Policy Statement

Brighter Consultancy Group Limited (“Brighter Consultancy”) is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to promoting equal treatment in employment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics)

Proactive Diversity Commitments

Apsco Diversity Commitment: Apsco’s Diversity Commitment signed 2015 to assure we are making positive steps towards shaping Diversity in the Recruitment Industry.

The Clear Company: Working towards our bronze accreditation to increase the knowledge and development of disability inclusion with recruitment.

Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion: A member of ENEI who support us on educating us on best practices and guidance around a range of employment topics, training, support, and research.

Think Act Report: We are committed to ensuring gender equality in the workplace

D&I and Unconscious bias training: We provide unconscious bias training to all our employees during our onboarding and induction programme, as well as conducting D&I surgery sessions, giving our employees the opportunity to ask questions and get educated on all aspects of Diversity and Inclusion.

About this Policy This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including vacancy advertising, recruitment, and selection, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, interns, casual workers, suppliers, and agency workers.

Who is responsible for this policy?

Brighter Consultancy Diversity and Inclusion Panel have overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with discrimination law. All managers must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example and ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy and promote our aims and objectives with regard to equal opportunities. Managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practice.

Why?

Brighter Consultancy aims is to create an environment that encourages and values diversity within its workforce and builds on the differences individuals bring, enabling its continued success. We aim to draw upon the widest possible range of views and experiences in order to meet the changing needs of our staff, clients, partners, candidates, contractors, and temporary workers.

We seek to promote diversity and to respond to the needs of all individuals in a fair and equitable manner, whilst observing our commitment and responsibility to current legislation.

To achieve this, we will:

· Fulfil our responsibility towards our employees, contractors, temporary workers, and the communities in which we operate.

· Recognise all our legal obligations with reference to particular legislation.

· Make all opportunities (including advertising, interview and selection processes, promotion, and training) as accessible as possible to under-represented groups.

· Conduct monitoring and to ensure processes are fair, equitable and accessible and to identify any significant under-representation.

· Endeavour to attain a workforce that is diverse to secure the widest possible pool of talent.

· Recruit, train and promote the best person for the job and to make full use of the talents and resources of all our employees.

· Create a working environment free from unlawful discrimination, victimisation and harassment in which all employees, clients, partners, candidates, contractors and temporary workers are treated with dignity and respect.

· Periodically review our selection criteria and procedures to ensure that they remain compliant and maintain a system that ensures fairness.

· Distribute and continuously publicise our full Equality & Diversity Policy and procedures throughout the company to employees and to clients, partners, visitors, candidates, contractors and temporary workers

· Provide the facilities and opportunity for anyone who believes that they have been treated inequitably within the scope of our policy to raise the matter through the appropriate grievance or complaints procedure.

· Log all reported instances of harassment and take action to mitigate and minimise harassment and victimisation wherever possible.

· Ensure that employees understand that breaches of this policy will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary proceedings and in serious cases summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

Policy

Our Equality & Diversity Policy will cover the following items in detail:

· A detailed definition and explanation of the different types of discrimination, harassment & victimisation.

· Procedures relating to harassment.

· Monitoring, recruitment, and employment decisions.

· How to make a complaint relating to discrimination or harassment.

Discrimination

You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers, and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with customers, suppliers, or other work-related contacts) and on work-related trips or events including social events.

The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:

a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.

b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.

c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment is dealt with further in our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy.

d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.

e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.

Recruitment Selection

Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted based on merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person and with the involvement of the Human Resources Department, where possible. Our recruitment procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.

Vacancies should generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying. They should include a short policy statement on equal opportunities and a copy of this policy will be made available on request.

We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market and, where relevant, to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or underrepresented in our organisation. Where appropriate, the Human Resources Department may approve the use of lawful exemptions to recruit someone with a particular Protected Characteristics, for example, where the job can only be done by a woman. The advertisement should specify the exemption that applies.

Job applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.

Job applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited exceptions which should only be used with the approval of the Human Resources Department.

For example:

(a) Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments)

(b) Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.

(c) Positive action to recruit disabled persons.

(d) Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the selection or decisionmaking process).

Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check.

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the Human Resources Department or UK Visas and Immigration.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in Brighter Consultancy, we monitor applicants’ ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary, and it will not adversely affect an individual’s chances of recruitment or any other decision related to their employment. The information is removed from applications before shortlisting and kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.

Training and Promotion and Conditions of Services

Training needs will be identified through regular appraisals. You will be given appropriate access to training to enable you to progress within Brighter Consultancy and all promotion decisions will be made based on merit.

Workforce composition and promotions will be regularly monitored to ensure equality of opportunity at all levels within Brighter Consultancy. Where appropriate, steps will be taken to identify and remove unjustified barriers and to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.

Our conditions of service, benefits and facilities are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are available to all of you who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them.

Termination of Employment

Brighter Consultancy will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory. Brighter Consultancy will also ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal, or other disciplinary action.

Disability

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate. If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your line manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. Your line manager may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser about possible adjustments.

We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If we consider a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they might place anyone with a disability at a substantial disadvantage. Where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to improve access.

Part-Time and Fixed Term Work

Part-time and fixed-term staff should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.

How-Commitment

Protection

We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees and applicants for employment are protected from unlawful discrimination in employment. Anyone who believes that he or she may have been disadvantaged on discriminatory grounds is strongly advised to raise the matter through the Company’s grievance procedure.

All employees have a right to equality of opportunity and a duty to implement this policy. Discrimination is a serious disciplinary matter which will normally be treated as gross misconduct.

Person and job specifications will be limited to those requirements which are necessary for the effective performance of the job.

Recruitment and employment decisions will be made based on fair and objective criteria. Competency based interviewing and Psychometric testing have been introduced into the internal interview process for analysis of role suitability. Employees are encouraged to use various recruitment platforms/methods when searching for candidates to target a wider and more diverse talent pool.

Interviews will be conducted on an objective basis and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary and relevant. Where possible there will be more than one person involved in the interview process.

Training on the Policy and the importance of equality and diversity will be provided and made readily available to all employees on the staff intranet. Job advert training will be encouraged to ensure vacancies are inclusive and non-discriminatory.

Diversity Monitoring

This policy will be monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure our commitments are working effectively. Where required, positive action will be considered to target underrepresented talent pools.

Welcoming new ideas- All employees are encouraged to think proactively about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Any suggestions or ideas on how we can improve our policies are welcomed and should be put forward to our HR department.

Breaches of this Policy

Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted based on merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination

Brighter Consultancy takes a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.

If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure or through our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy as appropriate. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.

There must be no victimisation or retaliation against staff who complain about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.