EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY POLICY

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1 Date Adopted: March 2014 Date revised: June2015 Date for next Review: June 2016 Committee: Pay & Personnel EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY POLICY Statement of Intent The Governing Body of the School recognises its responsibilities in the employment of staff in the School. In accordance with those responsibilities it wishes to ensure the fair and equal treatment of its staff, prospective job applicants and any individuals who undertake work on School premises, including external contractors, supply/agency staff and volunteers. This policy sets out the principles under which the Governing Body of the School will operate to meet these aims. It has been developed within the framework of the Equality Act 2010, which harmonises and replaces previous legislation, and is designed to ensure consistency in making the workplace a fair environment in which everyone is valued as an individual regardless of factors such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity. The policy has been discussed and agreed with all staff representatives and with the trade unions and professional associations. It is available to all staff in the School and to any prospective applicant. The Governing body welcomes any comments or additions to the policy document. 1. Purpose 1.1 The Governing Body of the School is committed to equality for all in the appointment, development, training and promotion of staff, and in all dealings with students and parents of the School. This policy focuses specifically on the employment of staff in the School. The Governing Body recognises the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Governing Body and managers of the School will operate at all times within the requirements of antidiscrimination and equality legislation and will promote equality positively in its staffing decisions. All decisions, including advertising of vacancies, shortlisting, selection, induction, appraisal, training and development, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, dismissal and pay will be based on an objective and fair assessment of school requirements. The only personal characteristics which will be taken into account will be those which are necessary for the requirements and proper performance of the work involved. There will be no generalised concepts or assumptions made about the characteristics of groups. 1.2 It is expected that all employees of the school will: value and respect others and afford them fair treatment prevent the harassment, victimisation or bullying by a person/s to another person or group Page 1 of 10

2 promote a work environment where everyone feels confident to report incidents, which they believe are unfair or personally offensive ensure that no racist, homophobic, or incident relating to a person s disability or other protected characteristic takes place within the school familiarise themselves with this policy and to ensure they apply it effectively and fairly 1.3 All staff will have a right, through the agreed procedures, to challenge any decision or action which they believe to be in breach of the equality principles. Any member of staff who deliberately and knowingly contravenes the policy will be liable to formal disciplinary action. 2. Statutory requirements 2.1 The Governing Body is bound by law not to discriminate on certain grounds. The Equality Act 2010 has brought together all the previous discrimination laws into one and sets out the protected characteristics that qualify for protection from discrimination as: - Age Race Disability Religion or belief Gender reassignment Sex Marriage and civil partnership Sexual orientation Pregnancy and maternity 2.2 There are some exemptions from this legislation in situations where the essential nature of a job role requires an applicant to be of a specific gender, or requires them to be from a particular religion or racial group. The governing body will not normally seek to use exemptions from the above Acts. 2.3 The Governing Body will give sympathetic consideration to requests for time off or for religious observance from staff who are active members of particular religions or beliefs, although such time off will be unpaid and will be considered only subject to the operational requirements of the School. 2.4 The Governing Body will wherever possible make reasonable adjustments, as required, to recruitment processes, working conditions or the working environment, including terms and conditions of employment, to help overcome practical difficulties created by applicants or members of staff who have a disability. Suitable adjustments may be determined or informed by the job applicant (who may have their own established coping strategies or tools), through Page 2 of 10

3 Specialist advice (eg an external Dyslexia report), by Occupational Health or by the management team/recruiter. 2.5 In determining what adjustments are considered reasonable, both in selection and employment decisions, the following factors will be considered: whether the adjustment is likely to be effective in helping the person do their job the extent to which it is practicable to make the adjustment the impact on colleagues in terms of efficiency and/or effectiveness any health and safety impacts of the adjustment (to be risk assessed) the financial and other costs of the adjustment and the extent of any disruption caused the financial and other help that may be available from the Access to Work Scheme and any other agencies. There are no absolute rights or wrongs when deciding whether an adjustment is reasonable or not. Judgements need to be made in the light of individual circumstances. 2.6 The Governing Body will consider for interview any disabled applicant who meets the minimum (essential) criteria for a vacant post. Disability will not be a factor in preventing an applicant s full and proper consideration, and reasonable adjustments will be considered as required (based on the principles explained above). 2.7 The Governing Body acknowledges these areas of regulation and confirms its commitment to enforce these statutory requirements in the school. 2.8 The over-riding premise that will be adhered to in matters of equality, by all governors and staff in the School, is that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect whatever their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. 3. Definition of principle terms 3.1 Direct discrimination This involves treating someone less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (see perceptive discrimination) or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (see associative discrimination). Page 3 of 10

4 3.2 Associative discrimination - This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic, eg. treating someone less favourably because a member of their family is gay. 3.3 Perceptive discrimination - This is direct discrimination against someone because others think they possess a protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic, eg. treating someone less favourably because they are believed to be gay, even when they are not. 3.4 Indirect discrimination This occurs when you apply a condition, rule, policy or practice that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic, eg. using recruitment methods that exclude or disproportionately reduce the number of applicants from a minority group 4. Advertising of vacancies 4.1 Vacancies will be advertised openly and will normally be available for members of staff in the School to apply. In most cases vacancies will be advertised externally unless there are exceptional reasons why this should not occur, for example in situations of potential redundancy. The school will not discriminate directly or indirectly when advertising a post by including any requirements or criteria which are unnecessary to the post and may, unintentionally, exclude certain groups of potential applicants from applying. All advertisements will be expressed in non-discriminatory language. 5. Selection for appointment or promotion 5.1 All decisions relating to appointments or promotions will be conducted in accordance with the following principles: a detailed role profile will be drawn up which accurately describes the duties of the post an objective and sufficiently detailed person specification will be defined from the role profile, identifying the experience, skills, personal qualities and attributes required for the position from these documents a list of objectively assessed selection criteria will be drawn up role profiles, person specifications and selection criteria will be available to all candidates shortlisting will be carried out against the selection criteria and a written record retained of the assessment of each candidate all interview panel members must be trained in selection techniques Page 4 of 10

5 at least one person on each panel will be trained in equality and the requirements of anti-discrimination legislation selection decisions will be made against the agreed criteria and no other criteria will be used a written record of the selection decision relating to the agreed criteria will be retained reasonable adjustments will be made to the recruitment and selection process where necessary to ensure that people with disabilities are enabled to compete for appointments in the School. 6. Pre-employment health related checks 6.1 It is now unlawful for employers to ask health-related questions of applicants (for example about their health, medical history or disability) prior to an offer of employment, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work - for example ensuring that applicants for a PE teaching post have the physical capability to carry out the duties. We may, however, ask applicants if they need any reasonable adjustments for the application process or interview, how they will carry out any intrinsic elements of the job and if there are any limitations on them carrying out such duties. There are potential implications in relation to establishing teachers fitness and ability to teach (as required by the Health Standards (England) Regulations 2003). We will ask successful applicants health related questions so that any necessary reasonable adjustments can be made. In any case, we will ensure that any health-related questions are targeted, necessary and relevant to the job applied for. 6.2 For roles where physical requirements have been identified, candidates will be advised in advance that they will undergo a medical assessment if they are successful at interview. Job offers will be conditional upon the outcome of the medical assessment. If the medical assessment identifies any potential problems we will conduct a risk assessment to see if reasonable adjustments can remove any risk identified or reduce it to acceptable levels. If no reasonable adjustments can be made to enable the candidate to perform the role the offer of employment may be withdrawn. Advice will be taken should this situation arise. 7. Specific Issues 7.1 Age - The Governing Body is opposed to any direct or indirect discrimination based on age. This includes restricting applicants to those with a specific length of service or where an agedependant qualification is specified. Page 5 of 10

6 7.2 Disability - The term 'disability' covers a range of physical impairments, injuries and longterm health conditions; there is no exhaustive list and disabilities may be visible or nonvisible. Under the Equality Act 2010 a person is defined as having a disability if: they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities In terms of clarifying the Act the following guidance is offered: 'substantial' means more than minor or trivial. 'long-term' means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions). 'normal day-to-day activities' include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping. People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also protected by the Act. There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions. People with HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis are protected by the Act from the point of diagnosis. People with dyslexia may or may not consider this to be a disability, depending on its severity and impact. Reasonable adjustments for those with dyslexia should be considered in the same way as those for any other disability. The Governing Body is opposed to any discrimination against people with disabilities based on assumptions of their ability or otherwise to carry out the duties of a post in the School. All candidates with disabilities who meet the basic (essential) criteria for a post will be considered for interview. Where a candidate who has a disability is appointed to a post in the School, reasonable provision will be made for adjustments to the working conditions or environment where this is practicable. 7.3 Gender reassignment - Gender reassignment is a personal, social, and sometimes medical, process by which a person's gender presentation (the way they appear to others) is changed. The Governing Body is opposed to any discrimination as a result of a person proposing to undergo, undergoing or having undergone a process (or part thereof) for the purpose of reassigning the person s sex. We will ensure that transgender employees and individuals undergoing the gender reassignment process are treated with fairness and support in their recruitment, deployment and development, with confidentiality and discretion maintained at all times. We will also ensure sensitivity when dealing with aspects such as identity checking and Criminal Disclosure (DBS) checks. The DBS has a confidential checking process for transsexual applicants who do not wish to reveal details of Page 6 of 10

7 their previous identity, allowing the individual concerned to complete the process in the standard way whilst notifying the DBS confidentially. Despite this, any convictions will be disclosed including the individuals name at that time and normal HR procedures will follow. Individuals do not need to be under medical supervision to be protected by the law. So, for example, a woman who decides to live as a man without undergoing any medical procedures is also protected by the legislation. 7.4 Marriage/Civil Partnership - The Governing Body is opposed to any discrimination against employees who are married or in a civil partnership. 7.5 Pregnancy and maternity - The Governing Body is opposed to any discrimination against a woman because of her pregnancy and/or maternity leave. 7.6 Race - The Governing Body is opposed to any direct or indirect discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin. There may be situations in the School which require special consideration and where an occupational requirement may apply to justify the employment of someone of one particular race or ethnic origin. However, these situations will be unusual and exceptional, and will be discussed with the staff in advance. 7.7 Religion or Belief - The Governing Body is opposed to any direct or indirect discrimination based on religion or belief. 7.8 Sex - The Governing Body is opposed to any direct or indirect discrimination based on gender. There may be situations in the school which require special consideration and where a genuine and determining occupational requirement may apply to justify the employment of someone of a particular sex. However, these situations will be unusual and exceptional, and will be discussed with the staff in advance. 7.9 Sexual Orientation - The Governing Body is opposed to any direct or indirect discrimination based on perceived or actual sexual orientation Non-statutory aspects - Although there is no statutory requirement not to discriminate against other groups, or characteristics of staff, the Governing Body wishes to state that it will not in any way discriminate against members of staff or applicants for posts on the grounds of their political affiliation, union membership or any other defining characteristic. We will ensure fair and ethical treatment of all job applicants and employees, throughout recruitment and ongoing employment. Page 7 of 10

8 8. Positive Action 8.1 The Governing Body recognises that the avoidance of discrimination is not sufficient to ensure that equality exists in the school. The Governing Body will therefore give full consideration to measures of positive action which may assist in achieving the aims of this policy. This is action designed to encourage or facilitate the employment or training of minority or disadvantaged groups. 8.2 The Governing Body will not discriminate in favour of individuals from specific groups (positive discrimination), but it may take positive action which enables members of those groups to compete on an equal basis. This may include initiatives such as attendance at specific careers events or utilising targeted advertising in order to attract specific under-represented groups/applicants. However in all instances we will seek to employ based on merit, and to take on the best person for the job. Each applicant will therefore be assessed according to their personal capabilities. 9. Harassment and grievance procedures 9.1 Harassment or bullying - The Governing Body is opposed to any unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The Governing Body is further opposed to any act of victimisation, harassment or bullying against any member of staff either by an employee or third party based on assumptions about their status in the above categories or any other grounds. Such action will be investigated in accordance with the school s procedure and may lead to formal disciplinary action. 9.2 Harassment has the effect of destroying dignity and undermining the confidence of employees. It can take many forms including physical contact, bullying, threatening or ignoring someone. It can be a series of offensive remarks or a single incident. It can be behaviour that staff find offensive even if not directed at them or harassment because of perception or association. 9.3 The Governing Body is committed to the principles of dignity at work for its entire staff in the School. This includes the right to be treated with respect by all managers and colleagues. The Governing Body will consider any acts of harassment including those on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, as totally unacceptable and outside the ethos and culture of the School. Any such act by a member of staff against any adult or child will be treated as a disciplinary offence, and action taken accordingly. Page 8 of 10

9 9.4 The School has procedures to resolve grievances and for the handling of complaints of harassment and bullying at work. The Governing Body is committed to investigate any such complaint. These procedures will be followed carefully and promptly in response to any such complaint. The first point of contact for any such complaint should be the Chair of Governors. In addition, staff have the right to approach their professional association or trade union representative for support. Alternatively, the Employee Support Line or Teacherline can also provide appropriate support (details below). Confidential Wellbeing Helpline or Teacher Support Network or 10. Monitoring the Policy 10.1 An Equality policy can only be shown to be effective if its implementation is properly monitored. Given the scope of our policy, this means monitoring both the existing staff of the School and all applications from outside of the School. The School will therefore keep records of existing staff and new applicants which can be analysed to provide data to assess whether this policy is working in practice The Governing Body will regularly monitor the effectiveness of this policy by the following methods: The existing workforce will be asked to complete a monitoring form so that data is available on the composition of the staff group. All applicants for posts will be asked to complete a monitoring form to enable monitoring of our selection decisions against the principles of this policy. All applicants for posts will be invited to indicate whether they have any special requirements or require reasonable adjustments to enable them to submit an application, attend an interview or carry out the duties of that post. Responses to this question and appropriate actions taken by the school to accommodate people with disabilities will also be monitored as part of this process. Information arising from this data collection process will be published on an annual basis and will be available to all staff and governors. Such information will always be anonymised, and will be used for monitoring purposes only Staff and governors will be invited to give feedback from time to time, and to make suggestions for improvements. The incidence of complaints under the above procedures and any other aspect of this policy will also be monitored, and figures published on a regular basis. Page 9 of 10

10 The Governing Body will ensure that information is stored in an appropriate and confidential format in accordance with the Data Protection Act Non-employment aspects of equality 11.1 This policy relates only to the employment aspects of the activities of the School. The principles outlined here by the Governing Body of fair and equal treatment apply equally to our approach to students and parents of the School and to our dealings with members of the local community and all outside agencies. The School s policy on equality in the curriculum and the treatment of students is set out in a separate policy document. The issue of potential conflict of interest (for example in recruiting family members) is also addressed elsewhere, within the school s Code of Conduct policy. 12. Training 12.1 The principles outlined above in relation to fair and equal treatment will also apply to selection for training. Requests for training will be considered in accordance with the School s operational priorities, based on the School s overall development plan and budget allocations Similarly, the training of the School managers and governors in issues of equality and discrimination is an essential part of our Equality Policy Where training is scheduled to take place on site, the School will, where possible, adapt the methods of training delivery if current arrangements disadvantage particular individuals or groups of staff. 13. General statement 13.1 The Equality policy will be reviewed and updated by the Governing Body on an annual basis. The policy will then be given to all staff through normal management meeting mechanisms and managers/supervisors will ensure that it is known and understood by all staff. The policy will also be made available to potential applicants for vacant positions in the School. Ratified:... Date:.. Page 10 of 10

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