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arc Equality & Diversity Policy

Summary 

There are a lot of complex words and technical phrases in our policy, but put really simply we value the wide diversity of the people we work with and will try really hard to make our services/assignments/jobs accessible to everyone.  If we find that we are unfairly preventing anyone taking part in what we do, we’ll change things until we get them right, or keep changing until we do.

1. GENERAL

1.1 Arc actively encourages equality of opportunity and will seek to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. arc will seek to develop a business culture that reflects these beliefs. We will seek to widen the media in which we attract talented mediators and trainers, to ensure our employees and associates are a diverse group. We will assist our clients to meet their own equality and diversity objectives.

1.2 arc is committed to diversity and will promote diversity for all employees, associates and applicants. We will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment/contracting to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination. Arc will treat everyone equally irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs or membership or non-membership of a Trade Union or spent convictions, and places an obligation upon all personnel and associates to act in accordance with our policy. arc is committed to providing training for its staff and associates in equality and diversity opportunities.

1.3 arc shall not discriminate unlawfully when deciding which candidate/temporary worker/associate is submitted for a vacancy, assignment or post. arc will ensure that each candidate is assessed only in accordance with the candidate’s merits, qualifications and competency to perform the relevant duties required by the particular vacancy or assignment.

1.4 arc will not accept business from clients that signify an intention to discriminate.

2. DISCRIMINATION

Unlawful discrimination takes many different forms but can be manifest as:

2.1. Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs where one individual treats or would treat another individual less favourably on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs.

It is unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a person on the grounds of a protected category: –

  • in the terms on which the provider offers to provide any of its services;
  • by refusing or deliberately omitting to provide any of its services;
  • in the way it provides any of its services.

2.2. Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs where an agency or employer applies a provision, criterion or practice generally, which disadvantages a minority group in the community on the basis of a protected category.

Indirect discrimination would also occur if a provider accepted and acted upon an indirectly discriminatory instruction from an employer.

2.3 DISABLED PERSONS

2.3.1 Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination against a person occurs where, if for a reason which relates to the disabled person’s disability, an individual:

  • treats him less favourably than he/she treats, or would treat others to whom that reason does not or would not apply, and,
  • the employer cannot show that the treatment in question is justified.

Or

  • If on the ground of a disabled person’s disability, he/she treats the disabled person less favourably than he treats or would treat a person not having that particular disability, whose relevant circumstances, including his abilities, are the same as, or not materially different from, those of the disabled person.

2.3.2 Duty to make reasonable adjustments and to provide auxiliary aids and services

This is a similar protection to indirect discrimination in the other protected categories.

Where a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of an service provider, or any physical feature of the service provider’s premises, places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, it will be the duty of a service provider to take such steps as are reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, to remove the provision, criterion, practice or physical feature.

Providers must take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids or services if this would make it easier for the disabled person to use their services. arc will not discriminate against a disabled person on the grounds of a disability:

  • by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering the disabled person a service, job or assignment. for reasons connected with their disability; or
  • in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity.

arc will accordingly make opportunities available to all people with disabilities and every practical effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff, associates and clients.  Wherever possible arc will make reasonable adjustments to the physical environment, in the context of employment, assignments or services.

4. AGE DISCRIMINATION

arc will not discriminate directly or indirectly, harass or victimise any person on the grounds of their age. We will encourage clients not to include any age criteria in the criteria for training or accessing our services.

arc is committed to recruiting and retaining employees/associates whose skills, experience, and attitude are suitable for the requirements of the various positions regardless of age.

arc may request age as part of its services to clients, but such information will not be used as selection, training or promotion criteria or in any detrimental way and is only for compilation of personal data, which the company holds on all employees and workers and as part of its equal opportunities monitoring process.

4. PART-TIME WORKERS

This policy also covers the treatment of those employees and workers who work on a part-time basis, arc recognises that it is an essential part of this policy that part time employees are treated on the same terms, with no detriment, as full time employees (albeit on a pro rata basis) in matters such as rates of pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, parental and domestic incident leave and access to our pension scheme.  arc also recognises that part time employees must be treated the same as full time employees in relation to training and redundancy situations.       

5. HARASSMENT

5.1  arc is committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs or any other basis protected by legislation is unlawful.

5.2 This policy prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee or worker of arc.

5.3 If you believe that you have been unlawfully harassed, you should make an immediate   report to Dave Warren followed by a written complaint as soon as possible after the incident. Your complaint should include:

    1. Details of the incident
    2. Name(s) of the individual(s) involved
    3. Name(s) of any witness(es)

5.4 arc will undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations. If it is concluded that unlawful harassment has occurred, remedial action will be taken.

5.5 Any employee/associate who arc finds to be responsible for unlawful harassment will be subject to the disciplinary procedure.

6. GENDER REASSIGNMENT

6.1 arc recognises that any employee or worker may wish to change their gender during the course of their employment with the Company.

6.2 arc will make every effort to try to protect an employee or worker who has undergone, is undergoing or intends to undergo gender reassignment, from discrimination or harassment within the workplace.

6.3 Any employee or worker suffering discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment should make recourse to the Company’s grievance procedure.

7. SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

7.1 We understand that everyone communicates in a different way and requires the service we provide to be adapted to meet their individual needs.

7.2 We recognise that some people who use our services may have a greater difficulty in communicating and learning, or have a disability that hinders them from making full use of the services we provide (adapted from Children and Families Act 2014).

7.3 From the initial contact with clients we will ask if the participants involved in receiving our services have any needs that require additional adaptation.  We will continually assess the success of our communication with participants when delivering our service and make adaptations in the course of service provision.

7.4 With the assistance of the client, the participant and relevant outside agencies, arc will seek to make further adaption to:

  • Audio-visual material.
  • Printed/text based information.
  • The environment in which we work.
  • Communication style and methods.
  • The support we can provide for people (e.g. providing advocates).

7.5 We will seek to work with clients to ensure that we understand their SEN policy and integrate their practices and procedures in the service we provide for them. 

8. COMPLAINTS AND MONITORING PROCEDURES

8.1 arc has in place procedures for monitoring compliance with this policy and for dealing with complaints of discrimination or harassment. These are available from our web site or by request from Dave Warren.

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