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Diversity and equity

Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

April 2022

​1.Policy Statement
Irwin & Colton Limited (“the Company”) is committed to achieving a working environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. This Policy aims to remove unfair and discriminatory practices within the Company and to encourage full contribution from its diverse community. The Company is committed to actively opposing all forms of discrimination.
The Company also aims to provide a service that does not discriminate against its clients and customers in the means by which they can access the services and goods supplied by the Company. The Company believes that all employees and clients are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.

2.Objectives of this Policy
2.1To prevent, reduce and stop all forms of unlawful discrimination in line with the Equality Act 2010.
2.2To ensure that recruitment, promotion, training, development, assessment, benefits, pay, terms and conditions of employment, redundancy and dismissals are determined on the basis of capability, qualifications, experience, skills and productivity.

3.Designated Officer
Name:Michael Colton
Position:Director
Telephone Number01923 432633

4.Definition of Discrimination
Discrimination is unequal or differential treatment which leads to one person being treated more or less favourably than others are, or would be, treated in the same or similar circumstances on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and includes discrimination by perception and association.

5.Types of Discrimination
5.1Direct Discrimination
This occurs when a person or a policy intentionally treats a person less favourably than another on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.
5.2Indirect Discrimination
This is the application of a policy, criterion or practice which the employer applies to all employees but which is such that:

•It is it detrimental to a considerably larger proportion of people from the group that the person the employer is applying it to represents;
•The employer cannot justify the need for the application of the policy on a neutral basis; and
•The person to whom the employer is applying it suffers detriment from the application of the policy.

5.3Harassment
This occurs when a person is subjected to unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
5.4Victimisation
This occurs when a person is treated less favourably because they have brought or intend to bring proceedings or they have given or intend to give evidence.

6.Unlawful Reasons for Discrimination
6.1Sex
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of sex, marital status, civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment or transgender status. This applies to men, women and those undergoing or intending to undergo gender reassignment. Sexual harassment of men and women can be found to constitute sex discrimination.

Example: Asking a woman during an interview if she is planning to have any (more) children constitutes discrimination on the ground of gender.

6.2Age
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their age. This applies to people of all ages. This does not currently apply to the calculation of redundancy payments.
6.3Disability
It is not permissible to treat a disabled person less favourably than a non-disabled person. Reasonable adjustments must be made to give the disabled person as much access to any services and ability to be employed, trained, or promoted as a non-disabled person.
6.4Race
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their race, the colour of their skin, their nationality or their ethnic origin.
6.5Sexual Orientation
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their sexual orientation. For example, an employer cannot refuse to employ a person because s/he is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.
6.6Religion or Belief
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their religious beliefs or their religion or their lack of any religion or belief.

7.Positive Action in Recruitment
Under the Equality Act 2010, positive action in recruitment and promotion applies as of 6 April 2011. ‘Positive action’ means the steps that the Company can take to encourage people from groups with different needs or with a past record of disadvantage or low participation, to apply for positions within the Company.
If the Company chooses to utilise positive action in recruitment, this will not be used to treat people with a protected characteristic more favourably, it will be used only in tie-break situations, when there are two candidates of equal merit applying for the same position.

8.Reasonable Adjustments
The Company has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the employment of a disabled person. These may include:
8.3Making adjustments to premises;
8.4Re-allocating some or all of a disabled employee’s duties;
8.5Transferring a disabled employee to a role better suited to their disability;
8.6Relocating a disabled employee to a more suitable office;
8.7Giving a disabled employee time off work for medical treatment or rehabilitation;
8.8Providing training or mentoring for a disabled employee;
8.9Supplying or modifying equipment, instruction and training manuals for disabled employees; or
8.10Any other adjustments that the Company considers reasonable and necessary provided such adjustments are within the financial means of the Company.
If an employee has a disability and feels that any such adjustments could be made by the Company, they should contact the Designated Officer.

9.Responsibility for the Implementation of this Policy
All employees, subcontractors and agents of the Company are required to act in a way that does not subject any other employees or clients to direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of their race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.
The co-operation of all employees is essential for the success of this Policy. Senior employees are expected to follow this Policy and to try to ensure that all employees, subcontractors and agents do the same.
Employees may be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by the Company and in some circumstances an Employment Tribunal may order them to pay compensation to the person who has suffered as a result of discriminatory acts.
The Company takes responsibility for achieving the objectives of this Policy, and endeavours to ensure compliance with relevant Legislation and Codes of Practice.

10.Acting on Discriminatory Behaviour
In the event that an employee is the subject or perpetrator of, or witness to, discriminatory behaviour, please refer to the company’s disciplinary and grievance procedures.  

11.Advice and Support on Discrimination
Employees can contact the following independent agencies for further advice: -

Equality and Human Rights Commission
Telephone (England): 0845 604 6610
Telephone (Wales): 0845 604 8810
Telephone (Scotland): 0845 604 5510
Website: www.equalityhumanrights.com

Citizens Advice Bureau
Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Community Legal Services Direct
Telephone: 0845 345 4 345
Website: www.clsdirect.org.uk

12.The Extent of the Policy
12.11The Company seeks to apply this Policy in the recruitment, selection, training, appraisal, development and promotion of all employees. The Company offers goods and services in a fashion that complies with the spirit of this Policy.
12.12This Policy does not form a part of any employment contract with any employee and its contents are not to be regarded by any person as implied, collateral or express terms to any contract made with the Company.
12.13The Company reserves the right to amend and update this Policy at any time.

This policy has been approved and authorised by:

Name:Michael Colton & James Irwin
Position:Directors
Date:April 2022