Equality & Diversity Policy

1. Introduction

Data Careers is committed to equality and valuing diversity within its workforce and on behalf of our customers.

We will provide equality of opportunity and will not tolerate discrimination on grounds of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion, age, disability, trade union activity or political beliefs – or any other grounds.

The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of the management team to the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity within Data Careers  

2. Purpose & scope

Data Careers  is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging and valuing diversity amongst our workforce. We aim to create an environment, both in and out of the workplace, which respects the diversity of staff and enables them to achieve their full potential, to contribute fully and to derive maximum benefit from their involvement with the Company.  

We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination, whether direct or indirect. All applicants or potential applicants, employees (whether full-time, part-time or temporary), former employees and others who work for us will be treated fairly, granted equality of opportunity and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds.  All employment related decisions will be made objectively and without unlawful discrimination.

3. Definition

Equality – is about ensuring people are treated fairly and given fair chances. Equality of opportunity is about good management practice that maximises employee potential and creates a framework ensuring all employees and job applicants receive equal access in relation to employment, terms and conditions, training, promotion and services.

Diversity – is about recognising, valuing and taking account of people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experiences, and encouraging and using those differences to create a productive and effective workforce.  It is not about treating everyone exactly the same, but about treating people as individuals.

4. Our Commitments

The Company is committed to:

  • Ensuring the effective implementation and communication of this policy.
  • Creating an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.
  • Promoting a positive working environment in which all staff are treated with respect and dignity. Harassment, bullying or intimidation will not be tolerated.
  • Preventing occurrences of all unlawful types of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
  • Ensuring that training, development and progression opportunities are available equally to all employees.
  • Fulfilling all of our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice and complying with our own equality policy.
  • Reviewing all employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
  • Regarding all breaches of equality and diversity policy as misconduct which could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
  • Attaining a workforce that is representative of the communities from which it is drawn, thus securing the widest pool of talent possible

The Company is committed to the business case for diversity.  By sweeping away discrimination we can maximise the pool of potential job applicants, become the employer of choice, improve workforce morale, gain goodwill in the community, improve the businesses profile and comply with legislation.

The nature of the business is such that we are often required to adhere to the equality and diversity principles of our clients/customers with regards to the service provision. Conversely, sub-contractors are required to adhere to the equality and diversity principles contained within this policy. The Company is confident that the monitoring and review mechanisms that are in place will enable us to remain in line/ahead of best practice and will ensure that the Company is able to demonstrate with ease compliance above and beyond market best practice.

5. The Law

It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment on grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation or religion or belief, or because someone is married or is a civil partner (known as protected characteristics). 

It is unlawful to treat someone less favourably on grounds of disability than others without that disability are or would be treated, unless the less favourable treatment can be justified as a reasonable way of achieving a legitimate aim. 

It is unlawful to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to employment caused by disability. It is unlawful to discriminate unjustifiably on grounds of age in relation to employment. Discrimination after employment may also be unlawful, for example in refusing to give a reference or in the form of reference given. 

This policy will be implemented within the framework of the relevant current legislation.  

6. Types of Unlawful Discrimination

Direct discrimination – is where a person is treated less favourably because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment, religion or belief, or age. For example, the refusal to employ a woman because she was pregnant would constitute direct sex discrimination. Unlike the other forms of discrimination, direct discrimination on the grounds of age can be justified.

Indirect discrimination – is where an employer applies a practice, requirement or condition which applies equally to all individuals, but which has an adverse disproportionate impact on a group of people because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity or age and the employer cannot show it to be justified, causing a detriment to the individual.

An example of indirect sex discrimination would be requiring everyone to work full-time without a justifiable reason, unrelated to sex, for the particular job to be done on a full-time basis, since requiring everyone to work full-time will normally adversely affect a higher proportion of women than men.

Perception discrimination – this is direct discrimination against an individual because others think that they possess a particular protected characteristic: age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment and sex. It applies even if that person does not possess the characteristic.

Discrimination by association – this is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. This applies to race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment and sex.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments – occurs where arrangements disadvantage an individual because of a disability and reasonable adjustments are not made to overcome the disadvantage.

Victimisation – occurs where an individual is treated less favourably than others because they have taken some action in relation to discrimination or supported someone to make a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint.

7. Equal Opportunities in Employment

The Company is committed to the success of this policy through a programme of action which will develop employment practices consistent with the spirit of this policy.

The major impact of this policy may be felt in the areas of Recruitment, Selection and Career Development. The policy is, nevertheless, applicable to any employment matter in which the equitable treatment of a current, past or potential employee may be at issue.

Fairness at work will apply to all of our employees throughout their working life, from recruitment and selection right through to retirement. Listed below are the key employment areas where equality is important and the actions that the Company will take to ensure that the application of these areas is fair and consistent.

7.1 Recruitment

On behalf of Data Careers and our client’s all role profiles, person specifications and advertisements will include only those requirements that are necessary and justifiable for the effective performance of the job. Any discriminating specifications will be strictly justified. 

Advertisements in printed media shall adhere to clear print guidelines. All vacancies will be advertised internally and may be advertised externally using a range of recruitment options including job fairs, job centres and multi-media advertisements and social media for at least one week. All advertisements will detail Data Careers commitment to valuing and offering equality and diversity in all areas. 

Application forms and other supporting material shall be free of personal questions or requests for information from which inferences could be drawn as to the status of an individual that are irrelevant to the job description. Pre-employment medical questionnaires will be used only after an offer of employment has been made. Selection criteria shall be continuously reviewed to ensure that they are justifiable for the effective execution of the job. 

Candidates will be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job. Disability or personal commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions unless justifiable. Reasons for selection or rejection of applicants shall be recorded. 

7.2 Training & Development

All employees will have the same access to training, regardless of whether they are part-time or fulltime. 

7.3 Adapting working practices

 The Company is committed to making reasonable adjustments to the working environment in order to give employees or potential employees with disabilities equal opportunities. 

The Company will, where possible, respond sensitively to the religion or beliefs of our employees during religious festivals, at times of prayer and where some flexibility of dress policy is required. 

The Company will consider any indirectly discriminatory effects of its standard working practices, including the number of hours to be worked, the times at which these are to be worked and the place at which work is to be done, when considering requests for changes to these practices and will only refuse such requests if it considers it has grounds for doing so, unrelated to any prohibited ground of discrimination.  The Company will also make reasonable adjustments to its standard working practices to overcome barriers caused by disability.

8. Other Employment Matters

8.1 Bullying

 Bullying at work can cause fear, stress and anxiety amongst employees.  Bullying includes persistent criticism, personal abuse and/or ridicule (either in private or public), violence which humiliates and demeans the individuals involved gradually eroding their self-confidence, and will be dealt with under this policy.

8.2 Harassment 

 Relating to one of the unlawful grounds which is intended to violate an individual’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.  Harassment is also considered to occur where an individual experiences a violation of their dignity or the creation of an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, even if this effect was not intended by the perpetrator of the conduct and not directed at them, and will be dealt with under this Policy.

9. Communication of Policy

Appropriate equality and diversity training, including written instructions, will be provided to all personnel involved in recruitment or other decision making where equality issues are likely to arise. 

All line managers will attend a compulsory training programme designed to give a full understanding of equality and diversity, relevant legislation, this policy and how to deal effectively with complaints of bullying and harassment and acts of unfair or unlawful discrimination.

Communication will be provided to all existing and new employees to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the equality and diversity policy and their role in creating a positive working environment free of bullying and harassment. 

Communications with employees will set out their recourse options should they consider themselves or others to have been unlawfully or unfairly discriminated against.

10. Employee Responsibilities

Every employee is required to assist the Company to meet its commitment to provide equalities in employment and avoid unlawful discrimination by:

  • Co-operating with any measures introduced to develop or monitor equal opportunities
  • Not to act or place pressure on others to act in a discriminatory manner
  • Co-operate with investigations into acts or conduct which may amount to unfair or unlawful discrimination including the provision of evidence from which discrimination may be inferred and disciplinary action taken

Employees responsible for acts of unlawful discrimination can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of, the Company.  Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees are disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Such acts may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice.

The Company will ensure that neither more nor less favourable treatment is afforded to any individual or group without justifiable cause in all other employment matters, such as discipline and dismissal.

11. Complaints

 Employees who consider that they have been subjected to any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through the Company’s grievance procedure.  All complaints of this nature will be dealt with sensitively, promptly and confidentially. Copies of these procedures are available from the Human Resources department.

12. Monitoring & Review

Appropriate information and monitoring systems will be established to assist the effective interpretation of this policy. Information provided by job applicants and employees for monitoring purposes will be used only for these purposes and will be dealt with in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Regular monitoring will be conducted of the numbers of both job applicants and employees, by job role and service, with particular regard to ethnicity, disability and gender. Reporting facilities will also be available for identifying trends in discipline, promotion, training opportunities and other employment practices with regard to ethnicity, disability and gender.

Monitoring activities which indicate under-representation of particular groups with regard to job applicants or employment will be reviewed and included in the Company Equality & Diversity action plan. Where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and identified actions implemented accordingly. In all such cases, a full review of the effectiveness of all aspects of the Equality & Diversity policy will be conducted.

12.1 Positive Action

This is one of the options the Company would consider taking if monitoring revealed that the organisation was not representative or that sections of the workforce were not progressing in line with the rest of the Company. Positive Action would be considered after employment procedures and practices have been reviewed so as not to impose rapid, false solutions.

Equality legislation allows organisations in limited circumstances to take positive action to tackle marked under-representation. For example, under-representation of women/ethnic minorities and other groups in particular job types within the business. 

12.2 Implementation of Positive Action

The Company would be able to encourage applications for jobs from specific sections of the community that are under-represented in the workforce as a whole or at particular levels.

      To address internal under-representation, the Company could provide training courses for specific groups in order to:

  • develop skills required to compete for internal roles/promotion opportunities
  • develop confidence or assertiveness
  • retrain employees whose skills have become rusty or out-of-date
  • develop management skills to encourage applications for promotion

If Positive Action was implemented the Company would not positively discriminate i.e. to promote or recruit people on the basis of their race or gender. No favouritism will be shown, or extra assistance given, during the actual recruitment or promotion process.  All positive help will stop after the vacancy has been advertised.  In this sort of example, Positive Action would be used to ensure the widest possible mix of possible applicants is accessed.

14. Variation of Procedure

The management team will be responsible for the monitoring and periodic review of this procedure ensure that requirements are being met.  Whilst this procedure reflects current practice at the date of issue, the Company reserves the right to modify the content at its sole discretion.  Any changes will be communicated to employees and the relevant officials.