Equal Opportunities Policy

Huggard wishes to secure genuine equality of opportunity, whether required by legislation or not, in all aspects of its activities as an employer and service provider. To this end Huggard aims to not discriminate against any individual on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, disability, age, or marital status and will positively challenge any discriminatory language or behaviour.

Intent of Policy

The organisation wishes to secure genuine equality of opportunity, whether required by legislation or not, in all aspects of its activities as an employer and service provider.

To this end, the organisation will take every reasonable, practicable steps to:

  • Ensure that when employment or service provision decisions are made, the only personal characteristics taken into account are those which, as well as being consistent with relevant legislation, are necessary for the requirements and proper performance of the work involved.
  • Ensure that when a decision is made about an individual, it is based solely on an assessment of the capability, needs and suitability of that individual and not on any generalised concepts about the characteristics of groups of people.
  • Encourage and assist any disadvantaged group to achieve a position from which equality of opportunity can operate.

Criteria for selection procedures and the provision of services will ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their relevant
merits and abilities.

The organisation is committed to an ongoing programme of action to make this policy effective.

Scope of Policy

This policy is related to matters affecting individuals and groups whether they are actual or potential employees or service users of the organisation. The policy is designed to be effective in terms of all minority groups:

Ethnic minorities
The policy will encourage the prevention of racial discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity. This will allow individuals a fair and equal chance of developing their abilities and realising their expectations. Moreover, members of ethnic minority groups may be of particular value to the services that the organisation provides for the community.

Sex discrimination
The aim of the policy is to prevent gender or sexual orientation from being used in any way to influence any decision about a person’s suitability to become involved in any aspect of Huggard activities whether as service user, volunteer or staff. This policy is intended to improve the opportunities available to all. Provided there is no genuine occupational qualification, which is required, as allowed for in the Sex Discrimination Act, both men and women will be encouraged to apply for posts and participate in all activities. Jobs services and activities will therefore be offered to both men and women.

Marital status
Marital Status should be viewed in the same manner as gender and sexual orientation with the exception that some married clients may be unable to benefit from services that are explicitly designed and funded to be used only by single persons.

A disabled person is here defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Often disabled people are denied a fair chance because of preconceived opinions about what they are capable of doing. The need for physical modifications to equipment and/or premises or even the restructuring of jobs should be considered in order to maximise the opportunities available to disabled people.

Huggard believes that all individuals may possess valuable skills and abilities that may benefit the organisation. Under no circumstances should age be seen as a reason to treat any person differently. A person must be selected as being appropriate for any given activity or role on their ability to accomplish that role effectively. Decisions should in no way be based on age-related issues. For Child Protection issues Huggard does not work with individuals under the age of 16.

Religious and Political Beliefs
Huggard believes freedom of thought and belief is a vital element in all our lives and considers that diverse beliefs and opinions add to the health and vitality of the democracy we live in. As a result no person while involved in the delivery of Huggard services should discriminate in any way against any other person for any reason relating to their political or religious beliefs or opinions. Huggard will not tolerate any behaviour which promotes or incites hatred or violence in any form.

Implementation of Policy
The organisation will actively promote equality of opportunity within the following framework:

In the process of initial recruitment and selection, the aim is to ensure that the best person for the job is appointed into the organisation’s service. This will include the need to attract the highest quality candidates and to advertise available vacancies in the local press and/or appropriate professional journals. The Job Centre will also be notified. Vacancies will also be advertised internally so that existing staff have the same opportunities as everyone else. The organisation recognises the advantages of recruiting individuals with specialist knowledge and experience of local needs.

Service Provision
The organisation aims to ensure that services are offered to all sections of the community.





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