Equality and Diversity Policy

1. Introduction

BakerStuart (“The Company”, “we”) is committed to equality and valuing diversity within its workforce. We recognise that it is essential to provide equal opportunities to all persons without discrimination on grounds of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion, age, disability, trade union activity or political beliefs – or any other grounds.

This policy sets out the organisation’s commitment to the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity within the Company.

2. Purpose & scope

The Company is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging and valuing diversity amongst our workforce. We aim to create an environment, both in and out of the workplace, which respects the diversity of staff and enables them to achieve their full potential, to contribute fully and to derive maximum benefit from their involvement with the us.

We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination, whether direct or indirect. All applicants or potential applicants, employees (whether full-time, part-time or temporary), former employees and others who work for us will be treated fairly, granted equality of opportunity and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds. All employment related decisions will be made objectively and without unlawful discrimination.

3. Definition

Equality – is about ensuring people are treated fairly and given fair chances. Equality of opportunity is about good management practice that maximises employee potential and creates a framework ensuring all employees and job applicants receive equal access in relation to employment, terms and conditions, training, promotion and services.

Diversity – is about recognising, valuing and taking account of people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experiences, and encouraging and using those differences to create a productive and effective workforce. It is not about treating everyone exactly the same, but about treating people as individuals.

4. Our Commitments

The Company is committed to:

  •  Ensuring the effective implementation and communication of this policy.
  •  Promoting a positive working environment in which all staff are treated with respect anddignity. Harassment, bullying or intimidation will not be tolerated.
  •  Preventing occurrences of all unlawful types of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
  •  Fulfilling all of our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice and complying with this policy.
  •  Reviewing all employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
  •  Investigating all breaches of equality and diversity policy as misconduct which could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
  •  Ensuring that training, development and progression opportunities are available equally to all employees.
  •  Ensuring all sub-contractors are adhered to the equality and diversity principles contained within this policy.

The nature of our business is such that we are often required to adhere to the equality and diversity principles of our clients/customers with regards to the service provision.

5. The Law

It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment on grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation or religion or belief, or because someone is married or is a civil partner (known as protected characteristics).

It is unlawful to treat someone less favourably on grounds of disability than others without that disability are or would be treated, unless the less favourable treatment can be justified as a reasonable way of achieving a legitimate aim. It is unlawful to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to employment caused by disability.

It is unlawful to discriminate unjustifiably on grounds of age in relation to employment.

This policy will be implemented within the framework of the relevant current legislation.

6. Types of Unlawful Discrimination

Direct discrimination – is where a person is treated less favourably because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment, religion or belief, or age. For example, the refusal to employ a woman because she was pregnant would constitute direct sex discrimination. Unlike the other forms of discrimination, direct discrimination on the grounds of age can be justified.

Indirect discrimination – is where an employer applies a practice, requirement or condition which applies equally to all individuals, but which has an adverse disproportionate impact on a group of people because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity or age and the employer cannot show it to be justified, causing a detriment to the individual.

An example of indirect sex discrimination would be requiring everyone to work full-time without a justifiable reason, unrelated to sex, for the particular job to be done on a full-time basis, since requiring everyone to work full-time will normally adversely affect a higher proportion of women than men.

Perception discrimination – this is direct discrimination against an individual because others think that they possess a particular protected characteristic: age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability,gender reassignment and sex. It applies even if that person does not possess the characteristic.

Discrimination by association – this is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. This applies to race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment and sex.Failure to make reasonable adjustments – occurs where arrangements disadvantage an individual because of a disability and reasonable adjustments are not made to overcome the disadvantage.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments – occurs where arrangements disadvantage an individual because of a disability and reasonable adjustments are not made to overcome the disadvantage.

Victimisation – occurs where an individual is treated less favourably than others because they have taken some action in relation to discrimination or supported someone to make a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint.

7. Equal Opportunities in Employment

(a)  Advertisements for posts will give sufficiently clear and accurate information to enable potential applicants to assess their own suitability for the post.      Information about vacant posts will be provided in such a manner that does not restrict its audience in terms of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time  or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion.

(b) Recruitment literature will not imply a preference for one group of applicants unless there is a genuine occupational qualification which limits the post to this particular group, in which case this must be clearly stated.

(c) All vacancies will be circulated internally (and may be advertised externally using a range of recruitment options including multi-media advertisements) for at      least four weeks.

(d) All role descriptions and person specifications for posts will include only requirements that are necessary and justifiable for the effective performance of the job.

(e) All selection will be thorough, conducted against defined criteria and will deal only with the applicant’s suitability for the job. Where it is necessary to ask questions relating to personal circumstances, these will be related purely to job requirements and asked to all candidates.

7.2 Employment

(a) BakerStuart will not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part- time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion in the allocation of duties between employees employed at any level with comparable job descriptions.

(b) BakerStuart will put in place any reasonable measures and/or adjustments within the workplace for those employees who become disabled during employment or for disabled appointees.

(c) All employees will be considered solely on their merits for career development.

7.3 Training & Development

(a) Employees will be provided with appropriate training regardless of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion.

(b) All employees will be encouraged to discuss their career prospects and training needs with their Line Manager or the Chief Executive Officer.

7.4 Adapting working practices

(a) BakerStuart emphasises that discrimination is unacceptable conduct which may lead to disciplinary action under the organization’s Disciplinary Procedure.

(b) Any complaints of discrimination will be pursued through the organisation’s Grievance Procedure.

8. Other Employment Matters

8.1 Bullying

Bullying at work can cause fear, stress and anxiety amongst employees. Bullying includes persistent criticism, personal abuse and/or ridicule (either in private or public), violence which humiliates and demeans the individuals involved gradually eroding their self-confidence, and will be dealt with under this policy.

8.2 Harassment

Relating to one of the unlawful grounds which is intended to violate an individual’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Harassment is also considered to occur where an individual experiences a violation of their dignity or the creation of an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, even if this effect was not intended by the perpetrator of the conduct and not directed at them, and will be dealt with under this Policy.

9. Communication of Policy

Communication will be provided to all existing and new employees to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the equality and diversity policy and their role in creating a positive working environment free of bullying and harassment.

10. Employee Responsibilities

Every employee is required to assist the Company to meet its commitment to provide equalities in employment and avoid unlawful discrimination by:

  •  Co-operating with any measures introduced to develop or monitor equal opportunities
  •  Not to act or place pressure on others to act in a discriminatory manner
  •  Co-operate with investigations into acts or conduct which may amount to unfair or unlawful discrimination including the provision of evidence from which discrimination may be inferred and disciplinary action taken

Employees responsible for acts of unlawful discrimination can be held personally liable as well as, or instead of, the Company. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may be guilty of a criminal offence. Acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees are disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Such acts may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice.

The Company will ensure that neither more nor less favourable treatment is afforded to any individual or group without justifiable cause in all other employment matters, such as discipline and dismissal.

11. Complaints

Employees who consider that they have been subjected to any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through the Company’s grievance procedure. All complaints of this nature will be dealt with sensitively, promptly and confidentially. Copies of these procedures are available from the Human Resources Department.

12. Monitoring & Review

Appropriate information and monitoring systems will be established to assist the effective interpretation of this policy. Information provided by employees for monitoring purposes will be used only for these purposes and will be dealt with in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Regular monitoring will be conducted of the numbers of employees, by job role, with particular regard to ethnicity, disability and gender. Reporting facilities will also be available for identifying trends in discipline, promotion, training opportunities and other employment practices with regard to ethnicity, disability and gender.

13. Variation of Procedure

The HR Department will be responsible for the monitoring and periodic review of this procedure ensure that requirements are being met. Whilst this procedure reflects current practice at the date of issue, the Company reserves the right to modify the content at its sole discretion. Any changes will be communicated to employees.

This Policy Statement has been approved & authorised by:

Name:           Colin Stuart

Position:       Chief Executive Officer

Date:             Oct 6, 2021



Offices in London, Manchester,
Edinburgh and Dublin
Offices in London, Manchester,
Edinburgh and Dublin
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