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1 Issue Date September 2013 Page 1 of 5 FSB EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY Underlying principle It is important, both legally and morally, to ensure that the FSB embeds a culture that treats all its members and employees with dignity and respect and that such an environment is fair and equitable in its delivery and does not either lead to unfair discrimination or exclusion of others. The organisation holds that diversity should be accepted, understood, recognised and valued for its strengths. We intend that diversity should be managed so that everyone has equality of opportunity, access to services and involvement in member activities through a fair and consistent approach. NB. We recognise that sometimes this will mean treating people differently. This commitment is relevant to all we do, how we manage ourselves and how we deliver our services to members. Definitions Protected characteristics Age, Race, Sex, Gender Reassignment, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Religion or Belief, Pregnancy, Maternity, Civil Partnership or Marriage Commitment The FSB is committed: to promote equality and diversity throughout the organisation to provide an equitable and fair service to its members to providing a service that is accessible to a diverse business community to respect the views and value of all within its organisation to comply with its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to remove the risk of discrimination and exclusion for employees and members to be accountable for our performance

2 Policy Equality and Diversity Policy Issue Date September 2013 Page 2 of 5 The FSB will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying because of a protected characteristic. Delivering on our Commitment Responsibility The FSB National Council takes overall responsibility for the development of equality and diversity, leads by example and ensures that progress is reviewed and further actions instigated as necessary. The FSB Executive Board will demonstrate their commitment to promoting equality and diversity, and take responsibility for its management and progress by:- Challenging unacceptable behaviours and create a climate where complaints can be raised without the fear of reprisal Taking firm action where unfairness or inconsistency exists Encouraging and supporting equality and diversity within their teams Demonstrating and promoting considerate and fair behaviour Treating members and employees with dignity and respect and recognising and valuing individual skills and contributions Demonstrating through words and actions that diversity is an integral part of meeting the organisations priorities Creating an environment in which members and employees are able to identify and share good practice and encourage positive attitudes towards diversity Complying fully with legislation relating to Equality and Diversity Service Providers and Third Party Associates will be required to deliver a fair, equitable and accessible service to members and be able to demonstrate that they are so doing. All FSB Officers will support and promote FSB equality and diversity policies and procedures

3 Issue Date September 2013 Page 3 of 5 All employees and members have a personal responsibility to treat each other with respect, consideration and without prejudice and to promote the same levels of behaviour in colleagues. All employees and members will challenge behaviour or attitudes which are contrary to the FSB Equality and Diversity Policy In addition all officers, employees, service providers and recruitment personnel are required to: promote opportunity of membership and services to the wider business community carry out their role whilst endeavouring not to discriminate either directly or indirectly against any person on grounds, of the protected characteristics co-operate with any investigation or proceedings concerning alleged contravention of the Equality Act 2010 and other related legislation seek to eliminate both wilful and unintentional discrimination and to promote equal access of services provided by the FSB and its service providers consider any requests for reasonable adjustments to a potential meeting place, to member communication or access to other facilities provided. be familiar with the accessible services and support the FSB can provide to members who have a disability inform and recommend to the FSB any opportunities that would remove risk to discrimination and/or improve services to members contact the FSB on if additional support is required and to seek advice if unsure on how to provide an equitable service to FSB members Additional support is provided to officers on Equality and Diversity via the FSB Secretaries guide, Member s Code of Conduct and the FSB AccessaAbility Support Team. For specific information, guidance or signposting in relation to the FSB s operations members and staff should contact the FSB s Health and Safety Officer at Head Office on

4 Policy Equality and Diversity Policy Issue Date September 2013 Page 4 of 5 FSB Service Delivery We will continue to review service provision to ensure accessibility for members and that inadvertent discrimination against any community does not arise. This should lead us to consider the language we use and how we communicate information, along with the accessibility of our events. We are committed to reach the position where with everything we do equality and diversity considerations are built in from the beginning. To do this we will need to understand the different and diverse requirements of our members and of our employees and to involve them in the planning stages of new initiatives. We will ensure that this policy is accessible and understood by employees and members of the FSB. Getting our message across successfully means for officers, regions, branches and employees will: be aware of the FSB s policy on equality and diversity understand the benefit of valuing diversity and how this impacts on the work of the FSB have a greater awareness of the value of more inclusive communication understand their own role in promoting equality and diversity be aware of their legal responsibilities under current equality legislation FSB Chairmen will discuss these messages at meetings; best practice, concerns or barriers faced should be fed back to the FSB Equality Group for appropriate action. Our wider membership will be able to access the policy on our website and will be encouraged to provide feedback to the FSB Equality Group. When things go wrong Members who feel they have been unfairly treated contrary to this policy should raise their concerns with Honorary National Secretary. Employees should consult the Staff Handbook. If matters are not addressed the individual can raise a grievance using the normal FSB grievance procedure(s). All complaints will be investigated thoroughly and without delay.

5 Issue Date September 2013 Page 5 of 5 Contravention of this policy by way of harassment of or discrimination against a colleague will be considered a disciplinary offence and dealt with under the FSB disciplinary procedures. Additional guidance for members is available in the MSP. Members and employees should feel confident that raising a complaint or grievance will not have an adverse effect on them, and that the FSB will protect them from victimisation. Policy review We are committed to keeping this policy current and relevant. It will be monitored and reviewed annually. Action plan Our Action Plan to underpin the commitments made in this policy can be provided on request, from the FSB Equality Panel. The plan is regularly reviewed by the Equality Panel. Equality Panel The Equality Panel currently consists of 2 member representatives as well representatives from Governance and Administration department; it is responsible for maintaining and promoting the organisation s overall Equality & Diversity Policy, externally as well as internally. Relevant issues would be reported to the Board of Directors, who have overall responsibility for compliance with such legislation. Please note that whilst there can be different regulatory requirements for devolved areas e.g. NI, the FSB has drafted the policy so that it can apply throughout the FSB. This is in keeping with the overall principles of Equality.

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