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Ethics, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Policy

Introduction

P.S. Computer Services Ltd is committed to providing an inclusive work environment that encourages and welcomes diversity with a zero tolerance policy of harassment and discrimination. Our policy is to meet and exceed the demands of the Equality Act 2010.

The aim of this policy is to also ensure that all members of staff know that they are able to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and are able to achieve their full potential in their job without distraction. The Company will make decisions without reference to discriminatory criteria. All members of staff must be aware of this Policy and should abide by its terms at all times including in their dealings with clients, candidates and each other.

Scope

This policy applies to all staff who are in the employment of the Company and all contract staff who are contracted with the Company. It also applies to all other individuals with whom employees come into contact during the course of their employment, and in particular to job applicants.

Employee Conduct

If an employee is at all unsure of anything under this policy they should speak to their manager. Appropriate action under the disciplinary procedure may, however, be taken against an individual who makes a malicious complaint.

Any complaints of discrimination and/or breaches of this policy should be reported to the Managing Director as soon as possible.

Company Ethics

We have always exceeded the standards laid down by the REC Code of Good Recruitment Practice, ensuring that we conduct our business ethically and to the highest standards. We focus on long term client relationships built on trust and delivering an outstanding service.

Practically, we ensure that where appropriate, our staff are aware of and comply with the provisions of the following laws and any amendments to them:

  • Employment Agencies Act 1973;
  • Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003;
  • Agency Workers Regulations 2010;
  • Equality Act 2010;

along with legislation covering equal pay, taxation, health & safety, data protection, immigration, rehabilitation of offenders, telecommunications privacy and working time.

All recruitment procedures followed by the Company will be on the basis of fair and objectively justified criteria. Where job applicants have a disability the position of the applicant will be reviewed and all possible steps will be taken to ensure that the applicant does not suffer from any disadvantage in the recruitment process. The Company will ensure that the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 will be applied in all cases, in particular in relation to applicants who suffer from disabilities.

The Company only conducts business with companies who operate ethical opportunities and diversity policies. Where P.S. Computer Services’ attention is drawn to a client which does not comply with ethical procedures, a senior company representative will visit the customer to explain the problem. In the majority of cases the situation will be remedied; where no action is taken P.S. Computer Services will withdraw its services from the customer and, if the circumstances warrant, report the incident to the relevant authorities.

Equality & Diversity

We believe a diverse workforce is a more effective workforce. People of different backgrounds, education, and ways of thinking allow for a more robust source of ideas, innovation, management styles, and capabilities.

We are committed to meeting the objectives of the Equalities Act 2010. We treat people with protected characteristics with fairness and equality, and ensure that our ‘Personal Harassment and Bullying Policy’ is applied to everyone. For clarity, nobody will be treated less favourably than another on grounds of; age, sex, disability, gender reassignment, gender identity or gender presentation, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, being a parent, being a carer, race, religion/belief, and sexual orientation. This also includes anyone perceived to have one of the above characteristics whether they identify with it or not, and also covers anyone associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, one or more protected characteristics.

We have a zero tolerance policy on discrimination. Please see the sections titled ‘Discrimination’ and ‘Procedure for dealing with infringements of this policy’. Discrimination may be treated as part of the disciplinary procedure, or grievance procedure.

Where an employee has a disability or health condition we are committed to ensuring they are able to work conveniently and comfortably, using an occupational health service where necessary, so that their performance does not suffer. Where appropriate to job roles we offer home working and flexible working hours. The Company is required to make reasonable adjustments to seek to take away the disadvantage a disabled person may have in the workplace because of the disability. This means that P.S. Computer Services Ltd. will consider alternative means by which a disabled person may be able to carry out the job or alternatively whether other steps may be possible.

All current toilet facilities are gender neutral and the majority are wheelchair accessible.

Inclusion

An inclusive policy promotes staff satisfaction and retention, reducing costs, and maximising employee experience. We believe that a truly inclusive workplace allows everyone to feel safe and relaxed about their identities, allowing them to focus 100% on their job without the expectation, or worry, of harassment. A workforce who can focus 100% on the job in hand results in a more successful company. Nobody should need to spend time worrying about who knows about their protected characteristics and also know that there are policies in place to protect them should they experience harassment. This policy should be read in-conjunction with the Company’s ‘Personal Harassment and Bullying Policy’.

The Company has a zero tolerance policy of harassment based on any grounds stated in the Equalities Act 2010 in addition to recognising people who act as carers, and the whole spectrum of gender identities, not just the gender binary identities of male and female specified by the Equalities Act 2010. Harassment may be treated as part of the disciplinary procedure, grievance procedure or as sexual harassment depending upon its nature.

Discrimination

The types of discrimination we recognise are listed below and apply to all the protected characteristics listed in the section headed ‘Equality and Diversity’.

Direct Discrimination

Direct Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favourably than another person on any of the aforementioned grounds.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs when a requirement or condition is applied to an employee, but the employee finds they are not able to meet this because they possess a protected characteristic, and the requirement or condition is not justified. This means that if the requirement or condition has a disproportionate effect on the particular group, it will be indirect discrimination.

Associative Discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their association with somebody who possesses a protected characteristic.

Perceptive Discrimination

Perceptive discrimination occurs when somebody is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that they have a particular protected characteristic when they in fact do not possess that characteristic.

Instances of Discrimination

Individuals can be subjected to discrimination in a wide variety of ways. These include, but are not limited to the following activities:

  • Creation of job adverts.
  • Writing recruitment literature and advertising.
  • Judging the suitability of a candidate.
  • Promotion and career development.
  • Providing opportunities for training and development.
  • Writing terms and conditions of employment.
  • Providing access to employment related benefits and facilities.
  • Grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures.
  • Selection for redundancy.

Procedure for dealing with infringements of this policy

This policy makes it clear that any form of discrimination, intended or accidental, is not acceptable. Infringements of this policy will be dealt with seriously as part of the disciplinary procedure, grievance procedure or as sexual harassment depending upon its nature. The Company may involve either informal or formal action depending on the seriousness of the case.

The policy will be amended as appropriately to meet the demands of future legislation

Personal Harassment and Bullying Policy

General

This policy applies to all staff employed by the Company and all contract staff who are contracted with the Company. It also applies to all other individuals whom employees come into contact with during the course of their employment, including customers, suppliers and job applicants.

Definition of harassment

Harassment describes any behaviour that makes the recipient feel isolated, threatened, humiliated, undermined or reduced in dignity or respect. This policy covers all forms of harassment, victimisation and discrimination including, but not exclusive to age, sex, disability, gender reassignment, gender identity or gender presentation, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, being a parent, being a carer, race, religion/belief, and sexual orientation, or any other group or individual with protected rights and characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010. It also includes bullying and other inappropriate behaviour which leads to the detriment of others.

Any instances of harassment found to be upheld following a disciplinary investigation may result in action being taken against the individual(s) involved up to and including summary dismissal.

Expected behaviour

The Company values the individuality and contribution of all its staff and is committed to ensuring that all staff are treated equally on their merits and seeks to ensure that the working environment is free from harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination. The Company deplores any and all forms of harassment, bullying or discrimination, whether intended or accidental, and will respond seriously to any situation where it is apparent that these have arisen.

Although the Company will act to prevent harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination as far as possible, each employee has an equal responsibility for their own behaviour and for ensuring that they comply with this policy.

If an individual feels that they are being harassed, bullied, victimised or discriminated against in any way, or if they are aware of any cases of harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination affecting others, then they should raise the matter with their manager who will consider the necessary action to be taken. If necessary the complaint can be raised through the Company’s grievance procedure

Managers

All managers have a particular responsibility to discourage and prevent unequal treatment from occurring and must ensure they:

  • Uphold the values of the Company and the provisions of this policy and do not encourage harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination through their own actions;
  • Take prompt action to stop these as soon as it is identified;
  • Take allegations of this behaviour seriously and ensure there is no victimisation of any member of staff who makes or assists someone else to make a complaint;
  • Ensure no offensive or potentially offensive material is displayed at work; and
  • Make clear that harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination in any form is unacceptable and that it will be dealt with seriously as a disciplinary matter, under the disciplinary procedure.

If you are at all unsure of anything under this policy you should speak to your manager. Action will be taken to ensure that an individual who raises an issue or brings a complaint under this policy will not suffer any form of victimisation for having done so.

Appropriate action under the disciplinary procedure may, however, be taken against an individual who makes a malicious complaint.

Raising a complaint about harassment, discrimination or bullying

Informal complaint

If an employee is, or feels they are, the victim of minor harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination, they should make it clear to the harasser on an informal basis that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask the harasser to stop. If the employee feels unable to do this verbally then they should hand a written request to the harasser.

Formal complaint

Where the informal approach fails or if the harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination is more serious, the employee should write to the Managing Director formally complaining about the behaviour.

The Managing Director or a designated senior member of staff will investigate the complaint thoroughly in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Those involved in the investigation will be required to act in confidence and any breach of confidence will be a disciplinary matter.

When the investigation has been concluded, a draft report of the findings and the investigator’s proposed decision will be sent in writing to the employee and the alleged harasser.

Should the conclusion of the investigation, and the report, indicate that the complaint is well-founded, that harasser will be subject to disciplinary action. An employee who receives a disciplinary award as a result has the right of appeal.

An employee bringing a complaint of harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination can be assured that they will not be victimised for having raised the complaint. However, any individual who brings a complaint that is found to be untrue or with malicious intent will themselves be subject to disciplinary action.

Harassment by third parties on employees

The Company will take steps to protect employees in situations where they experience repetitive harassment related to any protected characteristic, listed in the section marked ‘Definition of harassment’, by third parties, for example customers, suppliers, members of the public. Where this occurs the employee must report it immediately to their manager who will deal with all complaints.