Equal Opportunities

Policy Statement

Equal opportunity policy
Green UK Holdings Ltd are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to a policy of treating all its employees and job applicants equally. The Company will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, transfer, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, other terms of employment, discipline, selection for redundancy and dismissal.

Our policy is designed to ensure that current and potential workers are offered the same opportunities regardless of sex, race, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, gender reassignment or any other characteristic unrelated to the performance of the job.

We seek to ensure that no one suffers, either directly or indirectly, as a result of unlawful discrimination. This extends beyond the individual’s own characteristics, to cover discrimination by association and by perception.

We recognise that an effective equal opportunity policy will help all employees to develop to their full potential, which is clearly in the best interests of both employees and our business. We aim to ensure that we not only observe the relevant legislation but also do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity.

We expect everyone who works for us to be treated, and to treat others, with respect. Our aim is to provide a working environment free from harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form that may affect the dignity of the individual.

We further recognise the benefits of employing individuals from a range of backgrounds, as this creates a workforce where creativity and valuing difference in others thrives. We value the wealth of experience within the community in which we operate and aspire to have a workforce that reflects this.

Discrimination may be direct or indirect, and can take different forms, for example:
– treating any individual less favourably than others on grounds of a protected characteristic (sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, marital status or civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity or gender reassignment)
– imposing on an individual requirement that are in effect more onerous than they are on others. This would include applying a condition (which is not warranted by the requirements of the position) which makes it more difficult for members of a particular group to comply than others not of that group

Indirect Discrimination
– discrimination by association, ie someone is discriminated against because he/she associates with someone who possesses a protected characteristic
– discrimination by perception, ie discrimination on the grounds that the person is perceived as belonging to a particular group (eg sexual orientation, religion or belief), irrespective of whether or not this is correct

– Treating a person less favourably because he or she has committed a “protected act”. “Protected acts” include previous legal proceedings brought against the employer or the perpetrator, or the giving of evidence at a disciplinary or grievance hearing or at tribunal, or making complaints about the perpetrator or the employer or their alleged discriminatory practices.

On all occasions where those in control of employees are required to make judgements between them, for example disciplinary matters, selection for training, promotion, pay increases, awards etc it is essential that merit, experience, skills and temperament are considered as objectively as possible.

Responsibility for this policy
The overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of this policy rests with the senior management of Green UK Holdings Ltd.

Managers and supervisors/team leaders have a crucial role to play in promoting equality of opportunity in their own areas of responsibility on a day to day basis.

All employees, irrespective of their job or seniority, should familiarise themselves with this policy, and be aware of their responsibility and role in promoting equality of opportunity and not discriminating unfairly or harassing colleagues, job applicants or ex-employees, nor encouraging others to do so or tolerating such behaviour. Employees are also encouraged to challenge any unacceptable behaviour should they either witness it or experience it directly. Disciplinary action, including dismissal, may be taken against any employee found guilty of unfair discrimination, harassment and/or victimisation.

Employees should be aware that not only is the employer liable for any cases of discrimination or harassment that occur, but individuals also may be held personally liable for their own acts and behaviour.

Recruitment and selection
Selection will, as far as possible, be conducted on an objective basis and will focus on the applicants’ suitability for the job and their ability to fulfil the job requirements. Our interest is in the skills, abilities, qualifications, aptitude and potential of individuals to do their jobs.

Wherever possible, all applicants will be interviewed by at least two interviewers. All questions that are put to the applicants will relate to the requirements of the job.

Questions asked of candidates will relate to information that will help us to assess their ability to do the job. Questions about marriage plans, family intentions, religious or political commitments, caring responsibilities, intention to join our pension scheme or to opt out, or about any other issues which may give rise to suspicions of unlawful discrimination should not be asked.

Selection tests will be specifically related to the job and measure an individual’s actual, or inherent, ability to do or train for the job.

With disabled job applicants, the Company will have regard to its duty to make reasonable adjustments to work provisions, criteria or practices or to physical features of work premises or to provide auxiliary aids or services in order to ensure that the disabled person is not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled.

Job adverts should encourage applications from all types of candidates and should not be stereotyped. They will normally state: “Green UK Holdings Ltd is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity”. When advertising a position which has traditionally been done by one sex, adverts should specify they are open to both sexes.

Training and development
We recognise that equal opportunity responsibilities do not end at selection and are committed to ensure that wherever possible all employees receive the widest possible range of development opportunities for advancement in line with our business needs.

All employees are encouraged to discuss their career prospects and training needs with their manager on a regular basis. Opportunities for promotion and training will be communicated and made available to everyone on a fair and equal basis.

Terms and conditions of employment
We will ensure that all of our employment policies including compensation, benefits and any other relevant issues associated with terms and conditions of employment, are formulated and applied in such a way as to remove/minimise any discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic (sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, marital status or civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, gender reassignment) or indeed any other characteristic unrelated to the performance of the job.

These will be reviewed regularly to ensure there is no discrimination. Length of service as a qualifying criterion for benefits will not exceed five years unless clearly justifiable. Employees will not be subjected to any detriment if they wish to join our pension scheme, nor will they be offered any inducement not to do so. This would include refusing promotion or training to someone who decided not to opt-out, or refusing or reducing a pay increase if it would bring the worker within the band of earnings that would make him/her eligible for auto-enrolment etc.

Grievances, disputes and disciplinary procedure
All allegations of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and speedily. The Company will not ignore or treat lightly grievances or complaints about unlawful discrimination from employees. Such complaints should be raised promptly under the terms of the Company’s grievance procedure.

If the complaint involves bullying or harassment, the grievance procedure is modified as set out in the bullying and harassment policy.

Employees will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if it is not upheld, unless the complaint was both untrue and made in bad faith.

We will not discriminate against individuals who have left our organisation, either by providing references that are not based on factual information or by failing to provide a reference when we would normally do so. The content of any reference will usually be restricted to confirmation of the dates of employment, the job title and the reason for leaving.

HR policies and procedures

Our HR policies and procedures will be reviewed regularly to improve, amend or adapt current practices to promote equality of opportunity within our business.

Relevant data will be collected to support this, and to provide the basis for taking appropriate positive steps to eliminate any potential direct or indirect discrimination. Personal details provided by employees or job applicants for the purposes of equal opportunity monitoring are confidential and will therefore be kept apart from all other records and not used for any other purpose.

Implementation, monitoring and review of this policy

Geoff Green, Managing Director has overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy, which will be reviewed on a regular basis following its implementation and may be changed from time to time.

Any queries or comments about this policy should be addressed to Geoff Green