Section 1 Introduction
1.1 Scope of the policy
DNA Skills is committed to equality of opportunity in every aspect of its activities. DNA Skills will ensure equality of opportunity both as an employer and as a provider of education and training.
This policy applies to all apprentices and employees of DNA Skills.
This policy covers all aspects of work at DNA Skills. Key areas covered are:
This policy is also relevant to the following:
Breaches of this policy will be managed through the DNA Skills Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
This policy underpins DNA Skills core values and will be used objectively and free from discrimination in accordance with the DNA Skills Equality and Diversity policy.
1.2 Purpose of the policy
To ensure that no apprentices, members of staff, visitors or others who come into contact with DNA Skills receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of:
1.3 A shared responsibility
It is important that all approved staff within a centre who are involved in the delivery of DNA Skills End-Point Assessments and/or regulated qualifications are made aware of this policy and its range of possible outcomes, should they fail to comply with DNA Skills requirements as described above.
1.4 Reviewing the policy
We will review this policy regularly and where otherwise necessary and may revise it as required in response to the findings of any review.
Section 2 Key Principles
In order to fulfil this policy DNA Skills is committed to the following key principles:
Section 3 Equality Principles in Employment
DNA Skills aims to employ a workforce which reflects at every level the community, which it serves. In seeking to achieve a balanced workforce at all levels, DNA Skills will ensure that no employee, job applicant or candidate for promotion will be disadvantaged, or treated less favourably because of conditions or requirements that are not related to the job.
Reasonable adjustments will be made to arrangements and premises to ensure equal access for employees or potential employees who fall under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to disability.
In order to ensure equality and fairness at all stages of employment, DNA Skills will ensure that equality issues are embedded into all of its recruitment and employment policies and procedures.
Section 4 Equality Principles in Education
DNA Skills will treat all apprentices as individuals and with dignity and respect in the provision of access to facilities, opportunities and support. The EPA process within DNA Skills will be devised to positively promote all aspects of equality and diversity.
Section 5 Discrimination and Victimisation
DNA Skills will ensure that support and assistance is provided to apprentices and staff who consider themselves to have been a victim of discrimination or victimisation. All acts of unlawful discrimination or victimisation by staff or apprentices shall be treated as disciplinary offences under the Disciplinary Procedure, which in serious cases may lead to dismissal or exclusion. Individuals can potentially be held personally liable for acts of discrimination and/or victimisation, which they commit, authorise, contribute to or condone.
Section 6 Data Collection
In order to meet the public sector equality duty DNA Skills is responsible for ensuring the development, implementation and monitoring of this policy. In doing so it will ensure that apprentice data is collected and monitored in relation to disability, gender, race and ethnic origin in the following areas:
DNA Skills will also ensure that staff data is collected and analysed in relation to disability, gender, race and ethnic origin, religion or belief and sexual orientation in the following areas:
Section 7 Responsibilities and Monitoring
DNA Skills has responsibility for ensuring that all remote sites adhere to the law in relation to equality and diversity and for promoting DNA Skills policy on equality and diversity. The Board has overall management responsibility for ensuring that DNA Skills adheres to the law in relation to equality and diversity and for promoting the policy on equality and diversity. The Board is therefore responsible for giving a high-profile lead on equality and diversity issues and integrating equality objectives into strategic plans.
It is the responsibility of all employees and apprentices to uphold the policy on equality and diversity. It is also the responsibility of all employees to include promoting and embedding equality and diversity into all aspects of learning programmes.
Section 8 Equality and Diversity Legislation
Equality legislation has existed in the UK since 1965. However, in October 2010, a new piece of legislation called the Equality Act came into force. The Act consolidated all previous anti-discrimination legislation (of which there were over 100 different pieces, including the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act), into one large act.
Section 9 Who does the Act protect?
The grounds on which someone can be discriminated against are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. The Equality Act recognised 9 protected characteristics, which are;
Age - People of all ages are protected by the Equality Act.
Disability - People who have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activity are protected by the Equality Act.
Gender Reassignment - This is the process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and Civil Partnership - Marriage is defined as a ‘union between a man and a woman’. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’.
Pregnancy and Maternity - Pregnancy refers to being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth and is linked to maternity leave in an employment context.
Race - Refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins.
Religion and Belief - Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs. Protection also extends to a lack of religion or belief.
Sex - This refers to the biological characteristics that make us male or female.
Sexual Orientation - Whether a person is attracted to their own sex, the opposite sex or both sexes. A person’s sexuality can change over time.
Discrimination takes place when an individual or group of people is treated less favourably than others because of factors unrelated to their merit, ability or potential. It is unlawful to discriminate against someone on grounds of their sex (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, disability, pregnancy or childbirth or because they are a member, or not, of a trade union. It is also unlawful to discriminate against part-time workers.
Section 10 Types of Discrimination
The British law (Equality Act 2010) recognises 8 types of discrimination:
Occurs when factors unrelated to the merit, ability or potential of a person or group are used as an explicit reason for discriminating against them. An example would be recruiting to a male applicant to a position rather than a more appropriately qualified woman because of irrational, prejudicial or stereotypical views, or nor promoting someone because they have a disability.
Occurs when there are rules, regulations or procedures operating, which have the effect of discriminating against certain groups of people. This may happen in subtle ways. For example, staff at a shop in London had to wear a uniform skirt, but an Asian woman worker refused for religious reasons. A tribunal found the shop guilty of indirect discrimination, because a large number of Asian women would not be able to comply with the rule.
Arising from disability occurs when somebody is treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of his or her disability (there may be instances where such treatment may be justifiable).
Discrimination by Association:
This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
Discrimination by Perception:
This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think that they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess the characteristic.
Occurs when an individual is subjected to unwanted conduct, which has the purpose (intentional) or effect (unintentional) of
Moreover, harassment is unlawful when it is on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, race, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, age, religion/belief, or for a reason relating to a person’s disability. It is also unlawful to subject an individual to sexual harassment, or to harassment on the grounds of that individual’s membership or non-membership of a trade union.
Third Party Harassment:
Such harassment is deemed to occur where a third party (e.g. a partner organisation) harasses an employee three or more time in the course of them carrying out their job and the employer is aware but fails to take reasonable steps to prevent it. It doesn’t matter whether the third party is the same or a different person on each occasion.
A person is victimised if they are punished or treated unfairly because they have made a complaint, or are believed to have made a complaint, or to have supported someone who has made a complaint. A person or group of people can also be victimised or singled out for discriminatory or even criminal treatment because of, for example, their race, gender, disability age etc. This could be workplace discrimination with regard to such things as recruitment and selection or promotion.
Apprentices could be similarly victimised e.g. refusal of application or unfair marking.
Section 11 Equality and Diversity Terms
The below provides definitions of some of the words and phrases most commonly used when talking about equality and diversity:
Diversity describes the range of visible and non-visible differences that exist between people. Managing diversity harnesses these differences to create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, where talents are fully utilised and in which organisational goals are met.
Equal opportunities, or equality of opportunity, may be defined as ensuring that everyone is entitled to freedom from discrimination. There are two main types of equality encompassed in equal opportunities:
1. Equality of treatment is concerned with treating everyone the same. Thus, in an organisational context it recognises that institutional discrimination may exist in the form of unfair practices or procedures that favour those with some personal attributes over others without them. Equal opportunities is therefore concerned with the elimination of these barriers.
2. Equality of outcome focuses on policies that either have an equal impact on different groups or intend the same outcomes for different groups.
Bullying, although not defined legally, can be described as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Hate Crime or Incident:
A hate crime is any crime committed against a person, a group or the property of a person or group where the motivation for the crime is hatred of, or prejudice against, their sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability. The most common forms of hate crime are racial, homophobic or sectarian.
The Sex Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts, both enable employers/service providers to encourage applications/participation from a particular gender (sex) or racial group because they are under-represented in specific occupations or activity. Legislation also enables organisations to seek or establish training courses exclusively for existing employees from underrepresented groups.
These measures are known as ‘Positive Action’. Positive Action is very different from positive discrimination.
Section 12 Contacts
Your contact for this policy
If you have any queries about the contents of the policy, please contact our DNA Skills EPA Team:
Telephone: 01344 944675
DNA Skills EPA Team
7 Lakeside Business Park
The Board will:
Assessing staff will:
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