Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

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1 1 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Owned By: Senior Management Issue Date: July 2015 This policy will be reviewed in six months 1

2 2 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Introduction ProCo NW Ltd is committed to creating an environment where learners, staff, the board, visitors, sub contractors and other stakeholders actively promote equality and diversity, tackle bullying and discrimination and narrow the achievement gap. A place where all are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to promoting and advancing equality of opportunity as part of our mission, vision and values at ProCo. We want to ensure learners have excellent experiences that ensure they are well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Definition Diversity - The visible and non-visible difference which will include factors such as gender, religion, personality and work style. Equality Treating all groups fairly and removing barriers. It is not about treating everybody the same because everyone has different needs; it is about being aware of this. Inclusion - Inclusion is the practice of someone being accepted for whom they are and changes are made accordingly. Inclusion promotes equality of opportunity and ensures that everyone s needs are met. The essence of inclusion: it is often removing the things we cannot see, such as attitudes and prejudice. Purpose ProCo seeks to provide a safe, supportive environment for all its staff and learners. An environment free from discrimination, that promotes good relations. ProCo welcomes individuals and groups from local and regional communities. The promotion of equality and diversity enables learners to reach their potential. ProCo values difference and diversity and will strive to create positive working relationships so that everyone can work and study to the best of their abilities, free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation. ProCo recognises that prejudice and discrimination can exist both on an individual and an institutional level. It will not tolerate individuals or groups being treated less favourably than others on the grounds of: colour, race nationality ethnic or national origin, sex, gender, marital status, civil partnership or relationship, family status, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, or gender re-assignment, parental or carer status, disability, religion or belief (or lack of a religious belief), trade union membership, membership of a minority group, employment or study status. Responsibilities The policy applies to the board, staff and learners (actual and potential), visitors to ProCo, sub contractors and service providers when working with ProCo. In ensuring that this policy is fully effective and that all ProCo staff are committed to it, we will work in partnership with staff and external parties in its development and implementation. 2

3 3 ProCo will work to ensure that: equality of opportunity is embedded and incorporated in all policies, practices, decisionmaking and evaluation processes, a Single Equality Scheme is in place, published and monitored annually, impact assessments are completed, a visibly diverse environment is created which values difference and raises aspiration. Main Section Equality and Diversity responsibilities and duties are defined in legislation including: Civil Partnerships Act 2004 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Disability Discrimination Amendment Act 2005 Employment Equality (Age) Regulation 2006 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulation 2003 The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 2003 Equal Pay Act 1970 (Amended) Equality Act 2010 (2006) Gender Recognition Act 2004 Race Relations Act 1976 Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulation 2003 Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 Sex Discrimination Act 1975, 1986 The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 Part-time Workers Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 Employment Act 2002 including Fixed Tem Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 ( Whistle-blowers Act) Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as amended The Human Rights Act 1998 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 This list is not definitive. Positive Action ProCo will ensure that: it eliminates unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, equality and diversity is promoted to enable learners to achieve their potential, equality of opportunity between people who do and do not share a protected characteristic is advanced, all staff are clear about standards and strategies to meet individual learner needs and are equipped to respond effectively, teaching, learning and assessment promote equality, support diversity and tackle discrimination, stereotyping or bullying, encourage the fullest participation of all learners and staff in all areas of ProCo life, issues of under-representation or equality gaps will be addressed and where appropriate, incorporated into an analysis of the effects of equality, foster good relations between people from different groups, and people with or without protected characteristics, there are clear procedures for challenging discrimination, harassment and unacceptable behaviour, comprehensive feedback systems are developed to capture learner, staff and stakeholder perceptions of our performance and potential for improvement, positive images or achievement from all sections of society are recognised and celebrated, 3

4 4 no member of its community is unfairly disadvantaged because of their social or economic background, job applications are welcomed from all sections of society and selection is made on the basis of specified skills and abilities. Exceptions are only permitted in the event that there is a genuine occupational requirement. Inclusiveness Inclusiveness is central to all the decisions and actions of ProCo staff. Staff and the board are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of, and meet, their statutory responsibilities. Learners are made aware of, and expected to behave in a way that is consistent with, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Individual breaches of the policy will be dealt with under the learner or staff disciplinary procedures. Staff and learners need to be aware that breaching this policy could result in disciplinary action including dismissal or exclusion as the ultimate sanction. ProCo will support individuals who have a justified complaint. The whistle blowing or complaints procedure may be used to raise an issue. Analysis of effects of Equality ProCo believes a commitment to equality is more effectively met when it is embedded across a range of activities that are integrated and embedded. ProCo will also develop a clear set of equality and diversity measures to assess the impact of its policy and practice and benchmark our performance against comparable external outcomes. It is the responsibility of all ProCo learners when on ProCo trips, events etc to comply with the statutory obligations and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. To be aware of equality and diversity issues, promote good relations and bring any allegations of discrimination to the attention of the appropriate staff, in accordance with the procedures. It is the responsibility of all employees to comply with the statutory obligations and actively support the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. All staff have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination, eliminate harassment, promote equality of opportunity, promote positive attitudes. They should undergo training on equality and diversity issues and promote equality, diversity and good working relations. Staff should maintain, where applicable, sufficient records to enable the effective monitoring or equality and diversity issues. Staff must challenge inappropriate, discriminatory or offensive behaviour or language and bring any allegations of discrimination to the attention of the appropriate manager, in accordance with procedures. Workforce ProCo aims to employ a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community it serves. Reasonable adjustments will be made to arrangement and premises to ensure equality of access for job applicants and employees. ProCo will also take steps to ensure the learner population reflects the community which it serves. It is the responsibility of all managers to lead by example in creating a positive inclusive ethos. They should make sure all staff know their responsibilities and receive support and training in carrying these out. Managers should ensure that learners and staff are made aware that alleged acts of discrimination will be investigated and may be treated as disciplinary offences and dealt with under the appropriate procedures. They should ensure that sufficient records are kept for target setting, monitoring and analysis of equality issues. The board are responsible for ensuring that ProCo stays within the legislation and meets all its duties. It is the responsibility of the members of the Governing Board to: ensure the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is followed ensure that they receive and respond to monitoring information on learners and staff. 4

5 5 The Governing Board designates the Chief Executive as having overall responsibility for equality issues. The Senior Management Team will ensure regular reports are made to the Board and to the relevant Committees. Sub Contractors and Service Providers All sub contractors and service providers are responsible for ensuring that their employees, subcontractors or other agents follow the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Monitoring Arrangements The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is reviewed by the Equality and Diversity Committee. Please see the committee s terms of reference. Supporting Documents Learner Code of Conduct Complaints and Appeals Terms of Reference Equality and Diversity Action Plan Links to Other Policies Grievance Safeguarding Exam and Invigilation Signed Carol Halford Chief Executive 5

6 6 Explanation of Key Terms Colour Disability Discrimination Equal Opportunities Gender Gender Re-assignment Harassment Nationality Protected Characteristics Race, ethnic or national origin Religion Sexual orientation Refers to the colour of an individual s skin. The physical or mental impairment of an individual. The impairment may be minor or severe and it may be short-term or long-term. N.B: this definition is different from the legal definition given. Unjustifiably treating an individual or a group less favourably because of a protected characteristic (or association with or perception of) compared to others. The same opportunities for everyone, aiming to avoid unfair discrimination and to ensure that no group or individual is treated less favourably than another. Behaviour characteristics associated with masculinity and femininity. A change in an individual s sex, either from male to female, or female to male. Unwanted touching or other physical contact, leering, coercion, isolation, non-cooperation, verbal or written abuse, visual displays or any other behaviour that undermines a person s confidence or threatens the person s security. The country in which an individual was born or a person s passport status. Age, disability, gender, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation. Terms used to describe a group of people whose ancestors came from the same country or cultural group. They refer to an individual s ancestry, which may not be the same as the individual s nationality. An individual s faith or beliefs. An individual s sexual preference, i.e. heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. 6

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