrate equal opportunity into all aspects of its activities through its decisionmaking and planning processes. The Online Academy is committed to providing staff, participants, contractors, clients and guests with an environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation. This will be achieved by: Requiring all staff and participants to ensure their conduct complies with the equity principles outlined in this policy; providing an inclusive and flexible environment for participants and staff by identifying and removing any remaining systemic barriers to equitable access and participation; using non-discriminatory, inclusive language and practices; developing plans and facilitating programs to successfully increase access and promote success in education for all regardless of geographical location; ensuring that all Online Academy participants and staff have access to services in an equitable manner, including assistance to reasonably accommodate a person s disability; developing and promoting processes that support the systematic implementation, monitoring, reporting and management of equal opportunity; and providing effective mechanisms to resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 1 -

2 Staff and participants are required to comply with all procedures made under this policy applicable to their position. Scope This policy is applicable to all staff members involved in the Online Academy and participants enrolled in the Online Academy. 1. Equal Opportunity Statement Unlawful discrimination is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Epilepsy Action Online Academy in any circumstances. Unlawful discrimination involves treating a person with an attribute less favourably, in the same or similar circumstances, than another person. It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of the following attributes (characteristics): 1.1. Age 1.2. Breast feeding 1.3. Employment activity 1.4. Gender identity 1.5. Impairment 1.6. Industrial activity 1.7. Lawful sexual activity 1.8. Marital status 1.9. Parental status or status as a carer Physical features Political belief or activity Pregnancy Race Religious belief or activity Sex Sexual orientation Personal association with a person who is identified by reference to any of the above attributes. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 2 -

3 Direct Discrimination Direct discrimination occurs when a person is disadvantaged or treated less favourably than someone else because of a protected attribute. Direct discrimination can occur regardless of the discriminator s motive and whether or not he or she is aware of the discrimination or considers the treatment less favourable. Indirect Discrimination Indirect discrimination occurs when a practice or policy appears to be fair because it treats everyone in the same way, but in effect it disadvantages a higher proportion of people possessing the attribute and is not reasonable in the circumstances. Epilepsy Action Online Academy acknowledges that all Online Academy participants and staff are to be informed of what constitutes unacceptable behaviour. Further, it acknowledges that all managers and supervisors are to be informed of their responsibility for ensuring the maintenance of proper standards of conduct within the Online Academy s context. 2. Anti-Racism and Religious Tolerance Statement Race discrimination, or racial or religious vilification, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Epilepsy Action Online Academy in any circumstances. Race discrimination involves treating a person less favourably on the basis of that person s race, in the same or similar circumstances, than another person. Direct Race Discrimination Direct Race Discrimination occurs when a person is disadvantaged or treated less favourably than someone else because of the person s race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. Direct discrimination can occur regardless of the discriminator s motive and whether or not he or she is aware of the discrimination or considers the treatment less favourable. Indirect Race Discrimination Indirect Race Discrimination occurs when a practice or policy appears to be fair because it treats everyone in the same way, but in effect it disadvantages a higher proportion of people from one racial or ethnic group and is not reasonable in the circumstances. Racial or Religious Vilification Racial or Religious Vilification is behaviour that incites or encourages hatred, serious contempt, revulsion or severe ridicule against another person, or group of people, because of their race or religion. The affirmation of cultural diversity, together with anti-racism strategies, enhances the productivity of work and study groups and contributes to the achievement of quality educational leadership and equitable outcomes for the members of the Epilepsy Action Online Academy community. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 3 -

4 3. Sexual Harassment Statement Sexual harassment is unlawful, unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Epilepsy Action Online Academy in any circumstances. Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and may include inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact, spoken or written comments, jokes, propositions, the display of offensive material or other behaviour which creates a sexually hostile environment. 4. Purpose To provide an environment at Epilepsy Action Online Academy that promotes equal opportunity and prevents unlawful discrimination and is free from all forms of race discrimination, racial or religious vilification and sexual harassment. To ensure that all staff and participants are educated in the prevention of unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, race discrimination, or racial or religious vilification and to recognise the behaviours that may constitute unlawful discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification or sexual harassment. 5. Guiding Principles The following principles will guide Epilepsy Action Online Academy in promoting equality of opportunity and dealing with unlawful discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification, and sexual harassment: 5.1 Respect for, and the dignified and courteous treatment of, all staff, participants and all persons who involved with the Online Academy. 5.2 Epilepsy Action Online Academy will support any staff member or course participant who experiences discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification or sexual harassment including providing assistance in making use of any internal procedures in place at the site or in accessing external forums. 5.3 Epilepsy Action Online Academy aims to establish a climate where discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification or sexual harassment does not occur and thus there will be an emphasis on prevention through staff training and awareness raising activities. 5.4 Epilepsy Action Online Academy will ensure that all members of the Online Academy community have access to information and support needed to prevent discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification or sexual harassment or to deal with it appropriately if it occurs. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 4 -

5 5.5 Epilepsy Action Online Academy acknowledges that all persons covered by the scope of this policy are to be informed of what constitutes unacceptable behaviour. Further, it acknowledges that all managers and supervisors are to be informed of their responsibility for ensuring the maintenance of proper standards of conduct within the workplace and Online Academy. 5.6 Complaints will be dealt with in a sensitive, impartial, timely and confidential manner. 5.7 Epilepsy Action Online Academy will ensure, as far as is practicable, that persons making complaints are protected against victimisation and reprisals. 5.8 Epilepsy Action Online Academy will actively encourage the reporting of behaviour that breaches this policy. Epilepsy Action Online Academy will ensure that the promotion of the advantages of diversity and the prevention of unlawful discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification and sexual harassment are recognised as key organisational goal and a key management responsibility. 6. Responsibilities of Management, Staff and Participants Epilepsy Action Online Academy has a legal responsibility to prevent sexual harassment, discrimination, race discrimination, racial or religious vilification. All persons covered by the scope of this policy are required to: Comply with this policy Behave appropriately Promote a climate of mutual respect Maintain confidentiality concerning any complaint or investigation. Managers are accountable for the conduct of people they manage at the Online Academy. It is integral to a manager s responsibilities that they identify, prevent and redress potential problems in the workplace or in the study environment before these become the subject of complaints. Therefore, any manager or staff member who observes inappropriate behaviour has a duty to raise it with the person so behaving and to take further action if the behaviour does not cease. This duty exists even in the absence of a complaint. 6.1 Staff members with managerial or supervisory responsibility or both are required to: Role model appropriate behaviour which promotes the principles of this policy Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 5 -

6 Monitor the working and studying environment to ensure that acceptable standards of conduct are maintained at all times and to take action if they observe unacceptable conduct Take appropriate steps according to this policy to prevent a discriminatory culture or sexual harassment from developing at the Online Academy Promote this policy within their sphere of influence and to ensure that all persons have an understanding of the policy and its requirements Ensure that participants of the Online Academy and staff are aware of Epilepsy Action Online Academy commitment to assist them should they experience discrimination or sexual harassment Ensure that the Online Academy s participants and staff are provided with adequate information about the policies and practices in existence Manage complaints in a timely, confidential and fair manner ensuring due process Attempt to resolve any complaint at the local level, whenever possible Allegations of sexual assault should be reported to Human Resources immediately. 7. How to Deal with Breaches of this Policy Any complaints made by participants or staff members under this policy will be dealt with according to the Complaints Policy. If a serious breach of this policy is incurred, while engaging with Online Academy staff or participants, is confirmed, appropriate action must be taken in accordance with the relevant Site Policy Agreement. All reports of this type of behaviour will be treated seriously and administered through the relevant complaints handling procedure. Epilepsy Action Online Academy will ensure, as far as is practicable, that persons covered by the scope of this policy are not victimised or penalised for reporting alleged unreasonable behaviour. Any person who is found to have victimised the person who has made or intends to make a complaint, or to have victimised a witness or associate of the person who has made, or intends to make a complaint, will be subject to the consequences of breaching this policy. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 6 -

7 8. Consequences for Breaches of this Policy Epilepsy Action Online Academy will treat all allegations of race discrimination, racial or religious vilification and sexual harassment seriously and impartially. The consequences for breaching this policy will depend on the seriousness of the case. Outcomes may include, but are not restricted to the following: 8.1 Gaining a commitment from one or more persons to cease, and not to repeat, the behaviour. 8.2 Making an apology to the affected person or persons. 8.3 Providing mediation between the parties, if both parties agree to mediation process and to the mediator. 8.4 Providing targeted training regarding prevention of unacceptable workplace behaviours. 8.5 Offering support to the person making the complaint. 8.6 Offering support to the person against whom the complaint is made. 8.7 Where appropriate, referral of matter to the Police. 9. Disciplinary Action 9.1 Dismissal, suspension or termination of the course, against the person found responsible for race discrimination or vilification where serious or repeated misconduct relating to discrimination and vilification has been proven 9.2 Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, suspension or termination, against the person making a complaint of race discrimination or vilification if, after investigation, the complaint is found to have been malicious or vexatious. 9.3 Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, suspension or termination, against the person found responsible for sexual harassment in cases of serious misconduct 9.4 Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, suspension or termination, against the person making a complaint of sexual harassment if, after investigation, the complaint is found to have been malicious or vexatious. 9.5 Disciplinary action may be taken against anyone who victimises or retaliates against a person who has made a complaint. Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 7 -

8 Cross Reference Epilepsy Action Australia Code of Conduct Complaints Policy Site Policy Agreement Policy 8.6 Equity and Diversity Policy - 8 -

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