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Equal Opportunities Policy

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

This Equal Opportunities Policy Statement and Policy Statement on Harassment at Work are designed to reflect the commitment of Contracts Support Services (CSS) to Equal Opportunities. It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure his or her own conduct conforms to the expected standards and reflects these Policy Statements.

If Equal Opportunities are not applied then valuable talent and potential are wasted. Moreover, when unfair discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation takes place they bring about a climate of fear, insecurity and poor work performance. It is therefore vital that every employee understands his or her own responsibilities. Equal Opportunities are taken very seriously by the company and wilful failure to apply the policies or evidence of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation will result in disciplinary action.

The Equal Opportunities Policy Statement

1.CSS is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all work seekers and shall adhere to such a policy at all times. We will treat everyone equally irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital/civil status, pregnancy or maternity, age, disability, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs or membership or non-membership of a Trade Union and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy.

2.CSS embraces diversity and will seek to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. We will seek to develop a business culture that reflects that belief. We will seek to widen the media in which we recruit to ensure as diverse an employee and candidate base as possible.

3.CSS seeks to employ a workforce that reflects the community at large and shall not discriminate unlawfully when deciding which candidate/temporary worker is submitted for a vacancy or assignment, or in any terms of employment or terms of engagement for temporary workers. Contracts Support Services will ensure that each candidate is assessed only in accordance with the candidate’s merits, qualification and ability to perform the relevant duties required by the particular vacancy.

4.CSS recognises its legal obligations including those under the Equality Act 2010 and the Part-time Workers legislation.

5.CSS undertakes to review periodically its selection criteria and procedures to maintain a system where individuals are selected, promoted and treated solely on the basis of their merits and abilities.

6.CSS will not tolerate acts which breach this policy and all instances of such behaviour or alleged behaviour will be taken seriously, fully investigated and may be subject to its disciplinary procedures.

7.Unlawful discrimination occurs in the following circumstances:

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs where one individual treats or would treat another individual less favourably because of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs (“the protected categories”).

It is unlawful for a recruitment consultancy to discriminate against a person on the grounds of a protected category:

in the terms on which the recruitment consultancy offers to provide any of its services;

by refusing or deliberately omitting to provide any of its services;

in the way it provides any of its services.

Direct discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultancy accepted and acted upon a job registration from an employer which states that certain persons are unacceptable due to a protected category, unless one of the exceptions applies, for instance, the job demands a genuine occupational requirement or in the case of age, the discrimination can be lawfully justified.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs where an agency or employer applies a provision, criterion or practice generally, which disadvantages a minority group in the community on the basis of a protected category.

Indirect discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultant accepted and acted upon an indirectly discriminatory instruction from an employer.

If the vacancy requires characteristics which amount to a genuine occupational requirement or the instruction is lawfully discriminatory due to a statutory exception or objective justification, CSS will not deal further with the vacancy unless the client provides written confirmation of such genuine occupational requirement, exception or justification.

DISABLED PERSONS

Discrimination

Direct discrimination against a person occurs where, a person is treated less favourably because of disability, either their own disability or because someone they are associated with has a disability.

Indirect discriminations occurs when a practice, criterion or provision which cannot be objectively justified is applied to everyone but results in person with a disability being placed at a disadvantage.

Disability arising from discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in connection with their disability.

Duty to make reasonable adjustments and to provide auxiliary aids and services

This is a similar protection to indirect discrimination in the other protected categories.

Where a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of an employer, or any physical feature of the employer’s premises, places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, it will be the duty of an employer to take such steps as are reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, to remove the provision, criterion, practice or physical feature.

Agencies must take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids or services if this would make it easier for the disabled person to use their services. For instance, an appropriate auxiliary aid or service can include the provision of information on audiotape or provision of a sign language interpreter.

CSS will not discriminate against a disabled person on the grounds of disability:

in the arrangements i.e. application form, interview or arrangements for selection for determining to whom a job should be offered; or

in the terms on which employment or engagement of temporary workers is offered; or

by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering the disabled person a job for reasons connected with their disability; or

in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity; or

by subjecting him or her to any other detriment (detriment will include refusal of training or transfer, demotion, reduction of wage, or harassment).

8.If an existing employee becomes disabled, CSS will make every effort to retain him or her within the workforce whenever reasonable and practicable.

9.Whenever reasonably practicable to do so, CSS will install in existing premises facilities for disabled people. Whenever CSS invests capital in new or refurbished premises every practicable effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff and customers with disabilities.

10.Any employee who believes they may have been subjected to treatment which breaches this policy may raise the matter through the CSS Grievance Procedure (QP-010).

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