This document defines the 2sms.com policy on Equality and Diversity Policy.
It is the responsibility of the department managers to ensure all staff adhere to this policy.
2sms celebrates and values the diversity of its learners and employees and is committed to equality of opportunity for all.
2sms resolves to eliminate discrimination or other unfair treatment against any of its staff, potential staff or users of its services. This is regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, marital status, family circumstances and responsibility for dependants, physical ability, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or offending background that does not create risk to children and vulnerable adults.
Subject to the overriding consideration of protecting children and vulnerable people, we will make every effort to prevent unfair discrimination against those with criminal records.
2. Statutory Duties
2sms will aim to comply with the requirements of the following Legislation:
• Gender Equality Duty (2007)
• Employment Equality (Age Discrimination) 2006
• Disability Discrimination Act 2005
• Every Child Matters – government Green Paper 2003
• Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
• Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
• The Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order 2001
• Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
• The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
(as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001)
• The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, 1999
• Child Protection Act 1999
• The Human Rights Act 1998
• Employment Rights Act 1996
• Equal Pay Acts 1970 and 1984
• The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
• Modern Slavery Act 2015
• 1998 ILO Declaration
• ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 1998
3. Demonstrating our commitment to employees
3.1 Marketing and Access to Learning
3.1 Staff Recruitment, Training and Development
3.1.1 2sms embraces equal opportunities and diversity in all its aspects, and aims to employ a workforce, that reflects, at every level, the community it serves by ensuring job advertisements are targeted at both mainstream and minority communities. This will involve advertising through recognized minority group’s publications.
3.1.2 2sms will treat all employees with respect and dignity, and seek to provide a working environment free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation. 2sms will not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour against its employees, either from other employees, students or members of the public.
3.1.3 Through the provision of regular staff training and development to staff involved in recruitment and selection 2sms will ensure that staff recruitment and selection procedures are open, consistently applied and free from bias, stereotyping and discrimination. Additionally, 2sms will endeavour to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to arrangements and premises to ensure both current and potential staff with disabilities have equality of access.
3.1.4 College employees will have the opportunity for a performance management review and will have access to opportunities for training and development.
3.1.5 2sms will ensure that, with regards to employment strategies, equal opportunities monitoring and analysis is carried out and informs the College’s planning and decision-making process, whereby initiatives such as positive action will be utilized where necessary.
3.1.6 We will do our best to treat all employees and job applicants fairly in relation to all our employment policies and procedures and to meet any reasonable and appropriate additional needs they may have.
3.1.7 We will give employees and job applicants access to the complaint procedures if they feel unfairly treated.
4.1 As part of the implementation of this policy, diversity and equal opportunities awareness will be an essential part of staff induction, in-service training and on going development.
Responsibility for implementing the policy
4.2 The Directors of 2sms have the lead responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy.
4.3 The Equal Opportunities and Diversity Manager has responsibility for the strategic and operational development of this policy through the Equality and Diversity Strategic Group. Also for monitoring and regularly assessing how effectively it is being implemented across 2sms.
4.4 All employees have a responsibility to promote and adhere to the policy; therefore, 2sms has a range of additional policies to assist staff to embed the principles of diversity and equality of opportunity into all aspects of 2sms business life.
Some of these additional policies and procedures are:
• Assessment Appeals Procedure
• Staff Conduct and Discipline Procedure
• Disability Statement
• Disability Equality Scheme
• Race Equality Policy
• Complaints Procedure
• Anti-bullying and Harassment Policy
• Marketing Policy
These policies are available on the 2sms HR portal, available to all employees.
• Staff Recruitment, Selection and Training
• Criminal Records Bureau Procedures
• Recruitment and Selection Procedure
• Employee Induction
• Professional Development Policy
• Performance, Management and Review Policy
• Disciplinary Procedures
• Grievance Procedures
• Harassment Procedures
• Portfolio of ‘Family Friendly’ procedures
• These policies are available on the 2sms HR portal, available to all employees.
4.5 To make our equality and diversity policy fully effective we will:
• Actively promote it via all 2sms established communication links.
• Ensure the Equality and Diversity Policy is a working document.
• Regularly monitor and review all our job selection procedures and criteria and making changes to ensure unfair discrimination does not take place
• Make sure all employees and job applicants know about this policy
• Take appropriate action, using agreed procedures, if employees breach this policy.
• Provide training and guidance, particularly for Staff Support Services and line managers, to ensure they understand this policy and their legal responsibilities.
• Monitor recruitment and employment statistics to identify under-representation
• Provide positive action training programmes, for under-represented groups to redress imbalances in recruitment, career development and training.
• Employ Peninsula HR to review annually our policies, audit our processes and confirm compliance.
• Employ Peninsula HR to monitor and advise 2sms of any changes in UK law.
In order to successfully implement this policy equal opportunities and diversity awareness will be an essential part of staff induction, in-service training and staff on going professional development.
5. Fundamental International Labour Organisation Human Rights Conventions.
With the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, this universal obligation now covers the principles of all eight conventions.
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining is enshrined in Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948) and Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949).
Freedom from forced labour is enshrined in Convention 29 on Forced Labour (1930) and Convention 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labour (1957).
Freedom from child labour is enshrined in Convention 138 on Minimum Age for Entry into Employment (1973) and Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999).
Freedom from discrimination at work is enshrined in Convention 100 on Equal Remuneration (1951) and Convention 111 on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation (1958).
2sms will adhere to these conventions, and the employment contract offered to all staff without exception was drafted by our Employment Legislation Consultants Peninsula HR. Our staff handbook details our approach to protecting these rights.
5. Anti low wages
2sms is committed to providing employment to staff at levels that significantly exceed the UK National living wage.
6. Temporary workers
With the exception of ‘work experience’ students, no employee is employed on a temporary basis. 2sms does not use temporary workers. 2sms outsources some specialist work, e.g. tax computations for the UK and US business, but does not use third party agencies for core functions. Work experience students typically spend between 1 and 90 days with the company, and are paid the age specific National Living wage.
2sms will monitor the implementation of this policy through the Diversity Strategic Group. The Group will review both policy and practice and will report annually to Senior Management. The composition of the Group will reflect the diversity of functions and interests across the whole College and will include appropriate learner representation.
The Group will include within this review:
7.1 Enrolment, retention and achievement against age, disability, ethnicity and gender across 2sms.
7.2 Marketing strategy and associated promotional material.
7.3 The implementation of policies and procedures related staff discipline and appeals and grievance.
7.4 Employee profile and recruitment data.
7.5 Relevant environmental issues and relevant issues raised in area Self Assessment Reports.
7.6 Trend analysis of any complaints made to 2sms on grounds associated with equal opportunities.
8 Key Groups and Areas
We recognise that unfair discrimination can be directed at anyone of us; however some people face this more than others, for example minority ethnic women and women with disabilities. Therefore, through our policies, procedures and behaviour we will try our best to tackle all types of discrimination and unfair treatment.
In particular we aim to target the following specific areas:-
8.1 Age Discrimination
2sms is committed to tackling discrimination against both younger and older people. 2sms recognises that negative attitudes and commonly held stereotypes can lead to discriminatory behaviour, which can negatively affect people’s life chances. Therefore, it is very important that 2sms does not stop people from meeting their full potential.
Both younger and older people are less likely to be listened to and consequently they can experience a greater risk of maltreatment or abuse from others who may misuse a position of power. These groups have different needs but often experience similar levels of discrimination, disadvantage, alienation and social exclusion.
2sms recognises that working adults have the most influence and access to opportunities, therefore flexibility of working patterns is one of the key aspects to ensuring both older and younger people are able to reach their potential in 2sms environment especially if they have caring responsibilities within their home environment.
8.2 People with Disabilities
2sms has a good record of tackling disability discrimination and providing appropriate support to ensure that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged whether they are a student or a member of staff.
2sms is aware that often it is the common social attitudes that create the biggest barriers for people with disabilities. Therefore, removing both attitudinal and physical barriers will eradicate the discrimination, victimisation, marginalisation and social disadvantaged that are often suffered by people with disabilities.
Promoting and providing equality for disabled people through consultation with people who are disabled is paramount. 2sms recognises that not all disabilities are visible; and that people with disabilities may need flexibility within their programme of study or their working hours. Furthermore, students, staff and those applying for work may require adaptation to equipment or the work environment in order to reach their potential.
Overall, 2sms will, wherever possible, provide the necessary support, assistance and care that people with disabilities need to achieve success in either their programme of study or employment.
8.3 Gender and Transgender Issues
Whilst admitting that discrimination against men can occur, in general females are still more likely to suffer discrimination; are still more likely to be employed in stereotypical roles and are still less likely to be in executive leadership roles. Females are also more likely to experience harassment within the workplace.
2sms also recognises that female employees may need to work more flexible hours and that rigid working hours can discriminate against employees (both females and males) who have caring and/or significant domestic responsibilities.
Transgender individuals will be appropriately supported to ensure that they are not discriminated against because of their chosen gender re-assignment. However, it is also recognised that because of their transgender they may also experience other forms of discrimination, for example as a black person and/or disabled person.
8.4 Lesbians, Gay Men and People who are Bi-sexual
2sms is committed to tackling discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people. 2sms will respect the right of individuals to be open or otherwise about their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.
Working with the lesbian, gay and bi-sexual communities 2sms will endeavour to understand and fulfil the needs of people from these communities. Supporting and promoting the rights of LGB people in 2sms community and ensuring that incidences of homophobic violence and abuse are tackled and eliminated are integral to our work in eradicating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
8.5 Minority Ethnic Communities
Working to eradicate discrimination against black and minority ethnic groups has always been a priority for 2sms. Firstly, 2sms recognizes that racial discrimination is a complex social problem, which can be experienced on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, culture and/or colour. Secondly, it is appreciated that those who experience racial discrimination may also experience other forms of discrimination, for example an Asian disabled person may suffer discrimination for being disabled and for being Asian. The expectations of both students and staff are that they will respect each other’s differences and work in a co-operative and professional manner to ensure that personal prejudices do not lead to harassment, abuse or violence against others.
2sms is committed to working to counteract inequalities that black or ethnic minority people may encounter either from indirect or direct discrimination. Furthermore where there is clear evidence of under-representation or under-achievement 2sms will extend appropriate positive action initiatives to rectify the inequality.
6.6 Religion and Belief/Cultural Groups
Negative attitudes and common stereotypes about peoples’ religion, belief or culture can lead to discrimination from some individuals and/or groups. 2sms will, therefore, demonstrate its commitment by targeting resources, where necessary, to strengthen cross-cultural understanding and tolerance. 2sms will also work in partnership with other agencies to eliminate harassment on the grounds of religion/faith or cultural background or perceived religion/faith or cultural background. 2sms is proud of the wide representation of religions of its staff.
This policy will be subject to annual review.
This policy should not be read in isolation, but cross referenced with all associated HR and company policies and agreed procedures.