Equality and Diversity Policy

Strive Training is committed to treating everyone fairly. We respect and value the diversity of our learners, clients, employees, suppliers, partners, employers and all other people we work with. We recognise and celebrate diversity.

We are committed to providing an environment that is free from any type of discrimination for all people who have contact with us.

We do not tolerate any kind of harassment or victimisation. We aim to provide an environment that is free of harassment and victimisation and we will take action under our complaints and disciplinary procedures to deal with any direct or indirect discrimination.
We will monitor existing practices and proactively develop new ones to prevent anyone who works and learns, or wants to work and learn, with us from suffering any experience that breaks this policy.

Legislation

The following pieces of legislation are currently relevant to this policy:

Equality Act (2010)

Legally protects individuals from discrimination within the workplace and wider society and state nine protected characteristics. Discrimination or harassment can take the form of direct, indirect or by association of perception.

Race Relations Act (1976)

Under the Race Relations Act 1976, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone on grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origin. The amended Act of 2001 enables Strive Training to actively promote race equality under the new Race Equality Duty.

Disability Discrimination Act (1995)

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was passed in 1995 to end the discrimination that many disabled people face. From December 2006, the amended Disability Equality Duty will be enforced on all public bodies.

Equal Pay Act (1970) and Equal Pay (Amendment Regulations) 1983

The Equal Pay Act 1970 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are doing the same or similar work.

Sex Discrimination Act (1975)

The Sex Discrimination Act came into force in 1975 making it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sex.
Equality (Age) Regulations (2006)
Age discrimination in employment and vocational training will become unlawful in October 2006.

Sexual Orientation (2003)

The Sexual Orientation Regulations outlaw discrimination in employment and vocational training on grounds of sexual orientation.

Religion or Belief Regulations (2003)

The Religion or Belief Regulations prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief.

Special Educational Needs & Disability Act (SENDA) (2001)

Organisations are required to make reasonable adjustments to all aspects of learning to avoid substantial disadvantage to any disabled learner or other disabled people.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Under this Act, many ex-offenders are given certain employment rights if their convictions become ‘spent’. Broadly speaking, anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and who is not convicted of a further offence during a specified period (the ‘rehabilitation period’) becomes a ‘rehabilitated person’. There are some exceptions to the Act – broadly relating to work with children, the sick, disabled people and the administration of justice.

Gender Assignment Regulations 1999

These Regulations clarify the law relating to gender reassignment. They are a measure to prevent discrimination against transsexual people on the grounds of sex in pay and treatment in employment and vocational training.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

This Act makes harassment a criminal offence. It also creates a new type of civil claim, allowing individuals who are harassed to claim damages and/or seek a court order to stop the harasser from continuing the harassment. Harassment on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation or religion & belief are covered by the separate strands of equality legislation.

Human Rights Act 2000

This incorporates rights under the European Convention of Human Rights into domestic law. Individuals can bring claims under the HRA against public authorities for breaches of Convention rights. UK courts and tribunals are required to interpret domestic law, as far as possible, in accordance with Convention rights.

The National Minimum Wage Act 1998

This Act sets hourly rates below which pay must not be allowed to fall and is universally applicable to ‘ordinary workers’. There are some exclusions, including fishermen paid in a share of profits, unpaid volunteers and prisoners.

Working Time Regulations 1998, Working Time Regulations 1999, Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2001 and Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2002
The Working Time Directive is a piece of EU legislation designed to prevent damage to the health of workers through working excessive hours. The Regulations set out statutory rights for employees in respect of rest, maximum working time and holidays.

Policy and Procedures

Introduction

This policy illustrates how Strive Training will implement its commitment to equality & diversity and who is responsible.

Equality & diversity means promoting the basic human rights of all individuals in society, ensuring just and fair treatment, equal access and full opportunities for personal development and growth. This Equality & Diversity Policy should enable all individuals to realise their full potential, develop self-respect and self-esteem in a fair and just environment. All forms of prejudice and discrimination will be addressed and challenged in a culture of mutual respect and acceptance. In short, this policy seeks to ensure that all individuals can work and learn peacefully in our Centre, accepting and enjoying the benefits of its diversity.
Managers, staff and learners of Strive Training and its partners are committed to implementing this Equality & Diversity Policy. Everyone who comes into contact with Strive Training will be treated fairly and without discrimination.

The intention is to ensure that an environment free from harassment, victimisation and discrimination is maintained within an overall culture of equality.

The Equality Act 2010

State that it is unlawful to discriminate or harass individuals or groups directly or indirectly or by association or perception regardless of the nine protected characteristics under the Act.

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or philosophical belief
  • Age
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity

Definitions

Equality: Treating individuals equally, fairly and with dignity, free from discrimination in any form and according to the individual’s ability. Individuals must be given equal access to the same opportunities in learning, education and employment.
Diversity: Taking account and valuing the differences within individuals and capturing the benefits of a varied and multi skilled workforce. Diversity encompasses both visible and non-visible differences within individuals and the varied workforce.
Inclusion: Including everyone within a community irrespective of race, gender or disability with the aim to remove discrimination and intolerance

Bullying: Bullying is a form of harassment and can be defined as the use of position or power to coerce others by fear, oppression or threat. It is made up of a number of things, such as aggressive behaviour, intimidation, persistent criticism, constant undermining, and the spreading of malicious rumours. It can be difficult to detect, as it can be subtle and devious.

Disability: Under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act, a ‘disabled’ person is classed as someone who has a disability that makes it difficult for him or her to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The disability may be physical, sensory, or mental. It must, however, be substantial (i.e. not trivial) and have a long-term effect (i.e. it must last or expect to last 12 months or more).

Physical or mental impairment includes visual, hearing, learning disability, speech impairment, severe disfigurement and a clinically defined mental illness. This includes anyone who has an impairment that is likely to develop over time, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or someone living with AIDS.
Normal day-to-day activities include bending, lifting, mobility, communication, and long- and short-term memory loss.

Direct discrimination: Treating people less favourably than others on grounds of their sex, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.

Indirect discrimination: Applying a provision, criterion or practice that disadvantages people of a particular sex, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.

Diversity: The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It is understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising individual differences. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Harassment: Unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can be sexual, racial, or directed at people with disabilities.

Reasonable Adjustment: Good employment practice, which enables the safe employment of disabled persons, depends on actions and arrangements, which are called ‘adjustments’ under the Disability Discrimination Act. The Act places an obligation on employers to make such adjustments whenever it is reasonable to do so. Guidance on what is reasonable is provided within the Act itself and in the accompanying Code of Practice.

Victimisation: Treating people less favourably because of something they have done under, or in connection with, equality legislation, e.g. made a formal complaint of discrimination or given evidence in a tribunal case.

Organisation and Responsibility

Equality and Diversity is Everybody’s Responsibility The Directors are responsible for ensuring:

  • The policy is implemented
  • Are responsible for ensuring any HR matters are compliant with the Equality and Diversity policy and that
    grievance and disciplinary procedures cover breaches of this policy
  • That all employees are clear on their responsibilities relating to Equality and Diversity
  • That the policy is updated annually or in response to legislation changes

Marketing

Any marketing developed by Strive Training will actively promote equality & diversity and provide any additional information or facility required to encourage participation from all groups with specific focus on the following priority groups: Female Learners, Learners from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, Disabled Learners, Lone Parents, and Learners without basic skills. This promotion will communicate a positive attitude and commitment of equality of opportunity.

Access to Learning Programmes

Strive Training will strive to ensure that all learning opportunities are available to all within health and safety guidelines and that all learners are supported as far as possible to pursue the learning programme/career of their choice. With focus on the following priority groups: Female Learners, Learners from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, Disabled Learners, Lone Parents, and Learners without basic skills
Wherever possible all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure physical access to the learning environment/workplace.
Additional Learning Support will be provided where practicable for learners with learning, physical or sensory disabilities or those with an identifiable support need where reasonable adjustments can be made. No learner will be excluded from a learning programme on the grounds of their race, gender, family commitments, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability (subject to funding and health and safety requirements) or any other status that cannot be justified.

Disclosure

Strive Training encourages learners to disclose any disability that they may have to a member of staff during an Initial Information and Advice session. Strive Training also encourages learners to disclose any issues relating to their age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion/belief that might have a negative effect on their learning, e.g. restrictions with the time of day when learning can take place due to daily worship.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA), Strive Training has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled learners. It encourages learners to disclose their disability at the earliest possible stage so that a needs assessment can be carried out and reasonable adjustments can be made where appropriate.

A learner may indicate that have a disability, or an illness or medical condition that affects their learning, or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. For the purposes of this policy, references to disability incorporate all such conditions that might require support.
Ideally, disclosure of a disability or of other issues will be made prior to or at enrolment. However, the learner can make a disclosure at any time to any member of Strive Training staff. If this happens, the staff member to whom the disclosure is made will ensure that the environment in which disclosure takes place is suitably private in order to maintain confidentiality.

Strive Training understands that some individuals may not wish to call themselves ‘disabled’ and respects their right not to do so, or to be so labelled by virtue of receiving support. However, we strongly advise learners to consider carefully the implication of insisting that a disability remain confidential in terms of the level of support they can reasonably expect.

Although Strive Training will respect and adhere to requests for confidentiality, there may be circumstances where information about a disability will need to be disclosed to third parties. This will only occur in circumstances where the Strive Training cannot obtain the learner’s consent to disclose, for example in cases of sudden illness where healthcare professionals outside the need to know about the disability.

Induction/Information Advice and Guidance

In receiving enquiries about learning programmes, staff will ensure that all prospective learners receive a prompt and fair service.

Learners will be entitled to advice and guidance at the pre-entry stage and during induction to try to ensure that they are on the right course for them.

All learning programmes are open to all learners with priority groups that include: Female Learners, Learners from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, Disabled Learners, Lone Parents, and Learners without basic skills. Where learners meet the criteria, they may be eligible for government funding. Funding regulations will be explained to the learner as appropriate. During the learner’s initial assessment, a range of courses and support provisions will be discussed that are offered by Strive Training or if appropriate elsewhere.

Strive Training is dedicated to ensuring that the learners are not only made aware of but understand its commitment to equality & diversity during induction.

  • Explain our policy on Equality & Diversity, including unacceptable behaviour
  • Provide every learner with a copy of the learner handbook
  • Explain the commitment learners are making by signing the learning agreement

The Learning/Working Environment

The learning/working environment will foster an atmosphere of openness and acceptance of a variety of views, perceptions and experiences. It will also challenge, in a developmental and supportive way, all forms of prejudice discrimination and stereotypical attitudes.

Within the management of human resources, Strive Training will seek to establish a flexible non-discriminatory culture, which is encouraged through staff development and through appropriate equality & diversity training.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Strive Training classes any behaviour that does not respect the rights of others or that harasses, vilifies or discriminates against others, including threatening or violent behaviour, as unacceptable.

If a staff member or learner behaves in an unacceptable way, which does not uphold or represent Strive Training values and/or codes of conduct, action will be taken in accordance with policy and procedures outlined in this document.
To prevent or manage this situation as much as possible, the Directors will ensure the following:

Staff Working with Learners

All staff are not only made aware of this Equality & Diversity Policy but also understand it and can explain it to learners.

  • Opportunities are provided for staff to raise relevant issues and discuss difficult, uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations and how best to behave or respond in these circumstances to meet the policy’s commitment.
  • Staff development and training needs regarding equality & diversity are identified on a regular basis.
  • Relationships are developed with local organisations that represent different equality groups so that best practice, appropriate language etc. can be shared to assist staff when working alongside people with additional needs.
  • Staff are aware of where to source additional information or practical guidance when needed.

There is an opportunity to speak with individual staff members about potential issues concerning their behaviour with the aim of raising their awareness of their behaviour and resolving any individual issues that may be precipitating it.

Learners

  • All learners are not only made aware of the Equality & Diversity Policy but also understand it and are provided with a copy of the Learner Equality & Diversity Policy to take away with them.
  • Clear upfront information is provided to the learner about Strive Training expectations and the consequences of unacceptable behaviour. Staff will be clear about what Strive Training considers unacceptable and what will happen if they have behaved in this way, e.g. learners will be asked to leave should their behaviour be disruptive or have a negative impact on other learners.
  • Learners are provided with a Learner Charter which outlines our expectations of learners concerning their behaviour. Learners are also all provided with a copy of Strive Training Learner Equality & Diversity Policy.
  • There is an opportunity for the learner to understand the consequences and amend their behaviour, particularly if the learner requires additional support themselves. In some cases, CNN staff may consult the learner’s carer, support worker or Work Programme Provider for approaches that work best with the
    learner. However, Strive Training staff will always try to speak with the learner first.
  • Staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to manage difficult situations when working with
    learners, e.g. working with people with mental health difficulties or learning difficulties and priority groups such as: Female Learners, Learners from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, Disabled Learners, Lone Parents, and Learners without basic skills as they may find it more difficult to manage their behaviour in unfamiliar situations or when finding it difficult to communicate.
  • In situations where the above has been provided and the learner continues to behave in an unacceptable way, Strive Training staff will either:
  • With the learner’s agreement, refer them to a different learning environment, which will meet their needs more effectively, or
  • Ask the learner to leave the session

Strive Training Staff

Where the unacceptable behaviour involves a member of staff, the Line Manager will try to resolve the issue informally by talking with the member of staff concerned. If the issue cannot be resolved in this way, Strive Training disciplinary or development actions.

Recruitment and Selection of Personnel

Strive Training will ensure that its recruitment and selection procedures are fair, non-discriminatory and recognise diversity.

  • All vacancies will be advertised appropriately. We will aim to ensure that all applicants are informed of available opportunities.
  • Equal opportunity statements will be included in all promotional material and advertisements.
  • All promotional material will be designed to encourage suitably qualified and experienced applicants and to avoid stereotypical images.
  • Equal opportunities monitoring information will be obtained from application forms. This information will not be used as part of the selection process. This information will be analysed on a regular basis in order to identify any trends or under-represented groups to enable appropriate action to be taken.
  • There will be a fair and consistent approach to assessing an individual’s merits and ability to do the job.
    Selection of employees will be on the basis of skills, experience and qualifications, i.e. the most suitable person for the job.

Procedures for Making a Complaint

An employee or learner who feels that they have been the victim of unlawful discrimination, or suffered victimisation, bullying or harassment has the right to have their complaints investigated through Strive Training complaints procedure.

Strive Training will ensure that there is always a copy of the complaints procedure in the learner handbook.

Strive Training will ensure that all staff and learners are aware of the steps to follow if they want to make a complaint and how to obtain further information about the procedure.

Any employee or learner who is subject to or witnesses any act of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying should report it immediately to their tutor/assessor or line manager in the first instance.

If an employee or learner does not wish to report the instance to their tutor or Line Manager, they can refer to Strive Training complaints procedure for further guidance.

Monitoring

Strive Training will set and measure performance against the following Equality & Diversity Impact Measures (EDIMs).

  • Learner diversity including the following priority groups: Female Learners, Learners from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, Disabled Learners, Lone Parents, and Learners without basic skills
  • Learner Success
  • Staff diversity

EDIMs measured will include gender, ethnicity and ability and statistics will be compared against relevant population base statistics.

Individual data collected will be used confidentially.

Monitoring will take place annually as part of the Self-Assessment process. Areas for Improvement (e.g. under- representation or under-performance of particular groups) will be addressed as part of the Development Plan.

General Procedures

Strive Training will seek to ensure that this Equality & Diversity Policy is implemented efficiently and effectively. All staff are responsible for ensuring implementation of the policy.

Equality & diversity training and support will be given to all staff who interact with learners to enable them to implement this policy effectively.
Staff will proactively ensure all learners are supported throughout their learning. However, should there be any breach of this policy, it will be dealt with promptly and formal procedures implemented accordingly.

It is important that staff do not overlook offensive comments or actions that may be made in the learning environment. Staff will discuss sensitively with the person responsible for the comments/actions, explaining the distress that they may have caused to other learners/employees.

This Equality & Diversity Policy will be reviewed at least annually and more frequently if necessary due to significant internal, external or legislative changes