Equality & Diversity Policy

 

Scope

This policy applies to all Hermes employees, casual workers, agency workers, recruitment applicants and contractors (collectively referred to as employees). It does not form part of any person's terms and conditions of employment and can at any time be reviewed and changed at the organisation’s discretion.

This document supersedes all prior equality and diversity policies and procedures.

  

Purpose

Hermes is committed to promoting equality and diversity and promoting a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the way we work. Hermes aims to be an inclusive organisation, where diversity is valued, respected and built upon, with ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

Hermes is also committed to compliance with relevant equality legislation, including (but not limited to) the Equality Act 2010, Codes of Practice and relevant best practice guidance. This policy pursues and builds on the statutory position to ensure effective policies and practice of promoting equality. Hermes aims to proactively tackle discrimination or disadvantage and aims to ensure that no individual or group is directly or indirectly discriminated against for any reason with regard to employment or accessing its services.

  

Definition of Equality and Diversity

Equality can be described as breaking down barriers, eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal treatment, opportunity and access for all, which is supported and protected by legislation. Diversity can be described as celebrating differences and valuing everyone. Each person is an individual with visible and non-visible differences and by respecting this everyone can feel valued for their contributions which is beneficial not only for the individual but for Hermes.

Hermes is committed to ensuring that:

  • People (including existing and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors) are treated fairly and consistently in an environment which is free from any form of discrimination;
  • People (including existing and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors) are protected from discrimination against the following characteristics as outlined in the Equality Act 2010: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership status; pregnancy or maternity; race (includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation (the Protected Characteristics);
  • All employment-related policies, practices and procedures are applied impartially and objectively;
  • Equality of opportunity to all and to provide employees with the opportunity to develop and realise their full potential;
  • Hermes works towards achieving a diverse workforce at all levels; and
  • Hermes' employees can work in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

  

All Hermes’ employees will be treated fairly in an environment which is also free from any form of discrimination with regard to: caring responsibilities, part-time or fixed term employment, membership or non-membership of a trade union or spent convictions. 

  

Hermes will not tolerate processes, attitudes and behaviour that amounts to unlawful discrimination. The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:

 

  1. Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic.
  2. Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than others and is not justified.
  3. 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.
  4. Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else's complaint about discrimination or harassment.
  5. Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.

 

Discrimination because someone associates with someone that has a protected characteristic is also prohibited.

Hermes recognises the importance of monitoring, reviewing and reporting on its equality and diversity policy and practice and to measure progress in meeting our policy statement.

 

Practical support for a diverse workforce

As an employer committed to diversity and equality Hermes recognises its success depends on creating a working environment which supports the diverse make-up of its employees with supporting policies and procedures to create a framework of balance.

 

Work/life balance

The company is committed to helping its employees fulfill their potential at work whilst finding the right work/life balance by offering flexible working hours and opportunities to job share where appropriate.

Hermes has a framework of policies, such as Flexible Working, Additional Leave and Career Break policies, to help employees understand their options to ensure the correct work life balance.

 

Review and monitoring

Hermes undertakes monitoring that not only meets statutory requirements but also aims for best practice. This is used to inform and improve our employment practices. If, through monitoring, any discrimination is identified, the company will take corrective action to eliminate it.

 

Complaints

Hermes takes all complaints, including those relating to equality and diversity issues, very seriously and has a grievance and disciplinary policy in place to deal with such matters. Please refer to these policies for further details. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you should raise the matter in accordance with our grievance procedure.

 

People Strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility

Hermes aims to be an employer of choice and through its People Strategy aims to ensure its workforce can make a valuable contribution while ensuring we support our workforce’s health and well-being in the workplace.

 

Responsibilities

All employees have a responsibility to guard against any form of discrimination and avoid any action which goes against the terms or spirit of this policy. Therefore all employees must ensure that there is no discrimination in any of their decisions or behaviour. All employees must:

  • Report any suspected discriminatory acts, omissions, comments or practices;
  • Not induce or attempt to induce others to practice unlawful discrimination;
  • Co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equality of opportunity;
  • Not victimise anyone as a result of them having complained about, reported or provided evidence of discrimination: and
  • Not harass, abuse or intimidate others.

 

The Chief Executive and The Board are responsible for:

  • Providing leadership on the equality and diversity strategy and policy, acting as overall champions to ensure the policy is embedded within the business
  • Communicating the strategy and policy, internally and externally
  • Acting as ambassadors and exemplars of the strategy and policy

  

Managers at all levels are responsible for:

  • Implementing the policy as part of their day-to day management of employees and in applying employment policies and practices in a fair and equitable way
  • Ensuring equality and diversity issues are addressed in performance discussions
  • Ensuring all employees act in accordance with the equality and diversity policy providing necessary support and direction
  • Effectively managing and dealing promptly when investigating issues

 

Each employee is responsible for:

  • Implementing the policy in their day-to-day work and their dealings with colleagues
  • Ensuring their behaviour is appropriate to the policy and that they treat colleagues with respect and dignity
  • Not discriminating against other employees
  • Notifying their line manager of any concerns with regard to the conduct of other employees

  

Human Resources are responsible for:

  • Developing employment policy and strategy on equality and diversity
  • Providing guidance to line managers and employees
  • Supporting managers in investigating issues relating to potential discrimination
  • Monitoring employment policies and practices
  • Championing the issues, internally and externally
  • Facilitating training and development initiatives on equality and diversity, both at corporate and directorate level

  

Non-Compliance with policy

Hermes will not tolerate any behaviour that breaches our equality and diversity policy and any such breaches will be regarded as misconduct that will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches, such as unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on grounds of a protected characteristic, may amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal from employment without notice.

 

Related Procedures and Processes

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Bullying & Harassment policy, Disciplinary and Grievance policy and guidelines where appropriate.

 

Review

This document will be reviewed annually. If there are any changes prompted by legislation or case law, it will be reviewed to ensure compliance.

 

Sign off and ownership

This policy is owned by Human Resources.

Updated May 2021

Equality and Diversity Policy – Updated May 2021
Equality & Diversity Policy
Scope
This policy applies to all Hermes employees, casual workers, agency workers, recruitment applicants and contractors (collectively referred to as employees). It does not form part of any person's terms and conditions of employment and can at any time be reviewed and changed at the organisation’s discretion.
This document supersedes all prior equality and diversity policies and procedures.
Purpose
Hermes is committed to promoting equality and diversity and promoting a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace and enhance the way we work. Hermes aims to be an inclusive organisation, where diversity is valued, respected and built upon, with ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
Hermes is also committed to compliance with relevant equality legislation, including (but not limited to) the Equality Act 2010, Codes of Practice and relevant best practice guidance. This policy pursues and builds on the statutory position to ensure effective policies and practice of promoting equality. Hermes aims to proactively tackle discrimination or disadvantage and aims to ensure that no individual or group is directly or indirectly discriminated against for any reason with regard to employment or accessing its services.
Definition of Equality and Diversity
Equality can be described as breaking down barriers, eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal treatment, opportunity and access for all, which is supported and protected by legislation. Diversity can be described as celebrating differences and valuing everyone. Each person is an individual with visible and non-visible differences and by respecting this everyone can feel valued for their contributions which is beneficial not only for the individual but for Hermes.
Hermes is committed to ensuring that:
• people (including existing and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors) are treated fairly and consistently in an environment which is free from any form of discrimination;
• people (including existing and former employees, job applicants, clients, customers, suppliers and visitors) are protected from discrimination against the following characteristics as outlined in the Equality Act 2010: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership status; pregnancy or maternity; race (includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation (the Protected Characteristics);
• all employment-related policies, practices and procedures are applied impartially and objectively;
• equality of opportunity to all and to provide employees with the opportunity to develop and realise their full potential;
• Hermes works towards achieving a diverse workforce at all levels; and
• Hermes' employees can work in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
All Hermes’ employees will be treated fairly in an environment which is also free from any form of discrimination with regard to: caring responsibilities, part-time or fixed term employment, membership or non-membership of a trade union or spent convictions.
Equality and Diversity Policy – Updated May 2021
Hermes will not tolerate processes, attitudes and behaviour that amounts to unlawful discrimination.
The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
a Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a protected
characteristic.
b Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but
adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than others and is not
justified.
c 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.
d Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone
else's complaint about discrimination or harassment.
e Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less
favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable
adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
Discrimination because someone associates with someone that has a protected characteristic is also
prohibited.
Hermes recognises the importance of monitoring, reviewing and reporting on its equality and diversity
policy and practice and to measure progress in meeting our policy statement.
Practical support for a diverse workforce
As an employer committed to diversity and equality Hermes recognises its success depends on creating
a working environment which supports the diverse make-up of its employees with supporting policies
and procedures to create a framework of balance.
Work/life balance
The company is committed to helping its employees fulfill their potential at work whilst finding the right
work/life balance by offering flexible working hours and opportunities to job share where appropriate.
Hermes has a framework of policies, such as Flexible Working, Additional Leave and Career Break
policies, to help employees understand their options to ensure the correct work life balance.
Review and monitoring
Hermes undertakes monitoring that not only meets statutory requirements but also aims for best
practice. This is used to inform and improve our employment practices. If, through monitoring, any
discrimination is identified, the company will take corrective action to eliminate it.
Complaints
Hermes takes all complaints, including those relating to equality and diversity issues, very seriously and
has a grievance and disciplinary policy in place to deal with such matters. Please refer to these policies
for further details. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you should raise the matter in
accordance with our grievance procedure.
Equality and Diversity Policy – Updated May 2021
People Strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility
Hermes aims to be an employer of choice and through its People Strategy aims to ensure its workforce can make a valuable contribution while ensuring we support our workforce’s health and well-being in the workplace. Responsibilities
All employees have a responsibility to guard against any form of discrimination and avoid any action which goes against the terms or spirit of this policy. Therefore all employees must ensure that there is no discrimination in any of their decisions or behaviour. All employees must:
• report any suspected discriminatory acts, omissions, comments or practices;
• not induce or attempt to induce others to practice unlawful discrimination;
• co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equality of opportunity;
• not victimise anyone as a result of them having complained about, reported or provided evidence of discrimination: and
• not harass, abuse or intimidate others. The Chief Executive and The Board are responsible for:
• Providing leadership on the equality and diversity strategy and policy, acting as overall champions to ensure the policy is embedded within the business
• Communicating the strategy and policy, internally and externally
• Acting as ambassadors and exemplars of the strategy and policy Managers at all levels are responsible for:
• Implementing the policy as part of their day-to day management of employees and in applying employment policies and practices in a fair and equitable way
• Ensuring equality and diversity issues are addressed in performance discussions
• Ensuring all employees act in accordance with the equality and diversity policy providing necessary support and direction
• Effectively managing and dealing promptly when investigating issues Each employee is responsible for:
• Implementing the policy in their day-to-day work and their dealings with colleagues
• Ensuring their behaviour is appropriate to the policy and that they treat colleagues with respect and dignity
• Not discriminating against other employees
• Notifying their line manager of any concerns with regard to the conduct of other employees Human Resources are responsible for:
• Developing employment policy and strategy on equality and diversity
• Providing guidance to line managers and employees
• Supporting managers in investigating issues relating to potential discrimination
• Monitoring employment policies and practices
• Championing the issues, internally and externally
• Facilitating training and development initiatives on equality and diversity, both at corporate and directorate level
Equality and Diversity Policy – Updated May 2021
Non- Compliance with policy
Hermes will not tolerate any behaviour that breaches our equality and diversity policy and any such breaches will be regarded as misconduct that will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches, such as unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on grounds of a protected characteristic, may amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal from employment without notice.
Related Procedures and Processes
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Bullying & Harassment policy, Disciplinary and Grievance policy and guidelines where appropriate.
Review
This document will be reviewed annually. If there are any changes prompted by legislation or case law, it will be reviewed to ensure compliance.
Sign off and ownership
This policy is owned by Human Resources.