Equal Opportunities

At Derbyshire House, we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, meaning all job applicants and employees will receive equal treatment irrespective of the ‘Protected Characteristics’:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender and Gender Reassignment
  • Marital or civil partner status
  • Race, nationality or ethnicity
  • Religion and belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy or maternity

We are strongly committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity at work. This policy applies to all aspects of employment with us including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures and termination of employment.

This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, casual workers and agency workers.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

Forms of Discrimination: The following descriptions give examples of the kinds of discrimination that are against our policy:

  • Direct discrimination: where a person is treated less favourably than others because of a Protected Characteristic. An example of direct discrimination would be refusing to employ a person because she is pregnant. In limited circumstances, employers can directly discriminate against an individual for a reason related to any of the Protected Characteristics where there is an occupational requirement. However, the occupational requirement must be crucial to the post and a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
  • Indirect discrimination: where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice is applied that discriminates against individuals who have a Protected Characteristic. For example, if a policy was put in place that would be to the detriment of people who share a Protected Characteristic compared with people who do not. If the policy could not be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, it would be regarded as indirect discrimination.
  • Associative discrimination: where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a Protected Characteristic.
  • Perceptive discrimination: where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed because they are perceived to have a particular Protected Characteristic when they do not.
  • Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
  • Victimisation: where someone is subjected to a detriment (such as being denied a training opportunity or promotion) because they made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the discrimination legislation, or because he or she is suspected of doing so. However, a person is not protected from victimisation if they acted maliciously or made or supported an untrue complaint. There is no need for a complainant to compare their treatment with someone who has not made or supported a complaint under the Equality Act 2010. For example, if a blind employee raises a grievance that the employer is not complying with its duty to make reasonable adjustments and is then systematically excluded from all meetings; such behaviour could amount to victimisation.
  • Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to any of the Protected Characteristics has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It does not matter whether or not this effect was intended by the person responsible for the conduct.
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments: where a physical feature or a provision, criterion or practice puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared with someone who does not have that Protected Characteristic and the employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments to enable the disabled person to overcome the disadvantage.

Recruitment and Selection: We recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will always ensure that recruitment, promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person if possible.

Vacancies that are advertised will be generally adervtised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements will avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.

Job applicants should not be asked about questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to having children.

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from UK Visas and Immigration.

Conditions of Service: We will treat all employees equally and create a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and which respects the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees.

We will not discriminate against any employee on the grounds of the Protected Characteristics and we aim to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service that take into account the specific needs of employees which arise from their race, ethnic or cultural background; age; gender; responsibilities as carers; disability; marital or civil partner status; religion or belief; sexual orientation or other relevant factors.

Training, Promotion and Career Development: Training needs will be identified through supervision, observation and appraisals. You will be given appropriate access to training to enable you to progress within the organisation.

Promotion and recruitment will be decided without reference to any of the Protected Characteristics and will be based on merit. Unless permitted by the Equality Act 2010, enquiries will not be made about the disability and health of a job candidate unless work has been offered to the candidate or the candidate is included in a pool of applicants which Derbyshire House intends to offer a job to.

Third Parties: Derbyshire House will take reasonably practicable steps to prevent a third party (such as someone who lives here with us or a supplier) from harassing an employee in the course of their employment.

Responsibility: Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with Derbyshire House. However, all employees are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for complying with it when working here. Employees can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of, the employer for any act of unlawful discrimination. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimizations may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice. Acts of discrimination or harassment regarding any of the Protected Characteristics by employees will result in disciplinary action. Failure to comply with this policy will be treated in a similar fashion. Acts of discrimination or harassment regarding any of the Protected Characteristics by those acting on behalf of the employer will lead to appropriate action including termination of services where appropriate.

Complaints of Discrimination: Derbyshire House will treat all complaints of discrimination or harassment seriously and take action where necessary. If you consider that you may have been unlawfully discriminated against, you may use the Home’s grievance procedure to make a complaint. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the Home’s grievance procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome.

Attitudes to People Who Use our Service and Staff: Derbyshire House welcomes the cultural diversity of individuals and will always try to ensure that our staff respect the views, rights and behaviour of people from minority groups in all of their contacts with them. We will be particularly alert to and try to meet the diverse needs of people in relation to diet, religious practice, respect for their immediate environment and social activities. We welcome the rituals, festivals and celebrations of individuals as bringing interest and variety to daily life in our society and we will do everything possible to facilitate their capacity and practice their religion or culture in the ways they individually wish to. Evidence of discriminatory practice, remarks or attitudes among staff may result in disciplinary action being taken.

Relatives and Representatives: Derbyshire House will apply similar standards and practices to our relations with peoples’ relatives and representatives.

Live With us and/or Use our Service: Derbyshire House will challenge discriminatory behaviour by individuals whether it is directed against staff or other people who live with us and/or use our service. If discriminatory behaviour, remarks or attitudes are repeated, we reserve the right in extreme circumstances to decline further service.

Allegations of Discrimination: Any person who feels that they have been discriminated by a staff member should complain as soon as possible to the Manager. We undertake that the matter will be investigated promptly, that arrangements will be made for alternative staff to provide the service for a period of time and if the if the situation is found to be justified; appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Disabilities:  If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support might be appropriate.

If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your line manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. Your line manager may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser about possible adjustments. We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider a particular adjustment would not be reasonable we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they might place anyone with a disability at a substantial disadvantage. Where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to improve access.

Part-time and fixed-term work: Part-time and fixed-term employees should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.

Breaches of this Policy: We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.

If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure or through our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy as appropriate. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.

There must be no victimisation or retaliation against staff who complain about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.