Equality & Diversity Policy

1. POLICY STATEMENT

Digital State Group Ltd (“the Company”) is committed to providing equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in employment and training. It is unlawful to discriminate in recruitment, employment, provision of goods facilities or services on grounds of sex (which includes gender reassignment), pregnancy, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origins. It is unlawful to discriminate, without justification, on grounds of disability or to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to using services caused by disability. The duty to make reasonable adjustments includes the removal, adaptation or alteration of physical features, if the physical features make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of services. This policy is intended to assist the Company to put this commitment into practice and applies to employees, learners, work placement providers, individuals who apply for work with the Company and those who work on our Company premises i.e. contractors, supply staff and visitors.

2. TYPES OF UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION

Direct Discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another in comparable circumstances on a prohibited ground. An example of direct sex discrimination would be refusing to employ a person because she was pregnant.
Indirect Discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice is applied which is such that it would be to the detriment of a considerably larger proportion of the relevant group to which the individual belongs than to others, which is not objectively justified and which is to the individual’s detriment. An example of indirect sex discrimination could be requiring everyone to work full time unless there is a good reason, unrelated to sex, as to why the particular job has to be done on a full time basis, since requiring everyone to work full time will normally adversely affect a higher proportion of women than men.
Harassment is where there is unwanted conduct related to one of the prohibited grounds which has the purpose of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person, or is reasonable considered by that person to have the effect of violating his or her dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her, even if this effect was not intended by the person responsible for the conduct.
Failure to make reasonable adjustments is where arrangements disadvantage an individual because of a disability and reasonable adjustments are not made to overcome the
disadvantage.
Victimisation is where someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has alleged unlawful discrimination or supported someone to make a complaint or given
evidence in relation to a complaint.

3. EQUAL OPPORTUNTIES IN EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

The Company will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment and training including recruitment, training and development, promotion and discipline. Equality & Diversity Policy Page 2 of 3 Human Resources
3.1 Recruitment and Selection
Wherever possible, all opportunities will be advertised simultaneously internally and externally and will include an appropriate short statement on equality of opportunity. Selection criteria (job description and person specification) will be kept under constant review to ensure that they are justifiable and non-discriminatory. Wherever practicable, more than one person will be involved in the short listing and interviewing process. All employees including those responsible for co-ordinating placements for learners will receive adequate training and guidance on equality and diversity and will ensure that employers and work placement providers associated to the Company acknowledge and comply with the provisions of this policy. Reasons for selection and rejection of applicants or learners for vacancies or placements will be recorded and monitored.
3.2 Training and Development
All employees and learners will have access to appropriate training and development to allow them to successfully carry out their roles or qualifications. Each training and developmental need will be treated on its individual merits and in accordance with the needs of the business. A flexible approach to training may be required in certain circumstances i.e. where training is residential or requires time away from home. This may disadvantage part-time employees or those with care responsibilities and stop them taking advantage of any training opportunities, in which case additional or alternative provisions will be considered. All new employees and learners will have an equal opportunities induction and either delivery of diversity related modules or access to e learning modules to cover the Company’s responsibilities to them as well as theirs to the Company. Relevant policies and practices regarding selection for training and personal development are regularly reviewed to ensure that fairness and equality prevail.
3.3 Promotion
Promotion for employees will only take place as a result of objective assessment, which will be based on the specific abilities, skills and knowledge required for the post. Equal access to promotion will be exercised and promotion opportunities will be advertised on the basis that they are accessible to all employees including those that work full time, part time, from home and those that are field based. There may be situations where some specialised posts are only suitable for people with particular skills but consideration must still be given to all employees and a fair selection process adopted as some employees may have skills of which the Company are unaware.
3.4 Discipline
The Company will ensure that employees involved in the disciplinary process are trained appropriately so that they may undertake these duties by objective and justifiable means and in adherence with the relevant procedures. In addition to the above, any employee or learner breaching the Company’s Equality and Diversity policy will be regarded as behaving in a manner that constitutes an act of misconduct and will be dealt with through the appropriate disciplinary procedure.

4. DIGNITY AT WORK

Equality & Diversity Policy Page 3 of 3 Human Resources The Company has a separate Dignity at Work Policy concerning issues of bullying and harassment on any ground, and how complaints of this type will be dealt with.

5. RESPONSIBILITIES

Every employee is required to assist the Company to meet its commitment to provide equal opportunities in employment and avoid unlawful discrimination. Employees can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of, the Company for any act of unlawful discrimination. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees or learners and disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

6. GRIEVANCES

If you consider that you may have been unlawfully discriminated against, you may use the Company’s Grievance Procedure to make a complaint. If your complaint involves bullying or harassment please refer to the Company’s Dignity at Work Policy. The Company will take any complaint seriously and will seek to resolve any grievance which it upholds. You will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if your grievance is not upheld, unless your complaint is both untrue and made in bad faith.

7. MONITORING AND REVIEW

This policy will be monitored annually by the Company to review its effectiveness and will be updated in accordance with changes in the law. In particular, the Company will monitor the ethnic and gender composition of the existing workforce and of applicants for jobs (including promotion), and the number of people with disabilities within these groups and will review this policy in accordance with the results shown by the monitoring. If changes are required, the Company will implement them. Information provided by job applicants and employees for monitoring purposes will be used only for these purposes and will be dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

8. PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO THIS POLICY

Equality Act 2010 (encompasses and incorporates some of the legislation below:
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Race Relations Act 1976
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendments to Subordinate Legislation) Order 2005
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003
Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order 2001
Employment Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000
Equal Treatment Directive 2006