Orbis UK is an equal opportunities employer. The Management and Trustees of the Organisation are committed to creating and maintaining policies and procedures that ensure everyone is treated equally.

We value the benefits that a diverse range of views and experiences can bring to the organisation. We will constantly strive to create an environment, representative of and responsive to different cultures and groups, where everyone has an equal chance to succeed.


This policy applies to all employees, workers, volunteers trustees and those who apply for employment.

Policy Aims and Principles

Our aim is to ensure that:

•Everyone is treated fairly and with respect.

• Everyone has the right to be free from harassment and bullying of any description, or any other form of unwanted behaviour, whether based on disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership status, religion or belief, age, or race. These are Protected Characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

• All employees, workers, volunteers and trustee have an equal chance to access opportunities, contribute and to achieve their potential irrespective of any defining feature that may give rise to unfair discrimination


The Organisation will endeavour to ensure that:

•All trustees, employees, workers, managers and volunteers are made aware of their personal roles and responsibilities under this policy

•Managers, who may become involved with investigating complaints of direct or indirect discrimination, receive adequate training, support and briefing

•Resources are available to offer appropriate support to employees taking action under discrimination legislation, should this be required

•The Chief Executive Officer is accountable for the effective implementation and monitoring of this policy within the context of UK legislation and good practice guidelines

Managers are essential in implementing this policy by endeavouring to ensure that:

•The senior management team accept overall responsibility for implementing this policy

•The Staff Handbook, and the detail of this policy are widely communicated -for example during induction training

•Employment practices and procedures designed to promote equality of opportunity are implemented and reviewed at appropriate intervals

•A culture, which respects equality and diversity at work is encouraged

•Complaints are dealt with fairly, thoroughly and confidentially

•The person who made the complaint is not victimised or made to suffer any form of retaliation

•Opportunities are taken to participate in training and education aimed at developing an awareness of how direct and indirect discrimination can arise in the workplace

Steps will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated equally and fairly and that decisions on recruitment, selection, transfers, training, promotion, career development, working conditions, compensation, benefits and other terms of employment are based solely on objective merits, ability and job criteria. This policy also applies to the advertisement of jobs, recruitment and appointment to the jobs, training, conditions of work, pay and to all other aspect of employment.

As part of the Organisation’s commitment to equality, and diversity, employees are encouraged to complete a diversity monitoring form when they begin their employment (Appendix 8 and PeopleHR). Completed forms will assist with monitoring the diversity of the office. Completion of the form is voluntary and so if you would rather not complete the form, there is no obligation for you to do so.

In the event that an employee or an applicant becomes disabled or currently has a disability under the Equality Act 2010, the Organisation will ensure that, where practical, reasonable adjustments to their employment or working conditions are considered. Reasonable adjustments are adjustments which are made to try to avoid a disadvantage which has been placed on a disabled person as opposed to someone who is not disabled.

Equal Opportunity Policy Statements


We will:

•Ensure that people of all ages are treated with respect and dignity

•Ensure that people regardless of age are given equal access to our employment, training, development and promotion opportunities

•Challenge discriminatory assumptions about younger and older people


We will:

•Provide any reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people have access to our premises and employment opportunities

•Challenge discriminatory assumptions about disabled people

•Seek to continue to improve access to information by ensuring availability of loop systems, braille facilities, alternative formatting and sign language interpretation when required

•Support those with Neurodivergent conditions, as detailed in Appendix 1


We will:

•Support those with conditions which may affect work, withappropriate processes being carried out to ensure maximum assistance and a safe environment for all

•Enable appropriate time off work for medical appointments subject to discussion with manager •Respect the privacy and confidentiality of each individual


We will:

•Challenge racism respond swiftly and sensitively to racist incidents and actively promote race equality in the organisation

Gender and gender reassignment

We will:

•Challenge discriminatory assumptions about women and men, take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against women and men

•Offer equal access for women and men to representation, services, employment, training and pay •Provide support to prevent discrimination against transsexual people who have or who are about to undergo gender reassignment

Sexual orientation

We will:

•Ensure that we take account of the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals promote positive images of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals

Religion or belief

We will:

•Ensure that employees’ religion, or beliefs and related observances are respected and accommodated wherever possible

•Respect people’s beliefs where the expression of those beliefs does not impinge on the legitimate rights of others

Pregnancy or maternity

We will:

•Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of pregnancy or maternity

•Challenge discriminatory assumptions about the pregnancy or maternity of our employees, workers, volunteers or trustees

•Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account of the needs of our employees’, workers, volunteers or trustees pregnancy or maternity

Marriage or civil partnership

We will:

•Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of marriage or civil partnership

•Challenge discriminatory assumptions about the marriage or civil partnership of our employees, workers, volunteers or trustees

•Ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account the needs of our employees, workers, volunteers or trustees marriage or civil partnership


We will prevent discrimination against our employees regardless of their offending background, except where it has been identified during the recruitment process that an offer has been made to someone who is a known risk to vulnerable adults or children, their employment will not be confirmed. Where this is identified during an employee’s employment, it is likely that their employment will be terminated following the correct procedure.

Equal Pay

We will ensure that all employees, male or female, have the right to the same contractual pay and benefits for carrying out the same work, work rated as equivalent work or work of equal value.

Types of Discrimination

Discrimination by or against an employee is generally prohibited unless there is a specific legal exemption. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally.

Direct discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favourably because of one or more of the protected characteristics. Direct discrimination may occur even when unintentional. It may also, in some cases, occur by association i.e. where a person is put at a disadvantage due to a characteristic of another person.

Indirect discrimination occurs where someone is disadvantaged by an unjustified provision, criterion or practice that also puts other people with the same protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage, for example, a requirement for GCSE English as a selection criterion. This would have a disparately adverse impact on people educated overseas and may not be justified if all that is needed is to demonstrate a reasonable level of literacy.

Bullying and harassment related to any of the protected characteristics is also prohibited. Harassment is dealt with further in our Bullying and Harassment Policy.

Victimisation is also prohibited. This is less favourable treatment of someone who has complained or given information about discrimination or harassment or supported someone else's complaint.

The Organisation places emphasis on maintaining procedures which are free from all forms of discrimination. Policies, procedures and practices will be regularly monitored, and amendments made to ensure its objectives are achieved.

In promoting equality of opportunity, the Organisation fulfils its social responsibilities towards its employees and the community in which it operates and recognises its legal obligations under the relevant employment legislation. All employees will be made aware of the provisions of the policy and all employees are required to ensure to comply with it.


If you wish to complain about perceived discriminatory conduct (including sexual, racial, age or disability) you should contact your Line Manager (or the Business Support Manager or HR Consultant if the matter involves your Line Manager) who will discuss this informally and advise on available options.

The Organisation would like to ensure that you feel able to raise issues of concern and no employee will be penalised for doing so unless it is untrue and/or made in bad faith.

In the event that you wish to formalise a complaint, you may invoke the formal Grievance Procedure. Although the Grievance Procedure is not available to volunteers and Trustees, any complaints made by them will be managed and responded to fairly and appropriately.

Associated Policies

Anti-bullying and Anti-harassment Policy

Whistle-blowing Policy

Grievance Policy and Procedure

Recruitment Policy

Capability Procedure

Appendix 1: Neurodiversity

We are committed to promoting an inclusive environment for neurodiversity in our Organisation. As part of this, we will provide appropriate workplace support to any of our employees who are neurodivergent. An in-depth explanation of the conditions which make up Neurodiversity is included to aid understanding.

Neurodiversity refers to the different ways that the brain works and interprets information. Those who are neurodivergent will process information in a different way to those who are neurotypical.

Common examples of neurological conditions that may be experienced by employees and fall within the scope of this policy include, but are not limited to:

•Autism, which affects a person’s perception of the world and their interaction with others

•Dyslexia, which can cause difficulties with how a person processes language and has an impact on their reading, writing, spelling, memory etc

•Dyspraxia, which can affect a person’s physical and mental co-ordination

•Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can cause inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity

Although we recognise that neurodivergence can cause difficulties for affected individuals, we will focus on the strengths that are brought to the workplace. We recognise that many neurological conditions are “spectrum” conditions meaning that they can affect individuals in varying ways.

We will ensure that any measures implemented will be suited to each individual by undertaking a process of consultation with them. We will not adopt a “one size fits all” approach, nor will we stereotype individuals based on common characteristics associated with their neurodivergence.

If you have been diagnosed with or believe that you are neurodivergent, we would encourage you to disclose this information to your line manager/HR representative. We appreciate that you may feel uncomfortable sharing this information, however, any information disclosed as part of this process will remain confidential and will be treated with sensitivity at all times.

Your line manager, the Business Support Manager or the HR Consultant will seek to have an open and honest discussion with you about your neurodivergence, how it affects you and the impact that it may have on your duties. The discussion will then focus on adjustments that can be made to your role to remove any barriers that your neurodivergence may create. It may be necessary for a ‘needs assessment’ to be arranged to help us identify exactly how your neurodivergence affects your ability to perform your role. We will then be able to use the results of the assessment to understand which adjustments will be most helpful to you.

Any information obtained about you for purposes in relation to equality and diversity will be held in accordance with our obligations under data protection legislation.

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