equal opportunities

Church Action on Poverty is committed to achieving a working environment  which provides equality  of opportunity  and freedom  from  unlawful  discrimination  on the grounds  of race, colour,  nationality,  ethnic  origin,  gender,  marital  status,  disability,  religious  beliefs,  age or sexual orientation. This Policy aims to remove unfair and discriminatory practices within the Company and to encourage full contribution from its diverse community. Church Action on Poverty is committed to actively opposing all forms of discrimination.

The  Company  also  aims  to  provide  a  service  that  does  not  discriminate   against  its beneficiaries, members, partners, voluntary and community groups, clients and customers in the means by which they can access the services and work of Church Action on Poverty. Church Action on Poverty believes  that  all employees  and  beneficiaries  are entitled  to be treated with respect and dignity.

Objectives of this Policy

  • To reduce, stop and prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination.
  • To ensure that recruitment, promotion, training, development, assessment, redundancy and service provision are determined on the basis of capacity, qualifications, experience, skills and productivity.

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,  colour,  nationality,  ethnic  origin,  gender,  marital status, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation. Discrimination may be direct or indirect.

Types of Discrimination

Direct Discrimination
This  occurs  when  a person  or a policy  intentionally  treats  a person  less favourably  than another on the grounds of colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, disability, religion, age, or sexual orientation.

Indirect Discrimination
This is the application of a policy, criterion or practice to a person which the employer would apply to others 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 would indirectly discriminate against employees with an oriental ethnic origin, as they are less likely to be able to fulfil this requirement if that requirement is not justified by the position.

Unlawful Reasons for Discrimination

Gender and Marital Status
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of their gender or the fact they are married. This applies to both men and women. Sexual harassment of men and women can be found to constitute sex discrimination.  For example, asking a woman during an interview if she is planning to have any (more) children constitutes discrimination on the ground of gender.

Age
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their age. This applies to people of all ages.  This does not currently apply to the calculation of redundancy payments.

Disability
It is not permissible to treat a disabled person less favourably than a non-disabled  person. Reasonable adjustments must be made to give the disabled person as much access to the service and ability to be employed, trained, or promoted as a non-disabled person.

Race, Colour, Nationality and Ethnic Origin
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their race, the colour of their skin, their nationality or their ethnic origin.

Sexual Orientation
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their sexual orientation. For example, an employer cannot refuse to employ a person because s/he is homosexual, or transsexual.

Religion or Belief
It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their religious beliefs or their religion.

Code of Practice

The term “Church Action on Poverty” refers to staff, Council of Management members and volunteers of this organisation and managed projects.

Church Action on Poverty believes that diversity is a positive asset and values the contributions made by all.  This policy aims to clarify the methods Church Action on Poverty will use to treat everyone in an open and equal way. The statement of intent will be made available to any individual or group who requests it.  It will also be displayed in Church Action on Poverty Office and in any relevant correspondence.    A copy of the equal opportunities policy will be given to all new affiliate members, Council of Management members, volunteers and staff.

When will this policy be reviewed?

Church Action on Poverty  makes  a  commitment  to  reviewing  this  equal  opportunities  policy  when  legislation changes.

Responsibility for the Implementation of this Policy

The co-operation of all employees is essential for the success of this Policy. However, the ultimate responsibility for achieving the objectives of this Policy, and for ensuring compliance with relevant Legislation and Codes of Practice, lies with the Council of Management. Senior employees are expected to follow this Policy and ensure that all employees, subcontractors and agents do the same.

All employees, subcontractors and agents of Church Action on Poverty are required to act in a way that does not subject any other employees or beneficiaries to direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, disability, religion, age or sexual orientation.

Employees may be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by an Employment Tribunal and ordered to pay compensation to the person who has suffered as a result of discriminatory acts.

Aims

 

  • There shall be no discrimination  in respect of race, sex, sexual orientation,  religion, disability,  age,  gender,  gender  reassignment,  marital  status  or ethnic  origin.  Church Action on Poverty aims to work pro-actively in ways that promote equal opportunities, with staff, Council of Management, any voluntary and community groups or individuals it comes into contact with during the course of its work.
  • Recruitment, promotion, training, development and redundancy shall be determined on capacity and merit only.
  • All  employees  have  personal  responsibility  for  the  practicable  application  of  this policy, which applies to the treatment of all beneficiaries to the charity, voluntary and community groups, members, customers, suppliers, the general public, council of management and fellow employees
  • Any employee, manager, supervisor and director involved in recruitment, promotion or training has specific responsibility for the practicable application of this Equal Opportunity Policy.
  • In the event that an employee considers that he/she has been the subject of unfair discrimination, or any form of harassment or victimisation, the employee should refer to Church Action on Poverty’s Grievance Procedure.
  • Any  employee  who  has  been  determined  to  have  committed  an  act  of  unlawful discrimination shall be subject to disciplinary action according to Church Action on Poverty’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

 

Recruitment

Church Action on Poverty aims to ensure that no applicant receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds stated in the Statement of Intent.

  • All vacancies will be advertised internally, in national and/or local media, where appropriate. Church Action on Poverty will ensure that information about vacancies will be distributed as widely as possible.
  • All vacancy advertisements will include a short statement on equal opportunities: “Church Action on Poverty seeks to apply equal opportunity principles in all its employment policies and practice.”
  • Church Action on Poverty will record the details of applicants' gender, race, sexuality and disability on an equal opportunities monitoring form.
  • Church Action on Poverty  will  use  procedures  that  ensure  the  confidentiality  of  the  applicant;  only  relevant information for short-listing will be included. Information such as race, age and gender, name and address, will be excluded from this process, unless of relevance to the post.
  • Each post will have a job description and a person specification.

Selection

 

  • Recruitment criteria will be clear and will relate to the skills, abilities and experiences needed to successfully carry out the duties of the post.
  • A points system will be used during short listing and at the interview stage to assess all applicants and candidates for the post(s) concerned.
  • If requested, feedback will be given to candidates regarding their application, orally after the short listing stage or after interview. The complaints procedure is available to those who feel they have not been treated equally and fairly.
  • A short report will be presented to The Council of Management annually, detailing anonymous profiles of applicants including race, gender, disability and sexuality.

 

Staff Development

 

  • Church Action on Poverty will aim to give all employees equal opportunities training, in order to develop skills in putting equal opportunities into practice in all areas of work.
  • Church Action on Poverty will aim to be open and fair when considering training requests from staff and volunteers.
  • In order for Church Action on Poverty’s Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy to be fully effective, Church Action on Poverty will keep a record of employee profiles, including their ethnic origin, gender, disability and their grade.
  • Church Action on Poverty will monitor employees selected for training to ensure a fair distribution of the training budget.     This information   will be presented   annually, by the Director to The Council of Management.

 

Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

Internal   grievances   and complaints   regarding   discrimination   will be thoroughly investigated.      The   process   will adhere   to Church Action on Poverty’s   Grievance   and Disciplinary Procedure, detailed in Church Action on Poverty’s handbook 3.1, 3.2.

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:

The Disability Rights Commission
Freepost MID 02164
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 9BR
Telephone: 08457 622 633
Website: www.drc.org.uk

The Equal Opportunities Commission
Arndale House Arndale Centre Manchester
M4 3EQ
Telephone: 0845 601 5901
Facsimile: 0161 838 8312
Website: www.eoc.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau
Myddleton House
115-123 Pentonville Road
London
N1 9LZ
Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Community Legal Services Direct
Telephone: 0845 345 4 345
Website: www.clsdirect.org.uk

The Commission for Racial Equality
St Dunstan’s House
201-211 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1GZ
Telephone: 020 7939 0000
Facsimile: 020 7939 0001
Website: www.cre.gov.uk

Church Action On Poverty, Unit 28 Sandpiper Court, Water’s Edge Business Park, Modwen Road, Salford M5 3EZ

Telephone 0161 872 9294 or email info@church-poverty.org.uk

Registered charity number 1079986. Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 3780243.

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