Halfords Equality Policy sets out our commitment to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity. This applies to all our activities, including our role as an employer and as a provider of services, ensuring that all who, or wish to, access our services, current and potential colleagues will be treated fairly and without discrimination.
This policy, and associated policies and procedures, are in place to ensure equality for all, irrespective of protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 eg. age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity.
Halfords are dedicated to ensuring a culture where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. It is unequivocally committed to achieving equality of opportunity in service delivery and employment.
This policy aims to ensure that no unfair, bullying, harassment and discriminatory practices exist within the organisation. Discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity or any other form of difference will not be tolerated.
The organisation is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination (including harassment of any kind). The Halfords will take appropriate action on instances of discrimination and harassment that occur and will tackle discriminatory behaviour by learners, colleagues, subcontractors or any other service user.
Halfords will work with its partners to share good practice and to develop effective procedures and policies to combat all forms of unlawful discrimination.
This policy applies to all colleagues, applicants, service users and organisations / groups and sub-contractors working in partnership with or for Halfords. It applies to all our functions, services, policies, procedures, employment practices and activities. This also applies to all customers.
Halfords is committed to the following;
- promoting awareness of this policy to existing and prospective colleagues, subcontractors, and all other service users to ensure awareness of our commitment to promoting equality and their responsibilities in relation to this;
- continually monitoring and reviewing existing policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are non-discriminatory;
- compliance with all current equality legislation in particular the Equality Act 2010 in employment and service delivery;
- develop and implement policies that promote equal opportunity for all
- to reduce, stop and prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- tackling discriminatory behaviour, harassment and victimisation by colleagues, subcontractors, partners or other service users and applying disciplinary procedures or taking other appropriate measures when dealing with serious breaches of this policy;
- ensuring that harassment and discrimination are not tolerated under any circumstances;
- to ensure that recruitment, promotion, training, development, assessment, redundancy and service provision are determined on the basis of capability, qualifications, experience, skills and productivity;
- ensuring all prospective and existing colleagues, have equality of access and opportunities to achieve their full potential;
- promoting good relations and celebrating diversity;
- actively promote equality of opportunity and diversity;
- providing training for all colleagues on our policies, understanding their equality duties and equality and diversity
- providing support and guidance for learners and / or colleagues involved in investigations
Delivery of Services
Halfords believes that all service users are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.
- ensure that all services are provided fairly and without discrimination;
- reasonable adjustments will be made so that services are accessible to everyone who needs them;
- cultural and language needs will be recognised and services will be provided which are appropriate to these needs;
- provide a service that does not discriminate;
- ensure subcontractors have rigorous equality policies and practices prior to contracting;
- take complaints seriously. Current and potential service users and colleagues, who feel they have been unfairly treated, have the right to use Halfords’ complaints procedure.
Halfords is an equal opportunities employer, we are committed to achieving a working environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity.
- undertake to recruit, develop, train and retain people by valuing the varied skills and experiences and by treating colleagues fairly and equitably;
- tackle harassment and discrimination at work, and encourage an honest and open culture;
- work towards creating a workforce which reflects the diverse community we serve;
- ensure that no-one is unfairly discriminated against when applying for a job or during the course of their employment with the Halfords;
- ensure all colleagues have equal access to training and career development regardless of any of the considerations mentioned above;
- identify training needs of particular groups of colleagues who are under-represented in specific occupations and management posts will receive positive attention.
- wherever possible, advertise all vacancies simultaneously internally and externally and steps will be taken to ensure that knowledge of vacancies reaches underrepresented groups internally and externally.
- review selection criteria, job descriptions and specifications to ensure that they are non-discriminatory;
- undertake monitoring of the workforce and job applicants by ethnic origin, gender and disability, where required, we will consider the introduction of monitoring in other equality areas.
Commitment to Compliance
- fulfil its legal obligations under relevant equality legislation and in particular the Equality Act 2010
- satisfy the requirements of the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England Framework and the Skills Funding Agency guidance in relation to equality and diversity;
- adhere to the basic tenets of Every Child Matters;
- ensure that any contractors and organisations providing services on behalf of Halfords have similar commitments to equality.
Definition of Discrimination
Discrimination is unequal or differential treatment which leads to one person being treated more or less favourably than others are, or would be, treated in the same or similar circumstances on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation. Discrimination may be direct, indirect, by association, by perception, harassment or victimisation.
Discrimination can be caused by individuals, groups or institutions.
At an Institutional level, it is a collective failure of an organisation to provide appropriate and professional service and / or employment. Prejudices become embedded in policies, practices, procedures and criteria for decision making. These discriminate with the effect of excluding some people in favour of others. This could lead to unequal treatment, inequitable distribution of opportunities, power and resources, which in turn could deprive some people opportunities and a better quality of life.
At an individual level, a person may hold negative attitudes and use language that could result in inappropriate discriminatory behaviour or outcomes.
All forms of discrimination are unacceptable.
This occurs when a person or a policy intentionally treats a person less favourably than another on the grounds of a protected characteristic
This is the application of a policy, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but is detrimental or disadvantages a particular protected characteristic
Direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic
Discrimination by perception
Direct discrimination against someone because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic
Behaviour that is offensive even if it is not directed at them
Harassment by a third party
Harassment of colleagues by people they don’t employ
Someone is treated unfairly because they have made and / or supported a complaint or grievance under the Equality Act
Unlawful Reasons for Discrimination
Age: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their age. This applies to people of all ages. This does not currently apply to the calculation of redundancy payments.
Disability: It is not permissible to treat a disabled person less favourably than a non-disabled person. Reasonable adjustments must be made to give the disabled person as much access to the service and ability to be employed, trained, or promoted as a non-disabled person. A person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Gender Reassignment: A transsexual person is someone who proposes to, starts or has completed a process to change his or her gender. It is discrimination to treat transsexual people less favourably for being absent from work because they propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment then they would be treated if they were absent due to illness or injury.
Race: For the purpose of legislation and this policy ‘race’ includes colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their race, the colour of their skin, their nationality or their ethnic origin. A racial group can be made up of two or more different racial groups.
Religion or Belief: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their religious beliefs or their religion, including a lack of religion or belief. A religion must have a clear structure and belief system. Belief means any religious or philosophical belief, or lack of belief.
Gender: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of their gender. This applies to both men and women. Sexual harassment of men and women can be found to constitute sex discrimination.
Sexual Orientation: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their sexual orientation.
Marital and Civil Partnership Status: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of their marital or civil partnership status.
Pregnancy and Maternity: A woman is protected against discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity during the period of her pregnancy and any statutory maternity leave to which she is entitled.
Disability: It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of their disability and where necessary reasonable adjustments should be made to allow the learning experience to be fully encompassing.
Responsibility for the Implementation
Responsibility for achieving the objectives of this Policy, and for ensuring compliance with relevant Legislation and Codes of Practice, lies with Halfords
Senior Managers are expected to follow this Policy and ensure that all colleagues, subcontractors and service users do the same.
The co-operation of all colleagues is essential for the success of this Policy. All colleagues, subcontractors and service users of the Halfords are required to act in a way that does not subject any other colleagues or clients any form of discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, disability, religion, age or sexual orientation.
Halfords requires all its colleagues to behave in ways that promote equality and are non-discriminatory. Colleagues should participate actively in measures introduced by Halfords People Development Team to ensure that there is equality of opportunity and non-discrimination.
Breaches & Reporting Concerns
Should colleagues, through the course of their employment, be found to have caused or encouraged discrimination, this will be regarded as a serious offence, rendering them liable to disciplinary action. Colleagues may also be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by an Employment Tribunal and ordered to pay compensation to the person who has suffered as a result of discriminatory acts.
Colleagues should also draw the attention of management to alleged unlawful or unfair discriminatory acts or practices. In the event that an colleague is the subject or perpetrator of, or witness to, discriminatory behaviour, please refer to the Halfords Handbook or contact the HR Department.
An colleague who has a concern regarding unfair discrimination or harassment at work may use one of Halfords formal procedures e.g. grievance, bullying and harassment. This does not affect an colleague’s right of reference to an employment tribunal within the statutory time limits.
Monitoring and Review
We will monitor and review progress through existing quality monitoring, feedback and review mechanisms.
We will review this Equality and Diversity Policy every two years. The business, however, will review the policies earlier in line with any new, or changes in, legislation, developments within the organisation or any issues or concerns identified through the monioring and evaluation process.
Consultation and Feedback
This policy has been developed in consultation with colleagues and other stakeholders representing a range of equality strands.
Feedback on progress with implementing this policy will be gathered via existing mechanisms, including our learner surveys, focus groups, colleague perception and satisfaction surveys, equality related complaints and grievances, learner and colleague data monitoring and evaluation and feedback from all partners