Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Policy

I.INTRODUCTION 

Enterprise Made Simple (EMS) was founded in 2008 and since that time our passion for working with small businesses, small business owners and teams to help them build, grow and sustain both personally and professionally has not changed. 

EMS offers support, training, coaching, mentoring and consultancy to Individuals, Business Owners, Business Teams, University Enterprise functions, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities and Prime Providers. 

Enterprise Made Simple (EMS) are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and to avoiding unlawful discrimination against our colleagues, learners, employers, or subcontractors. 

This policy helps us to put this commitment into practice. By complying with this policy, you are helping to ensure that we create a work environment that is free from discrimination, where everyone can achieve their potential. 

Striving to ensure that the work environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is an important aspect of ensuring equal opportunities and diversity and inclusion in employment.  

This policy is approved by the Board and covers all areas of the business which include but not limited to ESFA Government funded provision. 

This policy can be made available in alternative formats on request. 

Applies to:  

This Policy applies to all Staff, Learners, and stakeholders. 

Context 

The overall purpose of this policy is to abide by the Equality Act 2010 and to ensure that EMS is a place where learning and work exists in an environment that promotes equality of opportunity, celebrates diversity, and allows everyone to achieve their potential. 

This policy will be communicated through different means to all staff, learners, clients, stakeholders, and prospective employees and is approved and reviewed by the Board at least annually. 

Our commitment is that every: 

  • Employee is entitled to a working environment which promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. 
  • Every individual is entitled to receive a service from EMS and its subcontract partners that is free from bias and all unreasonable barriers. 
  • Employees, learners, customers, and suppliers are entitled to expect equality of opportunity in all aspects of their employment, training, and engagement with us, including its terms and conditions. 
  • Potential employees and learners are entitled to expect the recruitment process to be free from all unreasonable barriers. 
  • Learners will be supported in their learning to allow them to succeed in line with peers and progression to new opportunities. 
  • Employees will be provided training and development opportunities to support their understanding and commitment to the policy. 
  • Managers will be committed to monitoring progress towards targets set for representation and performance of different groups. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

EMS is committed to creating an inclusive working environment to maximise the potential of all staff, providing equal opportunities in all aspects of employment and avoiding unlawful discrimination at work. EMS will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation of employees or third parties who do work on EMS’s behalf. 

It will seek to do this by: 

  • Communicating our commitment to equality and diversity to all 
  • Creating an environment where there is mutual respect and equality of opportunity providing relevant training for all.  
  • Implementing mechanisms for implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and review of what we do to promote and embed. 
  • Treating acts of discrimination as a disciplinary offence dealing with harassment and bullying timely and effectively  

All employees, suppliers, learners, and clients will receive equal treatment regardless of sex, marital or civil partnership status, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender realignment, pregnancy, maternity, religion, or belief. 

The Directors and Operational Leadership Team recognise that they have responsibility for ensuring that the company operates within the legal framework for equality and for implementing the policy throughout the business. All employees and learners of EMS are responsible for trying to prevent discrimination that is within their control to prevent or challenge. 

Phil Teasdale  

Chief Executive Officer 

III. CONTENT  

The Legislation 

It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment because of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment (i.e., transgender status), pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion, or belief, or because someone is married or in a civil partnership. These are known as “protected characteristics”. 

Discrimination after employment may also be unlawful, e.g., refusing to give a reference for a reason related to one of the protected characteristics. 

It is unlawful for an employer to fail to make reasonable adjustments to its requirements, working practices or the physical features of the workplace where these put a job applicant or employee who is disabled at a substantial disadvantage. Employers are also under a duty to take reasonable steps to provide equipment or technology to help with a disability. 

When we are providing services, goods, or facilities, you must not discriminate against or harass a member of the public. We are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to using services caused by disability including the removal, adaptation, or alteration of physical features. In addition, we need to think ahead and make reasonable adjustments to address any barriers that may impede disabled people from accessing a service. 

Values 

The Company Values will embed equality and diversity in their implementation, namely: 

  • We explore opportunities – we seek out opportunities along with being passionate in developing our clients, so they too are equipped to embrace the opportunities ahead. 
  • We learn and never stop – We are committed to reflection and continuous improvement, so we deliver the very best service to our learners, clients, and partners. 
  • We do the right thing – We aim to get it right the first time and to be fair and honest in our reflections when we fall short. 
  • We seek innovative partnerships – We continually strive to engage with the very best partners, where there will be a positive impact for all and for our learners and clients. 
  • We are all about the learner – We keep the impact on our learners in the forefront of every decision and action we take.  
  • We are mindful of our people – We care and aim to ensure each staff member is valued for their contribution through recognition and respect. 

The Company actively promotes British Values through classroom delivery, using the following key themes: 

  • Democracy 
  • The rule of law 
  • Individual liberty 
  • Respect and tolerance 

In June 2014, the Government emphasised the important role that British Values can play in education, how well these are taught and integrated as part of the ethos of post 16 education. They are now a focus of the Ofsted inspection process. 

As well as actively promoting British Values we would also actively challenge learners, clients or staff, expressing opinions contrary to our British Values, including ‘extremist’ views of any variety. 

Learners will be made aware of Equality and Diversity and British values at their induction and within the learner handbook. This will be reinforced throughout the programme. 

Complaints 

Any external complaints regarding equality, diversity or inclusion will be dealt with through the complaints process. 

Equal Opportunities in Employment 

We will strive to avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline, and selection for redundancy. 

Person and job specifications will be limited to those requirements that are necessary for the effective performance of the job. Candidates for employment or promotion will be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job, taking account of any reasonable adjustments that may be required for candidates with a disability. Disability and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary. 

We will consider any possible indirectly discriminatory effect of our working practices, including the number of hours to be worked, the times at which these are to be worked and the place in which work is to be done. We will refuse requests for variations to working practices only if we have good reasons for doing so that are unrelated to any protected characteristic. We will comply with our obligations in relation to statutory requests for contract variations and will also make reasonable adjustments to our working practices for individuals with a disability. 

We will monitor the ethnic, gender and age composition of the existing workforce and of applicants for jobs (including promotion), and the number of people with disabilities within these groups and will consider and take any appropriate action to address any problems that may be identified because of the monitoring process.  

Bullying and Harassment 

We are committed to creating an environment free from harassment and bullying for our learners, clients and staff and incidents of this nature will be dealt with through the appropriate policy and process. 

Clients, Suppliers, and other People Outside our Workforce 

We will not discriminate unlawfully against customers using or seeking to use goods, facilities or services provided by us. 

If you are subjected to any bullying or harassment by clients, suppliers, visitors, or any other person you encounter through your work, you should report it to your manager (or if you prefer the HR Team) who will take appropriate action. 

Reasonable Adjustments 

Failure to make reasonable adjustments is where a physical feature or a provision, criterion or practice puts a person who is disabled at a substantial disadvantage compared with someone who does not have that disability and the employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments to enable the disabled person to overcome the disadvantage. 

Training 

We provide training in equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion to all our colleagues. Additional training will be given to address the steps that decision-makers can take to avoid unconscious bias. 

We provide training to all existing and new employees and others engaged to work for us to help them understand their rights and responsibilities and what they can do to help create a working environment free of bullying and harassment. We will provide additional training for managers to enable them to deal more effectively with complaints of bullying and harassment. 

Your Responsibilities 

Everyone needs to play their  part in helping us create a work environment that is free from harassment and bullying, and where everyone can achieve their potential. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees or clients are disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure. We treat this type of conduct extremely seriously and it may lead to dismissal without notice. 

Grievances 

We encourage anyone who believes that they have been harassed or victimised to come forward and share their experiences and concerns with us. To facilitate this, we have robust procedures designed to assist our people to have open conversations, engage in dispute resolution and, where appropriate, implement a disciplinary process. 

If you think you have been discriminated against, bullied, or harassed you can raise this under our grievance procedure. 

We take any complaint seriously and you will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if your grievance is not upheld, unless in the very unlikely situation that your complaint is both untrue and made in bad faith. 

Objectives of the policy are to: 

  • Regularly report to the Board and Operational Leadership Team on equality and diversity matters and the performance and participation of different groups of learners 
  • Regularly review the policy and procedures that promote and protect equality and diversity. 
  • Organise or access opportunities that foster a culture of equality for all. 
  • Monitor procedures and activities to ensure the effectiveness of our approach 
  • Consider the needs of all, particularly those with protected characteristics. 
  • Take positive action to redress unjustified disparities in training and/or employment. 

Statutory Acts 

There are several statutory and other provisions relating to Equality & Diversity and these are enveloped in one Single Equality Bill (October 2010). These include:  

  • Equal Pay Act 1970 
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975 
  • Race Religion Act 1976 
  • Disability Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 
  • Equality Act 2006, Part 2 
  • Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 

Implementation 

The Board carries the ultimate responsibility, the under law, for ensuring that we meet the requirements of equality legislation. The authority for this is delegated to the CEO who, in turn, has designated the Managing Director to take the strategic lead for championing equality, diversity and inclusion. This role is shared with the Director of Finance regarding the Company as an employer. However, all colleagues have the responsibility to uphold the policy, comply with the law and support the Company in fulfilling its duties and commitments. 

IV. DEFINATIONS

Direct Discrimination 

Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic (for example refusing to employ a woman because she is pregnant). 

In very limited circumstances, employers can directly discriminate against an individual for a reason related to any of the protected characteristics where there is an occupational requirement. The occupational requirement must be crucial to the post and a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. 

Indirect Discrimination 

Indirect discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice is applied that is discriminatory in relation to individuals who have a relevant protected characteristic compared with people who do not, and it cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (for example requiring employees to have held a driving licence for 10 years may be indirect age discrimination, unless that requirement could be objectively justified). 

Discrimination by Association 

Associative discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic (although it does not cover harassment because of marriage and civil partnership, and (according to guidance from the Government and ACAS) pregnancy and maternity). 

Perceptive Discrimination 

Perceptive discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that they have a particular protected characteristic when they do not, in fact, have that protected characteristic (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity). 

Harassment 

Harassment is where there is unwanted conduct, related to one of the protected characteristics (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity which are covered by direct discrimination provisions in the Equality Act 2010) that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity; or is reasonably considered by that person to create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It does not matter whether this effect was intended by the person responsible for the conduct. 

Bullying 

Bullying is not a natural behaviour and should not be seen as such. It typically can be when someone uses superior strength or influence to intimidate. 

Victimisation  

Victimisation occurs where an employee is subjected to a detriment (essentially where the employee is treated badly), such as being denied a training opportunity or a promotion because they made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010, or because they are suspected of doing so. For example, if a blind employee raises a grievance that the employer is not complying with its duty to make reasonable adjustments and is then systematically excluded from all meetings. However, an employee is not protected from victimisation if they acted maliciously or made or supported an untrue complaint in bad faith.