Equal Opportunities Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy For Financial Year 2021/22

Policy Statement

SSGC understands that a strong business is built from its employees up. That is why we are dedicated to onboarding team members of the highest quality - and retaining top tier talent through fostering an equitable and honourable company ethos. In short, that is why we are an equal opportunities employer. 

We are firmly committed to a policy of treating all our employees and job applicants equally. SSGC works diligently to avoid unlawful discrimination across the board, including in recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy. 

We work hard to employ and promote employees solely on the basis of their abilities and qualifications, without regard to race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, marital or civil partnership status and/or disability. 

We appoint, train, develop and promote our quality team members on the basis of merit and ability alone.

We know, however, that the best policies are enacted through each one of us pulling our weight, across all tiers of our organization. We ask our employees to work with us to ensure that this policy is effective. To this end, we have a rigorous policy in place to manage cases of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and improper or unlawful discrimination. This is clearly outlined, and firmly enforced, helping SSGC foster a collaborative approach towards, and strong reputation for, equal opportunities. 


Aims

SSGC is committed to promoting equality and eliminating unlawful discrimination. However, we understand that it is crucial to back up ethical commitments with specific, material aims. Our Equal Opportunities Policy aims to do this by:

  • ensuring our workforce reflects the diversity of the community we serve; and
  • identifying special needs and taking steps to meet them.


Employment

We are taking concrete steps to achieve a fully representative workforce. These include:

  • Perfecting our recruitment and selection procedures.
  • Training our workforce in our equal opportunities policy.
  • Introducing flexible working arrangements.

SSGC recognises:-

  • That we exist to serve our customers;
  • That our customers will have a diverse range of needs, and that these must be reflected in our services;
  • That our workforce should reflect our customer base at all levels;
  • That our most meaningful service improvements can only be planned and delivered with the informed input of those who use them most: our customers;
  • That delivering our services in a non-discriminatory way is best achieved through regular monitoring and review.

SSGC will:-

  • Take any action necessary to ensure equality of opportunities for our workforce, and to eliminate unlawful discrimination;
  • Take action to ensure that equality is at the heart of all service provision throughout SSGC;
  • Takes steps to ensure that all providers of service on behalf of SSGC are aware of the need to operate without discrimination, and provide equal opportunities for all disadvantaged groups;
  • Seek to use its influence to promote equal opportunities in our wider community.

 In order to carry this out, SSGC will endeavour to:-

  • Provide enough resources to plan, carry out and monitor the policy;
  • Ensure that all our employees know about this policy and that everyone responsible is trained in how to carry it out;
  • Consult with our employees fully and openly to plan, carry out and monitor this policy;
  • Ensure that all information relating to this policy can be inspected;

We recognise, most importantly, that the success of this policy is measurable only through concrete actions and results. 

Sources of Recruitment

We conduct our recruitment processes in such a way as to find the best candidates based solely on abilities and qualifications. Moreover, we understand that recruitment starts long before the first interview. That is why we are committed to applying our equal opportunities policy rigorously and consistently at all stages of recruitment and selection.

Advertisements

SSGC recognises that suitably qualified candidates can come from all walks of life - so we will find our top talent only by spreading the net wide. As such, our recruitment publicity positively encourages applications from all sections of the community. To achieve this, where practical, we: 

  1. Ensure advertisements are not confined to those areas or publications which would exclude or disproportionately reduce the numbers of applicants of a particular gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or racial group;
  2. Avoid listing unnecessary requirements which would exclude a higher proportion of a particular gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or racial group, or which would exclude disabled job applicants;
  3. Avoid listing any requirements as to marital or civil partnership status;
  4. Publish vacancies to be filled by promotion or transfer to all eligible employees in such a way that they do not restrict applications in the above ways.


Selection Methods

At SSGC, talent is the core of our business. That is why we work consistently and carefully to select candidates of the highest merit across all levels of our organisation. And that is why we distribute this policy to all staff - especially those involved in recruitment, selection and promotion. We select solely on the basis of an objective appraisal of a candidate’s ability to carry out - or be trained to meet - the requirements and specifications of positions being filled. No less, and no more. 

We recognise that soliciting the best candidates confers a duty upon us as a company: we must ensure that the best candidates would be able to work with us. Disabled job applicants can therefore trust that we make reasonable adjustments to work provisions, criteria or practices, or to our premises to ensure that they can do their job without being placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with able-bodied persons. 

Selection Tests

We strictly ensure that our selection tests carry forward our policy of hiring based on competence and merit alone. Any selection tests used will measure the individual's actual or inherent ability to do or to train for the work or career - nothing more. Moreover, any tests we use are reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain relevant and free from any unjustifiable bias, either in content or in the way in which they are scored.

Applications and Interviewing

We work hard to carry out a robust and fair application process. As such, all applications are processed in the same way. Firstly, our short-listing, interview and selection team are clearly informed of the selection criteria and of the need for their consistent application. The applicant will be questioned only on material relevant to these criteria - and, where possible, will be interviewed by at least two people. 

If we need to assess whether personal circumstances will affect the performance of the job (for example, if the job involves unsociable hours or extensive travel), this will be discussed objectively, without detailed questions based on assumptions about race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, marital or civil partnership status, disability, children and/or domestic obligations.

Training, Transfer and Promotion

At SSGC we take this policy seriously, and empower our employees to do the same. We ensure our line managers are properly trained, supervised, and instructed on our policy, to help them identify discriminatory acts or practices and to ensure that they promote equal opportunity within their departments. This training also enables line managers to deal more effectively with complaints of bullying and harassment.

All persons responsible for selecting new employees, employees for training, or for transfer to other jobs, are instructed not to discriminate on the above grounds. 

SSGC also provides training to all employees to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the anti-harassment policy, and what they can do to create a work environment that is free of bullying and harassment.

We are meticulous in the application of this policy, and ensure that assessment criteria are similarly applied where a promotional system is in operation. The promotional system will be checked from time to time in order to assess how it is working in practice. If a group of workers predominantly of one race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or age group or a worker with a disability appears to be excluded from access to promotion, transfer and training and to other benefits, the promotional system will be reviewed to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination.

Terms of Employment, Benefits, Facilities and Services

All terms of employment, benefits, facilities and service are reviewed from time to time, in order to ensure that there is no unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, marital or civil partnership status or disability.

Equal Pay

SSGC is committed to equal pay in employment. We believe all employees should receive equal pay for work rated as equivalent or of equal value. In order to achieve this, we endeavour to maintain a pay system that is transparent, free from bias and based on objective criteria.

Grievances and Complaints

At SSGC we deal with all allegations of discrimination seriously, confidentially and speedily. To uphold both our business ethics and legal obligations, we do not ignore or treat lightly grievances or complaints about unlawful discrimination from members of a particular race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or age or from employees who have undergone gender reassignment, are married, have entered into a civil partnership or have a disability. 

We encourage our employees to raise such complaints promptly, and provide a clear and exhaustive grievance procedure through which they can safely do so. If the complaint involves bullying or harassment, the grievance procedure is modified - as laid out in our anti-harassment policy.

A functioning organisation depends upon an alliance of trust and integrity within its team. This is why we stress that our 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.

Monitoring Equal Opportunity

At SSGC we understand that a policy is only as good as the degree to which it is both effective and upheld. So we make sure to regularly monitor the effects of selection decisions and personnel practices and procedures, so we  can  check whether our equal opportunity standards are being met. This also involves considering whether standard working practices at SSGC are having any indirectly discriminatory effects. If changes are required, we are swift and firm in implementing them.


Approval For this Statement


This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 27/10/2020 signed by Frano Lubura, Quality Manager/General Manager.

                                                                                                   SSGC Ltd, Registered in England and Wales
                                                                                Telephone: 0845643 6852; Registration Number 04494633, VAT
                                                             Registered Office: Unit 19 Ergo Business Park, Kelvin Road, Swindon,Wiltshire, SN3 3JW