EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES & DIVERSITY POLICY
1. POLICY STATEMENT
Forrest Williams Legal Ltd is committed to achieving a working environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy maternity and paternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. This Policy aims to remove unfair and discriminatory practices within the firm and to encourage full contribution from its diverse community. We are committed to actively opposing all forms of discrimination.
We also aim to provide a service that does not discriminate against its clients in the means by which they can access the services supplied by us. We believe that all employees and clients are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.
2. OBJECTIVES OF THIS POLICY
2.1 To prevent, reduce and stop all forms of unlawful discrimination in line with the Equality Act 2010.
2.2 To ensure that recruitment, promotion, training, development, assessment, benefits, pay, terms and conditions of employment, redundancy and dismissals are determined on the basis of capability, qualifications, experience, skills and productivity.
3. DESIGNATED OFFICER
Name: Steve Williams
Telephone Number: 01623 397200
4. DEFINITION OF DISCRIMINATION
Discrimination is unequal or differential treatment which leads to one person being treated more or less favourably than others are, or would be, treated in the same or similar circumstances on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy, maternity and paternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. Discrimination may be direct or indirect.
5. TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION
5.1 Direct Discrimination
This occurs when a person or a policy intentionally treats a person less favourably than another on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.
5.2 Indirect Discrimination
This is the application of a policy, criterion or practice which the employer applies to all employees but which is such that:
It is it detrimental to a considerably larger proportion of people from the group that the person the employer is applying it to represents;
The employer cannot justify the need for the application of the policy on a neutral basis; and
The person to whom the employer is applying it suffers detriment from the application of the policy.
Example: A requirement that all employees must be 6ft tall if that requirement is not justified by the position would indirectly discriminate against employees with an oriental ethnic origin, as they are less likely to be able to fulfil this requirement.
This occurs when a person is subjected to unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
This occurs when a person is treated less favourably because they have bought or intend to bring proceedings or they have given or intend to give evidence.
6. DUTY NOT TO DISCRIMINATE
In its professional dealings with our partners and employees, barristers, other lawyers, clients or third parties we must not discriminate without lawful cause, against any person, nor victimise or harass them on grounds of:
6.1 Race or racial group (Including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
6.2 Sex (including marital status, gender reassignment or transgender status (this applies to men, women and those undergoing or intending to undergo gender reassignment), pregnancy, maternity and paternity. Sexual harassment of men and women can be found to constitute sex discrimination
6.3 Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
6.4 Religion or belief (or lack thereof);
6.5 Age (this applies to people of all ages. This does not currently apply to the calculation of redundancy payments).
6.6 Disability (we must take such steps and make such adjustments, as are reasonable in the circumstances, in order to prevent any employee, partner, member, director or client who is disabled from being placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled)
7. REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS
We have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the employment of a disabled person. These may include:
7.1 Making adjustments to premises;
7.2 Re-allocating some or all of a disabled employee’s duties;
7.3 Transferring a disabled employee to a role better suited to their disability;
7.4 Relocating a disabled employee to a more suitable office;
7.5 Giving a disabled employee time off work for medical treatment or rehabilitation;
7.6 Providing training or mentoring for a disabled employee;
7.7 Supplying or modifying equipment, instruction and training manuals for disabled employees; or
7.8 Any other adjustments that we consider reasonable and necessary provided such adjustments are within our financial means.
If an employee has a disability and feels that any such adjustments could be made by us, they should contact the Designated Officer.
8. RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS POLICY
Our employees and agents are required to act in a way that does not subject any other employees or clients to direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of their race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.
The co-operation of all employees is essential for the success of this Policy. Senior employees are expected to follow this Policy and to try to ensure that all employees and agents do the same.
Employees may be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by us and in some circumstances an Employment Tribunal may order them to pay compensation to the person who has suffered as a result of discriminatory acts.
We take responsibility for achieving the objectives of this Policy, and endeavours to ensure compliance with relevant Legislation and Codes of Practice.
9. ACTING ON DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOUR
In the event that an employee is the subject or perpetrator of, or witness to, discriminatory behaviour, please refer to the Employee Handbook on disciplinary and grievances procedures.
10. ADVICE AND SUPPORT ON DISCRIMINATION
Employees may contact their employee or trade union representative if access to such an individual is possible.
Other contacts include:
Equality and Human Rights Commission
The Arndale Centre
3 More London
3rd Floor, 3 Callaghan Square
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
Telephone (England): 0845 604 6610
Telephone (Wales): 0845 604 8810
Telephone (Scotland): 0845 604 5510
Citizens Advice Bureau
115-123 Pentonville Road
Community Legal Services Direct
Telephone: 0845 345 4 345
11. THE EXTENT OF THE POLICY
11.1 We seek to apply this Policy in the recruitment, selection, training, appraisal, development and promotion of all employees. We offer services in a fashion that complies with the spirit of this Policy.
11.2 This Policy does not form a part of any employment contract with any employee and its contents are not to be regarded by any person as implied, collateral or express terms to any contract made with us.
11.3 We reserve the right to amend and update this Policy at any time.
Details of our diversity data can be requested by contacting Steve Williams on firstname.lastname@example.org