Equal Opportunities and Non-Discrimination Policy
Statement of Policy and Purpose of Policy
- Commitment: Classroom365 Limited (“Classroom365”) ensures equal opportunities for every staff member and applicant.
- Criteria for Employment Decisions: Employment decisions rely solely on merit and organisational necessities. Discrimination based on race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, disability, religion, age, or any other legally prohibited grounds in England and Wales (known as Protected Characteristics) is not practised by Classroom365. Learn more about our Code of Ethics and LGBTQ+ policy.
- Work Environment Goal: We aim to create a workspace where every staff member can thrive without fearing discrimination, harassment, or victimisation. This commitment covers all professional interactions, such as recruitment, terms of employment, training, work practices, social events, and post-employment matters.
- Purpose of the Policy: To achieve our diversity and anti-discrimination objectives, this policy delineates the obligations of all staff regarding equal opportunities. Open communication between Classroom365 and staff about equal opportunities is crucial.
- External Relations: Staff are also expected to uphold these principles when dealing with outsiders like visitors, clients, customers, suppliers, and former staff.
- Policy Nature and Amendment: This is a non-contractual policy, which Classroom365 may modify at its discretion.
Who is Responsible for Equal Opportunities?
- Collective Responsibility: Ensuring equal opportunities is a shared duty between Classroom365 and its staff. This policy applies to all affiliated individuals regardless of their position or work duration.
- Leadership’s Role: The board of directors is primarily accountable for this policy’s implementation and legal compliance. Day-to-day responsibilities have been delegated to the Office Manager.
- Individual Responsibility: All staff are obliged to adhere to this policy. Additionally, Managers overseeing recruitment and training should set an example and ensure compliance.
- Managerial Training: Managers will be equipped with equal opportunity training to help them promote and ensure adherence to this policy.
- Definition: Discrimination can manifest in many ways. Discriminating based on Protected Characteristics is illegal, even if unintentional, barring some exceptions.
- Direct Discrimination (DD) :
- Explanation: DD refers to biased treatment due to a Protected Characteristic.
- Examples: Not hiring a woman as a chauffeur because of a stereotype or favouring younger recruits for a youthful team dynamic. DD can also occur based on perceived characteristics.
- Indirect Discrimination :
- Explanation: It happens when a seemingly neutral rule adversely and unjustifiably affects a specific group.
- Example: Requiring a decade of experience can disadvantage younger candidates.
- Victimisation :
- Definition: Unfavorable treatment towards someone who has raised or is connected to a discrimination complaint.
- Harassment :
- Explanation: Harassment encompasses unwelcome behaviour tied to a Protected Characteristic, which undermines a person’s dignity or fosters a hostile environment. This can include verbal, physical, sexual or visual misconduct. Some pivotal points about harassment include the lack of a necessity for a repeat incident, intention, or prior communication for behaviour to be deemed as harassment.
By adopting this policy, Classroom365 Limited reinforces its commitment to fostering an environment that values everyone, regardless of their background or Protected Characteristics.
Discrimination due to disability can be either direct or indirect. This involves any unwarranted, less favourable treatment due to the implications of a disability or failure to introduce reasonable adjustments to mitigate disadvantages caused by a disability.
- Any Staff member who believes they might have a disability is highly encouraged to discuss it with the Office Manager, especially if they face challenges at work due to their disability, so that potential reasonable adjustments can be deliberated. For these considerations, a disability refers to any physical or mental impairment impacting one’s ability to carry out everyday activities and has persisted (or will likely persist) beyond 12 months. Any disclosure will be treated confidentially as much as reasonably feasible. We are committed to handling sensitive matters sensitively, ensuring respect for your privacy and dignity.
- We will liaise with you on necessary adjustments. Sometimes, you might be asked to consult a doctor we chose for advice. We will try our best to accommodate your requirements within reason. If a specific adjustment is deemed unreasonable, an explanation will be provided, and alternative solutions will be sought.
- Managers who are aware of or suspect a staff member’s disability should engage with the Office Manager to ensure all pertinent responsibilities are met.
Making Employment Decisions Fairly
- As previously mentioned, Classroom365 will recruit employees and make other employment decisions based on objective criteria.
- Managers must only stipulate employment decision criteria (including recruitment, promotion, and redundancy) grounded in legitimate business requirements. Uncertainties about potential indirect discrimination should be referred to the Office Manager.
- Recruitment-involved Managers should:
- Ensure criteria are relevant to the job.
- Advertise vacancies diversely and avoid non-competitive, informal recruitment methods.
- Carefully inspect job advertisements to prevent unjust discouragement or stereotyping.
- Avoid premature health or disability inquiries.
- Refrain from asking candidates about Protected Characteristics.
- Maintain written records of decision rationales.
- Classroom365 must legally validate every employee’s right to work in the UK. All requisite original documents must be produced before commencing employment.
- Recruitment process monitoring involves assessing:
- Sexual orientation
- Ethnic group
- The aim is to evaluate equal opportunity promotion measures and identify possible discriminatory, under-representative, or disadvantageous areas. This information is voluntary and anonymised and will not influence employment decisions. Regular recruitment policy reviews are imperative for fair treatment.
Staff Training, Career Development, and Promotion
- Training needs are often identified during appraisals. Such training will be accessible to all.
- Promotions will be merit-based and in line with business needs.
- Organisational staff diversity is periodically reviewed to ensure equal opportunity.
Conditions of Service
Benefits, facilities, and employment terms are regularly reviewed to prevent unlawful barriers.
Discipline and Termination of Employment
- Redundancy criteria, employment termination decisions, or disciplinary actions will not be discriminatory.
- Disciplinary procedures and outcomes will be consistently applied.
- Part-time and fixed-term staff receive equal treatment as their full-time or permanent counterparts.
What to Do if You Encounter Discrimination
Employees facing discrimination should consult Classroom365’s Grievance Procedure. Confidentiality is prioritised. Retaliation against complainants is prohibited. However, false allegations will be addressed as misconduct offences.
Non-Compliance with Equal Opportunities Rules
Breaches of this policy are taken seriously and might result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. Personal liability and criminal offences related to harassment are potential ramifications.
Review of This Policy
The board of directors will periodically review this policy.
Feedback on this policy is welcomed. Employees can voice their suggestions or ask questions by contacting our Office Manager.