HEADLEY PARISH COUNCIL'S
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY
1. Headley Parish Council is an equal opportunities employer and provider of services and complies with the 2010 Equalities Act. The Parish Council recognises that discrimination and victimisation is unacceptable and that it is in the interests of the Parish Council and its employees to utilise the skills of the total workforce. It is the aim of the Parish Council to ensure that no employee or job applicant receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) in recruitment or employment on grounds of age, disability, gender / gender reassignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy / maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation (the protected characteristics).
2. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society and each employee feels respected and able to give of their best.
3. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation. To that end the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment.
4. All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the Parish Council.
5. Our staff will not discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass customers or clients because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation (the protected characteristics) in the provision of the Parish Council's goods and services.
6. This policy and the associated arrangements shall operate in accordance with statutory requirements. In addition, full account will be taken of any guidance or Codes of Practice issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, any Government Departments, and any other statutory bodies.
- To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.
- Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
- Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff.
- To promote equality in the workplace which we believe is good management practice and makes sound business sense.
- We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
- Breaches of our equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
- The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually
RESPONSIBILITES OF MANAGEMENT
Responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation and operation of the arrangements will rest with the Council's Finance and Policy Committee. Councillors will ensure that they and their staff operate within this policy and arrangements, and that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to avoid discrimination. The Chairman and Clerk will ensure that:
- all staff are aware of the policy and the arrangements, and the reasons for the policy;
- grievances concerning discrimination are dealt with properly, fairly and as quickly as possible;
- proper records are maintained.
The Finance and Policy Committee will be responsible for monitoring the operation of the policy in respect of employees and job applicants.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF STAFF
Responsibility for ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination rests with all staff and the attitudes of staff are crucial to the successful operation of fair employment practices. In particular, all members of staff should:
- comply with the policy and arrangements;
- not discriminate in their day to day activities or induce others to do so;
- not victimise, harass or intimidate other staff or groups who have, or are perceived to have one of the protected characteristics.
- ensure no individual is discriminated against or harassed because of their association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
- inform their line manager if they become aware of any discriminatory practice.
Third-party harassment occurs where a Parish Council employee is harassed, and the harassment is related to a protected characteristic, by third parties such as clients or customers. Headley Parish Council will not tolerate such actions against it's staff, and the employee concerned should inform the Clerk and/or Chairman at once that this has occurred. Headley Parish Council will fully investigate and take all reasonable steps to ensure such harassment does not happen again.
RELATED POLICIES AND ARRANGEMENTS
All employment policies and arrangements have a bearing on equality of opportunity. The Parish Councils policies will be reviewed regularly and any discriminatory elements removed.
RIGHTS OF DISABLED PEOPLE
The Parish Council attaches particular importance to the needs of disabled people.
Under the terms of this policy, the Parish Council are required to:
- make reasonable adjustment to maintain the services of an employee who becomes disabled, for example, training, provision of special equipment, reduced working hours. (NB: line managers are expected to seek advice on the availability of advice and guidance from external agencies to maintain disabled people in employment);
- include disabled people in training/development programmes;
- give full and proper consideration to disabled people who apply for jobs, having regard to making reasonable adjustments for their particular aptitudes and abilities to allow them to be able to do the job.
Equality information will be included in induction programmes.
Training is advocated for all Councillors and employees on Equality and Diversity. All Councillors and line managers who have an involvement in the recruitment and selection process must have undertaken training in the last 3 years.
GRIEVANCES / DISCIPLINE
Employees have a right to pursue a complaint concerning discrimination or victimisation via the Parish Council's Grievance Procedure.
Discrimination and victimisation will be treated as disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Parish Council's Disciplinary Procedure.
The effectiveness of this policy and associated arrangements will be reviewed bi-annually by Full Council.