1. Policy Statement
NA College is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and study and opposes all forms of unlawful discrimination in employment and against students on the grounds of the following ‘protected characteristics’ as defined in the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
NA College is committed to:
- providing equality of opportunity and opposing unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010;
- advance equality of opportunity of people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
1.1 Striving to ensure that the work and study environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is an important aspect of ensuring equal opportunities. NA College has a separate Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy, which deals with these issues.
1.2 The Equality Opportunities policy will be enacted through all projects delivered by NA College without exception and will be supported by associated implementation plans.
- Assessing the impact of policies and practices and reporting.
- Developing and Implementing Best Practice.
- Inclusive Practice for Students and Staff
- Promotion of Equality and Diversity, including relevant diversity events, & training
- Data and Information Provision, including appropriate monitoring and compliance reporting.
- Progress against actions and objectives will be reported in the Equality and Diversity Annual Reviews and Data Reports.
NA College and any sub-contractors will meet all statutory obligations under relevant legislation and, where appropriate, anticipate future legal requirements. NA College will promote this policy through a variety of medians including induction for new employees, programme inductions, team meetings, staff CPD days and will be accessible on the shared network available to all staff.
NA College are committed to ensuring that any procured sub-contractor provision will undertake a robust due-diligence process which will include demonstrating a commitment to the promoting equality in line with legal requirements and NA College’s expectations and policies.
2. Scope of Policy
2.1 The Equal Opportunities policy applies to students of NA College. Employees of NA College should refer to the NA College-Equal Opportunities.
The Company recognises its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy
3.1 Definition of Protected Characteristics:
- Age. The act protects people of all ages but remains the only protected characteristic that allows employers to justify direct discrimination, i.e. if an employer can demonstrate that to apply different treatment because of someone’s age constitutes a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim, then no discrimination will have taken place.
- Disability. The act includes a new protection arising from disability and now states that it is unfair to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with a disability. An example provided is the tendency to make spelling mistakes arising from dyslexia. Also, indirect discrimination now covers disabled people, which means that a job applicant could claim that a particular rule or requirement disadvantages people with that disability.
- Gender Reassignment. It is discriminatory to treat people who propose to start to or have completed a process to change their gender less favourably, for example, because they are absent from work or training for this reason.
- Pregnancy and Maternity. The act continues to protect women against discrimination because they are pregnant or have given birth.
- Race. The act continues to protect people against discrimination on the grounds of their race, which includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
- Religion or belief. The act continues to protect people against discrimination on the grounds of their religion or their belief, including a lack of any belief.
- Gender. The act continues to protect both men and women against discrimination on the grounds of their sex.
- Sexual orientation. The act continues to protect bisexual gay, heterosexual and lesbian people from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
- Marriage and civil partnership. The act continues to protect employees who are married or in a civil partnership. Single people are however not protected by the legislation against discrimination.
All alleged incidents of discrimination, harassment and/or victimisation will be dealt with according to the company policy and procedures.
3.2 Every possible step will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated appropriately and fairly and that objective criteria are used in:
- Student admissions, choice of programme of study, assessment decisions, grievance and disciplinary procedures.
3.3 Students are expected to respect the Equal Opportunities policy and practices in their dealings with members of the NA College community and to behave in a way which reflects and appreciates the diversity of our community. Students should not discriminate against or harass any other member(s) of NA College and/or a member of the public.
4. Customers, Suppliers and Other People Not Employed by NA College
4.1 NA College will not discriminate unlawfully against students, visitors, contractors and any other identified third party using or seeking to use the facilities and services provided by the NA College.
4.2 Students should report any bullying or harassment by a member of staff, fellow student or other identified party to a member of staff in whom they feel they can confide, a member of the Safeguarding team or NA College Senior Team who will take appropriate action.
5.1 NA College will provide training in equal opportunities to all managers and others likely to be involved in recruitment or other decision-making where equal opportunities issues are likely to arise.
5.2 NA College will provide training to all existing and new employees and students, and others engaged to work and/or study at NA College to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy and what they can do to help create a training environment free of bullying and harassment.
5.3 NA College will provide additional training to relevant personnel on a regular basis to enable them to deal more effectively with complaints of bullying and harassment.
5.4 NA College will provide training to all students engaged in programmes.
6. Individual Responsibilities
6.1 Every employee and student are required to assist NA College to meet its commitment to provide equal opportunities in employment and study, and avoid unlawful discrimination
6.2 Breaches of NA College’s Equal Opportunities Policy including acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation against employees, students or customers will be regarded as misconduct and subject to NA College’s disciplinary procedures for staff and
Students respectively, depending on the status of the alleged perpetrator. Discrimination harassment, bullying or victimisation may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal from employment or exclusion from study without notice
7.1 If you consider that you may have been unlawfully discriminated against, you may use the complaints procedure (for students) to make a complaint. If your complaint involves bullying or harassment, the investigation will be conducted in line with the NA College’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.
7.2 NA College will take any complaint seriously and will seek to resolve any complaint that it upholds. The complainant will not be penalised for raising a complaint, even if the complaint is not upheld, unless the complaint is both untrue and made in bad faith.
8. Access to the Policy
8.1 This policy is available to all students via the central drive, on induction and throughout the programme of learning.
8.2 The policy will be made available in alternative formats on request to HR.
9. Advice and Guidance on the Policy
9.1 The Management Team and delivery staff is responsible for ensuring students are provided with advice and guidance on the application of this policy.
9.2 Contractors, work placement providers and other external service providers engaged to do work for or on behalf of NA College will be required to adhere to the NA College’s Equal Opportunities Policy, if they do not have a similar policy within their own organisation.
10. Monitoring and Review
10.1 NA College will monitor this policy annually, or more frequently if required, to judge its effectiveness and it will be updated in accordance with changes in the law. In particular, NA College will monitor the ethnic and gender composition of the existing, student population and the number of people with disabilities within these groups.
The Equal Opportunities Policy will be reviewed in accordance with the results shown by the monitoring. If changes are required, NA College will implement them.
10.2 Information provided by student applicants for monitoring purposes will be used only for these purposes and will be dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
11. Other Relevant Policies/Acts/Support Agencies
11.1 This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:
- Recruitment Policy
- Disciplinary Policy & Procedures
- Anti-Bullying & Harassment Policy
- Grievance Policy & Procedure
- Behaviour Code of Conduct
- Safeguarding & Protecting Vulnerable Adults Policy
- E-Safety Policy
- The Equality Act (2010) and associated secondary legislation. Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (2008).
- The Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006).
- The Civil Partnership Act (2004).
- The Gender Recognition Act (2004).
- Criminal Justice Act (2003).
- The Human Rights Act (1998).
- Special Education Needs & Disability Act (2001)
- The Protection from Harassment Act (1997).
11.3 Support Agencies
- LBGT – Stonewall.Org