Equal Opportunities - Companies House Policy
An effectively implemented Equal Opportunities Policy will help us to:
Companies House believes that it is in everyone’s best interests to ensure that the experience, talents and skills available throughout this organisation are considered when employment or development opportunities arise.
Equal opportunities impose rights and responsibilities for every member of staff. Everyone has a right to fair and dignified treatment. This means that no-one will be discriminated against nor harassed. Every member of staff has an obligation to ensure fair and dignified treatment. The contribution of everyone will be valued and everyone will be treated purely on their merits. Everyone must act fairly, within Companies House policy and the law. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action.
Companies House is an equal opportunities employer. Our aim is to be fair to everybody and to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives more or less favourable opportunities or treatment on the grounds of, for example:
There may be limited exceptions for positive action which is allowed by relevant legislation.
Companies House is committed to encouraging all staff to make full use of their skills and talents and to helping staff progress through the Agency and reach their full potential. Everyone will have equal access to any course which is appropriate to an individual's current job or development within Companies House. We will encourage the development of the individual's skills and knowledge for use in their work.
There follows a brief explanation of some key equal opportunities concepts.
Discrimination is unequal treatment of an individual because of their membership of a particular class or group, such as sex, race or trade union. It may be direct, for example, refusing to send someone on a training course because they are married or have children. It may be indirect, for example, declaring a post as being suitable only for a full-time member of staff without proper justification (that means establishing the need for a full-time member of staff rather than part-timers or job sharing).
Sexual harassment may involve unwelcome sexual comments or innuendo, looks and gestures, displays of pin-ups or physical contact by one individual aimed at another, and which is only directed at that other person because of their sex.
Racial harassment is offensive or hostile behaviour, which has the purpose or effect of creating discomfort, distress, exclusion or isolation and is based upon someone’s race (colour, nationality or ethnic origins) or is directed at them because of their race. If the comment or behaviour is offensive to the individual, it will amount to racial harassment.
As with sexual or racial harassment, any form of harassment or bullying will have the effect of causing undue stress on individuals and of demotivating them. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and serves to undermine the good team spirit which Companies House wishes to encourage.
Unlawful sex discrimination happens when someone is treated unfairly because of their gender. Women, men and transsexual people can all experience sex discrimination. Sex discrimination also includes treating someone less favourably because they are married or in a civil partnership: for example, by not hiring married women.
Offensive or hostile behaviour or comments aimed at an individual because he or she is disabled, will also be harassment.
Everyone must be sensitive to the effects their words and actions have on their colleagues and need to ensure that their attitudes towards others carry no trace of discrimination which can affect working relationships, behaviour or judgement.
If there are reasons why you do not feel you are able to speak to your line manager in the first instance, there are a number of different people you can speak to including:
However, the duty of confidentiality does not apply if:
In any event, if the manager fails to act effectively to stop the discrimination or harassment, the individual may seek the assistance of the Diversity Advisor.
Where appropriate, a full enquiry will be conducted into the compliant and if it is considered that the behaviour of the individual is unlawful, unfair or unacceptable, disciplinary action will be taken by Companies House against that individual, as laid down in The Guide.
All staff are subject to the disciplinary rules and should remember that unfounded allegations of unfair treatment can themselves be distressing to the recipients of such complaints. Such unfounded allegations may lead to further disciplinary proceedings.
Training on Equal Opportunities is given to all members of staff. As part of our training we provide further information on relevant legislation including:
If you require any further information, please contact the Diversity Advisor: