PART 1 EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK BRIGADE ORDER PERSONNEL NO 5 C O N T E N T S. Page No PURPOSE STRATEGIC AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

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1 PURPOSE C O N T E N T S STRATEGIC AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND REVIEW STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF FIRE OFFICER Page No BRIGADE ORDER PERSONNEL NO 5 POLICY STATEMENT 4 OUR GROUND RULES FOR A FAIR 5 AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY WORKPLACE KEY RESPONSIBILITIES IN A FAIR AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ENVIRONMENT 6 PART SECTION ONE MAINTAINING STANDARDS IN THE DISPLAY AND VIEWING OF PRINTED AND VISUAL MATERIAL IN THE WORKPLACE Introduction The Display of Printed and Other Materials Printed Material The Viewing of Video, Television and Computer Multimedia General Test of Suitability The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Commitment to These Standards 4 5 OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK PER5PT 05/0

2 Cont C O N T E N T S SECTION TWO POSITIVE ACTION FOR DISABLED PEOPLE Introduction Our Commitments Page No BRIGADE ORDER PERSONNEL NO 5 SECTION THREE EQUALITY IN SERVICE DELIVERY Introduction Outcomes Roles and Responsibilities Policy Statement Equality in Service Delivery Objectives Audit and Review PART SECTION FOUR GENERAL OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK ISSUES Recruitment and Selection Training and Development Other Areas Where Decisions Are Taken Affecting Employment Other Areas Terms and Definitions The Role of the Unions SECTION FIVE PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH CONFLICT What to Do If You Have a Problem If You Are Subjected to Inappropriate Behaviour If It Happens Again If You Witness Inappropriate Behaviour If you Are a Line Manager If You Become the Subject of a Complaint OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK PER5PT 05/0

3 Cont C O N T E N T S Page No SECTION SIX OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK LEGISLATION The Equal Pay Act 970 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 974 The Sex Discrimination Act 975 The Race Relations Act 976 and The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 000 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 994 The Disability Discrimination Act 995 Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 999 The Human Rights Act 998 The Employment Rights Act 996 The Protection From Harassment Act 997 Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 00 BRIGADE ORDER PERSONNEL NO 5 PART OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK PER5PT 05/0

4 BRIGADE ORDER PERSONNEL NO. 5 PART - OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS AT WORK PURPOSE This Brigade Order sets out the Brigade s Policy on Equality and Fairness at Work. All members of staff should read and understand the contents of the order. STRATEGIC AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Strategic Aim No 5 states that we will Provide a service committed to the highest levels of equality and fairness. We will: provide a fair and equitable service to the communities of Shropshire; provide a fair, equitable and dignified place of work for all employees, and seek to employ a workforce representative of the community that we serve. ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND REVIEW The Chief Fire Officer is responsible for ensuring this Order is strategically implemented across the Brigade. The Executive Officers are responsible for ensuring application of relevant sections of this order throughout the brigade The Personal Development Manager will be responsible for the day to day operation of the Order. The Personal Development Manager will review this order annually in April and as and when organisational changes take place. All Officers are responsible for acting as champions for this order ensuring that staff understand and apply the requirements of this order at all times. PER5PT 05/0

5 A STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF FIRE OFFICER There are a lot of misconceptions about the concepts of equality of opportunity and fairness at work, so I want you to understand very clearly what they are, and what they are not. What they are certainly NOT are abstract concepts, tokenism or political dogma. Each one of us is entitled to be treated fairly and with dignity in our workplace. In the very simplest of terms equality and fairness are about common decency. Despite the changes that have already taken place in society many people are still discriminated against or treated unfairly by others. This can take many forms, ranging from the more obvious examples of direct racial or sexual harassment to much more subtle, but equally damaging, types of behaviour. Irrespective of its nature, unfair or inappropriate treatment of others is ALWAYS unacceptable. We have a legal and a moral obligation to treat others properly and a useful yardstick must surely be how we would wish to be treated ourselves. No matter how different or unusual someone else may appear to be they are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. To achieve a fairer and more tolerant workplace it may be necessary for some of us to change our attitudes and our behaviour. This may require us to think more deeply about the views and opinions we hold and to challenge them where necessary. The world has changed dramatically in recent years and some of the more traditional attitudes within our Service are no longer relevant or appropriate. I am certain that none of you would wish to see others treated badly but even the most decent and compassionate people can sometimes get it wrong. Discrimination or harassment is just as likely to be inadvertent as deliberate, caused through ignorance rather than maliciousness. Words or actions that may appear perfectly acceptable to one person may be deeply hurtful or offensive to another. We must all be sensitive to the potential effect that we can have on others and try to avoid causing hurt or embarrassment. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, or harassed you should give the Service the opportunity to deal with your concerns. You have my absolute assurance that all complaints will be treated seriously and every attempt will be made to resolve them in a satisfactory manner. I recognise also that situations can sometimes be misinterpreted, or even misrepresented, so all PER5PT 05/0

6 complaints will be rigorously and fairly investigated. You should bear in mind however that we will do so in a way which respects the confidentiality and dignity of all of those involved, including the person(s) accused of inappropriate behaviour. I want to stress to you that the Members of the Fire Authority, the officers of the Service and all of the representative bodies are totally committed to achieving a working environment that is free from prejudice and unfairness. As the Chief Fire Officer I am responsible to the Fire Authority for setting and maintaining appropriate standards of conduct and behaviour, so I should make it very clear that I will not tolerate sexist, racist or inappropriate behaviour from anyone in this Service. I will do everything in my power to ensure that people who work within the Service, or who have professional contact with it, are treated fairly and with courtesy. The purpose of this document is to remind you of your duty to comply with the law and to encourage you to have a positive attitude towards fairness of treatment and equality of opportunity. It sets out clearly the philosophy behind the Equality of Opportunity and Fairness at Work Policy and describes the procedures and practices that will be implemented to ensure that genuine equality of opportunity exists for everyone employed by, or in professional contact with, this Brigade. It gives guidance on what to do if you feel that you have been unfairly treated or harassed in any way. It is, however, not intended to be exhaustive and additional information or advice can always be sought from the Personal Development Manager or any Officer of the Brigade. Please remember that the policy of fairness and equality of opportunity applies to every member of this organisation, not just to minority groups. Most of all remember that responsibility for creating a fair working environment does not stop with me; it relies on your commitment and support. I H Kerr CHIEF FIRE OFFICER PER5PT 05/0

7 POLICY STATEMENT Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is firmly committed to providing equality of opportunity and fairness for both current and potential employees and equality of service to the community. It accepts, both as an employer and as a provider of services, that it has a responsibility to promote fairness and equality of opportunity. As a result the Brigade is determined to ensure that no employee, job applicant or any other person with whom it has contact: receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, age, religious beliefs or disability; is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified; is subjected to harassment or bullying, whether sexual, racial or in any other form. The law requires that individuals shall not unlawfully discriminate or help others to do so. It is also unlawful to harass another person intentionally. The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service will not tolerate contravention of its Equality of Opportunity and Fairness at Work Policy by any employee and will treat unfair discriminatory conduct by any employee as a potential disciplinary offence. Staff should be aware that deliberate or intentional discriminatory practice is very serious and strikes at the very heart of the contract the Brigade has with its staff. Discrimination is not always intentional or overt. Practices and policies within Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service will be constantly monitored to ensure that the Equality of Opportunity and Fairness at Work Policy is being properly implemented and, where barriers to equal opportunity are identified, any necessary change will be made. Eliminating discrimination, harassment and bullying and providing equality of opportunity depends upon personal commitment. All members of the Brigade are required to study this Policy Document carefully to increase their understanding of equality and fairness at work and develop a greater awareness of the rights and responsibilities of individuals. PER5PT 4 05/0

8 OUR GROUND RULES FOR A FAIR AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY WORKPLACE It is essential that we all understand the type of behaviour expected of us by both the Brigade and by our Representative Bodies. The most appropriate way of doing this is by accepting the values, or Ground Rules, that are important to all of us. We should all abide by these rules as a way of demonstrating our commitment to maintaining the rights and dignity of all people we come into contact with as members of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. If we abide by these rules we are unlikely to find ourselves in breach of the law or the Brigade s Policies on Equality of Opportunity and Fairness at Work. We must all strive to: TREAT ALL PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY by respecting individual rights and their right to be different. by respecting individual beliefs and feelings. by treating others as we would wish them to treat us. by not acting in any manner which might cause upset or distress to a fellow employee or member of the public. by making it acceptable for all individuals to voice an opinion as long as it does not violate others rights. RESPECT PEOPLE S DIFFERENCES by not displaying offensive material. by not using offensive language. by not making hurtful remarks. by not using nicknames that cause upset. by not causing upset through practical jokes. by listening to what individuals tell us when they are upset. WELCOME NEW ARRIVALS INTO THE WORKPLACE by helping new arrivals find their way around. by showing individuals how things are done. by not exploiting their newness and lack of knowledge. by listening to what they say if they need help. by being patient when they are learning. by not causing hurt or upset with initiation ceremonies. The most important aspect of working effectively together is communication. Remember: IF SOMEONE HURTS YOU TELL THEM. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE HURT SOMEONE UNINTENTIONALLY ASK THEM. We expect all employees of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and members of Unions recognised by the Brigade to follow these ground rules....chief Ian Kerr Fire Officer...FBU Tony Pearson Dave Jennings...RFU... Louise Derricutt UNISON...FOA Vernon Plim PER5PT 5 05/0

9 KEY RESPONSIBILITIES IN A FAIR AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ENVIRONMENT It is important that commitment to equal opportunities and fairness at work is displayed throughout Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service both in employment practices and in the provision of our services. INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES The Chief Fire Officer is responsible for Equality and Fairness throughout the Brigade and as such has overall responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy. The Personal Development Manager has the day to day responsibility of supporting the implementation of fairness at work and equality of opportunity policies and practices. The Equality and Fairness Co-ordinator and the Community Liaison Officer assist the Personal Development Manager in the promotion of equality and fairness for all employees and any persons who come into contact with the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. All employees have a responsibility for ensuring the provision of equality of opportunity and fairness to both fellow employees and members of the public. This can be achieved by. Observing this policy and applying the principles it contains. Following the Ground Rules. Co-operating with measures introduced by the Brigade in pursuance of equal opportunity and fairness. Ensuring that your own behaviour is acceptable within the terms of this policy and encouraging others to do the same. Not discriminating, harassing, abusing, intimidating, humiliating, victimising or bullying others, or encouraging other people to do so. Not victimising those who have made allegations or complaints of discrimination, or have provided information about such discrimination. BRIGADE RESPONSIBILITIES To demonstrate our commitment to equality of opportunity and fairness at work, we will undertake to implement the following positive measures. We will: - Examine and review procedures for appointment, transfer, promotion and training to ensure they are fair and free from prejudice. Communicate the equality of opportunity and fairness at work policy to ensure understanding. Implement and monitor appropriate training and education. Regularly monitor the composition of the workforce and publish the results. Review all employment policies and practices to ensure they are fair and lawful. Fully investigate all complaints of discrimination, victimisation and harassment and take the appropriate action. Require managers to demonstrate personal commitment to fairness and equality of opportunity. Take action to positively promote equality and fairness in our community. PER5PTS 6 05/0

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