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Age UK North East Lincolnshire (hereafter referred to as “the organisation”) wholeheartedly supports the principle of equal opportunities in employment and is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity in our organisation.

We are committed to the welfare of older people and to maintaining their dignity and worth to society.  We will not accept any form of discrimination in our work with, and for, older people.

Our aim is that our employees will be truly representative of all sections of society.  We will promote a culture in the organisation where we recognize that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to us and enhance the way in which we work. 

To that end, the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all our employees and not discriminate on grounds of age, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion, HIV status, unrelated criminal convictions or membership (or non-membership) of a trade union.  We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

Any issues regarding harassment and bullying are covered in the organisation’s Harassment and Bullying Policy.  Any issues regarding recruitment are covered in the organisation’s Recruitment and Selection Policy.

2.        SCOPE OF POLICY:

All employees and volunteers, whether full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary or voluntary will be treated fairly and with respect.  Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefits, will be purely on the basis of aptitude and ability.  We will ensure that no applicant, volunteer or employee receives less favourable treatment, and all employees and volunteers are helped and encouraged to develop to their full potential.  We will also ensure that the talents and resources of our employees and volunteers are fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation. 

This policy has particular relevance to all those concerned with recruitment, training and promotion procedures and/or decisions.  There is further reference to some of these areas in considerably more detail in the organisation’s Recruitment and Selection Procedure and our Training and Development Policy.   

Whilst this policy cannot be applied directly to third parties with whom we work, if any issues become apparent with regards to equality and diversity in relation to any contractor or third party, then this will be taken seriously by the organisation and raised with the other party in the strongest possible terms.

All employees and volunteers are expected to co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equal opportunities in the organisation.


As part of the operation of this policy we undertake to operate within the following commitments:

  • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff, and volunteers, are recognised and valued
  • Create a working environment for every employee and volunteer, that promotes dignity and respect for all.  No form of discrimination, intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated
  • Ensure that training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff and volunteers where appropriate.
  • We believe that equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense
  • We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness
  • Breaches of this equal opportunities policy will be regarded as misconduct and could be dealt with under the organisation’s Disciplinary and Appeals Procedure.  Serious breaches will render staff or volunteers, liable to dismissal
  • This policy is fully supported by senior management and the Board of Trustees.


It is our responsibility to promote equality of opportunity in employment and to monitor the implementation of this policy regularly.

We will ensure that this policy is effectively communicated and that proper training and guidance is given to ensure that all employees fully understand their own responsibilities as set out in both this policy and as laid down in law.  We will also ensure all volunteers are given appropriate induction around this policy.

All employees have a responsibility to observe this policy and to ensure that equality of opportunity is continuously provided for in the organisation’s activities.  Anybody observing obvious breaches of this policy should make this known to their supervisor or manager.

In addition, supervisors and managers have a particular responsibility for ensuring that this policy is fairly and consistently applied in all areas under their control.  Any supervisor or manager observing unacceptable behaviour, attitudes or language should ensure that they take action to resolve any such issues.


a)            Recruitment/selection, training, development and promotion

All of these areas will be based strictly on merit and business performance and no account will be taken of the age, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion, HIV status, unrelated criminal convictions or membership (or non-membership) of a trade union of the individual.

The organisation is responsible for ensuring that no job applicant, or employee receives less favourable treatment, and that no-one is placed at a disadvantage by requirements that are either directly or indirectly discriminatory.

b)           Religion, creed or personal belief

Neither the organisation nor its employees will discriminate against any creed, religion or personal belief, provided that such creeds or beliefs do not run counter to this policy by advocating discrimination or intolerance of others.  The organisation will endeavour to accommodate, as far as is practicable, essential practices related to such creeds and beliefs, provided that they neither breach organisational policy nor interfere with the efficient safe running of the organisation or its legal obligations, e.g. health and safety

c)            Disability

The organisation recognizes that the unique problems of disabled employees may require that special arrangements be made to enable them to fulfil their roles effectively.  The organisation will aid, where possible, the recruitment of disabled employees through the consideration of adaptation of premises, the modification of equipment, the provision of special aids and job re-structuring.  This will be undertaken within the financial and practical constraints of the organisation.  The organisation will also provide for the rehabilitation and re-training of employees who become disabled, wherever this is possible. 

d)           Criminal records:

It is the policy of this organisation to undertake formal Disclosure& Barring Service checks when appointing employees, dependent upon the post.  Whilst it will be a condition of appointment that all criminal convictions are declared (including those that may normally be classed as spent), we will not discriminate by refusing employment because of criminal convictions that are not relevant to the duties of the post.

All employees who are likely to have unsupervised, substantial access to older, vulnerable people, will be required to complete an application for a search of the Disclosure & Barring Service.  The organisation will also undertake these checks for such other posts as are deemed necessary.  Employees will be informed if this is a requirement for their role.

e)           Age:

In assessing the ability of an individual to carry out a specific role, the assessment will be based strictly on the requirements of that job/role.  Age, in isolation, will neither be used to justify the appointment nor to debar an applicant from that appointment

f)             Harassment or intimidation

The organisation will not tolerate any harassment or intimidation of an individual.  Where any such complaint of harassment or intimidation is lodged, it will be dealt with promptly in accordance with the organisation’s Policy on Harassment and Bullying.

g)            Discrimination

This occurs when someone directly or indirectly treats a person or a group of people unfavourably on the grounds of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, national origin, age, religion, HIV status, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, gender reassignment, membership (or non-membership) of a trade union, or their disability.  This covers all behaviour including remarks and insinuations, both verbal and non-verbal, which cause offence.   It can also include insensitive jokes, deliberate exclusion from conversations, or insulting words and behaviour.  This is covered in more depth in the organisation’s Policy on Harassment and Bullying. 

 6.       LIABILITY:

Employers can be held liable in law for acts of discrimination committed by their employees.  Individual employees can be held personally liable for acts of discrimination that they commit, authorise, contribute to or condone.

It is not sufficient to just conform to the letter of this policy; all employees must ensure that there is not discrimination in any of their decisions, behaviour or actions.  All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to guard against any form of discrimination and to avoid any behaviour that goes against the spirit of this policy.

Any behaviour that goes against either the letter or the spirit of this policy, could constitute serious misconduct and will be liable to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal in the most serious cases.

The following are some examples of such actions; this is not meant to be an exhaustive list:

  • Discrimination, in the course of their employment, against job applicants, employees, or customers, in any aspect of pre-employment, employment or service delivery, on any grounds laid out in this policy
  • Inducing, or attempting to induce, employees or managers to practice unlawful discrimination
  • Indulging in verbal or physical, sexual, racist or any unlawful harassment of a nature which is known, or should be known, to be offensive to the victim
  • Victimising individuals who have made allegations or complaints of unlawful discrimination, or provided information about such discrimination or harassment


The organisation will undertake to provide training and information for employees to ensure that they understand their position in law, the organisation’s Equal Opportunities Policy and their responsibilities under that policy.  In particular training will be incorporated into:

a)            Induction programmes

b)           First appointment into a supervisory or management role

c)            Recruitment and selection programmes

8.        MONITORING:

The organisation will carry out monitoring procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.  The extent and scope of such monitoring will reflect the size of the organisation and how it operates.  Such monitoring will include periodic audits to ensure the effectiveness of this policy, and taking appropriate corrective action when necessary.  Using these periodic audits, and with effective utilisation of the monitoring portion of the employment and volunteer application form, information will be produced, maintained and monitored to ensure that this organisation is complying effectively with this policy.


If anybody has an issue that they wish to raise under the terms of this policy, then they should do that through the organisation’s Grievance Procedure and, if appropriate, with reference to the Policy on Harassment and Bullying.  Full details of how to raise and further a grievance are contained within the Grievance Policy, but in the first instance, any complaint should normally be raised with your direct supervisor or manager.  When you are using this procedure and making a complaint, you have the right to be supported by a colleague from the organisation or a trade union representative. 

If it is inappropriate for a matter of this nature to be raised in the first instance with your immediate supervisor or manager (because of its sensitive nature, or because it directly involves them), it may be raised immediately with a more senior manager or director in strict confidence.  Your complaint will then be investigated fully and appropriate action taken.  If your complaint is against the Chief Executive, then it may be raised direct with your Board of Trustees.

Individual actions not compatible with this policy should be reported immediately to your supervisor or manager who will initiate an investigation and ensure that it is dealt with appropriately in accordance with the organisation’s procedures, including the Disciplinary Procedure. 

No employee will be victimised or suffer any detriment as a result of having raised any complaint under this procedure or provided evidence during any investigation of a complaint.