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Equal Opportunities Policy

Liverpool Community Transport is committed to taking positive action to fight unlawful discrimination in every respect of its work. Workers, job applicants, visitors and customers will be treated fairly, openly and honestly, and with dignity and respect.

Introduction

Liverpool Community Transport is an Equal Opportunities employer. The aim of its Equality Policy is to ensure that no job applicant or employee / volunteer receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, gender (including reassignment), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy & maternity, HIV, AIDS, or disability, nor should they be disadvantaged by requirement. Liverpool Community Transport will strive to redress any imbalance that may become evident.

The Charity, Liverpool Community Transport, will endeavour to establish a broad base for consultation to identify priorities and needs as reflected by the black and minority ethnic population at large, and in all campaign work will maintain the objectives stated above.

The Management Committee shall review the content and effectiveness of the policy on a regular basis. The Operational Transport Manager is responsible for the day to day implementation of the policy.

Liverpool Community Transport will monitor and review the composition of its Management Committee with the aim of promoting a broad-based representation.

We are committed to observe as far as possible:

  • The Commission for Race Equality’s Code of Practice for Employment
  • The Disability Rights Commission’s Code of Practice for Employment
  • The Disability Rights Commission’s Code of Practice for the Rights of Access to Goods, Services, Facilities, and Premises
  • The Equality Opportunities Commission’s Code of Practice for Employment

The Management Committee shall review the content and effectiveness of the policy at a regular basis. The Operational Transport Manager is responsible for the policy’s day to day implementation.

Liverpool Community Transport will monitor and review the composition of its Management Committee with the aim of promoting a broad-based representation.

Recruitment of Staff / Volunteers

A written job description and person specification shall be prepared in respect of every vacancy that arises and every new post that is created.  Applicants should be made aware that general life experience and voluntary as well as paid work are valued.

All jobs will be advertised externally and as widely as possible.

At both the short-listing and the appointment stage, brief notes shall be made on each application indicating clearly why the applicant has or has not been short-listed or appointed.

An open invitation will be given to short-listed applicants with a disability to discuss their specific needs and requirements.  Liverpool Community Transport will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the specific needs of the disabled employees are met.

During the interview notes should be taken and at the end of the interview a form should be completed for each candidate, assessing their response to the topics and themes raised.  These should be reviewed at the end of the interview process by the panel to see each candidate has been treated fairly.

Questions on the following topics are forbidden in an interview.  Any candidate who is asked these questions has the right to refuse to answer.

  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Occupation of partner
  • Number of children / domestic arrangements ( it should be made clear that the organisation aims to be flexible to individual requirements)
Training & Promotion

Training and Promotion opportunities will be made widely available as possible. Selection criteria for training and promotion opportunities will be entirely related to the job. Employment decisions on recruitment promotion and training will be made solely based on merit. New staff and volunteers will be inducted into the staff / volunteer development and training policy and made aware of training opportunities available to them, and be positively encouraged to take them up.

Discipline and Grievance Procedures

It will be made clear to all employees / volunteers that discrimination, abuse or harassment on the grounds of age, race, gender, disability or sexuality – if proven – is a dismissible offence.

The scope of this policy

This Policy applies to:

  • All volunteers & staff employed by Liverpool Community Transport.
  • All aspects of promotional, educational and campaigning functions of Liverpool Community Transport.
  • Members and affiliate organisations. Liverpool Community Transport would expect its members to concur with and actively promote these objectives.
Implementation

Employment procedures and practices will be undertaken strictly in accordance with all current and relevant legislation.

We will ensure:

  • An active commitment to equality and diversity within the Organisation.
  • Our transport provision is consistent, and promotes equality and diversity.

In order to implement this Equality Policy, Liverpool Community Transport accepts that it needs to ensure that all members and staff involved in selection and recruitment within the Organisation are given adequate and appropriate training in:

  • Interview techniques
  • Codes of practice

Disciplinary and grievance procedures as contained in Liverpool Community Transport’s policy documents file.

Equal Opportunity in Service Delivery

Liverpool Community Transport is committed to ensuring equality of access to all its services.  The Management Committee will take action to provide genuine equality of opportunity to counter discrimination and to monitor the outcome.

The management Committee will aim to ensure that no sector of the Community shall be denied access or receive poor service on the grounds of age, race, gender (including reassignment), disability, sexual orientation, marital status ethnicity or religious belief.

The Management Committee will aim to ensure that all its services will be in line with this anti-discrimination policy.  In order to promote equality of access Liverpool Community Transport will ensure the following:

  • That there is a range of fully accessible vehicles.
  • That all services are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the Community.
  • That information on services is widely available and where necessary targeted to ensure maximum awareness of provisions.
  • Positive action will be developed to target the needs of usually excluded groups.
  • That in advertising and publicity Liverpool Community Transport will be presented as an organisation committed to promoting equality of access to employment and services.

The views of our service users are taken seriously and complaints will be handled sensitively using the Charity’s Complaints Procedure.

Everyone has a right to complain in good faith about discrimination without being victimised at any time.

Breaches of Policy

We will monitor and review the effectiveness of our Equality Policy on an annual basis. Responsibility will lie with the Operational Transport Manager, in liaison with the Board of Trustee’s.

Liverpool Community Transport is committed to striving for tangible and continuous improvement in equality performance.

We will establish appropriate information and monitoring systems to assist the effective implementation of our equality policy.

The effectiveness of our equality policy will be reviewed regularly and at least annually, and action taken as necessary. For example, where monitoring identifies an under-representation of a particular group or groups, we shall develop an action plan to address the imbalance.

The Operational Transport Manager / Board of Trustees will undertake consultation with staff and representatives and adopt and publish appropriate action and implementation plans, for tackling any issues identified.

Definitions

The legal definitions vary, but broadly, discrimination can occur either directly or indirectly.  The following are types of discrimination:

Direct Discrimination – Occurs when a person is treated less favourably than others would be treated in the same circumstances on the grounds of having a protected characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination – Occurs when applying a provision, criterion or practice which outs someone from a group at a particular disadvantage. Indirect discrimination may only be justified in exceptional circumstances if it can be shown that the action was reasonable in managing the business ie. That it is ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’.

A legitimate aim might be any lawful decision made in running the organization, but if there is a discriminatory effect, the sole aim of reducing costs is likely to be unlawful.  Being proportionate in this context means being fair and reasonable, including showing that ‘less discriminatory’ alternatives to any decision made have been considered.

Discrimination by Association – Is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possess a protected characteristic.  For example, disability discrimination against someone who is a carer of a disabled person.

Discrimination by Perception – is direct discrimination against an individual because of a belief that they possess a particular protected characteristic.  It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.  For example, discrimination against someone because they are thought to be gay but are not.

Harassment – is defined as being ‘unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that individual’.

Harassment applies to all protected characteristics, except for pregnancy & maternity and marriage & civil partnership.

Employees are able to complain of behaviour that they find offensive, even if it not directed at them and the complaint need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves.  Employees are also protected from harassment because of perception and association and from harassment by third parties.

Victimisation – Takes place where one person treats another less favourably because he or she has asserted their legal rights in line with the Equality Act (2010) or helped someone else to do so.  This includes making a complaint, taking legal action, providing evidence related to proceedings or alleging that discrimination has taken place.  There is no legal requirement to compare treatment of a complaint with that of a person who has not made or supported a complaint.

Victimisation may occur if, for example, a student alleges that they have encountered racism from a tutor, and as a result they are ignored by other staff members.

An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint.

Notes on Equality Legislation

Certain legislation is in force in the UK which provides a legal framework for implementing equal opportunities in society. Listed below are a few of the Acts which deal with harassment and discrimination:

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act became law in October 2010. It replaces previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and ensures consistency in what is needed to make the workplace a fair environment and to comply with the law.

Human Rights Act 1998 (amended 2001) 

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates a substantial part of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which was originally agreed in Rome in 1950.

Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights is now incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998 and states that “everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence”.

Age

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2007

These regulations prohibit age discrimination in employment and vocational training. They apply to all individuals in work or seeking work or access to training, to all employers, and to all providers of vocational training (including further and higher education institutions) and vocational guidance. The regulations include a number of exemptions – for example, in relation to retirement and service related benefits – and provide for other differences of treatment if they can be objectively justified.

Race

Race Relations Act 1976

The Race Relations Act 1976 applies to race, colour, nationality, national and ethnic origin and makes unlawful:

  • Racial discrimination and certain victimisation in employment, education and in the provision of goods, facilities and services
  • Discriminatory practices and adverts
  • Instructions and pressure to discriminate

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry prompted the amendments to the Race Relations Act 1976. The Race Relations Page 5 of 8 (Amendment) Act 2000, which came into effect in April 2001, places a duty on Public Authorities to promote race equality.  These duties are to:

  • Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
  • Promote equality of opportunity
  • Promote good relations between persons of different racial groups

Specific duties – policy and service delivery include:

  • Prepare and publish a Race Equality Scheme
  • Assess which functions and policies are relevant to race equality
  • Monitor policies and see how they affect race equality
  • Assess and consult on policies proposing to be introduced
  • Publish the results of consultation, monitoring and assessments, annually
  • Make sure that the public has access to information and services they provide
  • Train staff on relevant specific duties

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2003

The Race Relations Act applies in England, Wales & Scotland. It does not apply in Northern Ireland where the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 applies.  Both have been slightly amended by the European Union Race Regulations which came in to force in 2003.

Gender

The Equal Pay Act 1970 (EPA) (amended 1983) 

Under this Act a person has a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, providing:

  • The man and woman are doing like work
  • The work is rated as equivalent
  • The work is proved to be of equal value

The employer is not required, however, to provide the same pay and benefits if they can prove that the difference in pay and benefits is for reasons other than gender.

The Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) 1975 (amended 1986 & 2003)

The SDA applies to women and men of any age, including children. It prohibits sex discrimination in:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • The provision of goods, services and facilities

In addition it prohibits victimisation of a person who has exercised their rights under the EPA or SDA.

The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999

These regulations have amended the Sex Discrimination Act so as to make it unlawful to treat a person less favorably because that person has undergone, intends to undergo or is undergoing gender reassignment.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004

This legislation came into force on 04 April 2005. It amends the SDA 1975 and the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999. The new Act allows for the legal recognition of transsexual people’s gender (acquired gender). This recognition is called gender recognition and has to be applied for from the Gender Recognition Panel.

Sexual Orientation

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 

These regulations make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment or training.

Disability

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995

The DDA introduced laws aimed at ending the discrimination that many disabled people face. It gave disabled people new rights in terms of employment and access to goods, facilities and services, education and public transport. The DDA requires ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made by organisations supplying goods or services. Service providers should ensure, through making the reasonable adjustment, that a person with a disability can gain access to the service or provision.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 

These regulations make a number of significant changes to the employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) including the exemption of small employers from the scope of the DDA and ending a number of occupational exclusions (e.g. the police, prison officers, barristers in chambers and partners in business partnerships). These regulations came into force in October 2004.

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Designed to extend rights for disabled people, and clarify and extend provisions of the DDA 1995. It extends the definition of disability, and gives protection against discrimination for people in public service, such as councilors. There are strong new disability equality duties for the public sector in delivering its services. It also removes the grey area of private members club exemption from DDA responsibilities, and extends and details Part 5 DDA Transport. Amendments on housing adaptations are also introduced.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 also places a duty on Local Authorities, Fire and Police Authorities, and National Park Authorities to publish a Disability Equality Scheme by December 2006. Schemes should have due regard of the need to:

  • promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons
  • eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act
  • eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their disabilities
  • promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
  • encourage participation by disabled persons in public life; and

take steps to take account of disabled persons’ disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favorably than other persons.

Religion or Belief

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003

These Regulations make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of religion or belief in employment and vocational training. This includes direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The definition is any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. (Came into force on 2 December (2003)

Review

Liverpool Community Transport will monitor and review the effectiveness of this Equal Opportunities Policy on an annual basis or as and when legislation changes.

Member’s Testimonials

The whole team is great! Excellent management and commitment to the commnuity.

John Doe

Organisation

The whole team is great! Excellent management and commitment to the commnuity.

John Doe

Organisation

The whole team is great! Excellent management and commitment to the commnuity.

John Doe

Organisation

The whole team is great! Excellent management and commitment to the commnuity.

John Doe

Organisation

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Liverpool Community Transport

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