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Diversity and equity

Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

February 2023

1. What equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) means to us

We believe that creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for everybody is pivotal to our success. We are a company of individuals with varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of view all of which aid us in delivering exceptional service to our clients.

We define diversity as the different races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, unique skills, experiences, perspectives and cultural backgrounds, in short, the things that make us who we are.

We want to create and maintain an inclusive environment, free from discrimination, where equity and diversity thrive. The Company is fully committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees, workers, candidates and job applicants, and to eliminating unlawful and unfair discrimination.

We are:

Diverse and embrace the unique skills, experiences, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of all individuals, encouraging and using those differences to create a productive and effective workforce.

Equitable and fair in our operations, identifying barriers to employment and progression and ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents.

Inclusive, providing an environment where people feel valued for their unique qualities and experience a sense of belonging, giving equal access and opportunities to all individuals.

 2. Who this policy applies to

This Policy applies to all employees, workers, interns, volunteers, apprentices, and any other individual working with or on behalf of the Irwin & Colton.

3. What your responsibilities are

All individuals are responsible for ensuring that this policy is applied on a day-to-day basis and for ensuring that they act in a way that does not subject any other individual to direct, indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Behaviour, action or words that breach this policy will not be tolerated and could be deemed an act of discrimination. Employees may be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by the Company.

 Everyone working for or on behalf of Irwin and Colton must fully understand and adhere to this policy. Specifically when working for or representing the Company you must:

 ·          Be receptive and open to differences and where appropriate challenge your own thinking to ensure you do not make assumptions about individuals who may be different to you for any reason.

·          Understand the negative impact discrimination of any kind can have on individuals and the business.

Challenge behaviours that are not inclusive by raising these immediately.

·          Act in ways that respect and value the diversity of others and deal with others respectfully at all times so that you represent the Company in the correct light.

The Company will not tolerate behaviour that goes against this policy, and where an employee is alleged to have breached this policy, they will be subject to the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches of this policy, acts of unlawful discrimination and serious incidents of harassment and bullying will be treated as gross misconduct. Allegations that are not made in good faith may also be considered as a disciplinary matter.

4. What your rights are

Everybody has the right not to be unlawfully discriminated against whilst at work and the Company aims to create an environment that encourages and values diversity, and that rewards, and promotes individuals based on merit alone.

 Specifically, the Company aims to ensure that no employee, worker or job applicant is subject to unlawful harassment, victimisation or discrimination, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of gender, gender reassignment, race (including colour, nationality, caste and ethnic origin), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part-time status, pregnancy or maternity, age, religion or belief, political belief or affiliation or trade union membership.

 This commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including:

 ·          recruitment and selection, including advertisements, job descriptions, interview and selection procedures

·          training

·          promotion and career-development opportunities

·          terms and conditions of employment, and access to employment-related benefits and facilities

·          grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures

·          selection for redundancy

 5. Our Commitments

 Hiring Diverse Talent

We want to attract, develop and retain individuals who have different perspectives, experience, and backgrounds. Specifically we will ensure that:

·        Candidates are assessed against their capability to perform a role.

·        We always ask the same questions at interview and ensure that these questions relate to the requirements of the role.

·        If an individual is at a disadvantage for a reason connected with a disability, ensure that we make reasonable adjustments to reduce or eliminate that disadvantage.

 Cultivating great leaders

We believe in leading by example. This means that our leadership team has responsibility for ensuring that the principles of this policy are adhered to at all times within their teams. Specifically they must:

·          Ensure differences are being valued and establish inclusive values throughout their team

·          Challenge and deal with inappropriate behaviour quickly

·          Take appropriate action where there is a clear breach of this policy

·          Be a role model to their team and ensure that their own actions and behaviours are in line with this policy

·          Reflect on decisions made at every point of the employee journey to ensure that these are taken purely on merit so that we remain inclusive for all individuals

 Promoting mutual Respect and providing a safe working environment

We aim to provide a safe working environment where individuals have the ability to challenge and raise any concerns that they have in relation to discrimination. All individuals working for or on behalf of the business, without exception, should always treat each other with dignity and respect.

Providing flexibility

We support our employees to ensure that they can maintain a healthy work/life balance for their varying needs. This includes flexible working hours and the ability to work from home.

Make continuous improvements

We will continuously engage with our employees, candidates, clients and 3rd parties to help us to understand how we can make our workplace more inclusive, to identify any issues and gain an insight into what our employees need most from us.

6. What to do if you have a complaint

If you believe you have been unfairly treated or you witness discriminatory behaviour which breaches this policy, please contact our designated officer Michael Colton on 01923 432633, in the first instance. Individuals who, in good faith, raise a complaint (or assist another individual in doing so) will not suffer any adverse treatment for having done so.

7. Monitoring and review

Equality, diversity and inclusion practice is developing constantly as social attitudes and legislation change.Therefore we will, as a minimum, review this policy on an annual basis. The Company may carry out monitoring for the purposes of measuring the effectiveness of this Policy, any such monitoring shall comply with GDPR regulations.

This policy has been approved and authorised by:

Name: Michael Colton & James Irwin
Position: Directors
Date: February 2023