Equal Opportunities Policy

Policy Statement
Whitecode Group is committed to equality of opportunity and diversity in everything it does. Whitecode embraces diversity and will seek to promote the benefits of diversity in all of its activities. Whitecode will seek to develop a culture that reflects that belief, both in it’s own staff but also whilst working with customers and other suppliers.

Whitecode will seek to widen the mediums in which it recruits to ensure as diverse as possible employee and candidate base and acknowledges the duty of all employers in promoting equality of opportunity and furthering social inclusion.

Whitecode takes positive steps to ensure that all current and prospective
employees are not discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, creed/religion, ethnic or national origin and social background. Whitecode values the differences, needs and contributions a diverse workforce and customer base represents.

Whitecode places an obligation upon its entire staff to respect and act in
accordance with this policy. Whitecode is committed to providing equality and diversity training for all our staff. Whitecode extends this positive attitude in respect of equality and diversity to its customers, contractors and wider local community.

Whitecode aims to be an equality and diversity champion and leader for SME Employers in:

• promoting equality and diversity
• challenging and eradicating discrimination
• providing responsive services

Within the overall framework of its statement of purpose and values, Whitecode is committed to the principle and practice of equal opportunities and celebrates the diversity of people. Whitecode understands that these two concepts are not the same but are complementary. Without recognising and, most importantly, valuing differences between people, there cannot be true equality of opportunity. Moreover Whitecode promotes individual life-enhancing opportunities that respect all people.

This document sets out the Equality and Diversity Policy of the Whitecode Group. It explains why equality and diversity are important to it, the basic principles it will follow and how it intends to monitor and achieve its progress.

Introduction

It is the responsibility of every member of staff, contractor and visitor to
make sure they do not unlawfully discriminate and/or harass in any way. Each has a duty for owning and implementing this Equality and Diversity Policy.

All job applicants and staff will be informed of Whitecode Group commitment to equality and valuing diversity and the Equality and Diversity Policy will be made available on the Company website.

Scope

This policy describes the Whitecode policy on equality and diversity in relation to marketing, publicity and careers / school liaison.

The categories of people covered by this policy are:

• prospective staff
• current staff
• visitors, contractors and service providers (while they are on Whitecode Group premises or carrying out Whitecode business).

Whitecode recognises that many individuals and protected groups
experience unlawful discrimination and disadvantage on the grounds of their protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

• race
• disability
• gender
• sexual orientation
• religion or belief
• age
• gender re-assignment
• marriage or civil partnership status
• pregnancy and maternity
• caring responsibilities
• offending background
• socio-economic group

Whitecode believes that equality for all is a basic human right and actively opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. It values and celebrates the diversity in society and is striving to promote and reflect that diversity within Whitecode. This policy sets out how Whitecode will meet and, in some cases, exceed the legal requirements shared in the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”).

Definitions

• Discrimination
Whitecode will not accept behaviour towards people which results in them
being treated worse or less favourably than others are being treated because of a protected characteristic.
• Harassment
Whitecode will not accept behaviour towards people which is offensive;
might threaten their security; creates an intimidating or hostile environment which could hinder their performance; and/or affect their personal wellbeing.
• Victimisation
Whitecode will not accept one person treating another badly which makes the person feel that they are uncomfortable or a victim.

Responsibilities

The CEO and MD are responsible for:
giving a consistent and high profile lead on all equality issues
promoting the equality policy both internally and externally
making sure the Equality Policy is followed.

Company Directors and Senior Leadership Team are responsible for:
ensuring Whitecode meets all its duties under the legislation ensuring that the Equality Act 2010 is followed receiving and approving monitoring reports on the policy through the reports submitted by HR to the Board meetings on a regular basis. making sure all the staff know their responsibilities and receive support and training to carry these out
taking action against staff who discriminate, harass or victimise others for reasons of their protected characteristics

All staff are responsible for:
advancing equality of opportunity operating within this policy at all times
challenging inappropriate language and behaviours completing equality and diversity training

All contractors and service providers are responsible for:
following the Equality Act 2010 and any equality conditions in contracts and/or agreements.

Whitecode Group Actions

Marketing, Publicity and External Liaison Whitecode aims to provide a recruitment process designed to encourage applications from all sections of the community. All publicity and company information will take into account equal opportunities for example photographs used in publications will aim to show our diverse workforce.

Access and Environment

Whitecode is committed to develop its facilities and accommodation to improve access for visitors and staff with disabilities. All signs, regulations, communications and instructions will be as clear, as simple as possible and free from discriminatory language. Whitecode will allocate resources to reflect its commitment to managing equality and diversity.

Staffing

Managers involved in the recruitment and selection process will be supported by a professionally qualified HR Manager. Whitecode will ensure that fair and adequate arrangements exist for both effectively managing and recording all aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment and selection. Action will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and that decisions on recruitment, selection, pay, training, development, promotion, career management and termination of employment are based solely on objective and job related criteria.

Professional Development and Training

All staff are required to take part in equality and diversity training (via training sessions or e learning modules) in order to ensure everyone that works at Whitecode is aware of their role and responsibilities in respect of equality and diversity. Staff with management responsibility will attend further equality and Diversity training to support their line management responsibilities.

Reporting a breach under the Equality and Diversity Policy

If any individual feels that they have been treated less favourably and not in accordance with this policy, they should report this via Whitecode’s Complaints or Grievance Procedure. In the first instance, matters may be discussed informally with their line manager or the HR Manager.