Equality and Diversity Policy
last updated: 14 September 2023
Version: POL-6 (REV 1)
At Automata we are committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees, contractors, workers and job applicants
Purpose and Equality Commitments
At Automata [the Employer] we are committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees, contractors, workers and job applicants. This policy covers employees of every level.
We are committed to ensuring that our workplaces are free from unlawful discrimination related to protected characteristics. These protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
This policy impacts all areas of our business including but not limited to; recruitment, career development and training, terms of employment and benefits, grievances, performance and disciplinary procedures, dismissals and redundancies and the way we manage staff and interactions with each other (including by e-mail and Slack communication). The principles set out in this Policy apply not only in the workplace but also outside the workplace in a work-related context (such as business trips, customer or supplier events and work-related social events).
Everyone is expected to enter into the spirit of the Policy and to ensure that a positive equal opportunities culture exists by treating others on their merits and by disassociating themselves from any form of direct or indirect discrimination, victimisation or any other type of harassment.
We, the Employer, pledge to encourage all employees to progress and develop their skills and knowledge during their time at Automata by participating in any and all training and development opportunities which may arise within the employment period.
Primarily, Automata will only employ and promote employees based on their merit, abilities, experience, qualifications and aptitude rather than on any of the protected characteristics, apart from where any necessary and legal exemptions of this are permitted under the Equality Act 2010.
This Policy is not part of any employment contract and may be amended at any time to keep up to date with any legislation and the needs of the business and its people.
Types of Discrimination
There are a number of different types of unlawful discrimination. The main types are considered below:
- Direct Discrimination Arises – when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. It is important to realise that an individual does not actually have to have the characteristic themselves in order to suffer direct discrimination. It is also unlawful if they are less favourably treated because they are ‘thought’ to have the characteristic, or because someone they know has the characteristic such as a family member or spouse (associative and perception).
- Indirect Discrimination – occurs where it seems all employees are treated the same when an ‘apparently neutral’ requirement is applied, but actually puts certain groups/characteristics of people at a disadvantage.
- Victimisation – occurs when a person is subjected to a detriment because he or she has taken or intends to take action to uphold the rights granted by equality legislation or because the person has assisted someone else with their complaint (for example by providing evidence)
- Harassment – occurs when a person is subjected to unwanted conduct (whether physical, verbal or non-verbal) related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or making the work environment hostile, intimidating or offensive for that person. Please refer to the Company’s Harassment Policy for more details.
Duties and Responsibilities
Overall responsibility for the effective implementation and operation of the Policy lies with Automata’s management, specifically with the Board of Directors and our HR team. All managers are expected to lead by example and attain and maintain appropriate standards of behaviour within the teams they manage.
However, everyone who works in and with Automata 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 Automata).
We always welcome feedback on how we can best promote and ensure equal opportunities throughout Automata. Please let your manager or the HR team know if you have any ideas or would like to be involved in any of our existing initiatives.
Recruitment and Selection
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.
Recruitment procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Job selection criteria are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are relevant to the job and are not disproportionate.
Job advertisements will avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage groups with a particular protected characteristic from applying.
Applicants will not be asked questions about health, family planning, religion/belief or disability before a job offer is made unless those questions are permitted by law, for example, to establish whether reasonable adjustments might be required for an interview or other selection process or for equal opportunities monitoring.
There may be circumstances where some indication of required skills (that do discriminate) is justified and where self-deselection is inevitable, for example, where the job vacancy is for a role which requires heavy lifting. The job advert might specify that interested candidates must be willing and capable of handling heavy objects to be considered for the job.
The Company is required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status will not be made. All prospective employees, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation.
Monitoring the Policy and Our Personnel
During any recruitment and onboarding process, we may ask questions that include some protected characteristics to help us monitor our diversity and how we are succeeding in our commitment to promote equal opportunities. Including health or disability questions in equal opportunities monitoring exercises is acceptable, but the data gathered must not be used for any employment-related decisions, such as whether to offer a role or opportunity to a particular candidate.
We may also record and analyse information about equal opportunities more generally within the workplace. We do this so that we can make sure this policy operates successfully. The data helps us to refine it, review the composition of our workforce, and to promote workplace equality.
When you join the Company, you give us consent to gather and process this data about you.
The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with discrimination law. Day-to-day operational responsibility has been delegated to the Human Resources Department and Internal Recruitment Department.
All managers must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example and ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy. Managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practices. If you are involved in management or recruitment, or if you have any questions about the content or application of this policy, you should contact the Human Resources Department for further information.
Enforcement Handling Breaches and Enforcement
The Company will not tolerate any form of discrimination. Members of staff who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to the Company’s Disciplinary Procedure. Breaches will be regarded as serious disciplinary matters and will, if there has been victimisation, intentional discrimination or deliberate harassment, be regarded as potential gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.
We take all allegations of breach and any breaches that we discover very seriously. All allegations and/or suspicions of breach will therefore be thoroughly investigated.
If you wish to complain or raise an allegation of breach (or potential breach) under the policy, you should contact your Manager or HR department as soon as possible. If you want to take formal action, you will need to follow our grievance procedure and read our Policy on harassment and bullying.
Anyone raising a concern about matters covered by this policy, who does so in good faith, will have our full support and co-operation in getting to the bottom of what has happened and any appropriate action that needs to follow on from an investigation. This will be the case regardless of our conclusions including where we determine that the allegation was mistakenly made. There will never be any reprisals against those who genuinely have, or consider that they have, valid grounds to bring concerns about discrimination to our attention.
However, complaints made in bad faith, for whatever reason (including where this is an attempt to avoid or to deflect disciplinary action), will be treated as misconduct and may lead to a dismissal for gross misconduct.
Contact our legal team
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