Equal Opportunities Policy for Down News Ltd

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES STATEMENT

1 :  Statement Of Equal Opportunities Policy For Down News Ltd (‘Down News’).

The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of Down News to the promotion of Equality of Opportunity.

It is the policy of Down News to provide employment equality to all, irrespective of:
• Gender, including gender reassignment
• Marital or civil partnership status
• Having or not having dependants
• Religious belief or political opinion
• Race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins,
• Disability
• Sexual orientation
• Age.

Down News is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All job applicants, employees and others who work for us will be treated fairly and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds.

Decisions about recruitment and selection, promotion, training or any other benefit will be made objectively and without unlawful
discrimination.

Down News recognises that the provision of equal opportunities in the workplace is not only good management practice, it also makes sound business sense. This equal opportunities policy will help all those who work for Down News to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be utilised fully to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

2 : To Whom The Policy Applies

This policy applies to all, that is, those who work for (or apply to work for) Down News.

3 Equality Commitments :

Down News is committed to:
• Promoting equality of opportunity for all persons
• Promoting a good and harmonious working environment in which all persons are treated with respect
• Preventing occurrences of unlawful direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Fulfilling all its legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice
• Complying with our own equal opportunities policy and associated policies
• Taking lawful affirmative or positive action, where appropriate
• Regarding all breaches of equal opportunities policy as misconduct which could lead to disciplinary proceedings.

This policy is fully supported by Down News and has been
agreed with the Managing Director.

4 :  Implementation

The Managing Director has specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. Each director, manager and supervisor also has responsibilities and we expect all our employees to abide by the policy and help create the equality environment which is its objective.

In order to implement this policy Down News shall:
• Communicate the policy to employees, job applicants and relevant others (such as contract or agency workers)
• Incorporate specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing the equal opportunities policy into job descriptions and work objectives of all staff
• Provide equality training and guidance as appropriate, including training on induction and management courses.
• Ensure that those who are involved in assessing candidates for recruitment or promotion will be trained in non-discriminatory selection techniques
• Incorporate equal opportunities notices into general communications practices (eg, staff newsletters, intranet)
• Obtain commitments from other persons or organisations such as subcontractors or agencies that they too will comply with the policy in their dealings with Down News and its workforce.

• Ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfil the objectives of the policy.

5 : Monitoring and review

Down News will establish appropriate information and monitoring systems to assist the effective implementation of our equal opportunities policy. The effectiveness of our equal opportunities policy will be reviewed regularly. Where monitoring identifies an under-representation of a particular group or groups, Down News shall develop an action plan to address the imbalance.

6 : Complaints

Employees who believe that they have suffered any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through the agreed procedures . A copy of these procedures is available from the Managing Director. All complaints of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.

In addition to our internal procedures, employees have the right to pursue complaints of discrimination to an industrial tribunal or the Fair Employment Tribunal under the following anti-discrimination legislation:

• Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, as amended
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended
• Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, as amended
• Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003
• Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, as amended
• Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006
• Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, as amended.

However, employees wishing to make a complaint to a tribunal will normally be required to raise their complaint under our internal grievance procedures first.

Every effort will be made to ensure that employees who make complaints will not be victimised. Any complaint of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially. Victimisation will result in disciplinary action and may warrant dismissal.

Jim Masson
(Managing Director).
Date: 11th November 2011.