HBC Community Centre Photo
HBC Community Centre

Equality & Diversity Statement

Aims of this Policy

HBC Community Centre recognises and values people’s differences and will assist them to use their talents to reach their full potential.

The organisation will do all it can to ensure it recruits, trains and promotes people based on qualifications, experience and abilities for all roles within the organisation.

This policy is designed to ensure that HBC Community Centre complies with its obligations under equality legislation and demonstrates our commitment to treating people equally and fairly.

HBC Community Centre is unreservedly opposed to any form of discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (defined as Protected Characteristics).

Using fair and objective employment practices, the organisation aims to ensure that:

  • All employees and potential employees are treated fairly and with respect at all stages of their employment.
  • All employees (volunteers/service users) have the right to be free from harassment and bullying of any description, or any other form of unwanted behaviour. Such behaviour may come from other employees or by people (third parties) who are not employees of HBC Community Centre, such as customers or clients.
  • All employees (volunteers/service users) have an equal chance to contribute and to achieve their potential, irrespective of any defining feature that may give rise to unfair discrimination.
  • All employees (volunteers/service users) have the right to be free from discrimination because they associate with another person who possesses a Protected Characteristic or because others perceive that they have a particular Protected Characteristic, even if they do not.

Scope of the Policy

The policy applies to:

  • Job Applicants
  • Employees
  • Agency Temps
  • Students on work experience of placement
  • Service Users

The policy applies to all stages of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion and training.

Below are accepted definitions for various types of discrimination both direct and indirect which would be considered as unacceptable.

Direct discrimination is when an employee or applicant is treated less favourably than someone else because of their:

  • sex
  • marriage or civil partnership
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity leave
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • age

and that there is no genuine occupation requirement for it.

Indirect discrimination

This is where there is a working condition, practice or rule that disadvantages one group of people more than another. In other words it is more difficult for people from one group to comply with the requirement. Even if it is done accidentally indirect discrimination is unlawful. Indirect discrimination is only allowed if it is necessary for the way the business works, and there is no other way of achieving it.

Discrimination arising from disability

This is where a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected to their disability where it cannot be objectively justified. This only applies where the organisation knew or could reasonably be expected to know that the person was disabled.

Associative Discrimination

This is where someone is treated worse than someone else because they are associated with someone with a protected characteristic.

Perceptive Discrimination

This is where someone is treated worse than someone else because there has been an incorrect assumption that they have a protected characteristic. This applies even if the person does not possess the characteristic.

Third Party Harassment

This is where an employee is harassed by a third party who is not an employee eg volunteers or service users. The organisation becomes liable if it has happened on at least two occasions, that it is aware that it took place and have not taken steps to prevent it happening again.

Policy Statement

As an organisation, we value the variety of different views, outlooks and approaches that a diverse workforce bring. This assists us to provide improved services and increase our understanding of our service users/clients.

We will do all we can to ensure no one will receive less favourable treatment or is to be disadvantaged by requirements or conditions, which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Responsibilities

Employees and volunteers (including trustees/directors) of HBC Community Centre have a duty to act within this policy, ensure it is followed and to draw attention to any suspected discriminatory acts or practices.

Responsibility for promoting awareness of this policy and monitoring that it is being followed rests with Managers and Directors.

Breaches of the Equality and Diversity Policy by employees

Breaches of this policy by employees may be dealt with as per employee disciplinary procedures. Consequences will be based on the specifics of any breach and will include but not be limited to retraining, suspension and/or dismissal under gross misconduct.

Breaches of the Equality and Diversity Policy by volunteers (including trustees)

Consequences will include but not be limited to rejection of right to volunteer with requirement to retrain for reapproval or in severe cases permanent rejection of the right to volunteer.

Employees, volunteers and trustees are also personally liable under equality legislation for any act of unlawful discrimination.

Equality and diversity in practice

In carrying out the policy, the organisation will carry out the following actions:

  • Particular attention will be placed on the following:
    • Use of selection criteria that does not unlawfully discriminate in recruitment and promotion procedures;
    • Requiring entry to employment/volunteering or progression within it to be based on merit;
    • Not discriminating in opportunities for recruitment, training, promotion or transfer of employees or volunteers;
    • Ensuring that every individual is assessed according to his or her personal capability to carry out a given job/role;
    • Ensure that all employees are given equal treatment with regard to terms and conditions of employment, provided they do the same or broadly similar work, or work of equal value;
    • Ensure equal opportunities and non-discrimination in the operation of grievance and disciplinary procedures;
  • Ensure that all relevant requirements of the Equality Act in relation to disability are met and adhered to. This will include making reasonable adjustments to ensure access to employment or volunteering tasks and opportunities.
  • Ensure that any amendments to any legislation relating to discrimination are met and adhered to.

Implementation of the Policy

All staff, trustees and volunteers will be involved in creating an equality environment and one that values diversity.

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication of the policy to job applicants and employees/volunteers through:

  • Making available a copy of the policy to prospective applicants;
  • Ensuring all new starters have the opportunity to discuss the policy with line managers/colleagues;
  • Making use of team meetings to discuss the policy and defining areas where practice could be improved;
  • Providing non-discrimination selection training for managers who are recruiting;
  • Providing Equality and Diversity training and guidance to staff and volunteers (including trustees);
  • Including reference to abiding by the policy in staff terms and conditions/volunteer agreements;
  • Incorporating specific responsibilities into job/role descriptions;

WORKING WITH PARTNERS

In selecting our partners we will consider their commitment to Equality and Diversity by:

  • Asking to see their policy;
  • Asking what they do in practice, including monitoring the policy;

USERS OF OUR SERVICE

We will make our services accessible by:

  • Considering formats for promotional material;
  • Appropriate use of language/formats/fonts/size;
  • Considering whether information should be available in alternative formats e.g. easy read or other languages;
  • Considering locations where the organisation’s services are promoted or advertised, including but not limited to the website, digital signage and flyers;
  • Considering accessibility of locations from which the service is provided;
  • Considering the diverse make up of our staff/volunteers in relation to your service users;
  • Considering the impact of proposed new services on the user group;

MONITORING THE POLICY

This policy will be monitored to judge to what extent it is working and identify areas for improvement.

Monitoring will relate to both employees/volunteers and to service users and methods used will include:

  • Information of location of service users;
  • Information on how they heard of your service/accessed your service;
  • Elements of the service used by people;

Reporting Discrimination / Potential Discrimination

Employees who feel that they have suffered any form of discrimination should raise the issue through the following means:

  • Inform a Line Manager or Director / Trustee on a one to one basis verbally at the first available opportunity.
  • Provide full details of situation that occurred in writing, as an email or letter, to be provided a manager or director/trustee at the first available opportunity.

Volunteers who feel that they have suffered any form of discrimination should raise the issue through the following means:

  • Inform a Line Manager or Director / Trustee on a one to one basis verbally at the first available opportunity.
  • Provide full details of situation that occurred in writing, as an email or letter, to be provided a manager or director/trustee at the first available opportunity.

Service users who feel that they have suffered any form of discrimination should:

  • Ask to speak in person to Manager or Director / Trustee verbally at the first reasonable opportunity.
  • Provide full details of situation that occurred in writing to complaints@homerton.london or postal address of:
    Attn: Complaints
    HBC Community Centre
    Barnabas Road
    Homerton
    London
    E9 5SD

Employees/volunteers/service users should also use this approach if they feel that they been the subject of harassment from someone who is not an employee of HBC Community Centre. HBC Community Centre will not tolerate any harassment from third parties towards its employees/volunteers/service users and will take appropriate action to prevent it happening again.

If an employee/volunteer/service user witnesses behaviour that they find offensive in relation to age, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, even if it is not directed at them they should also use this procedure.

This policy will be reviewed every two years by the directors/trustees to ensure that it remains up to date and reflects the needs and practices of the organisation.

The policy may also be reviewed if legislation changes or if monitoring information suggests that policy or practices should be altered.

Last Reviewed: June 2016