Home > Equality and Diversity Policy
The Language Shop Equality and Diversity Policy
This policy provides a framework for The Language Shop’s employees to easily understand and implement measures ensuring equality and diversity. In conjunction with related policies and key documents, it will also enable employees to identify and effectively report a potential breach.
The purpose of this policy is to inform staff of TLSL’s statutory duty to address breaches of the Equality Act and of our commitment to equality and diversity within the Company.
This policy covers all personnel, including all levels and grades, those permanently employed, temporary agency staff, seconded staff, contractors, non-executives, agents and consultants.
Consequences of non-compliance
That staff will not be aware of the Company’s responsibilities in relation to equality and diversity and may fail to take appropriate action.
The Company will not tolerate and opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination and prejudice. The Language Shop Limited is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the principles and promotion of equality and diversity within the workplace.
A harmonious workforce that respects all individuals and their differences is good for people and good for business. As an employer, The Language Shop Limited has a duty to its employees. This policy sets out The Language Shop Limited’s commitments and legal obligations to all its employees, and prospective employees, in upholding these principles in the workplace. All staff are expected to familiarise themselves with The Language Shop Limited’s Equality & Diversity policy. This policy applies to all staff across the organisation.
One of the ways the Company can discharge this duty is by making all personnel:
The Language Shop operates in one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions in the UK. We have a diverse workforce and believe that this better represents the people it serves, and that those differences in culture and life experiences bring creativity, vitality and innovation to the organisation. Alongside the Company’s belief that its workforce should be representative of all sections of society, the Company is committed to promoting a harmonious working environment, where all employees are treated fairly and with respect, and contribute to the organisation’s aim to eliminate prejudice and unlawful discrimination.
The Company opposes, and will not tolerate, any unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of gender, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, nationality, cultural background, disability, HIV positivity, religion or age. The Language Shop Limited needs to ensure that it complies with equality law, but legal compliance and moral responsibilities are not the only reasons why it is in the Company’s interest to promote equality and diversity.
When discrimination, harassment or victimisation arises in the workplace it can bring about a climate of fear, stress and anxiety amongst employees. It may also put a heavy strain on personal and family life, and can lead to increased absenteeism, a lack of commitment and poor performance. Putting equality into practice and promoting a diverse and harmonious workforce will encourage people to give their best. Improved motivation and performance in turn has a positive impact for the Company as a service provider, as people who use their full potential are more productive and give a better service to our customers.
The following principles and commitments to equality and diversity that the Company will work to and expect all staff to work by are as follows:
The Equality Act 2010 brings together and harmonises over 116 pieces of legislation into one single act. Combined they make up a new simpler legal framework to protect the rights of individuals from unfair treatment and advance the equality of opportunity for all. This now means that the right of the individual not to be discriminated against are much stronger in law. Discrimination means treating someone unfairly because of who they are. The groups of people who have the legal right not to be discriminated against have in law what are called protected characteristics, as defined in the Equality Act 2010, and they are:
It is unlawful to discriminate in the recruitment OR the employment of any person with any one of these protected characteristics.
It doesn't matter whether any of these characteristics apply to you, or the people in your life, such as family members or friends or colleagues. If you are treated less favourably because someone thinks you belong to or have an association with a group of people with protected characteristics, this is still discrimination as defined by the law. For example, if you are discriminated against because your son is disabled, you are protected by the law.
There are some very limited circumstances where it may be lawful to treat an individual with a protected characteristic differently and these are covered in more detail below.
Discrimination after employment may also be unlawful; for example, refusing to give a reference for a reason related to one of the protected characteristics. It is important to note that there is no qualifying period of employment; protection under the Equality Act begins from day one of employment.
Discrimination can occur in various forms, sometimes unintentionally, and the Equality Act defines seven specific forms of discrimination, as described below:
The Language Shop’s Resolution Policy encourages early resolution and offers a collaborative system of dispute resolution which balances the rights of the parties with their interests and needs; it brings the core principles of mediation to the forefront of dispute resolution and encourages constructive resolution at every stage of a dispute. Any dispute should be treated in a fair and consistent way and dealt with quickly and supportively. This approach can be used for individuals and groups when there is a collective complaint. Please refer to The Language Shop’s Resolution Policy for more information.
Sometimes there are situations where an exception to law can be applied. There are several exceptions that apply to all employers. There are others that only apply to particular types of employer. Some examples of exceptions include:
The upholding of equality and diversity in the workplace is the responsibility of all those working for the company or under its control. All staff are required to avoid activity that breaches this policy.
As well as the possibility of civil and criminal prosecution, staff that breach this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct.
The Language Shop is committed to ensuring that all of its employees and staff have a safe, reliable, and confidential way of reporting any unlawful discrimination, behavior, conduct or activity. We want each and every member of staff to know how they can raise concerns.
If you believe that you have been unfairly or unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised, or that the Company has failed to make reasonable adjustments in relation to your disability then you should submit a complaint.
In the first instance, please speak confidentially with your line manager or another line manager. Alternatively, please speak up by contacting the Quality Services Manager – your information and assistance will help. The sooner you act, the sooner it can be resolved. For further information, please refer to The Language Shop’s Resolution Policy.