Equal Opportunity Policy

Shine is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce.

Our aim is that each employee feels respected and is valued based upon their skills, performance and commitment.

It is the continuing policy of the Organisation to provide equal opportunity employment to all employees without regard to the actual or perceived protected characteristics referenced below.

Shine is committed to treating all employees fairly and as such no employee will be treated less favourably due to their association with someone who has a protected characteristic.

Protected Characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership (applies only to someone who actually personally has this characteristic)
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race (including ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, nationality, and national origin)
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

We are also conscious to ensure that where an employee has a combination of two protected characteristics that this does not result in the employee receiving less favourable treatment compared to someone who does not share either of those characteristics.

People will be judged solely on merit and ability during recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion throughout their employment.

Third Party Harassment

Shine values all employees equally and as such we take very seriously the harassment of employees by a third party during the course of employment. We are committed to taking such steps as is reasonably practicable to prevent third party harassment from occurring.

Fair Treatment

All employees whether full-time, part-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. This policy applies to all employment decisions, including those in connection with:

  • Recruitment, selection, promotion and advertisement of jobs
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Training, career development and progression
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Relationships between members of staff.

Positive Action

The Organisation may elect to utilise positive action where permitted by legislation.  This may be general positive action or it may be positive action in the area of recruitment and promotion.  Positive action is action an employer takes to achieve greater equality in its workforce.

General Positive Action

General positive action may be taken to provide appropriate conditions and facilities to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups or to enable or encourage participation.  It may include such action as adapting the working environment for disabled employees, or mentoring or providing free English lessons to non-English speaking employees.

General positive action may be taken where:

  • The Organisation reasonably thinks that where persons share a protected characteristic those persons suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic; or
  • They have needs that are different from the needs of those that do not share that characteristic; or
  • Where there is disproportionately low participation in an activity by persons who share a protected characteristic.

Positive Action in recruitment and promotion

Positive action is permitted in certain circumstances to allow an employer to recruit/promote appropriately qualified people and to cater for the special needs of particular groups. The Organisation does not have a policy of treating those with a particular protected characteristic more favourably than those without it and each case will be considered on its own facts.

Positive action may be taken in the areas of recruitment and promotion where:

  • The Organisation reasonably thinks that persons who share a protected characteristic suffer a disadvantage connected with this; or
  • Where participation in an activity by persons who share a protected characteristic is disproportionately low.

The Organisation will only elect to utilise positive action where it is deemed appropriate as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.  Any action taken will be in accordance with legislation.

Enquiries about Disability and Health during Recruitment

As an equal opportunities employer Shine will not ask about the health of an applicant (including whether they are disabled) prior to either offering work to the applicant or prior to including the applicant in a pool from whom we intend to offer work, unless an exemption applies.

The only circumstances in which the Organisation may make pre-employment health enquiries are:

  • To establish whether the Organisation has a duty to make a reasonable adjustment in respect of an interview/assessment process
  • To establish whether the applicant will be able to carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned
  • Monitoring diversity of applicants
  • Positive action in employment for disabled people
  • Where having a particular disability is a requirement of the role
  • National security vetting.

Promotion of Equal Opportunities and Observance of the Policy

Each employee of Shine has an obligation to promote an equal opportunity environment within the Organisation.  As our employee, you have a duty to observe and apply this policy at all times.

In particular you must not:

  • Discriminate against or harass colleagues, other employees or job applicants
  • Induce, or attempt to induce, other employees to practise unlawful discrimination
  • Victimise individuals who have made allegations or complaints of discrimination, or provided information about such discrimination.

Violation of this policy is a serious offence and could result in disciplinary action and/or summary dismissal.

The HR Manager will, with the assistance and co-operation of senior management and employees, take steps to ensure compliance with this policy. This will include regular reviews of equality issues, monitoring activities and complaints.  All employees of the Organisation will also receive adequate training on the correct operation of this policy.

To ensure effective operation of this policy and for no other purpose, Shine will keep a record of employee and job applicant sex, race, religion (in the case of NI only), ethnic origin and disability information. From time to time it may seek the co-operation of employees in updating these records. Where necessary, employees will be able to check/correct their own record of these details. Otherwise, access to this information will be strictly restricted.

If you feel that you have been treated in a manner that is not in accordance with this policy, please initially raise the matter with your line Manager. Shine takes such matters seriously and aims to resolve any complaints in accordance with its grievance procedure.  If there is a good reason as to why you are unable to raise this matter initially with your line Manager please contact the HR Manager in relation to your complaint. All complaints will be treated seriously and where possible in confidence. For further details please refer to the grievance procedure which can be found in the staff Handbook.

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