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Equal Opportunities Policy

Date published: 31 December 2021

Reference: EQB09.0

  1. General Statement

    1. PSC Support believes that equality of opportunity is a fundamental principle underlying a member owned and run community benefit society. We are also mindful of Acts of Parliament which have been passed to uphold certain principles of equality.
    2. PSC Support recognises that equality of opportunity is a complex issue that requires that individual needs are catered for and therefore equality consists of more than offering the same service or treatment to all. The aim, however, is to be fair to all whilst recognising individuality and difference
    3. We undertake to apply the following policy as a registered charity, service provider and employer and in our dealings with all other organisations and individuals.
    4. We call upon all supporters of PSC Support and all associates working in partnership with us from time to time, to consider the implementation of this policy as a personal responsibility of the highest priority.
    5. PSC Support will be mindful of disadvantage faced by people for whom the charity works.
    6. We are aware that passive implementation of such a policy would be inadequate and contrary to the spirit of cooperation. Therefore we will take active steps to attempt to increase confidence among those who might face discrimination as an everyday experience. Our aim is that all will experience equality when dealing with PSC Support.
    7. PSC Support will review the implementation of this policy bi-annually. Where a need for expert guidance or training is identified this shall receive priority in setting of time and financial budgets for the following year.
  2. Employment

    1. It is the intention of PSC Support to act as an employer with due regard to section 1 of this statement and with due regard to the law.
    2. All PSC Support vacancies will be suitably advertised with the object of encouraging applications from all those to whom the post may be of interest.
    3. All advertisements shall indicate that PSC Support endeavours to operate an Equal Opportunities Policy.
    4. Care shall be taken to ensure that there shall be no indirect discrimination which may result from stating or suggesting any requirement not necessary for the performance of the work.
    5. PSC Support shall use a standard application form which shall be reviewed bi-annually and which shall explain the Equal Opportunities Policy. The organisation will monitor all applications with regard to Clause 1.4. and in order to do this ask applicants to volunteer information about themselves as part of the application process
    6. Interview procedures and setting shall be organised so as to minimize discomfort and disadvantage on the part of any applicant. Due regard shall be paid by interview panels to cultural bias and the effect that it might have on such proceedings.
    7. PSC Support will endeavour to provide necessary adaptations to premises and equipment to optimise their use by staff and volunteers with due regard to any disability they may have, irrespective of whether this disability was present at the time of recruitment.
  3. Training

    1. Equal opportunities training shall be an integral part of the training programme of all staff and shall be mandatory where an awareness of equal opportunities does not already exist. Where ever possible volunteers shall be entitled to the same training offered to paid staff.
  4. Harassment

    1. PSC Support recognises that it is the responsibility of the employer to protect employees and volunteers from harassment of all types and to support employees or volunteers who experience harassment at work or as a result of their work.
    2. Complaints from staff members may be dealt with through the grievance procedure included in the Terms and Conditions of Employment.  Volunteers and the public should pursue complaints by contacting the chairperson of PSC Support or another suitable board member.  Any employee having difficulty with this process may alternatively raise the issue through their Trade Union or other recognised representative.
    3. PSC Support recognises that it is important that any such matters be dealt with promptly in order to minimise suffering and will act as quickly as resources allow.
    4. Where a grievance is upheld and the perpetrator is a staff member he/she shall be subject to disciplinary action according to normal employment procedure. Where the perpetrator is a volunteer or a member of the public the Chair (or other delegated board member) may take immediate action to prevent further harm or distress and then bring his/her action to the notice of the board at the first suitable opportunity.
  5. Flexible Working Practices

    1. PSC Support recognises that there is a balance between a person’s responsibilities as a worker and his/her responsibilities as a citizen and as a family member.
    2. PSC Support will actively consider proposals for flexible working practices and encourage mutual support so that employees of PSC Support meet all these responsibilities with the minimum of stress. PSC Support will be proactive in seeking novel and imaginative ways of working to suggest to employees and potential employees.
  6. Clients and Project Partners

    1. PSC Support should encourage all organisations with which it works or to which it supplies services to act in a manner which is supportive of equality of opportunity.
    2. Where any organisation with whom PSC Support works acts in a manner contrary to good Equal Opportunities practice PSC Support will consider writing to the organisation disassociating itself from those practices and offer assistance with remedial and improvement action. It shall be the expectation that PSC Support will be proactive in encouraging equality of opportunity within its sphere of influence.
    3. In all its work in training, consultancy and the delivery of services and in all its published material PSC Support will exercise care to act in a manner which displays respect for all people.
    4. PSC Support will evaluate delivery of its services with due regard to potential disadvantage and barriers that may be faced by clients or customers. PSC Support will endeavour to establish systems for alternative delivery of its services to ensure that disadvantage and barriers do not adversely affect access to services.