Equality & Diversity Policy
Purpose of the Policy
The purpose of this policy is to state our organisation's values on equality and diversity and show how the organisation will put these into practice. We want to show staff, potential staff and customers that PMA Lettings is serious about fairness.
PMA Lettings recognises and accepts its responsibility to ensure equality and diversity in all areas of operation.
Policy Aims and Objectives
PMA Lettings is committed to equality for all people. PMA Lettings is committed to operating in accordance with the 2010 Equality Act in the implementation of this Policy, in addition to any associated legislation laid out in the appendices of this document and relevant Codes of Practice.
The organisation will monitor its policies and procedures to ensure that this policy and its principles are upheld. Every executive, manager and employee has the responsibility to implement this policy.
All staff have a responsibility not to discriminate or harass other staff, customers, landlords, tenants and contractors. Any behaviour of this manner should be reported to Heather Fendt, Office Manager immediately.
PMA Lettings is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to ensuring that the terms and conditions of employment of the employee and potential employee are equitable and non-discriminatory. All opportunities for and during employment will be awarded to individuals fairly and irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, material or civil partnership status, maternity or pregnancy, race including colour, ethnic or national origins or nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation ("the protected characteristics"). We aim to create a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form, in which staff, customers, landlords, tenants and contractors are treated with dignity and respect.
The organisation will seek to promote equal opportunities and prevent discrimination and harassment by communicating this policy; by providing appropriate training and guidelines for those with designated responsibilities and by raising awareness through staff development.
PMA Lettings is committed to ensuring that everyone is treated fairly, has equal access to services and is not discriminated against, harassed or victimised in relation the following protected characteristics identified under the Equality Act 2010:
This refers to an individual of a specific age (e.g. 32) or an age range (e.g. 18 - 30).
In the legislation, persons are defined as having a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
This refers to the process of changing from one gender to the other (change from male to female or female to male) and comes under the equality aspect described as gender identity.
Marriage and Civil Partnerships
Marriage is defined as a formal union between a man and a woman or two people of the same sex. Same-sex couples can additionally have their relationships legally recognized as 'civil partnerships' .. Civil partners must be treated in the same way as married couples in a wide range of legal matters.
Pregnancy and Maternity
Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period following birth, and is associated with maternity leave in the employment contract. In a context apart from work, women are protected from being discriminated against on the basis of maternity for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
In legislation, this refers to a group of people defined according to their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or their ethnic or national origin.
Religion and Belief
Religion retains its usual meaning, but belief includes religious and philosophical creeds (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should have an effect on your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition. People with no religious belief are also protected.
This refers to a man or a woman.
This refers to a person's sexual attraction - are they attracted by people of the same sex, the opposite sex or people of both sexes. Although it is defined in legislation as a person's sexual attraction, sexual orientation is a combination of emotional, romantic, sexual or affectionate attraction towards another person.
Discrimination is defined in several ways. It may be deliberate or unconscious. It may occur on an individual level (person to person) or on an institutional level.
The Equality Act (2010) expects that all staff and contractors of PMA Lettings are aware of, and understand the different ways in which discrimination can happen.
Treating an individual less fairly/worse than another individual because of a protected characteristic. e.g. - Refusing someone housing advice because of their sexual orientation.
This happens when a service provider or employer sets out a rule, policy or way of doing things which is relevant to all, but has a worse effect on someone with a protected characteristic than on someone without such a characteristic, when this cannot be objectively justified.
e.g. A letting agency has a policy of reminding service users of coming appointments by phoning them. This puts deaf people who cannot use a phone at a disadvantage, since they will not be reminded of the appointment.
This happens when an individual behaves in an unpleasant manner which transgresses someone else's dignity, or is aggressive, degrading, insulting or humiliating towards someone with a protected characteristic. It may be of a sexual nature.
e.g. - A customer in reception happens to hear a staff member making racist remarks. This is an example of harassment since it creates a threatening and degrading atmosphere which humiliates the customer, and affronts his/her dignity.
Treating someone unfavourably because they have taken (or possibly intend to take) steps under the 2010 Equality Act, or is supporting someone who is taking steps.
e.g. - A manager who refuses to consider someone for promotion because that individual has given evidence on behalf of a colleague who made a complaint about unlawful sexual discrimination.
Discrimination by Perception
People are protected against someone (wrongly) perceiving that they have one of the protected characteristics and discriminating against them, and treating them less favourably/worse because of this.
Discrimination by Association
People are protected against someone discriminating against them because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. This includes the parent of a disabled child or adult or someone else who is a carer for a disabled person.
Discrimination on the basis of matters arising from a disability
Treating a disabled individual unfavourably because of something associated with the disability when this cannot be justified.
All individuals have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and PMA Lettings takes reasonable steps to protect staff from discrimination, bullying or harassment and, in the event of a complaint, we will take appropriate action to prevent, as far as possible, a further occurrence.
All staff are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour at work or that occurs during the course of employment, on or off premises, including at work social events (whether organised by the Company or not) or at formal or informal events involving staff, customers or other work-related contacts.
Raising Awareness and Providing Guidance
PMA Lettings will ensure that our employees, potential employees and customers are aware of this policy by distributing a copy to all employees, and to other workers on their engagement. Job seekers, applicants and customers will be sent a copy of the policy on request.
It is important that all of our staff are fully aware of this policy, and the importance of equality and diversity issues. To this end, all staff will receive training on this policy annually.
This policy does not form part of the employment contract and may be changed at any time. The policy will be reviewed annually and changed accordingly.
Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and discrimination in relation to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation is unlawful, and employees and customers of PMA Lettings have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Harassment is not acceptable and PMA Lettings will neither permit nor tolerate it. PMA Lettings as an employer, and employees as individuals may be open to legal challenges under equality and diversity legislation. As an employer, PMA Lettings must be able to demonstrate that its employment policies and procedures are fair and effective across the organisation.
Complaints regarding harassment or discrimination by another member of staff will be investigated in accordance with the Workplace Harassment Policy, and, if proven, action will be taken in accordance with the PMA Lettings's Disciplinary Policy.
Any complaint by a member of the public will be investigated in accordance with the Complaints Policy.
Any complaint regarding harassment will be investigated in accordance with the Complaints Policy.
The Company will monitor the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving its objectives. In order to assess the success of the Equality and Diversity Policy, monitoring systems are essential.