Equal Opportunity Policy
Reviewed: May 2017 - Version 3.0
1. Title: Equal Opportunity Policy
2. Purpose: This document is designed to ensure that ECBC staffs and students will be treated equally or similarly and not disadvantaged by prejudices or bias. ECBC values everyone's differences.
3. Application: The policy applies to all staffs and students at East End Computing and Business College (ECBC)
4. Review and Amendment:
- This policy shall be reviewed yearly by Academic Board
- The next review will be in May 2018
This policy commenced from November 2012 and replaced any previous similar policy
Approved by Management and Adopted
Reviewed - Format changed to conform to ECBC Standard. Part A and Part B have been included.
1.0 PART A - Policy for Staffs
East End Computing and Business College recognises that we live in a society where discrimination is a common factor that operates to the disadvantage of some group of people in the society. As a consequence, ECBC believes that all persons should have equal rights in recognition to their human dignity, to have equal opportunities to be educated, to work, to receive services and to participate in society. ECBC is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities within the college and also towards affiliated organisations. We develop, encourage and maintain policies that will be conductive to the principles of fairness and equality in the workplace.
ECBC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that no staff member or prospective staff member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, creed, religion, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, socio-economic background, appearance, marital status, school or criminal record.
1.2 Awareness of the Policy
ECBC will ensure that all staffs are aware of this policy by:
- Communicating the policy to employees, job applicants, volunteers and other relevant members.
- Handling over a copy of the policy to new member of staff during their induction.
- The head of department will ensure that staff understands the policy.
- Any amendments to the policy will be communicated to all staffs via email or through meetings
- This policy is also available in the Staff Handbook and on our website at www.eastendcbc.co.uk
1.3 Conduct and general standards of behaviour
All staffs are expected to carry out their duties in a professional and considerate manner at all times as ECBC will not tolerate behaviour such as:
- making threats
- physical violence
- persistent rudeness
- isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with certain people
- telling offensive jokes or name calling
- displaying offensive material such as pornography or sexist / racist cartoons, or the distribution of such material via email / text message or any other format.
- any other forms of harassment or victimisation.
The above listing is considered to be disciplinary offences with the college and may lead to disciplinary action being taken. In situation where the impact of the offences has caused massive ruin, dismissal may occur. Depending on the circumstances, ECBC would however encourage staff to informally resolve their misunderstandings.
1.4 Complaints of discrimination
ECBC will treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any forbidden grounds made by employees, trustees, clients or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.
All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the organisation's grievance, complaints or disciplinary procedure, as appropriate and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in line with these procedures.
We will also monitor the number and outcomes of complaints of discrimination made by staff, volunteers, clients and other third parties.
1.5 Legal Obligations
Equal Opportunities and Discrimination (Equality Act 2010)
The new Equality Act came into force in October 2010 and replaces all previous equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales - namely the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, The Civil Partnership Act 2004, the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 (religions and belief and sexual orientation).
The Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics are:
Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief sex and sexual orientation.
In valuing diversity ECBC is committed to go beyond the legal minimum regarding equality.
The Equality Act 2010 harmonises and strengthens and replaces most previous equality legislation. The following legislation is still relevant:
- The Human Rights Act 1998.
- The Work and Families Act 2006.
- Employment Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000 (as amended).
1.6 Recruitment and selection
- ECBC adopt a reliable, non-discriminatory approach to job advertisement.
- Job applicants will receive a fair treatment and will be carefully considered based on their experience and qualifications to perform the job.
- Short-listing and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person
- The interviewers will ask questions which is only related to the requirements of the vacant post and will not be of a discriminatory nature.
- The final decision will not be influenced by any chauvinism of other staff.
- Promotion and advancement will be granted on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy.
1.6 Staff Training
ECBC values its staffs and firmly believe that staff training and development is a powerful tool for job enhancement in the workplace. As a result, trainings and workshops are regularly organised to give staffs the opportunity to acquire more knowledge. Training can be applied to all staffs or a number of selected staffs or a selected staff. The selection will be based on fairness according to the staff's current duty, qualifications and of course on ECBC needs. In some cases, some training can be compulsory and staffs need to attend without excuse. Where resources are not internally available, staffs will have to attend training programme in a different location. Both internal and external programme are sponsored by ECBC.
ECBC will maintain and review the employment records of all employees in order to monitor the progress of this policy. Monitoring may involve; recording recruitment, training and promotional records of all employees, the decisions reached and the reason for those decisions. The results of any monitoring procedure will be reviewed at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of this policy. All staff employed in the College has a responsibility to accept personal involvement in the application of the Equal Opportunities Policy and for taking action when they witness behaviour or language which is not in keeping with this policy. Adjustments can be made to this policy in order to allow greater equality of opportunities to all applicants and staffs.
2.0 PART B - Policy for Students
East End Computing and Business College is an inclusive college that believes there should be equal opportunity for learning, and that all our students are recruited on the basis of their ability, their suitability, and the requirements of the course. We strongly believe that no applicant shall be discriminated or receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of their: race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, political beliefs, religious or other similar beliefs, creed or social persuasion
Furthermore, the College is committed to promote equality in relation to all its student's policies and practices. We also promote equality of opportunity across all our functions namely:-
- Access and recruitment
- Admissions and retention
- Assessments and progression
- Provision of student services and related facilities
- Teaching, learning, examining, curriculum development and quality assurance
- Community links and partnerships
2.2 General Principles
2.2.1 While the College seeks to avoid direct and indirect, overt and covert discrimination and inspire equality, fairness and good relations into the culture of the College, we demand staff, students and visitors to behave in a non-discriminatory manner and to support, implement and develop institutional practices and procedures that promote and reinforce equality of opportunity and treatment for all. Therefore it is the responsibility of all staffs in carrying out their duties in a professional manner and that all students should know their limits in order to ensure compliance with the terms of the policy and to adopt a positive attitude towards equality of opportunity.
2.2.2 The Admin Manager shall be responsible for communicating this policy to all staffs and students to ensure their compliance. The former is also responsible to investigate on specific complaints of discrimination or discriminatory practice. The academic board on the other hand will make sure that only qualified and trained staffs will be involved in recruitment and selection of students.
2.2.3 Complaints of discrimination from students shall be considered in accordance with the Complaints Procedure or Student Harassment and Bullying Policy. If the incident is perceived to be racist, this must be dealt with in accordance with the Student Harassment and Bullying Policy.
2.2.4 Students also have a responsibility to comply with the Equal Opportunity Policy and treat fellow students and staff with respect. Failure of any student to abide by the terms of the Policy will be treated as a serious matter warranting disciplinary action in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
2.3. Admission Procedures
Criteria is based on course requirements:
2.3.1 The selection of students for recruitment shall be based on objective criteria related to the course requirements. The criteria used in selection shall be only those that are necessary and justifiable for the effective performance of the course and they shall be applied consistently to all applicants, i.e. the competence standards. Applicants shall not be rejected on the basis of criteria which are merely convenient as opposed to being essential for the course, as this may constitute indirect discrimination. Indirect discrimination occurs when selection criteria are used which are not strictly essential and which in practice exclude a greater proportion of one group than any other.
2.3.2 At ECBC our recruiting and selection staff must guard against assumptions based upon an individual's race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, political beliefs, religious or other similar beliefs, creed or social persuasion. Examples of such assumptions would be that a given individual would:
- have outside commitments that would interfere with study, OR
- not be able to cope with physically strenuous tasks, OR
- produce an unfavorable reaction from the public or other students, OR
- have an unacceptably high incidence of sickness, OR
- possess limited career ambitions, OR
- lack commitment to the course
2.3.3 College course recruitment shall be advertised in external media and through college leaflets and brochures. Applicants shall be given sufficiently clear and accurate information through advertisements, course descriptions and drop-in sessions, or interviews, to enable them to assess their own suitability for a place. Where necessary, ECBC will provide information on request in alternative formats. Recruitment literature shall not imply there is a preference for one group of applicants unless there is an occupational requirement, which limits a course to a particular sex, in which case this must be clearly stated.
2.3.4 The College will aim to ensure that where it is involved in any activities related to recruitment of students, for example, careers fairs or open days that these are accessible and inclusive for the range of students who may wish to take part.
2.3.5 In the event of a complaint of discrimination, the recruitment team who is responsible for the selection decision will be expected to state the criteria on which the decision was based and to demonstrate how other students have met the said criteria.
2.3.6 Records would be kept of selection interviews indicating not only the reasons for selection of the successful candidate, but also of the reasons for non-selection.
2.5 Additional Student Support
2.5.1 At ECBC our staffs try to make reasonable adjustment to ensure that access to learning is equitable. As a consequence, we have a 'Special Considerations and Reasonable Adjustments Policy' that students need to read and understand. Students who believe that they are enduring a condition that require adjustments in their study should notify us by filling the form appended in the policy and provide evidences to support their claim. It is also worth to be noted that due to limitations, ECBC may not always accommodate some adjustments. Read policy for more information.
2.5.2 Additionally, we also have an 'Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures' in place to assist students in the event the latter experience circumstances that have a negative impact in their academic performance. Depending on the gravity of the situation and the evidences provided, Student's will be allocated extra time to complete and to submit their work.
2.5.3 Any student who believes that he or she has been the subject of discrimination or harassment may directly contact the College Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org
2.5.4 Complaints of unfair discrimination or harassment by any member of the College, student or staff, will be treated seriously and may lead to disciplinary action.
2.5.5 Information concerning the College's policies and procedures can be found on the college website www.eastendcbc.co.uk and can be obtained from the reception.
ECBC will monitor the effectiveness of this Policy and all other relevant policies and practices on students. To do so we must in the first instance collect monitoring information and must therefore ask students for relevant personal information such as:
- Age or date of birth
- Sexual orientation
- Religious belief
All the above information will be stored and dealt in the strictest confidence. The information will not be used to make a decision about a student's suitability for a particular course of study but rather it will be used for the equality monitoring and hence individuals will not be identifiable.