Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy (EDI)
OTI was founded upon the principles of power-sharing, equality, diversity, inclusion and involvement in youth and adult education, dignity and respect. Every aspect, the social enterprise we offer and create is guided by these principles and all our project ideas are driven and quality controlled by our users.
We take matters of equality and diversity extremely seriously whether these relate to
our project and service delivery, recruitment and training.
The Equality and Diversity Policy covers all OTI employees, volunteers, interns, board members and users irrespective of their status, level or grade. The Policy provides guidance only. It applies but is not limited to, advertising of jobs, recruitment and selection, training and development, opportunities for promotion, conditions of service, benefits and facilities and pay, health and safety and conduct at work, grievance and disciplinary procedures and termination of employment, including redundancy. However, neither this Policy nor any part of its contents forms part of any employee’s contract of employment. OTI may alter, add to or depart from this Policy at any time at its discretion. It is important that you read this Policy carefully and comply with its terms.
2. Policy statement
OTI is an equal opportunities organisation committed to actively preventing all forms of discrimination and promoting equality, diversity and mutual respect in its policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which it has a material degree of influence. This applies to OTI’s relationships with its employees and other workers and in its business dealings with its service users. OTI aims to create a working environment in which all individuals who work for OTI are able to make the best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
OTI aims to treat everyone with the same attention, courtesy and respect and not to discriminate or harass unlawfully because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy, maternity, race, racial group, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, trade union membership or part-time or fixed-term status (“Prohibited Grounds”). Reasonable adjustments are made where necessary and appropriate in the case of employees who are disabled. You are also referred to the Protection from Harassment Policy, which sets out OTI’s position on bullying and harassment and gives guidance on what you should do if you consider you are or have been bullied or harassed.
3. Forms of Discrimination
Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs when someone is put at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more of the Prohibited Grounds set out in part b. above. For example, rejecting an applicant because it is considered they would not "fit in" because of their race would almost always be direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination occurs when an individual is subject to a provision, criterion or practice which puts that individual at a particular disadvantage because of one of the Prohibited Grounds (for example, their sex or race) and the employer cannot objectively justify that provision, criterion or practice (for a reason unconnected with the individual’s sex or race) as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim of the employer. Discrimination can also take the form of victimisation (which occurs when an employee suffers less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that connection) and harassment (see the Protection from Harassment Policy).
OTI aims to be an equal opportunity employer. This Policy covers all aspects of employment, including vacancy advertising, selection recruitment, terms and conditions9of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion, conditions of service, benefits and facilities and pay, health and safety, conduct at work, grievance and disciplinary processes, termination of employment and any other employment-related activities.
Terms of Employment, Benefits, Facilities and Conditions of Service
OTI aims to treat all employees and other workers equally irrespective of personal characteristics and to create a working environment which is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment and which respects, where appropriate, the diversity in the backgrounds and beliefs of employees and other workers. Terms and conditions for employees and any other workers will comply with all current and any future anti-discrimination legislation and associated codes of practice, including but not limited to the Equality Act 2010, and any relevant amendments or re-enactments of such legislation or codes or replacements (together with the “Anti-Discrimination Legislation”).
Provision of working hours, maternity and other leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code, bonus schemes and any other conditions of employment will not discriminate unlawfully against any of its employees or other workers on any Prohibited Ground were to do so is not permitted by law. Where appropriate and necessary, OTI will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of its employees which arise from their ethnic or cultural background; gender; responsibilities as carers; disability; religion or belief; or sexual orientation. OTI endeavours to review all terms of employment, benefits, facilities and conditions of service from time to time. If a change occurs in an employee’s abilities or caring responsibilities which is likely to affect their work, the line manager should be notified as soon as possible, and adjustments will be made where practical and reasonable.
Promotion, Transfer and Training
OTI aims to provide promotion opportunities within OTI. OTI aims to ensure that all of its employees have equal access to training and other career development opportunities appropriate to their experience and abilities.
OTI aims to regularly monitor the composition and movement of employees at different levels to ensure equality of opportunity at all levels of OTI. Where appropriate, OTI aims to identify and remove unnecessary or unjustifiable barriers and to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or under-represented groups. OTI aims to regularly review conditions of service, benefits and facilities to ensure that they are available to all employees who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them.
5. Disability Discrimination
Any employee who is disabled, or becomes disabled whilst in the employment of OTI is encouraged to tell OTI about their condition. This is to enable OTI to provide as much support as possible. Any employee of OTI who is disabled should advise their line manager of any proposals for reasonable adjustments to their working conditions or the duties of their job that they consider necessary, or which would assist them in the performance of their duties. Their line manager may wish to consult with them and with their medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments. OTI aims to ensure that careful consideration is given to any such proposals to accommodate them where practicable and proportionate to the needs of the job. Nevertheless, there may be circumstances where OTI will not be in a position to accommodate the suggested adjustments.
OTI aims to monitor the physical features of its premises to consider whether they place disabled employees of OTI, other workers, partners, clients or visitors at a substantial disadvantage. Where possible, practicable and proportionate, OTI will take steps to improve access for such disabled persons.
6. Activities and Service Users
OTI is committed to countering disadvantages and treating all users and prospective users equally. Practical measures are taken to enable representatives and members of local organisations to attend OTI events and participate if sufficient notice is given and funds are available. Services will be publicised in a variety of ways and places. Publicity materials will be, as far as possible, clear, simple and widely accessible. In addition, where necessary and where it is permitted by the Anti-Discrimination Legislation (for example, provisions relating to positive action or exemptions), OTI will seek to provide services which meet the specific needs and requests arising from service users’ particular circumstances or characteristics in terms of age, ethnic or cultural background, gender, responsibilities as carers, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or other relevant factors. The Executive Director, under the guidance of the Board, review and monitor the overall balance of services, and seek to ensure that these meet the changing needs of, and opportunities available to, the people and organisations OTI serves. All employees are responsible for planning and monitoring the services for which they are responsible to ensure that these are responsive to users’ needs and not discriminatory, and must report any areas where action or further funding is required to the Executive Director.
7. Implementing this Policy
Acts of discrimination or harassment of any of OTI’s employees on any of the Prohibited Grounds by employees or other workers may result in disciplinary action (or other appropriate action where the Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure does not apply). Acts of discrimination or harassment on any of the Prohibited Grounds by third parties acting on behalf of OTI may lead to appropriate action including termination of services where appropriate.
8. Complaints of Discrimination
Any employee who believes that they may have been disadvantaged on any of the Prohibited Grounds listed in part b above is encouraged to raise the matter through OTI’s Grievance Procedure. If you believe that you may have been harassed on any of the Prohibited Grounds, you are encouraged to raise the matter through OTI’s Protection from Harassment Policy. Allegations regarding potential breaches of this Policy will be treated in confidence as far as possible and OTI aims to investigate allegations in accordance with the relevant procedure. Employees who make allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations of a breach of this Policy which are found to have been made in bad faith may, however, be dealt with under OTI’s Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure. If, after investigation, you are found or believed to have harassed any of OTI’s employees, other workers, or any other person including OTI’s visitors, customers and suppliers, on any of the Prohibited Grounds or otherwise act in breach of this Policy, you may be subject to disciplinary action. In serious cases, such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal.
9. Monitoring Equal Opportunities
OTI will aim to monitor the effects of selection decisions and personnel practices and procedures on a regular basis in order to assess whether the equal opportunity is being achieved. OTI will, from time to time, review: • the composition of the workforce of the organisation and changes in distribution over periods of time; and • the selection criteria and personnel procedures to ensure that they do not include requirements or conditions which constitute, or may lead to, indirect or direct discrimination.