Equality & Diversity Policy
Reed Learning promotes equality of opportunity and recognises that discrimination is unacceptable. This applies in the recruitment, selection, training and promotion of all employees and associates and all those who use our services.
Promoting equality of opportunity means that everyone is treated solely on the basis of competence and merit, regardless of age, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial or religious background or disability considerations. This helps create a culture and ethos where all feel valued and empowered, regardless of the many ways that people are different.
We believe that a key factor in business success is promoting and embedding equality and diversity in our culture and practices and attracting staff, learners and customers from all sections of society. A more diverse workforce brings a wider range of individual strengths, experiences and perspectives.
The Equality Act 2010 introduces the term ‘protected characteristic’ to refer to aspects of a person’s identity explicitly protected from unlawful discrimination. Our aim is to ensure that no employee, job applicant, learner or potential learner receives less favourable facilities or treatment on grounds of sex, marital status, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, dependents or age or are placed at a disadvantage by imposed conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified.
This policy and the associated arrangements shall operate in accordance with UK equality legislation and our other external obligations including: equality standards set by contracts, regulatory requirements, accreditations and good practice schemes.
Those who work and learn at Reed Learning are expected to abide by this policy. This includes staff, learners, employers, visitors and associates. All employees and associates are expected to act in such a way as to foster a climate of equal opportunity within the organisation. Reed Learning will ensure employees are aware of their responsibilities in relation to equality and diversity, including in respect of learners and potential learners.
Employers are expected to have their own equality and diversity policies in place, including those associated polices.
Reed Learning will provide appropriate training for staff and its’ implications for teaching and learning, including paying due regard to the policy when designing learning materials and delivering training and will actively promote British values to help:
Identify and protect learners vulnerable to extremist ideologies
Create ‘safe spaces’ for dialogue and discussion
Provide opportunities to challenge views and bring a ‘counter-narrative’
prepare learners to live and work In Britain’s complex multicultural society
Reed Learning attaches particular importance to the needs of disabled people. Under the terms of this policy, we will:
Make reasonable adjustment to maintain the services of an employee or associate who becomes disabled, for example, training, provision of special equipment, reduced working hours.
Give full and proper consideration to disabled people who apply for jobs or places on our programmes, having regard to making reasonable adjustments for their particular aptitudes and abilities to allow them to be able to do the job or undertake the programme.
Harassment is unwanted conduct which affects people’s dignity. It encompasses unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal behaviour which denigrates, ridicules or is intimidating. It is for individuals to decide what behaviour is offensive or unwelcome. People have different perceptions about this and behaviour that one person may not find offensive could be so to someone else.
The policy applies equally to everyone working for Reed Learning: it applies internally and in our dealings with learners, external customers and/or members of the public.
Dealing with Unfair Treatment or Harassment
If you feel that you are being subjected to unfair treatment or harassment you may attempt to resolve the matter informally in the first instance. In some cases, it may be possible and sufficient for you to explain clearly to the person engaged in the unwanted activities that the behaviour is unwelcome, that it offends or makes you uncomfortable.
If the situation cannot be resolved informally then you have the right to pursue your complaint formally via the Complaints Procedure.
Access to Training and Fair Assessment
We will make necessary adaptations to the process in order to accommodate any learner or potential learner with special needs. This is to ensure that all learners have equal access to training and fair assessment. In practical terms examples of this could entail:
Using a diverse range of examples and images in all learning delivery
Meeting candidates at their preferred location
Flexibility in meeting times to accommodate work/life balance issues
Recommending the use of voice activated software for anyone with dyslexia
Requesting the Standards in large print, Braille or audio version, if required.
Reed Learning has a robust Safeguarding Policy which supports all learners and ensures an environment which is free from all forms of discrimination. Reed Learning works in accordance with the Prevent agenda and is committed to ensuring all learners are aware that behaviours and activities associated with discrimination, harassment and extremism will be promptly addressed.
Equality and diversity will be introduced throughout key stages of the apprenticeship, which includes:
Line Manager induction
1:1 meetings with Adviser
Progress reviews with the apprentice and their line managers
Apprentice Satisfaction Survey
Recruitment of Ex-offenders
Under section 122 of the Police Act 1997, The Code of Practice outlines that all registered bodies must treat DBS applicants who have a criminal record fairly. DBS applicants should not be discriminated against because of a conviction or other information revealed. The below policy statement has been taken from the DBS “Sample policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders” Version 2.1.
As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Reed Learning complies fully with the DBS code of practice - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. Reed Learning undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
Reed Learning can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that Reed Learning are legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended) and where appropriate Police Act Regulations (as amended), Reed Learning can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.
Reed Learning is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
Reed Learning actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. Reed Learning selects all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.
Reed Learning ensures that all those in Reed Learning who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. Reed Learning also ensures that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
At interview, or in a separate discussion, Reed Learning ensures that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
Reed Learning makes every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the Code of Practice and makes a copy available on request.
Reed Learning undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
Equal Opportunities Monitoring
As part of our commitment to implementing this policy, we undertake statistical monitoring of all applicants and learners. In particular we monitor achievement in order to highlight trends so that appropriate action can be taken to address any issues identified. It is stressed that this information is gathered solely as part of Reed Learning’s commitment to equal access and is subject to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
Responsibilities of Directors
Directors have an obligation to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying and to take immediate action once it has been identified, whether or not a complaint has been made.
Allegations of harassment or bullying, received either informally or formally through the Grievance Procedure for employees or through the Appeals process for learners, must be dealt with promptly and sensitively.
Directors must take care to ensure that they do not pre-judge situations based on their own sexual or racial attitudes and perceptions.
Directors will ensure training about the policy and what it means in practice occurs at least annually on an all-employee training day and will review commitment to it through the performance management aspect of the quality assurance and evaluation process.
Responsibilities of all Employees
Whilst the responsibility for ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination rests with management, the attitude of staff is crucial to the successful operation of the policy. In particular, all employees should:
comply with the policy and arrangements including training;
not discriminate in their day to day activities or induce others to do so;
not victimise, harass or intimidate other employees or learners on the grounds specified in the policy;
ensure learners understand the Policy and what to do if they have any concerns about how they are being treated in relation to it;
pay due regard to the policy in all dealings with learners including training delivery
ensure training delivery is used as an opportunity to actively promote equality & diversity and bring the policy to life for learners
challenge any incidents of prejudice or discrimination and inform their manager of these and if they become aware of any other discriminatory practice.
use appropriately inclusive language and behave in a way that will uphold the dignity of staff, learners, and stakeholders.
Reed Learning’s Equality and Diversity Policy is reviewed and updated annually.