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Equality, diversity and inclusion policy

The College is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment.

The terms equality, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of this policy. ‘Equality’ means ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential free from discrimination. ‘Inclusion’ means ensuring everyone feels comfortable to be themselves at work and feels the worth of their contribution. ‘Diversity’ means the celebration of individual differences amongst the workforce. We will actively support diversity and inclusion and ensure that all our employees are valued and treated with dignity and respect. We want to encourage everyone to reach their potential.

We value people as individuals with diverse opinions, cultures, lifestyles and circumstances. All job applicants, employees and workers (including agency workers) are covered by this policy and it applies to all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, training, career development, and promotion. The College seeks to ensure that recruitment and selection reflect developing good practice: policies and practices are amended as necessary to avoid unfair or unlawful discrimination, intentional, unintentional, direct or indirect.

Equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and compliance with the law is to the benefit of all individuals in our College as it seeks to develop the skills and abilities of its people. While specific responsibility for eliminating discrimination and providing equality of opportunity lies with managers and supervisors, individuals at all levels have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. The personal commitment of every employee to this policy and application of its principles are essential to eliminate discrimination and provide equality throughout the College.

HR and managers will seek to ensure that recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion procedures result in no job applicant, employee, or worker receiving less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic within the Equality Act 2010, which are race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin and caste), religion or belief, disability, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership and age. In accordance with our overarching equal treatment ethos, we will also ensure that no-one is treated less favourably on account of their trade union membership or non-membership, or on the basis of being a part-time worker or fixed term employee. The College’s objective is to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted, and otherwise treated solely on the basis of their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.

We will ensure that the policy is circulated to any agencies responsible for our recruitment and a copy of the policy will be made available for all employees. The policy will be implemented in accordance with the appropriate statutory requirements and full account will be taken of all available guidance and in particular any relevant Codes of Practice.

Management has the primary responsibility for successfully meeting these objectives by:

  • Not discriminating in the course of engagement against employees, workers or job applicants.
  • Not inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.
  • Bringing to the attention of our workforce that they may be subject to action under the disciplinary procedure, or other appropriate action, for unlawful discrimination of any kind.
  • Encourage open and supportive conversations to promote EDI.

Staff can contribute by:

  • Not discriminating against fellow employees, workers, customers, clients, suppliers or members of the public with whom they come into contact during the course of their duties.
  • Not inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.
  • Reporting any discriminatory action to the HR team.

The successful achievement of these objectives necessitates a contribution from everyone and you have an obligation to report any act of discrimination known to you. If you consider that you are yourself a victim of unlawful discrimination you may raise the issue through the grievance procedure.

Personnel responsible for implementation of the Policy

Our Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for the effective operation of our EDI Policy and for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory framework prohibiting discrimination. The Board has delegated day-to-day responsibility for operating the policy and ensuring its maintenance to the College Director and the Director of Operations.

Forms of discrimination

Discrimination covers many different types of behaviour. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. It may relate to a characteristic that the employee or job applicant has or is perceived to have or to a characteristic held by someone with whom they associate.

  • Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more of the grounds set out above.
  • Indirect discrimination occurs where an individual is subject to an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which puts them at a particular disadvantage because of one or more the grounds set out above.

Discrimination also includes victimisation (less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that regard) and harassment (which is dealt with under our Harassment Policy).

Disabled workers

If you are disabled, or become disabled in the course of your employment with us, you are encouraged to tell us about your condition. This is to enable the College to support you as much as possible. You may also wish to advise your line manager or the HR team of any reasonable adjustments to your working conditions or the duties of your job which you consider to be necessary, or which would assist you in the performance of your duties.

Your line manager and the HR team may wish to consult with you and with your medical adviser(s) about possible reasonable adjustments.

Careful consideration will be given to any such proposals and they will be accommodated where possible and proportionate to the needs of your job. Nevertheless, there may be circumstances where it will not be reasonable for the College to accommodate suggested adjustments and we will ensure that we explain the reasons for our decision not to make any adjustments.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they place disabled workers, job applicants or service users at a substantial disadvantage compared to other staff. Where possible and proportionate, we will take steps to improve access for disabled staff and service users.