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Equal Opportunities Policy

1. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY STATEMENT
“Service Care Solutions Limited opposes discrimination against and/or harassment of anyone because of their race, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, class, age, religion or employment status”.

All SCS employees, sub-contractors and work experience personnel are required to comply with this Policy Statement.
Any complaints of discrimination or harassment will be treated seriously. They will be fully investigated and may result in disciplinary action by SCS management.
Further policies and practices that promote equal opportunities will be developed, implemented and publicised by the SCS as required.

2. THE LEGISLATIVE OBLIGATIONS
The SCS Limited Equal Opportunities Policy goes beyond the minimum standards but has been developed within the framework of existing legislation. The relevant Acts of Parliament are:

o The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (and its amendments, 1986)
o The Equal Pay Act 1970 (and its amendments 1983)
o The Race Relations Act 1976
o The Disabled Persons (Employment) Acts 1944 & 1958
o The Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation & Representation) Act 1986
o The Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act 1970 (and its amendments 1976)
o The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
o The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
o The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations Act 2006
o The Equalities Act 2010

3. IMPLICATIONS OF THE LEGISLATION
If the legal requirements of the above Acts are contravened both Service Care Solutions Limited and the individual concerned will be rendered liable to legal proceedings. If SCS as an employer can prove that it has taken the necessary steps to prevent acts of discrimination, only the individual would be considered liable for that unlawful act. This applies to the Race Relations Act 1976 and Sex Discrimination Act 1975/1986. It is essential that all persons bound by this Policy are aware of their obligations under the law, as ignorance is not a defence.

4. DEFINITION OF TERMS
DIRECT DISCRIMINATION results from treating a person less favourably on grounds of gender, race, disability, colour, ethnic and national origin, nationality, sexuality, marital status, responsibility for dependants, religion, trade union activity or age (up to 65).

INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION arises when a condition or a requirement, although applied equally to the above groups listed in the Policy Statement, has the effect of excluding, penalising or treating less favourably, any of these groups and cannot be shown to be justifiable and will be to the detriment of those who cannot comply with it.

VICTIMISATION occurs if a person is given less favourable treatment than others because she/he has exercised her/his rights under the Policy of the relevant legislation.

HARASSMENT is defined as: “Any hostile or offensive act, deliberate or otherwise, or any unwelcome attention against an individual or group; any incitement to commit such acts; any actions which affect a person’s safety or comfort or which demean that person in any way”.
The following list provides examples of acts that might occur in incidents of harassment:

o Physical assault and abuse
o Verbal threat and abuse
o Unwelcome physical contact
o Derogatory name-calling, insults, demeaning jokes
o Offensive comments
o Incitement of others to behave in an oppressive manner
o Provocative behaviour, mimicry

Refusal to co-operate in accepted SCS activities with other people on grounds of their race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, class, age, religion or employment status

o Wearing of racist or sexist badges or insignia
o Graffiti directed against an individual or vulnerable group
o Displaying or distributing leaflets etc containing offensive material
o Attempting to recruit other users, staff or students to racist organisations or groups.

5. GENERAL POLICY

STAFFING
All potential staff will have equal access to employment opportunities, providing that they meet the requirements of the job description and person specification.
SCS will not discriminate in providing access to training, promotion and career development opportunities.
Under-represented groups will be encouraged to apply for posts and to participate fully in the work of the SCS.

IMPLEMENTATION AND DISSEMINATION
Copies of the Equal Opportunities Policy will be available to all SCS employees and sub-contractors.
Further copies of the Policy can be obtained from SCS.
All employees and sub-contractors are to be briefed on the Policy at induction.

COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A Complaints Procedure exists for the use and protection of all SCS employees and sub-contractors and is an appropriate way of raising and dealing with complaints relating to any breach of this Policy. SCS management will treat seriously and take prompt action on any employee’s or sub-contractor’s grievance concerning discrimination, victimisation or harassment.

ADVERTISING

All advertising shall be displayed in a way which ensures that they are accessible by everyone. Adverts should also be advertised in a way which would not intentionally or unintentially discourage anyone from applying or be advertised in a way which implies any bias. All adverts must comply with the Equalities Act 2010

DISCIPLINE
Acts of discrimination, victimisation and harassment as defined in this document, perpetrated by SCS staff or sub-contractors against others, will result in disciplinary action. This will also apply to those who attempt to induce others to discriminate, victimise or harass.
Failure to comply with or adhere to the Service Care Solutions Equal Opportunities Policy will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

MONITORING
The implementation of this Policy will be monitored by SCS management.

POLICY REVIEW
No policy document can remain static and must be subject to changes. It is the intention of SCS management to keep this policy under review to ensure that the SCS commitment to equality of opportunity, as set out in the Policy Statement, is adopted and fully implemented.