Equality andDiversity Policy

Accent Catering Services Ltd values the diversity of its staff and customers. We aim to make our services as accessible and responsive as possible to all existing and potential customers, and to provide a service to them which recognises and respects their differences. We recognise that our ability to meet their needs is improved by having a diverse workforce which generally reflects our customer base. We also wish to provide the best opportunities to all of our employees based on their abilities and potential.?

This policy covers all aspects of employment including advertisements, recruitment, induction, pay, conditions of service, staff development, change management, promotions, grievance and disciplinary procedures, training and development and assessment. It applies also to relationships with suppliers and contractors, as well as to potential employees.?

It is not contractual, but indicates the way Accent Catering Services Ltd wishes to address diversity in the workplace.?


Aims of this policy

Whilst we fully accept all of our responsibilities under current legislation, we also aim to go beyond the strict confines of the law to provide equality of opportunity for all. We will continue to formulate and review policies to that end. We aim to:

  • recognise that everyone has a right to their distinctive and diverse identities
  • have a workforce which generally reflects the customers we serve
  • understand how diversity can improve our ability to deliver better services
  • provide services which are responsive to our customers’ needs
  • provide all employees with the necessary training and development they need to contribute to our goals
  • provide a supportive, open environment where all employees may use their talents fully, and where employees and customers are treated fairly and with dignity and respect, in an environment free from abuse or offensive behaviour, bullying or harassment, intimidation or prejudice regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, marital status, age, disability, gender identity, religion or belief, impairment, marital status, responsibility for dependents, social background, employment status or any other individual characteristic which may unfairly affect a person’s opportunities in life.

Furthermore, we recognise the benefits of helping our employees to balance the responsibilities of their work and private life.

Learning to work with people’s differences, visible or not, enables us to all work together effectively and helps us to anticipate and meet the needs of all of our customers; recruit, retain and develop the best people; act responsibly in the communities of which we are a part; and also fulfill our legal commitments.?


Equal Opportunity

We seek to provide equality of opportunity for all applicants and employees via our recruitment, selection, development and promotion policies. In addition to this equality and diversity policy, we also have a separate equal opportunity policy which aims to ensure everyone receives treatment that is fair, equitable and consistent with their skills and abilities.?


Actions taken?

The actions we will take to make this policy work include:?

  • providing training and communications to raise awareness and understanding of diversity and equal opportunities issues, to show their impact on the business and individuals?
  • through the above, ensuring that decisions on recruitment, access to training and promotion are made only on the basis of ability?
  • regularly reviewing our employment policies to ensure that people are treated fairly, equitably and consistently with their skills and abilities?
  • developing patterns of work which are consistent with the need of all staff to maintain an appropriate work-life balance?
  • reviewing working arrangements to ensure that they do not restrict the opportunity for employment or career progression of members of disadvantaged groups?
  • monitoring the composition of our workforce to provide us with robust data to evaluate the effect of our policies
  • routinely monitoring all actions under the grievance and disciplinary procedures by gender, race, disability, age and any other criteria we deem to be appropriate?
  • providing the opportunity for employees who think they have been treated in any way contrary to this policy, to raise and resolve issues.?

Managers' responsibility?

The Managing Director has overall responsibility for ensuring the implementation of this policy.?

As employers we are liable for the actions of our workers and therefore all of our managers are responsible for this policy’s successful implementation within their own departments and should take steps to ensure staff working for them understand and follow this policy.


Employees' responsibility?

This policy applies to all employees, who are required to understand and follow this policy.


The working environment?

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that our working environment does not prevent people from taking up positions for which they are suitably qualified. This may include physical adaptions or more flexible ways of working.?


Employment policies?

Our employment policies and procedures will be continually reviewed to ensure compliance with this policy, to reflect current best practice and to remove barriers experienced by members of disadvantaged social groups in seeking employment with us, and working for us.?


Recruitment/work experience?

Induction training for all new recruits will be tailored to individual needs, but will in all cases include awareness of our diversity policy and how it applies to individuals.?

We will then continue to take specific steps to raise awareness of diversity throughout the business, initially particularly targeting employees involved in recruitment and selection processes. Publicity will be developed and disseminated in ways which bring diversity issues to the attention of all employees and people who have dealings with our business. A wide range of cultures will be displayed and celebrated in our publicity material.


Career development/training?

We recognise that our ability to meet our clients’ diverse needs is improved by having a diverse workforce which has the skills and understanding to achieve our service objectives. We will take all appropriate steps to ensure that all staff receive fair consideration of their training and development needs and promotion opportunities to enable them to develop their full potential within Accent Catering Services Ltd.?

Standard training modules, reference manuals and training materials will be updated where necessary.?


Retention, retraining and redeployment?

Any employees whose circumstances change whilst employed by us will be given full support by the business to maintain or return to a job appropriate to their experience and abilities.?


Flexible working?

We will consider requests for flexible working under our policies in a way which fairly balances the needs of the individual and our business.?


Involvement

We will take appropriate steps to encourage the participation of all employees to ensure that, wherever possible, our employment practices recognise and meet their needs and will involve our staff in determining what can be done to make sure they develop and use their abilities at work.?


Harassment

Harassment includes behaviour that is offensive, frightening or in any way distressing. We have a separate policy on bullying and harassment which makes it clear that such behaviour is totally unacceptable.?


Customer care?

We undertake to listen to our customers and involve them in the development of services which recognise and value their diversity.?


Positive action?

Positive discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age is unlawful. It is however lawful to provide specific training or development opportunities aimed at under-represented groups to enable them to compete equally for job opportunities with the remaining workforce and we will do these wherever we feel it may be necessary to promote our diversity policy.?


Monitoring performance

Accent Catering Services Ltd will monitor its progress towards diversity by doing the following:?

  • monitoring the ethnic, gender, age and disability profile of our employees to enable us to understand the composition of our workforce to identify any areas of inequality?
  • monitoring applicants for jobs, training and development, grievances, disciplinary hearings, dismissals and other reasons for leaving?
  • monitoring employee opinions and comments though an annual employee survey, employee forums and feedback via the appraisal system
  • performance monitoring through customer feedback, surveys, focus groups, and proper investigation of any customer complaints

Breach of this policy?

Any employee who feels he/she has been treated in a way which is contrary to this policy should raise this either formally through the grievance procedure, or informally with a senior manager, or a member of HR.?

Any breaches of this policy by employees will be fully investigated and may lead to disciplinary action.?


Implementation, monitoring and review of this policy?

Ian Crabtree, Managing Director has overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy, which will be reviewed on a regular basis following its implementation (at least annually) and additionally whenever there are relevant changes in legislation or to our working practices.?