Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define Universal Skills Centre Ltd ’s intent to respect equality and diversity. It defines the intentions of the Universal Skills Centre Ltd mission and values.
This policy is fully supported by the directors of Universal Skills Centre Ltd, the General Manager and lead IQA. It has been produced in collaboration with staff and participants.
Universal Skills Centre is committed to equality of opportunity, both as an employer and training provider, and as such, will endeavor to protect all employees, learners and contractors from any form of discrimination.
This Equality and Diversity Policy has been formed to ensure that Universal Skills Centre adhere to the general and specific duties, as set out in the Equality Act 2010. The Policy sits alongside the Safeguarding and Prevent, British Values and E-Safety policies.
The scope of this policy includes employees, participants, volunteers and organisations providing or receiving a service from Universal Skills Centre Ltd.
· All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary and participants on all programmes will be treated fairly and equally
· Selection of employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability
· Selection of participants to programmes and other activities will be on the basis of relevance to programme, taking into account the participants diverse
· Universal Skills Centre Ltd is committed to developing and maintaining a working/training/learning environment which promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bulling or harassment will be tolerated.
· Universal Skills Centre Ltd will consider the feelings of individuals and ensure that the work/training/learning they undertake is valued.
· Universal Skills Centre Ltd will make reasonable adjustments to working practices, equipment and premises and offer support to participants and staff to ensure that they are able to take a full and active part in employment and learning.
· Universal Skills Centre Ltd will encourage a diverse range of approaches in the delivery of training to staff and participants, in order that everyone can genuinely recognise the importance of an “inclusive” society which brings opportunities and access, not barriers to individuals.
· Universal Skills Centre Ltd will promote equality and diversity through marketing and promotional activities and literature. This will include high levels of accessibility.
· Universal Skills Centre Staff, Employers, Associates and Board of governors will complete three online modules for safeguarding, Prevent & British Values annually inline with USC’s policy for continued development and training.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces all previous anti-discrimination laws and serves to provide protection of the 9 Protected Characteristics, from the following prohibited conduct:
· Direct discrimination and Indirect discrimination
The Protected Characteristics covered under the Equality Act 2010, and in turn, this policy is:
3. Gender re-assignment
4. Marriage and civil partnerships
5. Pregnancy and maternity
7. Religion or belief
9. Sexual orientation
Discrimination, victimisation and harassment, whether direct or indirect, is unjust and all individuals have the right to expect fair and unbiased treatment. At Universal Skills Centre, all employees, learners, contractors and visitors will be valued equally and treated with due consideration to the Protected Characteristics.
Roles and Responsibilities
Employees and Apprentices will be made aware of the organisation’s policy on equality and diversity. During their induction they will be provided with a copy of the Apprenticeship Learner handbook which states our values, safeguarding, prevent, British values, equality and diversity, county lines, mental health first aid, E-safety and the complaints procedure, this can also be found on the website https://universalskillsgroup.co.uk/
All staff, Apprentices and partner organisations have defined responsibilities to support Universal Skills Centre Ltd to uphold their Equality and Diversity Policy. Should any party believe there has been a breach of any aspect of this policy then they should take the necessary steps to report this.
The ultimate responsibility for this policy rests with the General Manager, who will ensure that there are systems in place to put this policy into practice on a day-to-day basis and review it on an annual basis.
· The Quality & Compliance team is responsible for coordinating this policy with other policies, strategies and plans
· Inductors, tutors and assessors are responsible for signposting the policy to the learners and implementing the procedures with their allocated learners and other users of our service
· Learners are responsible for following the principles of equality & diversity in their working practices and interaction with their tutors, assessors and other learners.
Promoting British Values
Universal Skills Centre is committed to the promotion of British Values in line with the 2014 government initiative of the same name.
In line with Department for Education guidance, Universal Skills Centre will promote and integrate the following British Values:
· The rule of law
· Individual liberty
· Respect of those with different faiths and beliefs.
· Mutual respect
Universal Skills Centre seeks to implement the promotion of British Values in all sections of the company to ensure that effective equality and diversity provision is present throughout the business and teaching and learning activities.
Promoting Equality and Diversity
Universal Skills Centre aim to ensure a working environment where:
· Dignity and respect for all is promoted
· Individual differences and contributions are recognised and valued
· Discrimination, intimidation, victimisation, bullying or harassment are not tolerated in any format
· Decisions are based on merit, qualifications and abilities
· All people are able to give their best.
The promotion of excellent practice in Equality and Diversity are central to all Universal Skills Centre’s activities, including but not limited to:
· Teaching & Learning
· Pastoral Support
Employees and learners are entitled to dignity and respect in the workplace and learning environment, therefore, Universal Skills Centre endeavors to provide an inclusive learning environment and fully accessible curriculum.
As a company that delivers training services we want to be:
· A modern company with a diverse and growing economy, creating jobs and opportunities for all people
· A fair company where good care training is available to all, allowing everyone to benefit from learning and wider opportunities
· Working in partnership with professionals to enable everyone to live in safety, free from fear, harassment and intimidation
· Promoting “green” environments which can be sustained for future generations
Recruitment and Professional Development
Universal Skills Centre aims to actively promote the business as an equality aware employer and therefore ensure that all applicants receive full and fair treatment and are considered solely on their ability to do the job. All disabled applicants, whose skills and experience meet the essential criteria of the person specification, will be invited for interview.
Universal Skills Centre provide all employees access to staff development and resources to raise staff awareness of issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion, with the aim of supporting the development of the skills and potential and ensure that all staff teaching students with disabilities have access to relevant information and are fully supported in their work.
Teaching and Learning
Universal Skills Centre aims to provide a clear and coherent learning experience for all learners and maximise the opportunities for all learners to achieve the same learning outcomes.
Universal Skills Centre will do this by ensuring that teaching and learning materials are designed to be accessible to all learners wherever possible, and the provision of accessible examination and assessment arrangements are available for all leaners.
Universal Skills Centre ensures that, where practicable, all policies, documentation and publications are available to all employees, learners, contractors and the wider community.
Universal Skills Centre will also, where practicable, ensure that all existing and new buildings are accessible to all.
Complaints and Discrimination
· Universal Skills Centre will not treat lightly or ignore grievances from members of disadvantaged groups on the assumption that they are over-sensitive about discrimination
· Any employee that feels that they have been subject to discrimination by either the company, another employee or a user of our services will be encouraged to report the issue. Any such reports will betaken seriously and will be investigated through the Grievance Procedure
· Failure to comply with the equal opportunities and diversity policy and proven acts of direct discrimination will be handled under the companies Disciplinary Procedure
· Any complaints of discrimination raised by a learner/user of our services will be taken seriously and will be handled by the Complaints Procedure
· Any job applicant that believes they may have been treated unfairly should raise the issue with the General Manager or another Senior Manager if they feel the General Manager is at fault
· Any incidents of indirect or inadvertent discrimination will be investigated by the General Manager, who will determine if they should be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure
· Where incidents of victimisation and harassment by employees are proven, they will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure. Where incidents of victimisation and harassment by learners or users of our services are proven, the issue will be dealt with through their employer.
· This policy will be reviewed annually.
· The procedures used to implement this policy will be audited in respect of their effectiveness within the Leadership review.
· Progress against specific improvement targets will be agreed and managed.
· An annual self-assessment report will be published following a whole organisation review including equality and diversity.