Equal Opportunities

Equal Opportunities

Equal Opportunities

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA) prohibits sex discrimination against individuals in the areas of employment, education, and the provision of goods, facilities and services and in the disposal or management of premises. It also prohibits discrimination in employment against married people. It is not unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are not married. Victimisation because someone has tried to exercise their rights under the SDA or Equal Pay Act is prohibited.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 (EPA) gives an individual a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, where the man and the woman are doing:

Like work; or
Work rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation study; or
Work that is proved to be of equal value.
The employer will not be required to provide the same pay and benefits if it can prove that the difference in pay or benefits is genuinely due to a reason other than one related to sex.

The EPA has been interpreted to cover indirect sex discrimination as well as direct discrimination i.e. where the pay difference is due to a condition or practice which applies to men and women but which adversely affects a considerably larger proportion of one sex than the other and it is not justifiable, irrespective of sex, to apply that condition or practice. So, for example, the fact that a woman is paid a lower hourly rate than a man because she works part-time and he works full-time is unlikely to be a good defence to an equal pay claim.

The EPA applies to England, Wales and Scotland.

As an Equal Opportunities Employer we are committed to judging people solely on their ability to do the job regardless of any other factors. Within the field of Equal Opportunities we do not see Age as being a separate issue. This is applied to ALL aspects of our business. At any one time our temporary workers in place can range in age from below twenty to over seventy, with a fair representation of all age groups in between. All our candidates put forward for permanent positions are selected solely on their ability to do the job in question. Their details are presented to clients minus their personal details to encourage judgement and short listing for interview on the basis of their skills and abilities to fulfil the requirements of the post. Consultants are trained to put forward all candidates who possess the appropriate skills and ability and to do the job and to concentrate on these virtues when discussing their suitability with clients. Consultants are also encouraged to point out the benefits of more mature or younger candidates to clients. In many cases successful candidates have not been from age groups the client had visualised (or even specified) but have been the right person for the job and have gone some way to challenge previously held attitudes and beliefs in the employing organisation.

U&P recognises that age discrimination is wasteful of talent and is harmful to individuals and organisations. Through age discrimination Commerce and Industry are potentially missing a committed sector of the working populace with much to offer in terms of skills and experience. People who could give an organisation a competitive edge.

There are a great number of benefits in having an age diverse workforce. We have a very low rate of absenteeism and have found that our employees are able to benefit from each others varying degrees of experience and skills. We are able to offer a certain degree of flexibility in our working practices which enables all our members of staff, regardless of age, to contribute fully to the business. A major benefit in that having representatives from nearly all age groups is that we are able to empathise with candidates and temporary workers, regardless of age, with regards to issues and concerns they may have with respect to the world of work. Even before the campaigns raising awareness of Age Discrimination, we were fully aware of the imbalances in the recruitment industry as regards age issues. Older candidates feel able to raise issues with older consultants who they feel will understand any problems (real or perceived) that they may be facing. This is also true of younger candidates. Having consultants with an awareness and empathy for older and younger candidates we are able to use the relationships and trust built with our clients to promote candidates that may not have been previously considered for positions or assignments.

This company aims to be an equal opportunity employer, and has a policy for this purpose.

This policy covers all aspects of employment, from vacancy advertising, selection recruitment and training to conditions of service and reasons for termination of employment.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively (and for no other purpose) the company maintains records of employees' and applicants' racial origins, gender and disability.

Ongoing monitoring and regular analysis of such records provide the basis for appropriate action to eliminate unlawful direct and indirect discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.

The company's long term aim is that the composition of our workforce should reflect that of the community. Timetabled targets will be set for groups in the community that are identified as being underrepresented in the workforce. Where necessary, special steps, as permitted by the relevant Acts of Parliament, will be taken to help disadvantaged and/or underrepresented groups to compete for jobs on a genuine basis of equality.

The company's EOEP, and the measures to implement it, have been devised on the basis of advice from the relevant bodies as well as in consultation with appropriate union and/or employee representatives.

The managing director is responsible for the effective operation of the company's EOEP.

A copy of the EOEP is available from the managing director.