This policy sets out Richmond & Towers approach to Diversity and Equality

Richmond & Towers is committed to promoting equality and diversity, eliminating discrimination and promoting a culture that actively:

  • values difference;
  • recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the way we work;
  • promotes dignity and respect for all.

This policy applies to all employees. It covers all aspects of employment including job adverts, recruitment, induction, pay and benefits, terms and conditions of service, training and development, promotion, change management and also to grievance and disciplinary issues.

It also applies to the way we manage relationships with our clients as well as to potential employees.

    1. 1   Principles

      1. 1.1   At Richmond & Towers, we consider that equality means breaking down barriers, eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities and access for all groups both in employment, and to goods and services. We will not tolerate any acts of unlawful or unfair discrimination because of any of the following protected characteristics:
        • Sex
        • Gender reassignment
        • Marriage and civil partnership
        • Pregnancy and maternity
        • Race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national group)
        • Disability
        • Sexual orientation
        • Religion and belief
        • Age

      What’s more, whilst we fully accept our responsibilities under current legislation, we aim to go beyond this and to:

      • recognise that everyone has a right to their distinctive and diverse identity
      • acknowledge that equality and diversity are not inter-changeable but inter-dependent. There can be no equality of opportunity if difference is not valued and harnessed.
      • have a workforce which generally reflects the clients we serve
      • understand how diversity can improve our ability to deliver better services
      • provide services that are responsive to our clients’ needs
      • provide all employees with the necessary training and development they need to contribute to our goals
      • provide a supportive, open environment where employees may use their talents fully and where they 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 a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or philosophical belief, sex or sexual orientation) or additionally, any impairment, responsibility for dependants, social background or any other individual characteristic which may unfairly affect their opportunities in life.
    2. 1.2   Furthermore, we recognise the benefits of helping our employees to balance the responsibilities of their work and private lives.
    3. 1.3   Learning to work with people’s differences, visible or not, enables us to work together effectively and helps us to anticipate and meet the needs of all of our clients to recruit, retain and develop the best people; to fulfil our legal commitments; and to act responsibly in the communities of which we are a part.
    4. 2   Actions

      1. 2.1   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
        • ensuring that decisions on recruitment, access to training and promotion are based on ability only
        • 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 ability 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 employees who believe they have been treated in any way contrary to this policy with the opportunity to raise and resolve issues.
    5. 3   Responsibilities

      This policy applies to all conduct in the workplace, and also to conduct outside of the workplace that is related to the employee’s work (e.g. at meetings, social events and social interactions with colleagues) or which may impact on Richmond & Towers’ reputation (e.g. the expression of views on social media contrary to the commitments expressed in this policy and that could be linked to Richmond & Towers).

    6. 3.1   Managers’ responsibility

      1. 3.1.1   The CEO and Managing Director have overall responsibility for ensuring the implementation of this policy.
      2. 3.1.2   As employers, we are liable for the actions of our employees and workers and therefore all our career managers are responsible for the successful implementation of this policy within their own teams and should take steps to ensure that people working for them understand and follow this policy.
      3. 3.1.3   This policy is also of particular relevance to directors, line managers and other employees concerned with recruitment, training and promotion procedures and employment decisions which affect others.
    7. 3.2   Employees’ responsibility

      1. 3.2.1   All our employees have personal responsibility for the application of this policy, together with our associated policies (see below). They are expected to read and familiarise themselves with this policy, ensure it is properly observed and fully complied with.
      2. 3.2.2   Any employee who witnesses behaviour or decisions that seem to be contrary to this policy should challenge these or raise the issue with their career manager or Andrea.
    8. 4   The working environment

      1. 4.1   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, including home working (where appropriate and practical).
      2. 4.2   Discrimination on the basis of work pattern (part-time, fixed-term contract, flexible working) which is unjustifiable will not be tolerated.
    9. 5   Employment policies

      1. 5.1   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.
    10. 6   Employment benefits

      1. 6.1   The benefits, terms and conditions of employment and facilities available to our employees will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that access is not restricted by unlawful means and to provide appropriate conditions to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or under-represented groups.
    11. 7   Recruitment/work experience

      1. 7.1   We will provide full and fair consideration for all job applicants, based on merit and ability.
      2. 7.2   We will review and develop our recruitment procedures to encourage applications from, and the employment of, people from a range of backgrounds reflecting our client base. Procedures for testing or assessment will be reviewed so as not to disadvantage any applicant.
      3. 7.3   We aim to ensure that our recruitment practices are free from unlawful discriminatory criteria. Questions relating to a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or philosophical belief, sex or sexual orientation), but also current or future family responsibilities, or unrelated criminal convictions will not form part of our selection process.
      4. 7.4   We will ensure that other opportunities such as work experience and sandwich placements, where available, are open to people from a wide range of backgrounds and we will work to create good education/industrial links to encourage a broad range of applicants.
    12. 8   Career development, training and redeployment

      1. 8.1   We recognise that our ability to meet our clients’ diverse needs is improved by having a workforce which has the range of skills and understanding to achieve our objectives. We will take all appropriate steps to ensure that all employees receive fair consideration of their training and development needs and promotion opportunities to enable them to develop their full potential within our business.
      2. 8.2   Any employees whose circumstances change whilst employed by us (for example, who become disabled, who take maternity, adoption, paternity or shared parental leave, or who face new caring responsibilities) will be given full support to maintain or return to a job appropriate to their experience and abilities.
    13. 9   Flexible working

      1. 9.1   We will consider any requests for flexible working in a way which aims to balance the needs of the individual and our business.
    14. 10   Involvement

      1. 10.1   We 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.
    15. 11   Harassment

      1. 11.1   Harassment includes behaviour that is offensive, frightening or distressing. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. Steps on how to deal with such situations can be found in a separate policy on bullying and harassment which makes it clear that such behaviour is totally unacceptable.
    16. 12   Monitoring performance

      1. 12.1   We will monitor our progress towards diversity by:
        • 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 client feedback, surveys, and proper investigation of any complaints
    17. 13   Breach of this policy

      1. 13.1   Any employee who feels he/she has been treated in a manner contrary to this policy should raise this either formally through the grievance procedure, or informally with their career manager or Andrea.
      2. 13.2   Richmond & Towers will ensure that individuals who in good faith make allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. However, false allegations of a breach of this policy which are found to have been made in bad faith will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Policy.
    18. Any breaches of this policy by employees will be fully investigated and may lead to disciplinary action.
    19. Employees may also be personally liable for any acts of discrimination prohibited by this policy that they commit, meaning that they can be sued by the victim.

Annex 1

Different forms of Discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment because of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion or belief, or because someone is married or in a civil partnership. These are known as “protected characteristics”.

Discrimination after employment may also be unlawful, e.g. refusing to give a reference for a reason related to one of the protected characteristics.

Types of unlawful discrimination

Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. An example of direct discrimination would be refusing to employ a woman because she is pregnant.

In limited circumstances, employers can directly discriminate against an individual for a reason related to any of the protected characteristics where there is an occupational requirement. The occupational requirement must be crucial to the post and a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Indirect discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice is applied that is discriminatory in relation to individuals who have a relevant protected characteristic (although it does not explicitly include pregnancy and maternity, which is covered by indirect sex discrimination) such that it would be to the detriment of people who share that protected characteristic compared with people who do not, and it cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Harassment is where there is unwanted conduct, related to one of the protected characteristics (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity) that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It does not matter whether or not this effect was intended by the person responsible for the conduct.

Associative discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic (although it does not cover harassment because of marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity).

Perceptive discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that he/she has a particular protected characteristic when he/she does not, in fact, have that protected characteristic (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity).

Victimisation occurs where an employee is subjected to a detriment, such as being denied a training opportunity or a promotion because he/she made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010, or because he/she is suspected of doing so. However, an employee is not protected from victimisation if he/she acted maliciously or made or supported an untrue complaint. There is no longer a need for a complainant to compare his or her treatment with someone who has not made or supported a complaint under the Equality Act 2010. For example, if a blind employee raises a grievance that the employer is not complying with its duty to make reasonable adjustments, and is then systematically excluded from all meetings, such behaviour could amount to victimisation.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments is where a physical feature or a provision, criterion or practice puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared with someone who does not have that protected characteristic and the employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments to enable the disabled person to overcome the disadvantage.