Inclusion, diversity and equal opportunities policy

Equal opportunities statement

At dxw, we value people and believe that having a team of individuals with different backgrounds, views and experience makes us a better company. dxw is committed to retaining and recruiting people who are passionate about ‘doing public good’. We build, design and create for a diverse range of people and aim for our staff to reflect that diversity.

Staff and candidates will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender, sex, physical appearance, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy, guardianship, carer or parental status, race, skin colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, and religion or belief. We recognise that this list can never be exhaustive, and there will be other avenues of discrimination that we will have missed that are included in this policy.

When we talk about inclusion at dxw we are referring to our staff being treated fairly and respectfully, having equal opportunities, and removing perceived or tangible barriers to being part of our organization and progressing within it to ensure greater equity. We aim to provide a work environment that is accessible, welcoming, and empowering for all.

About this policy

This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including recruitment, pay and conditions, holiday, sickness, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

This policy has been agreed and implemented following consultation with an outsourced Human Resources consultant.

This policy covers all levels and types of staff, including leadership, employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers, and agency workers.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time upon any learnings.

Who is responsible for this policy?

Directors and the HR Manager have overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with discrimination law. Day-to-day operational responsibility for this policy, including regular review of it, has been delegated to the HR Manager.

All directors, heads of departments, and managers at dxw must set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example, and ensure that they adhere to the policy and promote our aims and objectives with regard to equal opportunities. Directors, heads of departments, and managers will be given appropriate training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practices.

Anyone involved in recruitment must contact their line manager or the HR Manager to request training or further information.

Anyone with questions about the content or application of this policy should contact their line manager or HR Manager to request further information or training.

This policy is reviewed annually by the HR Manager and directors in consultation with an outsourced HR team.

Staff and contractors are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved by contacting a director or the HR Manager.

Discrimination

Discrimination against, or harassment of anyone in or outside of the workplace is prohibited.

The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:

  • Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views, their sexuality, or a disability.
  • Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion, or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others.
  • Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for them.
  • Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.

Recruitment and selection

Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit and against objective criteria that aim to avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person and with the involvement of the commercial operations team. Our recruitment procedures must be reviewed at least annually including the Diversity and Inclusion Group to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.

Vacancies should always be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market and, where relevant, to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or underrepresented in our organisation. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying, and should be reviewed by the Diversity and Inclusion Group before being published. Vacancies should include a link to the dxw playbook with a short policy statement on equal opportunities and a link to this full Diversity, Inclusion and Equal opportunities policy.

Job applicants must not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.

Job applicants must not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. The following are limited exceptions which should only be used with the approval of the HR Manager.

  • Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job after any reasonable adjustments.
  • Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.
  • Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the selection or decision-making process).

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport or birth certificate) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the HR Manager or UK Visas and Immigration.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in our organisation, we will ask job applicants they apply about their ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age. Provision of this information is voluntary and it will not adversely affect an individual’s chances of recruitment or any other decision related to their employment. The information is kept in an anonymised format, disconnected from the person it refers to, solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.

Training, promotion, and conditions of service

Training needs will be identified through regular conversations between line managers and their reports. All employees will be given appropriate access to training to enable them to progress within the organisation. If training needs are identified then your Line Manager will work out the best to pay for this. This may be part of your Learning and Development, or something you, dxw or a third party pay for.

Workforce composition and promotions will be monitored to ensure equality of opportunity at all levels of the organisation. All reasonable steps will be taken to identify and remove barriers and to meet the needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.

Our conditions of service, benefits, and facilities are reviewed to ensure that they are available to all and that there are no unlawful or discriminatory obstacles to accessing them.

Termination of employment

We will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory. Demonstrated through independent consultation, sharing criteria openly and demonstrating our workings.

We will ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal, or other disciplinary action. There is a right of appeal to a dxw director or line manager not directly involved in the case.

Disabilities

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage, but do not require, you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate.

If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your line manager or the HR Manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. Your line manager or the HR Manager may wish to consult with you and with your medical advisor, if you choose to include one in the consultation, about possible adjustments. We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate this based on the needs for your role, the cost for the accommodation and dxw’s ability to make the adjustment. If we consider a particular adjustment would not be reasonable we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible.

We will monitor the physical features of our premises to consider whether they might place anyone with a disability and take all reasonable steps to improve access.

Part-time and fixed-term work

Part-time and fixed-term staff should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate).

Breaches of this policy

We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.

If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure. Complaints will be treated in confidence.

There must be no victimisation or retaliation against staff who raise issues about discrimination. However, making a false allegation, deliberately and in bad faith, will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.