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Hawk Training | Our Equality and Diversity Policy

ISO 9001:2008
QMF 506
Date 10/01/2018
Issue No. 7

This document sets out the policy to be implemented throughout Hawk Training's Provision and Services:

1.0 Introduction

This Equality and Diversity Policy is designed to implement the commitment of Hawk Training to Equality and Diversity.

Our Equality Vision is to create and maintain an inclusive working and learning environment that respects and celebrates difference. This helps create an ethos and culture where all feel valued and empowered, regardless of the many ways that people are different. This may include, for example, age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation, social-economic background or class, and trans gender.

Above E&D vision statement to be agreed

We believe that this vision of equality and diversity brings tangible benefits for our learners, and for the employers that we work with.

For our learners, this includes a training environment personalised to their individual requirements where they can participate fully, give their best and achieve their full potential in a climate free from discrimination or harassment.

For our employers, equality brings benefits for core business, for example:

  • A more diverse workforce, bringing a wider range of individual strengths, experiences and perspectives
  • Increased employee satisfaction and motivation, which helps attract new staff and retain those already there, reducing recruitment costs and increasing productivity
  • Improved understanding of the diverse groups of potential and existing customers, providing a better service and providing access to markets that may not previously have been tapped into
  • Finding workers to fill skills gaps
  • Improved organisational image across a wider audience.

The Equality Act 2010 introduces the term ‘protected characteristic’ to refer to aspects of a person’s identity explicitly protected from unlawful discrimination. The Act also introduces a Public Sector Equality Duty to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality and foster good relations. This policy is designed to implement these requirements. Appendix A provides further information on these legal requirements.

2.0 Equality and Diversity Policy Statement and Expectations

Hawk Training seeks to create and maintain an inclusive working and learning environment that respects and celebrates difference. This helps create an ethos and culture where all feel valued and empowered, regardless of the many ways that people are different. This may include, for example, age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation, social-economic background or class, and trans gender.

Hawk Training has zero tolerance to any form of bullying, discrimination or harassment, on any of the above or other grounds

We expect all who work and learn at Hawk Training to abide by this policy statement. This includes staff, learners, employers, trustees and visitors.

3.0 Roles and Responsibilities

Hawk Training will:

  • ensure publications, marketing and promotional materials, key documents such as handbooks, and staff, employer and learner recruitment procedures endorse and support equality and diversity
  • seek to recruit the full diversity of staff, to bring a range of experiences and perspectives to the workforce and to provide a range of role models and ambassadors to our learners
  • ensure learner recruitment procedures will be free from bias and proactively promote equality and diversity
  • work with learners to plan the learning programme, materials, methods and resources to take into account personal needs and aspirations and equality of opportunity without bias or discrimination.
  • make participants in the learning process aware that they have a legal and formal duty to play their part in this policy, and positive steps will be taken to ensure no form of unlawful discrimination occurs.
  • ensure that learning takes place in a supportive environment free from discrimination or harassment.
  • ensure that equality and diversity is built into all aspects of the apprenticeship programme processes.
  • Actively promote British values to help:
    • Create ‘safe spaces’ for dialogue and discussion
    • Provide opportunities to challenge views and bring a ‘counter-narrative’
    • Identify and protect students vulnerable to extremist ideologies
    • prepare learners to live and work In Britain’s complex multicultural society
  • continue to provide training in equality and diversity to learners and staff, so that all learners and staff at Hawk Training have the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence and to deal with equality & diversity issues in a professional manner
  • deal with all allegations of safeguarding, discrimination, harassment and victimisation sensitively and investigate fairly and thoroughly.
  • treat any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation carried out by an individual as a matter for possible disciplinary action
  • lead by example in our dealings with learners, employers and any other contacts.
  • support employers to improve their equality and diversity practices.
  • use analysis of data to inform future planning, for example to improve the representation, participation and success of under-represented and under-achieving groups, and to challenge stereotyping.

Learners are responsible for:

  • treating tutors, other learners and work colleagues with dignity and respect.
  • not doing anything that would discriminate or harass others because of their race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, personal background or circumstance
  • reporting any issues of discrimination, bullying or harassment

Employers are expected to:

  • abide by this equality and diversity policy.
  • have their own equality and diversity policies in place, including those associated polices.

 It is the responsibility of all staff, learners, and employers of learners to work together towards combating all forms of discrimination. This includes reporting all incidents of discrimination using Hawk Training procedures.

Breaches of this equality and diversity policy will be taken seriously and may be regarded as misconduct. For staff at Hawk Training, for example, this may result in disciplinary action. For learners, this may involve disciplinary action, including suspension or withdrawal from the training programme. For employers, this may involve cessation of a learning contract.

4.0 Support for Disabled Learners

We will encourage the integration and inclusion of disabled learners into the Centre.  Learners will be offered individualised programmes of development to assist to achieve their personal learning goals. All reasonable adjustments will be made to support disabled learners.

Learners will be invited to access additional support and refer to our Disability Discrimination Statement and Disclosure procedure

Hawk Training provides a wide range of additional support to meet their individual requirements.  We respect the individual’s right to confidentiality, so any information provided will be kept private and will not be passed to anyone without the person’s explicit consent.

If a person has requested additional support they may also arrange a confidential interview with a member of the safeguarding team.

5.0 Monitoring and Evaluation

Hawk Training’s Senior Management Team will monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy, which will include the following:

  • Routinely analyse E&D learner statistical reports to identify areas of under-representation and achievement, for example statistics about learner recruitment, success and destination, by gender, age, ethnicity, learning difficulty, disability and safeguarding. Currently, sexual orientation and religion and belief are not collected during enrolment but this plans to collect and analyse this information is planned in the next three years. 
  • Report on equality gaps, targets, action and progress at Staff and Management meetings
  • Scrutinise reported incidents including incidents of abuse, bullying and harassment and unfavourable treatment;
  • Analyse E&D staff statistical reports, such as outcomes from recruitment and selection, to ensure Hawk Training recruits and retains a diverse workforce.

Appendix A. Legal Framework

The Equality Act 2010 introduces the term ‘protected characteristic’ to refer to aspects of a person’s identity explicitly protected from unlawful discrimination. Nine are identified:

  • Race                                                              
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion and belief
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy / maternity
  • Marriage / civil partnership.

However, other aspects of a person’s identity, background or circumstance can cause them to experience discrimination, for example a person’s socio-economic status, class or background. Hawk Training is committed to advancing equality and eliminating discrimination on these and other grounds

The Equality Act 2010 introduces a Public Sector Equality Duty, in force from April 2011, https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/public-sector-equality-duty, which requires Hawk Training and employers to give due regard to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations.

‘Advance’ involves having due regard to the need to:

  1. remove / minimise disadvantages experienced by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic
  2. take steps to meet needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who don’t share it
  3. encourage persons with a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activities where participation by such persons is disproportionately low

‘Foster good relations’ includes having due regard to tackle prejudice and promote understanding.

 The Duty covers the nine protected characteristics:

The Equality Act 2010 recognises the following types of discrimination:

  • Direct discrimination, including associative and perception discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Harassment by others
  • Victimisation
  • Discrimination arising from a disability
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments

 Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly, or less favorably than another person, because they have a protected characteristic. This often arises because of assumptions, stereotyping or prejudice. Direct discrimination also covers association discrimination or perception discrimination. This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with a person who has the protected characteristic or because they are perceived to have a protected characteristic.

Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied that appears to affect everyone equally but which in fact puts people who share a protected characteristic at a disadvantage.

Harassment occurs when someone behaves in such a way that their conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an environment that is offensive, hostile, degrading, humiliating or intimidating for a person, where:

  • this is related to a protected characteristic (except pregnancy and maternity or marriage and civil partnerships)
  • this is of a sexual nature (sexual harassment)
  • a person is treated less favourably because they have either submitted to or rejected sexual harassment, or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment (this is known as ‘consequential harassment’).

Harassment by others applies to age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act is clear in terms of the responsibilities of employers ensuing that employees and Learners are not placed at risk from this type of harassment. For example, employers are potentially liable if they are aware that harassment has taken place and have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it from happening again.

Discrimination arising from a disability occurs when a disabled person is treated less favourably than others because of something connected to their impairment

Failure to make reasonable adjustments occurs when an organisation fails to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person, to avoid the disabled person being placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared with a non-disabled person.

Victimisation occurs when a person experiences disadvantage because they have supported someone in making a complaint or an allegation of discrimination, or because they personally have made an allegation of discrimination.

 (N.B. Appendix A has been adapted from Christine Rose (2011) The New Equality Act 2010: What does it mean for the learning and skills sector?)