The purpose of this Equal Opportunities Policy is to communicate our commitment to equality of opportunity, with the aims of ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and equally, and supporting the CAVMS’s objective of providing a working environment that is free from all forms of discrimination.
CAVMS is fully committed to providing equality in the workplace and all opportunities will be afforded to individuals fairly and irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race including colour, ethnic or national origins and nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation (“the protected characteristics”). We aim to create a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form, in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
CAVMS will not unlawfully discriminate in the arrangements made for recruitment and selection or in the opportunities afforded for training or any other benefit. All decisions will be made fairly and objectively. We aim, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure that all our working practices are applied fairly and consistently and, where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to avoid or overcome any particular disadvantage these may cause and to promote equality.
Forms of discrimination
The following are forms of discrimination that this policy aims to avoid:
- Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic that they either have or are thought to have. Direct discrimination can also occur by way of association, which is when a person is treated less favourably because, for example, their spouse or partner or other relative has the protected characteristic.
- Indirect Discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to everyone, but has a disproportionately adverse effect on people who share a particular protected characteristic. A person with the protected characteristic who is disadvantaged in that way has the right to complain.
- To be justified the provision, criterion, or practice must be necessary for legitimate business reasons in circumstances where less discriminatory alternatives are not reasonably available.
- Victimisation occurs where someone is treated unfavourably because he/she has raised a complaint under this policy or taken legal action, in relation to any alleged act of unlawful discrimination, against the Company or because he/she has supported someone else in doing this.
- Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can take many different forms and may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments, emails or physical contact that causes offence or are objectionable.
- Harassment may involve a single incident or persistent behaviour that extends over a period of time and can occur even if someone did not mean to cause offence. It also means that a person can be subjected to harassment by behaviour that is not aimed at them directly but which they nonetheless find unpleasant.
- Harassment is always unacceptable and where it relates to a protected characteristic it will amount to an unlawful act of discrimination.
- Discrimination arising from Disability - In addition to the above, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because of something that is the result, effect or outcome of their disability, unless the treatment is necessary and can be objectively justified. Furthermore, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled applicants, employees or other workers are not substantially disadvantaged.
Creating equal opportunities in the workplace
There are a number of ways in which the Company aims to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace, including:
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection procedures will be free from bias or discrimination. Recruitment procedures will be conducted objectively and will be based upon specific and reasonable job related criteria. Decisions regarding an individual’s suitability for a particular role will be based on aptitude and ability.
We will consider making appropriate reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process to ensure that disabled applicants are not substantially disadvantaged.
Career development and training
All individuals will be given an appropriate induction to enable them to fulfil the responsibilities of their role and will be encouraged to develop their full potential and we will not unreasonably deny an employee access to training or other career development opportunities
All individuals have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and CAVMS takes reasonable steps to protect staff from discrimination, bullying or harassment and, in the event of a complaint, we will take appropriate action to prevent, as far as possible, a further occurrence.
All staff are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour at work or that occurs during the course of employment, on or off premises, including at work social events (whether organised by CAVMS or not) or at formal or informal events involving staff, customers or other work-related contacts.
Raising a complaint of discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should raise the matter with the CAVMS management.
Any CAVMS team member who is found to have committed an act of discrimination, or breached this policy in any other way, may be subject to appropriate formal action that could, depending on the circumstances, involve terminating any contract or agreement.
The Company will also take seriously any malicious or, in its opinion, unwarranted allegations of discrimination and will take appropriate action, disciplinary or otherwise, where necessary.