Equal Opportunities Policy

 

Part I: Policy Details

 

  1. What does this policy cover?

 

We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any part of Scalp Doctor’s operations. We are fully committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment.

 

So, this policy covers any and all aspects of our company operations, how we treat those who work for and with us and how we recruit or engage others to join that community.

 

This means that our policy covers, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Your pay and your employment conditions
    2. Our recruitment processes
    3. How we may appraise, reward, incentivise, promote, train, and commit to the continuing professional development of our workers
    4. Our procedures for addressing grievances and disciplinary matters
    5. How we end employment contracts and exit employees, including related matters, such as how we give references
    6. How visitors, clients and suppliers and other key business contacts and stakeholders are treated

 

It also means that we will ensure, as far as possible:

  1. full access to everyone applying for job vacancies and job opportunities with our business, and
  2. that all relevant decisions are made on the basis of objective criteria.

 

 

  1. Who does it apply to?

 

All employees, apprentices, consultants, officers, contractors, interns, volunteers, job applicants, agency and casual workers.

 

  1. It is not part of your employment contract

 

This policy is not part of your employment contract. We, Scalp Doctor, may amend this policy at any time.

 

  1. What is discrimination?

 

Under UK employment law, there are a number of characteristics relevant to an individual who is covered by the policy that must not unfairly be considered (if accounted for at all) in decisions relating to any aspect of their working life.

 

These characteristics are called ‘protected characteristics’ and they are listed immediately below:

 

    1. Age
    2. Disability
    3. Gender reassignment
    4. Marital or civil partnership status
    5. Pregnancy or maternity
    6. Race (which includes colour and ethnic/national origin)
    7. Religion or belief
    8. Sex
    9. Sexual orientation

 

If employment-related decisions are made about an individual on the basis (whether wholly or partially), of any of these protected characteristics, it is almost inevitable that unlawful discrimination will have taken place.

 

The sorts of actions that would fall into this category of unlawful and prohibited initiatives, include (but aren’t limited to) those set out below. These actions need not be intended or directly committed by someone (indirect responsibility may be sufficient for someone to have unlawfully discriminated) and an omission or failure to do something may be just as culpable as a positive action.

 

We will not tolerate their practice by anyone within our business:

  1. Direct discrimination… 

when someone with a protected characteristic is treated less favourably than somebody else has or would have been in identical circumstances.An example of this would be where an applicant for a job is rejected on grounds of their racial background. Further examples would be where a pregnant employee, or one with young children, is not promoted

 

  1. Indirect discrimination… 

when a group of people with one of the protected characteristics is disadvantaged by a provision, criterion or practice that is applied to all staff (unless the treatment may be justified for a good business reason). Examples of this would be:

  1. Insisting, without good reason, that all staff must work full time, (which indirectly discriminates anyone with child-care responsibilities, women in particular)
  2. Requiring all staff to work onsite and refusing to consider a request to work remotely or under alternative conditions, like flexible hours to avoid commute times, which could disadvantage someone with a disability or a phobia (e.g. someone who suffers claustrophobia or panic attacks on commuting routes) 
  3. Dismissing or not employing a woman because she is pregnant or of child-bearing age
  4. Every effort will be made to cater for non English trainees and client’s, however they are free to bring an interpreter to their course or appointment. This will be at the trainee/clients expense.

 

  1. Harassment… 

covers hostile, humiliating, degrading, intimidating or similarly offensive treatment or conditions to which an individual with one or more protected characteristics is subjected. Any such actions deprive an individual of their dignity and violate them. We draw no distinction between actions that may be labelled as ‘joking’ and not intended to cause offence, and those that may have been more direct and premeditated in their delivery. So, for example, in line with legal definitions, reflecting general standards of decency, we will regard any of the following as falling within the definition of harassment:

  1. making lewd comments and/or displaying pornographic material
  2. calling someone unkind, derogatory or otherwise unwelcome names or nicknames
  3. making insensitive jokes, whether about someone directly, or the content of which would be evidently offensive to anyone with a protected characteristic
  4. excluding colleagues and/or making them feel that they have no option but to exclude themselves 

You should refer to our Bullying and Harassment Policy for a full run-down of the matters that we consider to be covered by this definition.

 

  1. Victimisation 

This has a particular meaning under UK employment law and it is narrower than an ordinary dictionary definition, covering the situation only where:

  1. a worker has complained of discrimination (or harassment),
  2. or has supported a fellow worker in making a complaint about these concerns,

and has then suffered reprisals from others, including those responsible for that worker’s employment prospects and working conditions.

 

  1. Other discriminatory actions that are also prohibited 

The UK’s employment law also identifies other actions that can be unlawful under the equal opportunities legislation. Examples of these include:

  1. Failing to make reasonable adjustments to minimise certain disadvantages suffered by a disabled employee (or job applicant)
  2. Instructing another person (or applying pressure on them) to discriminate
  3. Knowingly assisting somebody else when they carry out a discriminatory act
  4. Discriminating against somebody believed to have a protected characteristic, whether or not they actually do, or because they associate with a third party who does.

 

Part II: Our procedures and approach to this policy

 

  1. Duties and responsibilities

 

Overall responsibility for the effective implementation and operation of the policy lies with Scalp Doctor’s management.

 

However, everyone who works in and with Scalp Doctor is responsible for ensuring that this policy works to prevent the activities that it prohibits from taking place within our business.

 

Because we are a values-led business, this goes beyond the legal obligations that each one of us has, (and regardless of our job titles or how long any of us has worked for or with Scalp Doctor).

 

However, you need to be aware that the breach of these legal obligations alone will mean that any individual can be found personally liable for unlawful discrimination where they have breached this policy and they will face disciplinary action by us and potentially other legal actions. This is because if you breach this policy, you may also make the Company liable for your actions, and both of us may have to pay compensation to anyone who claims against us.

 

We therefore expect you to take personal responsibility for adhering to this policy’s aims and commitments and for promptly and appropriately drawing any breaches of them to our attention.

 

We always welcome feedback on how we can best promote and ensure equal opportunities throughout Scalp Doctor. Please let your manager or Mark Fitzgibbons know if you have any ideas or would like to be involved in any of our existing initiatives.

 

  1. Recruitment, promotions and identifying candidates for other opportunities

 

In any selection process that we use within our business, whether we’re selecting interviewees for job opportunities, offering jobs, identifying individuals for promotion or considering other opportunities or necessities (like redundancy situations), we will apply a rigorous, objective selection process using non-discriminatory criteria, as far as possible.

 

We emphasise here, however, that both direct and indirect age discrimination may be justified and lawful, if the less favourable treatment, criterion or practice amounts to a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.