Equality and Diversity Policy

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April 1, 2023
Last Update:
April 26, 2023
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Oxford Risk is fully committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees, workers and job applicants, and to eliminating unlawful and unfair discrimination. Oxford Risk aims to create a culture that encourages and values diversity, and that appoints, rewards and promotes people based on merit. The company will not tolerate bullying, harassment or unlawful discrimination of any kind.  Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, and/or an abuse or misuse of power that undermines, humiliates or injures the person on the receiving end.  Harassment is unwanted conduct related to relevant protected characteristics, which are set out below.  

We all have a responsibility to help create and maintain a work environment free of bullying and harassment. You can help to do this by treating everyone with consideration and respect and intervening to deal with any inappropriate interactions you encounter.

The principles set out in this policy apply in the workplace and out side the workplace in a work-related context, such as on business trips, customer or supplier events or work-related social events.

Special responsibility for the practical application of this equality policy falls upon managers, supervisors involved in the recruitment, selection, appraisal, promotion and training of employees and the way their terms of employment are fixed.

Oxford Risk will not unlawfully discriminate against any employee, worker or job applicant because of any 'protected characteristic', namely:

·      age

·      disability

·      gender reassignment

·      marriage or civil partnership status

·      pregnancy and maternity

·      race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origin)

·      religion or belief

·      sex

·      sexual orientation

Discrimination may occur in the following forms:

Direct discrimination – this is treating someone less favourably (or, in the case of pregnancy and maternity, unfavourably) because of a protected characteristic. It also includes less favourable treatment because someone is associated with another person who has a protected characteristic, eg because a worker is the primary carer for a disabled child.Such treatment is unlawful unless, in relation to age only, it can be objectively justified, ie the employer can show that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Indirect discrimination – this is treating a group of people in the same way, but in a way which adversely affects those with a protected characteristic. An example of this would be telling all employees that they have to work late at night—although applied to everyone, it will adversely affect those employees with caring responsibilities which is statistically more likely to impact women more than men. Such treatment is unlawful unless it can be objectively justified.

Victimisation – this is treating someone less favourably because they have alleged discrimination or asserted their right not to be discriminated against because of a protected characteristic. An example of this would be an employee claiming that they had been discriminated against, who is then refused a reference by their manager because of that claim.

Harassment – this is unwanted conduct, related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for someone or violating their dignity. Harassment may also be of a sexual nature.It may also occur where someone harasses the victim, the victim either rejects or submits to the harassment and, because of that rejection or submission, that person then treats the victim less favourably. Speak with your line manager if you would like more information on what can constitute harassment.

If you believe you have been unfairly treated in breach of this policy, you should follow our Grievance Procedure. Employees will not be victimised in any way for making such a complaint in good faith. Complaints of this nature will be dealt with seriously, in confidence and as soon as possible.

We will not tolerate behaviour that goes against this policy, and where an employee is alleged to have breached this policy, they will be subject to our disciplinary procedure. Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who is found to have breached this policy. Serious breaches of this policy, acts of unlawful discrimination and serious incidents of harassment and bullying may be treated as gross misconduct. Unwarranted allegations that are not made in good faith may also be considered as a disciplinary matter.