Activfirst is committed to encouraging equality and diversity among its workforce, learners and beneficiaries and eliminating unlawful discrimination.

The aim is for our workforce and customers to be truly representative of all sections of society, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.

The policy’s purpose is to:

  • Provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time.
  • Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability and/or medical conditions, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.
  • Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.

Activfirst commits to:

  • Encourage equality and diversity in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense.
  • Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all employees are recognised and valued.

This commitment includes training all employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality policy. Responsibilities include employees conducting themselves to help Activfirst ensure equal opportunities in employment, prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.

All employees, learners and beneficiaries should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

  • Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow Employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of Activfirst’s work activities.

Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the Activfirst’s disciplinary procedures, and any appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.

Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

  • Provide annual compulsory training of Equality and Diversity to all employees so their knowledge and resources can be used both within the organisation and to benefit learners and beneficiaries we support.
  • Decisions concerning employees, learners and beneficiaries being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
  • Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness and update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law. Check knowledge awareness of learners and beneficiaries at regulars reviews.
  • Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality and diversity, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the Equality and Diversity Policy.

Monitoring will also include assessing how the Equality and Diversity Policy are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Details of the Activfirst’s Complaints Procedure can be found on the Activfirst website; on OneDrive and in the Activfirst Office. This includes with whom an individual should initially raise a complaint with, usually their line manager/tutor or mentor.

Use of Activfirst’s Complaints Procedure does not affect an individual’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.