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HPC Equality & Diversity Policy

Equality and Diversity Policy

Harpsden Parish Council (“HPC”) is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity. It is responsible for ensuring that no officer, member, volunteer, job applicant or employee is unlawfully discriminated against due to age, sex, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation (together the “Protected Characteristics” as set out in the Equality Act 2010).

HPC will ensure that there is open access for all those who wish to engage with it and that they are treated fairly and in accordance with the law.

Purpose of the Equality and Diversity Policy

HPC recognises that inequalities and discrimination still exist in society and that these may limit opportunities to participate equally and fully in the community of Harpsden.

HPC wishes to promote inclusion and will take steps to mitigate against inequality and prevent discrimination (intentional or unintentional) or other unfair treatment of its volunteers and employees.

Legal Requirements

HPC is required by law not to discriminate against its officers, members, volunteers and employees and recognises its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and any later amendments to such legislation or subsequent equality related legislation that may be relevant.

Discrimination, Harassment, Victimisation and Bullying

HPC recognises the following as being unacceptable. It regards any form of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying as gross misconduct and any officer, member, volunteer or employee found to be engaging in such behaviour will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action.

Discrimination

Direct Discrimination is treating one person less favourably than others for reasons relating to a Protected Characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination is applying a provision, criterion or practice which, on the face of it, applies equally to all but which, in practice, can disadvantage individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic. Such requirements or conditions should only be applied if they can be objectively justified.

Harassment

Harassment is any form of unwanted or unwelcome behaviour that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Victimisation

Victimisation is treating someone less favourably because they have in good faith used the organisation’s complaints procedure, exercised their legal rights, or have supported colleagues who have done so. HPC will fully support and protect anyone who exercises their legal rights in this regard.

Bullying

Bullying is the misuse of power or position to criticise persistently or to humiliate and undermine an individual’s confidence.

Reasonable Adjustments

HPC recognises that it has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons. It will consider all requests for adjustments and where possible will accommodate reasonable requests and will work with disabled officers, members, volunteers and employees to implement any adjustments that will enable them to participate more fully.

Implementation

HPC has appointed Anne Marie Scanlon as Safeguarding and Diversity Manager and she is responsible for ensuring that the existence of this policy is communicated to and understood by all officers, members, volunteers and employees and that all breaches are dealt with appropriately.

The Safeguarding and Diversity Manager has the responsibility for achieving any equality related action plans that arise from this policy.

All officers, members, volunteers and employees have responsibilities to respect, act in accordance with, and thereby support and promote the spirit and intentions of this policy.

Positive Action

HPC will take positive action to address any under-representation amongst its officers, members, volunteers and employees.

Monitoring and Evaluation

HPC will evaluate the policy, practices, procedures, operations and recruitment/selection of volunteers and employees no less than once a year.

Monitoring and evaluation information will be used to identify any areas of under-representation.

Complaints Procedure

To safeguard individual rights under the policy, an officer, member, volunteer or employee who believes that they have suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of the policy may raise the matter through the Safeguarding and Diversity Manager.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any officer, member, volunteer or employee who violates this Equality and Diversity Policy.

HPC, its officers, members, volunteers and employees have the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of any complaints or disciplinary procedure. This in turn will increase the level of confidence in the procedures.

All HPC officers, members, volunteers and employees will have access to the procedures referenced in this Equality and Diversity Policy.

Communication

A copy of this policy is available to all HPC officers, members, volunteers and employees

This Equality and Diversity Policy is available

  • On the website  harpsdenparishcouncil.org.uk
  • At any employee / volunteer induction training

Review

This policy was adopted in March 2021 and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Contact Us

Any queries about the contents of this policy should be addressed to the Safeguarding and Diversity Manager on 0787 921 0633 or by email clerk@harpsdenparishcouncil.org.uk