HILLCREST EARLY YEARS ACADEMY
Heapham Road, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 1SW
Academy Principal :- Mrs J E McDonald
EQUAL OPPORTUNITES POLICY
Hillcrest Early Years Academy is an equal opportunities employer. This equal opportunities policy aims to ensure that no employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age, or is disadvantaged by requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.
The Hillcrest Academy aims:
To remove employment practices which are restrictive because they are based on perceived attributes which are irrelevant, or on assumptions which are unjustifiable in terms of an individual's ability to do a job.
To promote equality of opportunity in employment
All employees and candidates for appointment must be given equal opportunity regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age.
Terms and Conditions of employment and the criteria for appointment, promotion, training and termination must be non discriminatory and relevant to actual job requirements.
As part of its policy for dealing with harassment at work, the Hillcrest Academy is committed to creating an environment at work where positive action is taken to eradicate discrimination.
To ensure that equal opportunities are promoted for all people, particularly those who are seeking and using the Hillcrest Academy’s services and through contractors who supply goods and services to the Council.
The Trust Body’s role
As the Trust body will have the effective power of appointment, it will also have the responsibility for making sure that it does not breach sex, race or disability discrimination legislation in relation to appointments.
The provisions of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission Codes of Practice will apply to the actions of our Trust body. Provisions will be taken into account by industrial tribunals. The Employment Service has also produced “The Code of Practice on the Employment of Disabled People”, which gives detailed guidance on good practice in the employment of disabled persons. Personnel Services are available to assist Heads on any equal opportunity issues.
5 DEVELOPING AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
5.1 SUGGESTED OUTLINE
A suggested outline for an equal opportunities policy:
'The school wholeheartedly supports the principle of equal opportunities in employment and
opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality,
ethnic or national origin, sex, or sexual orientation, age, being married or disabled. We believe it
is in the school's best interests, and those of all who work in it, to ensure that the human
resources, talents and skills available throughout the community are considered when
employment opportunities arise. To this end, within the framework of the law, we are committed,
wherever practicable, to achieving and maintaining a staff which broadly reflects the local
community which we serve.'
5.2 SET AN ACTION PLAN INCLUDING TARGETS
When setting equality targets it is important to aim for realistic and achievable results.
The targets should take account of the availability of the targeted group within the recruitment
area, the representation in the various levels of the existing staff, any expected growth or
decline in the size of the school and estimated staffing needs in relation to both recruitment and
5.3 PROVIDE TRAINING FOR ALL
All staff and Governors can benefit from training so that they may better understand the reasons
for and consequences of discrimination, the benefits which equal opportunities can bring, what
the school expects from its staff in their treatment of others, and their personal obligations under
the law. However, those involved in making decisions in recruitment, selection, promotion and
training are particularly likely to benefit from training. 4 Handbook/Section G
5.4 MONITOR THE PRESENT POSITION AND MONITOR PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES.
A successful monitoring system will:
give a clear picture of the composition of the existing staff;
identify concentrations of particular groups of people in certain areas and levels of work;
identify whether particular groups of people are under-represented and where action on this,
may be needed; provide a benchmark from which the effectiveness of the equal opportunities
policy can be measured; help to evaluate the fairness and effectiveness of the recruitment and
advertising policies and increase the professionalism of the recruitment process;
support those with responsibility for equal opportunity matters, by providing them with factual
information. help to show a commitment to equal opportunities.
5.5REVIEW RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, PROMOTION AND TRAINING PROCEDURES
It is important that a system of regular reviews is established to ensure that unlawful or unfair
practices are not introduced inadvertently. Monitoring will help to identify where the equal
opportunities policy is being successful and highlight those areas where they may be cause for
5.6 DRAW UP CLEAR AND JUSTIFIABLE JOB CRITERIA
Job criteria are provided by a job description and a person specification. The job description
sets out the specific duties of the post. The person specification sets out the specific skills,
qualifications, knowledge and personal qualities which are necessary to perform the duties
effectively. There should be no requirements which are not clearly related to the duties of the
post. The skills, qualifications, knowledge and personal qualities of the candidates can be
compared with the person specification and the one who fits it best can be identified. Careful
use of this approach avoids the risk of inadvertently discriminating against any particular group
of people. 5 Handbook/Section G
5.7 OFFER PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRAINING AND POSITIVE ACTION TRAINING
Pre-employment training helps employers to recruit unemployed people, amongst whom people
from ethnic minorities and those with disabilities tend to be over-represented.
Positive action is a range of measures which employers can lawfully take to encourage and
train people from a racial group or one sex, which is under-represented, to help them overcome
disadvantages in competing with other applicants. Measures can also be taken to help those
who have special needs because of the period they have been carrying out domestic or family
responsibilities to the exclusion of regular full-time employment.
Although they are not legally required, positive measures are allowed by the law to encourage
employees and potential employees and provide training for employees who are members of
particular groups which have been under represented in particular work. Discrimination at the
point of selection for work, however, is not permissible in these circumstances and selection for
interviews and posts must be based solely on merit.
5.8 CONSIDER THE SCHOOL’S IMAGE
The image of an employer who is obviously putting an equal opportunities policy into practice
will help attract a wider range and better quality of candidates for jobs from among all those
available. Retention of staff becomes easier and staff turnover and the associated costs can be
5.9 CONSIDER FLEXIBLE WORKING
Introducing flexible working patterns and other facilities is an effective means of attracting and
retaining a wider range of potential employees. They will include people with domestic
responsibilities, people with disabilities and people with particular cultural and religious needs.
Broadening the recruitment field in this way will help the school compete for staff.
Examples of flexible working patterns are:
part-time working; job sharing; term-time working; flexible working hours; career breaks;
voluntary reduced time
Further advice and information leaflets on flexible working patterns are available from your
A range of schemes are available to assist employers in ensuring that people with disabilities
are fully integrated into the workforce and allowed fully to play their part. 6 Handbook/Section G
5.10 DEVELOP LINKS WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS AND ORGANISATIONS
Increasingly employers are recognising the benefits of being involved in measures to improve
employment opportunities for people in their local community, particularly for certain groups.
Developing partnerships with the local community can be a fruitful investment of time and
resources, since sources can be cultivated from which to meet some of the present and future
6 RECRUITMENT & SELECTION
In order to avoid the risk of inadvertently discriminating against any particular group of people,
Governors are urged to take account of the following advice in their procedures for recruitment,
selection and promotion. More details of the recruitment process are included in Section D.
Proper advertising of all posts is recommended. Wording should not be discriminatory and
should contain only those criteria specifically related to the essential criteria of the post. The use
of the County Council's advertising facilities will ensure that checks against possible
discriminatory statements are made.
6.2 JOB CRITERIA
Draw up clear and justifiable job criteria. Although it is not illegal to discriminate on age, policies
should include a commitment to remove arbitrary age discrimination. Selection for interviews
and posts must be based solely on merit and it is illegal to discriminate positively or negatively
at those stages.
6.3 APPLICATION FORMS
Governors are urged to use the County Council's standard application forms in their recruitment
processes. These forms have been designed to avoid questions which could indicate intended
sex-bias. It is irrelevant to the process of objective selection for employment, for example, for
the appointing panel to know the age or marital status of a candidate or the number and ages of
children the candidate may have. The County Council’s application form asks applicant to
supply information as to whether they consider themselves to have a disability and if so to
supply any information they feel will enable the employer to offer them a fair selection interview.
Monitoring forms should be removed from the application forms prior to shortlisting and
interviews. Information on the forms should be used for monitoring purposes only and should
not be used for the purpose of selection. Age is included on the application form because the
monitoring form is removed, but appointing officers need to know for example if someone is
over 65 years. 7 Handbook/Section G
6.4 INVITIATION TO INTERVIEW LETTER
Should give details on access to the interview centre and any tests to be performed. Candidates
should be requested to advise on any special requirements they may have and it should be
emphasised that they are welcome to discuss any adjustments they consider necessary in view
of their previous work experience, but this is not a requirement.
6.5 THE INTERVIEW
No questions should be based upon assumptions regarding women’s roles in the home and the
family. Questions regarding intentions about marriage and children must not be asked. Any
questions which are asked to ascertain whether the individual can meet the needs of the job
should be asked equally of all candidates. Care should, however, be exercised since it does not
necessarily follow that asking the same question of both sexes ensures that no discrimination
will occur. The use to which the answers are put may still be discriminatory if, for example, a
specific role for women were assumed. Similarly, questions should not be asked about a
candidates health, however, if the candidate wishes to take the opportunity to discuss “disabling
barriers” or adjustments, this type of ‘candidate-led’ discussion is acceptable, but it should be
- selection decisions will not be influenced by the extent of the adjustment required
- any offer of employment will be provisional, subject to medical clearance;the candidate will not be allowed to start work until any reasonable adjustments have been considered and provided for.
In general terms it is safer to avoid questions at interview on the following topics:
marital status or plans
number and age of children
domestic, childcare and other caring arrangements
reasons for career breaks
occupation of partner
residence or accommodation
mobility or means of transport
trade union membership
willingness to participate in extra curricular activities.
The Chairman of the interviewing panel should if, in spite of contrary advice, a member of the
panel asks discriminatory questions, not allow the line of questioning to continue. 8
6.6 APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES
Appointment must be on merit and following assessment at interview at the same time as the
other candidates. If the person can do the essential duties of the job (with a reasonable
adjustment) then, if that candidate is the best, they should be offered the job.
6.7 MEDICAL CLEARANCE
The County Council’s Medical Adviser will offer advice on whether a candidate is fit for a
particular post and whether adjustments may be required on receipt of:
a completed health questionnaire (it is essential that this is not opened by anyone other than the Medical Adviser) a copy of the job description
a note of any views the candidate may have in relation to adjustments required, following agreement with the appointing officer.
6.8 POST-OFFER STAGE
Where the Medical Adviser has recommended adjustments, it is the responsibility of the
appointing officer to decide what is reasonable. Advice in relation to this and other issues such
as access and health and safety may be sought from the County Council’s Access Officer
and/or the School’s Safety Adviser.
6.9 TRAINING AND PROMOTION
It must be remembered that, in addition to the recruitment and selection process, equal
opportunities applies to such things as training and promotion.
The criteria used by the school to select people for training and promotion needs to be
examined carefully to ensure that they do not indirectly discriminate against women, minority
groups, or people with disabilities.
Presumptions that women will be less keen to be promoted or to attend external or internal
training programmes should be actively avoided.
7 EQUAL PAY - EQUAL VALUE
7.1 THE LEGAL CONTEXT
The concept of Equal Pay in the UK relates to the following areas of legislation.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 (as amended by the Sex Discrimination Act 1975).