Equality & Fairness in Employment Policy
Different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger and more creative work environment that delivers better results. Our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, identity, and experience drives Flexi-Hex forward every day. We don’t simply comply with the Equality Act (2010), we go further and take pride in nurturing and supporting a diverse and unique workforce. We also respect all religious faiths, beliefs, and practices equally as they are represented within the workplace.
Definition of Discrimination
Discrimination is unequal or differential treatment which leads to one person being treated more or less favourably than others are, or would be, treated in the same or similar circumstances on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. Discrimination may be direct or indirect and includes discrimination by perception and association.
Types of Discrimination
This occurs when a person or a policy intentionally treats a person less favourably than another on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy, and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.
This is the application of a policy, criteria, or practice which an employer applies to all team members, but which is:
• Detrimental to a larger proportion of people from the group that the person the employer is applying it to represents;
• Cannot justify the need for the application of the policy on a neutral basis; and
• The person to whom the employer is applying it suffers detriment from the application of the policy.
Example: A requirement that all team members must be 6ft tall if that requirement is not justified by the position would indirectly discriminate against team members with an oriental ethnic origin, as they are less likely to be able to fulfil this requirement.
This happens when a person is subjected to unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
This happens when a person is treated less favourably because they have bought or intend to bring proceedings, or they have given or intend to give evidence.
Flexi-Hex has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the employment of a disabled person. These may include:
• Making adjustments to premises;
• Re-allocating some of a disabled team member’s duties;
• Transferring a disabled team member to a role better suited to their disability;
• Relocating a disabled team member to a more suitable office;
• Giving a disabled team member time off work for medical treatment or rehabilitation;
• Providing training or mentoring for a disabled team member;
• Supplying or modifying equipment, instruction and training manuals for disabled team members; or
• Any other adjustments that the Flexi-Hex considers reasonable and necessary provided such adjustments are within the financial means of Flexi-Hex.
If a team member has a disability and feels that any such adjustments could be made by the Flexi-Hex, they should contact their Line Manager.
Acting on Discriminatory Behaviour
If a team member is subject to any discrimination, or witnesses any act of discrimination, then this should be reported immediately.
Bullying and Harassment
Flexi-Hex encourages an environment in which everyone is entitled to work without harassment, victimisation, or bullying.
For the purposes of this policy, harassment is defined as: “Unwanted conduct which is either related to a protected characteristic (race, sex etc), or is of a sexual nature, where the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.”
Examples of behaviour that may amount to harassment include:
• Verbal - crude language, open hostility, offensive jokes, suggestive remarks, innuendoes, rude comments, gossip, and offensive songs
• Non-verbal - wolf-whistles, obscene gestures, sexually suggestive posters/calendars, pornographic material, graffiti, offensive letters, offensive emails, text messages on mobile phones and offensive objects
• Physical - unnecessary touching, patting, pinching, or brushing against another team member’s body, intimidating behaviour, assault and physical coercion
• Coercion - pressure for sexual favours (e.g., to get a job or be promoted) and pressure to participate in political, religious or Trade Union groups, etc.
• Isolation or non-cooperation and exclusion from social activities.
• Intrusion - following, pestering, spying, etc.
The policy applies to team member's conduct in, or out of office hours, when entertaining customers, or at work events.
The Procedure for Dealing with Cases of Harassment is Set Out Below:
If you believe you are being subjected to any harassment, please contact your Team Lead or a member of the Senior Leadership Team or a Director immediately. Details will be taken and should be confirmed in writing by the victim. This constitutes a formal complaint.
Either a member of the Senior Leadership Team nominated by the Team Lead who took the complaint, or an independent consultant, will investigate the complaint. Allegations will be dealt with seriously and confidentially and there will be no victimisation of any team member making or being involved in a complaint.
In cases of serious alleged harassment, any team member directly involved may be suspended on full pay pending investigation.
If evidence suggests the harassment has taken place, then the accused will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary and Grievance procedures.
It is hoped that the implementation of this policy will ensure that all our team members work in an atmosphere of mutual trust, dignity and respect.
Flexi-Hex Modern Slavery & Human Traffic Statement
Incorporating Child Labour and Forced Labour Statement
Aim and Scope of the Statement
1. FLEXI-HEX is not required to publish a statement under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, as our turnover is less than £36 million per annum. However, we have decided to do so on a voluntary basis.
2. Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour, and human trafficking (“modern slavery”), all of which include the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. FLEXI-HEX has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery within its business and supply chains.
3. This policy applies to all persons working for FLEXI-HEX, or on our behalf in any capacity - employees at all levels including directors, managers, agency or other temporary workers (“Staff”).
4. It also applies to our contractors, external consultants, agencies, third-party representatives,
and business partners (“Suppliers”).
Applying the Policy
5. Whilst the policy constituted by this Statement will be applied at all times and across all aspects of our activities, we recognise there are 2 potential areas that require particular care and are addressed in the next 2 paragraphs.
6. Recruiting Temporary Staff: FLEXI-HEX does not normally use agency staff, so all temporary staff are recruited by Flexi-Hex direct. Particular caution will be applied if any application is presented on behalf of a candidate, rather than by the candidate themselves. All staff are selected using some kind of interview process (even if informal), providing an opportunity for candidates’ employment history and reasons for applying to be discussed. In complying with tax and employment regulations, new employees are required to provide bank details which will be checked in the event that a nominated account does not bear the employee’s name. Passport or birth certificates are required as evidence of the right to live and work in the UK. Under no circumstances will these documents be accepted from, or be returned to, a third party – only to the employee themselves.
7. Supply Chain: whilst it is clearly harder to ensure that suppliers are acting in accordance with this Statement, FLEXI-HEX will take reasonable steps to ensure that they conform to it. This includes periodic visits (normally at intervals of between 12 and 18 months) to suppliers, including visits to the factories where our goods are produced. Any concerns arising from such visits, or from information supplied by workers or others in the areas of
production, will be taken up with our suppliers. If FLEXI-HEX is not satisfied with the supplier’s response, supply will be discontinued.
8. Suppliers will be sent a copy of this Statement and asked to confirm that modern slavery and/or human trafficking plays no part in the production of goods supplied to CDC. In addition, our suppliers are sent our ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’ and ‘Ethical Procurement Policy’.
9. FLEXI-HEX will not employ anyone under the age of 16. When new staff are taken on, they need to show a passport or birth certificate as evidence of the right to work in the UK. These documents will also be checked for the staff member’s date of birth. Job offers are made conditional on reference and other checks. Job offers made to anyone found to be under 16 years of age will be withdrawn.
10. Forced labour is a form of modern slavery. In keeping with para. 5 above, FLEXI-HEX will not employ anyone who is being forced to work against their will. As set out in para. 8 above, documents required to check the employment status will not be accepted from anyone other than the prospective employee and will only be returned to them. Job offers made to anyone found to be under duress will be withdrawn.
11. As indicated, FLEXI-HEX is not required to publish an annual statement under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. However, this document will be reviewed from time to time and whenever there is a reason for doing so (e.g. if feedback from a visit to production areas suggests it is necessary).
Code of Conduct Policy
We promote freedom of expression and open communication, but we expect all employees to follow our code of conduct. They should avoid offending, participating in serious disputes, and disrupting our workplace. We also expect them to foster a well-organised, respectful and collaborative environment.
This outlines our expectations regarding employees’ behaviour towards their colleagues, managers and overall organisation. We outline our Code of Conduct below:
Compliance with law
All employees should comply with all environmental, safety and fair dealing laws. We expect employees to be ethical and responsible when dealing with our company’s finances, products, partnerships, and public image.
Respect in the workplace
All employees should respect their colleagues. We won’t allow any kind of discriminatory behaviour, harassment, or victimisation. This extends to company events outside of the working day.
Protection of Company Property
All employees should treat company property with respect and care.
• Shouldn’t misuse company equipment or use it frivolously.
• Should respect all kinds of intangible property. This includes trademarks, copyright and other property (information, reports etc.) Employees should use them only to complete their job duties.
• Should protect company facilities and other material property from damage and vandalism, whenever possible.
All employees must show integrity and professionalism in the workplace:
• Personal appearance - All employees must follow our dress code and personal appearance guidelines.
• Corruption - We discourage employees from accepting gifts from clients or partners. We prohibit briberies for the benefit of any external or internal party.
• Job duties and authority - All employees should fulfil their job duties with integrity and respect toward customers, stakeholders and the community. Managers must not abuse their authority. We expect them to delegate duties to their team members taking into account their competences and workload. Likewise, we expect team members to follow team leaders’ instructions and complete their duties with skill and in a timely manner.
• Absence and lateness - We will make exceptions for occasions that prevent employees from following normal working patterns however generally, we expect employees to be punctual when coming to and leaving from work.
• Conflict of interest - We expect employees to avoid any personal, financial or other interests that might hinder their capability or willingness to perform their job duties.
• Collaboration - Employees should be friendly and collaborative. They should try not to disrupt the workplace or present obstacles to their colleagues’ work.
• Benefits - We expect employees to not abuse their employment benefits. This can refer to time off, facilities, subscriptions, or other benefits our company offers.
• Policies - All employees should read and follow our company policies. If they have any questions, they should ask their managers.
Our company may have to take disciplinary action against employees who repeatedly or intentionally fail to follow our code of conduct. Disciplinary actions will vary depending on the violation.
Possible consequences include:
• Suspension or termination for more serious offenses.
• Detraction of benefits for a definite or indefinite time.
We may seek to take legal action in cases of corruption, theft, fraud, or other unlawful behaviour.