The Company and all its related bodies are committed to workplace diversity.
The Company recognises the benefits arising from employee diversity, including a broader pool of high quality employees, improving employee retention, accessing different perspectives and ideas and benefiting from all available talent.
The purpose of this Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy is to communicate our commitment to equality of opportunity in employment, with the aims of ensuring that all employees and job applicants are treated fairly and equally, and supporting the Company’s objective of providing a working environment that is free from all forms of discrimination.
The policy applies to all employees of the Company, and it also includes other workers, such as agency workers, temporary workers, contractors and practitioners. All staff are expected to put this policy into practice.
This policy does not form part of employees’ contract of employment with the Company, nor gives rise to contractual obligations. However, to the extent that the policy requires an employee to do or refrain from doing something and at all times subject to legal obligations, the policy forms a direction of the Company with which an employee is expected to comply.
Beyond Unity is fully committed to providing equality in the workplace and all opportunities for, and during employment, will be afforded to individuals fairly and irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race including colour, ethnic or national origins and nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation (“the protected characteristics”).
We aim to create a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form, in which all employees, contractors, practitioners, clients and suppliers are treated with dignity and respect.
The Company will not unlawfully discriminate in the arrangements it makes for recruitment and selection or in the opportunities afforded for employment, training or any other benefit. All decisions will be made fairly and objectively. We aim, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure that all our working practices are applied fairly and consistently and, where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to avoid or overcome any particular disadvantage these may cause and to promote equality.
The Diversity Policy provides a framework for the Company to achieve:
a diverse and skilled workforce, leading to continuous improvement in service delivery and achievement of corporate goals;
a workplace culture characterised by inclusive practices and behaviours for the benefit of all staff;
improved employment and career development opportunities for women;
a work environment that values and utilises the contributions of employees with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives through improved awareness of the benefits of workforce diversity and successful management of diversity; and
awareness in all staff of their rights and responsibilities with regards to fairness, equity and respect for all aspects of diversity,
(collectively, the Objectives)
The Diversity Policy does not impose on the Company, its directors, officers, agents or employee any obligation to engage in, or justification for engaging in, any conduct which is illegal or contrary to any anti-discrimination or equal employment opportunity legislation or laws in any jurisdiction.
The Company’s commitment
The Company is committed to workplace diversity, with a particular focus on supporting the representation of women at the senior level of the Company.
The Company is responsible for developing measurable objectives and strategies to meet the Objectives of the Diversity Policy (Measurable Objectives) and monitoring the progress of the Measurable Objectives through the monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms listed below. The Measurable Objectives are assessed annually by senior management, together with the Company’s progress (if any) towards achieving them.
Senior management may also set Measurable Objectives for achieving gender diversity and monitor their achievement.
Senior management will conduct all senior management appointment processes in a manner that promotes gender diversity, including establishing a structured approach for identifying a pool of candidates, using external experts where necessary.
The Company's diversity strategies include:
recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates for all positions, including senior management;
reviewing succession plans to ensure an appropriate focus on diversity;
identifying specific factors to take account of in recruitment and selection processes to encourage diversity;
developing programs to develop a broader pool of skilled and experienced senior management candidates, including, workplace development programs, mentoring programs and targeted training and development;
developing a culture which takes account of domestic responsibilities of employees; and
any other strategies Directors may develop from time to time.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Senior management will monitor the scope and currency of this policy.
The Company is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reporting on the Measurable Objectives. Measurable Objectives as set by senior management will be included in the annual key performance indicators. In addition, the Directors' will review progress against the Objectives as a key performance indicator in its annual performance assessment.
Senior management will report each year:
progress against the Objectives; and
the proportion of women employees in the whole organisation and at senior management level
The Company has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with any associated legislation.
All employees have a responsibility not to discriminate or harass other employees, contractors, practitioners, clients and suppliers and to report any such behaviour of which they become aware to the CAO.
All employees are responsible for implementing the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy and must apply the policy as part of their day-to-day management of the Company.
Forms of discrimination
The following are forms of discrimination that this policy aims to avoid:
Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic that they either have or are thought to have. Direct discrimination can also occur by way of association, which is when a person is treated less favourably because, for example, their spouse or partner or other relative has the protected characteristic.
Indirect Discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to everyone, but has a disproportionately adverse effect on people who share a particular protected characteristic. A person with the protected characteristic who is disadvantaged in that way has the right to complain.
To be justified the provision, criterion, or practice must be necessary for legitimate business reasons in circumstances where less discriminatory alternatives are not reasonably available.
Victimisation occurs where someone is treated unfavourably because they have raised a complaint under this policy or taken legal action, in relation to any alleged act of unlawful discrimination, against the Company or because they have supported someone else in doing this.
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can take many different forms and may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments, emails or physical contact that causes offence or are objectionable.
Harassment may involve a single incident or persistent behaviour that extends over a period of time and can occur even if someone did not mean to cause offence. It also means that a person can be subjected to harassment by behaviour that is not aimed at them directly but which they nonetheless find unpleasant.
Harassment is always unacceptable and where it relates to a protected characteristic it will amount to an unlawful act of discrimination.
Discrimination arising from Disability - In addition to the above, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because of something that is the result, effect or outcome of their disability, unless the treatment is necessary and can be objectively justified. Furthermore, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled applicants, employees or other workers are not substantially disadvantaged.
Creating equal opportunities in the workplace
Beyond Unity aims to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace. Everyone is to be treated fairly in all day-to-day activities and work related decisions including recruitment, training, promotion, allocating work, pay, etc. At Beyond Unity we embrace people's differences.
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection procedures are free from bias or discrimination. Recruitment procedures are conducted objectively and will be based upon specific and reasonable job related criteria. Decisions regarding an individual’s suitability for a particular role will be based on aptitude and ability.
We will consider making appropriate reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process to ensure that disabled applicants are not substantially disadvantaged.
Career development and training
All staff will be given an appropriate induction to enable them to fulfil the responsibilities of their role.
All employees will be encouraged to develop their full potential and we will not unreasonably deny an employee access to training or other career development opportunities. These will be determined objectively, taking into account the needs of the business and available resources.
Selection for promotion will be based on objective criteria and decisions will be made on the basis of merit.
Terms and conditions
Our terms and conditions of service will be applied fairly and benefits and facilities will be made available to all employees who should have access to them, as appropriate.
The Company operates a pay and benefits system that is transparent, based on objective criteria and free from bias to ensure that all employees are rewarded fairly for their contribution.
Terms and conditions of employment for part-time employees will be provided on a pro-rata basis to full-time employees. Similarly the terms and conditions for fixed term employees will be comparable with those given to permanent employees, except when different treatment can be objectively justified.
Employment policies and practices
Beyond Unity aims to ensure that employment policies and practices, including any rules or requirements, do not directly or indirectly discriminate and are applied in a non-discriminatory manner. In particular we will ensure that all disciplinary decisions are fair and consistent and that selection for redundancy is based on objective criteria.
The Company will consider making appropriate reasonable adjustments to the working environment or any work arrangements that would alleviate any substantial disadvantage these cause disabled staff.
We will aim as far as reasonably practicable to accommodate the requirements of different religions and cultures and will consider requests from employees to vary or change their working hours to enable them to care for a dependant.