Diversity, equity and inclusion policy
The diversity, equity and inclusion policy is fully supported by senior management and has been agreed with employee representatives.
1. Policy Statement
1.1 Waterscan is committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion among our workforce, providing equitable opportunities for all and eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. The Company is also committed against unlawful discrimination of our customers and our workforce.
1.2 This policy applies to employees, officers, agency workers, casual workers, consultants and self-employed contractors.
1.3 Part-time and fixed-term staff should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (pro rata where appropriate) unless different treatment is justified.
1.4 This policy does not form part of your contract of employment and we may amend it at any time. We will review the policy from time to time to ensure that it continues to reflect our legal obligations and the Company’s organisational and business needs.
2. Policy Purpose
2.1 The policy’s purpose is to:
2.1.1 Provide equal opportunities and avoid discrimination in all aspects of employment and to ensure that the talent and skills of all individuals are maximised. Our approach applies to all aspects of the working environment and relationship and includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, terms and conditions of employment (including pay), appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures and training.
2.1.2 Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
2.1.3 Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This applies to all aspects of the working environment and includes, but is not limited to, pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.
3. Waterscan’s Commitments
3.1 We are committed to:
3.1.1 Encouraging equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense.
3.1.2 Creating a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.
3.1.3 Making opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the Company.
3.1.4 Making decisions concerning staff based on merit (apart from when complying with any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
3.1.5 Reviewing employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
3.2 These commitments include training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equity, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the Company provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.
3.3 All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.
3.4 We take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the company’s work activities.
3.5 Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the company’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without
3.6 Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal
3.7 We will also monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equity, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equity, diversity and inclusion policy.
3.8 Monitoring will also include assessing how the equity, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plans, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
4.1 Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that equal opportunities are provided in accordance with this All managers must set an appropriate standard and must proactively promote equal opportunities with those they manage.
4.2 We are committed to ensuring that managers understand the importance of equal opportunities and that they have an awareness of best practice in this regard. We will provide appropriate training on equal opportunities relevant to the role of each
4.3 All individuals are encouraged to improve their own understanding and awareness of equal opportunities and to request training where required. If any individual believes that this policy is not being adhered to then they are encouraged to bring this to the attention of their manager.
5. Eliminating Discrimination
5.1 You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers or other work related contacts or when wearing identifiable work clothing) and on work related trips or events including social events.
5.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
5.2.1 Direct Discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic, including a perceived Protected Characteristic or the Protected Characteristic of an associated third party. This could include paying someone less because of their sex or rejecting a job applicant because of their race or because they may be homosexual.
5.2.2 Indirect Discrimination: applying a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but disadvantages people with a Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified. An example would be a requirement for an applicant for a particular role to work full-time. This would disadvantage women who are more likely to want or need to work part-time due to domestic or childcare responsibilities. This requirement would be indirectly sex discriminatory unless it could be objectively justified.
5.2.3 Harassment: unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for Harassment also includes sexual harassment which is conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, engaging in other unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, subjecting someone to obscene or other suggestive comments, sexual jokes or images).
5.2.4 Victimisation: subjecting someone to a detriment (including retaliation) because they have complained about or supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.
5.2.5 Disability Discrimination: this includes direct or indirect disability discrimination, less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability and failure to make reasonable adjustments to eliminate barriers that hinder the full and effective participation of disabled persons in work on an equal basis with others.
6. Recruitment and Selection
6.1 We aim to avoid discrimination in relation to recruitment and selection, including selection for promotion, redundancy, training and Recruitment and selection will be based on merit using objective selection criteria.
6.2 When vacancies are advertised (whether internally or externally) we will ensure that the placement and content of such advertising is compatible with equal opportunities aims and Placement of advertisements should ensure that a diverse section of the labour market is covered and the content of the advertisement should ensure that no applicants with Protected Characteristics are unnecessarily excluded or discouraged.
6.3 Job applicants and those involved in other selection processes should not be asked questions which could suggest an intention to discriminate, for example whether the applicant is pregnant or planning to have children.
6.4 Job applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited exceptions that should only be used with the prior involvement of HR including:
6.4.1 Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments);
6.4.2 Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustment that may be needed at interview or assessment;
6.4.3 Positive action to recruit disabled persons and
6.4.4 Equal opportunities monitoring which does not form part of the selection or decision-making process.
Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check.
6.5 We have a legal obligation to ensure all employees are entitled to work in the We will not make assumptions about immigration status based on appearance or apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be required to produce the appropriate documentation prior to employment commencing to comply with current legislation.
7. Terms and Conditions, Promotion, Training, Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
7.1 All training, development and promotion decisions will be based on Everyone will have an equal opportunity to access training and development resources to maximise their potential.
7.2 The terms and conditions, benefits and access to facilities are regularly reviewed to ensure that they comply with the aims of equal opportunities and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them.
7.3 Disciplinary and grievance procedures will comply with equal opportunities principles. All decisions made, including in relation to any appropriate penalties to be applied, will be without discrimination.
8.1 If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that appropriate support can be offered. We have a medical declaration form which you can complete for this Please contact the HR Team for a copy.
8.2 We encourage anyone whose condition develops, changes or worsens during their employment to let us know so we can consider reasonable adjustments.
8.3 Your disability might be visible (e.g., mobility issues), or non-visible (e.g., autism, hearing loss, or mental health conditions) and we would encourage you to tell us about these conditions so that we can arrange appropriate support.
8.4 We are committed to considering reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the effect of any difficulties connected to a disability. If you experience any difficulties, we encourage you to discuss these with your line manager. It may be necessary to obtain medical advice about possible adjustments before any decisions are We will consider the matter carefully. If we consider a particular adjustment would not be reasonable then we will explain our reasons and attempt to find an alternative solution where possible.
8.5 We will monitor the physical features of our premises to ensure that people with a disability are not placed at a substantial disadvantage and will take reasonable steps to improve access where necessary.
9. Ensuring Equal Opportunities
9.1 Any breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy. Serious cases of discriminatory conduct may be regarded as gross misconduct and could lead to disciplinary action up to and including summary
9.2 If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment contrary to this policy you should raise the matter in accordance with the Grievance Policy. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
9.3 If you deliberately make a false allegation in bad faith this will be regarded as misconduct and dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary This does not apply to genuine complaints under this policy, which will be protected from victimisation or retaliation from any individual.