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Equal Opportunities Policy

1. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STATEMENT 

We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. You and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics). 

2. ABOUT THIS POLICY 

This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment. The Managing Partners are responsible for this policy and any necessary training on equal opportunities. 

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time. 

3. DISCRIMINATION 

You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, clients, candidates, suppliers and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers or other work-related contacts) and on work-related trips or events including social events. 

The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful: 

  • Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.

  • Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they are more likely to have childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.

  • Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment is dealt with further in our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy.

  • Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else's complaint about discrimination or harassment.

  • Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.

4. RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION 

Recruitment (both internal and in the course of business), promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying. 

Candidates and internal applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, they should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children. 

Candidates and internal applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law: for example, to check that the applicant could perform an intrinsic part of the job (taking account of any reasonable adjustments), or to see if any adjustments might be needed at interview because of a disability. 

You should not accept any discriminatory instructions from a client e.g. an instruction not to introduce candidates of a particular ethnicity. If you are given such an instruction, you should push back on the instruction or, if you feel uncomfortable doing so, you should refer the matter to one of the Managing Partners. 

5. DISABILITIES 

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate. 

6. PART-TIME AND FIXED-TERM WORK 

Part-time and fixed-term employees should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate) unless different treatment is justified. 

7. BREACHES OF THIS POLICY 

We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal. 

If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure or Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate. 

You must not be victimised or retaliated against for complaining about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure. 

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