BUDDYHUB C.I.C EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
BuddyHub Statement on Equal Opportunities
BuddyHub is committed to implementing and promoting equal opportunities in its activities, services and practice. It realises that discrimination exists in society (whether protected by law or not), and believes that this prevents potential and ability from being realised in people of all ages.
BuddyHub will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of:
- Sexual orientation or identity
- Ethnic or national origin
- Partnership status or home responsibility
- HIV or AIDS status
- Political or religious belief
- Trade union activity
- Socio-economic background
- Refugee or asylum seeker status
As a provider of a service to the community, BuddyHub accepts the responsibility to promote equal opportunities and challenge discrimination wherever it occurs. This document sets out the main consequences of this commitment and the action to be taken in order to achieve equal opportunities.
BuddyHub recognises that some users of its services may, because of their past or present distress or illness, say or do things which would otherwise be unacceptable and incompatible with BuddyHub C.I.C’s Equal Opportunities Policy. BuddyHub will do all it can to challenge such behaviour. In cases where intervention is possible a gentle approach will be adopted which aims to alter attitudes and behaviour while maintaining support for the distressed client.
BuddyHub reserves the right to open its membership to any organisation who supports our aims and objectives. However, it will exclude from membership those organisations that actively work against the development of an equal opportunities policy over time, despite encouragement from BuddyHub.
BuddyHub realises that a genuine commitment to equal opportunities must operate on all levels:
- BuddyHub will prevent unfavourable treatment, directly or indirectly, upon individuals from any group facing discrimination in its recruitment and deployment of human resources. Where discrimination does occur, it will be dealt with through the agreed procedures. This will be achieved by following the BuddyHub Equal Opportunities Policy.
- BuddyHub will seek to prevent discrimination and ensure equal representation in the services it provides, the structures that it facilitates and the practice through which it carries out its work. This involves the development of greater diversity in the management and advisory board, networks and membership, to ensure a genuinely wide representation.
1.1. The Directors of BuddyHub have overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy. However, all volunteers and service users have a duty as part of their involvement with BuddyHub to do everything they can to ensure that the policy works in practice. Those responsible for recruiting volunteers to work in BuddyHub projects are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of BuddyHub Opportunities Policy and adhere to it while working at BuddyHub.
1.2. BuddyHub will bring to the attention of all volunteers and service users the existence of this policy, and will provide such training as is necessary to ensure that the policy is effective and that everyone is aware of it.
1.3. If any service user or volunteer feels that they have been, or are being discriminated against, in any way, they are entitled to pursue the matter with the committee.
1.4. All instances or complaints of discriminatory behaviour will be treated seriously.
1.5. Complaints or allegations of an unfounded or malicious nature will also be treated as serious.
1.6. To achieve a workforce that is truly representative of all sections of society selection for employment or promotion or any other benefit will be on the basis of merit and ability only. Selection for training will be on the basis of job requirements only. Intimidation, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action.
If you perceive a problem in recruitment, selection, training, promotion or the application of terms and conditions of employment you should raise it in the first instance with your line manager.
All cases of such behaviour will be investigated and we will treat all complaints fairly, quickly and with confidentiality. Any grievance arising from the Equality Policy will be dealt with using the existing Grievance Procedure.
1.7. Any employee who has taken action, in good faith, over allegations of discrimination or harassment, will not be victimised by being treated any less favourably than any other employee as a consequence of taking such action. BuddyHub will monitor the practical effects of the policy by regularly collecting and reviewing relevant information. You are expected to co-operate in work being undertaken to monitor, review and implement this policy.
1.8. We will use the supervision and appraisal process to encourage staff to make suggestions and contribute to the ways in which we promote equality as an organisation and with the users of our services.
1.9. We will bring this policy to the attention of our board members, staff, volunteers, suppliers and service users when they join BuddyHub and by making use of our communications.
1.10. We will monitor the use of our services and make use of this monitoring information when planning future developments.
2.0. BuddyHub will endeavour to ensure, as far as is practicable, that all the premises it uses have disabled access. When considering new premises, every effort will be made to ensure such premises are fully accessible.
USE OF LANGUAGE
3.1. Volunteers and service users should avoid and challenge the use of language which, in any way, belittles anyone.
3.2. Where the language used has a personal impact on others, and it has been made clear to the person concerned that their use of such language is unwelcome and/or offensive, disciplinary action may be taken if they persist with it.
4.1. No volunteer or service user should be subject to sexual harassment.
4.2. This is interpreted as unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature including:
- verbal sexual abuse
- physical contact
- repeated remarks which an individual finds offensive
4.3. If it has been made clear to the person concerned that their behaviour is unwelcome and they persist with it, then the service user or volunteer who is the recipient of the behaviour will be entitled to make a formal complaint.
RECRUITMENT OF EX-OFFENDERS
5.1. As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, BuddyHub complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
5.2. BuddyHub can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that BuddyHub are legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended) and where appropriate Police Act Regulations (as amended), BuddyHub can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.
5.3. BuddyHub is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
5.4. BuddyHub has a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
5.5. BuddyHub actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. BuddyHub select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
5.6. An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.
5.7. BuddyHub ensures that all those in BuddyHub who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. BuddyHub also ensures that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
5.8. Unless the nature of the position allows BuddyHub to ask questions about your entire criminal record, except for certain spent convictions and cautions which are ‘protected’ so not subject to disclosure to employers and that cannot be taken into account, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
5.9. We ensure that all those in BuddyHub who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
5.10. BuddyHub makes every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the Code of Practice and makes a copy available on request.
5.11. BuddyHub undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The Policy will be constantly reviewed by the Directors to ensure that no member of the group is put to a disadvantage either, directly or indirectly. This monitoring will apply to the practices of staff and volunteers, the member organisation, the composition of any committees and the provision of services. It is the responsibility of every individual to eliminate discrimination and to ensure the practical application of this Policy. The Directors of BuddyHub will review this policy every 2 years.