Equal opportunity & diversity policy

  1. Spadework is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination, ensuring equality of opportunity and encouraging diversity in the workplace and in our trainee focused environment. To that end, the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness to all regardless of gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, religion, beliefs or age.
  2. Spadework is committed to creating an environment in which individual differences and the contribution of all are recognised and valued. Everyone is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
  3. Diversity takes many forms. It is usually thought of in terms of obvious attributes such as age differences, race, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, religion and language, however it includes: background, professional experience, skills and specialisation, values and culture as well as social class. Recognising diversity means that people from different groups do not suffer discrimination; it also means understanding how people’s differences and similarities can be used for the benefit of the individual and the organisation as a whole.
  4. Spadework accepts its legal responsibilities under the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Humans Rights Act 1998, the Sex Discrimination Act (Gender re-assignment) Regulations 1999, the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, the Employment Equality Regulations (Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief) 2003 and Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

General Principles

  1. All applications for, and allocation of trainee places and all associated services will be dealt with fairly and equally.
  2. Spadework will ensure the right of everyone, staff, trainees, prospective trainees and their families or carers of trainees to fair and equal access and to be free from any forms of harassment. Policies relating to harassment will aim to produce an effective response to incidents of harassment (See bullying and harassment policy).
  3. The organisation will put into place effective monitoring systems which will be used to record gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, religion, beliefs and age.

Employment, Recruitment and Training Principles

  1. Contained within the Mentoring Service Policies and Procedures.

Staff Responsibilities

  1. Whilst the Board of Trustees holds overall responsibility for equal opportunity matters affecting Spadework, the General Manager has delegated responsibility for implementation and monitoring of the effectiveness of the Policy. Furthermore the General Manager has responsibility and authority to ensure that employees under his/her care and others affected by their work activity have knowledge and understanding of this policy. Every staff member is responsible for the day-to-day aspects of equal opportunities, for ensuring that the policy is complied with and effective supervision and monitoring is maintained.


  1. Monitoring of our equal opportunities policies will be undertaken in relation to:
    • Various stages of the process of application for placements to identify equality of treatment;
    • Exclusions as a result of discriminatory practices;
    • Complaints of discrimination;
    • Recruitment of staff.
  2. Monitoring records will be maintained and be subject to annual reports to the Board of Trustees.


  1. Spadework recognises its responsibility as an employer for any discriminating act by employees in the course of their employment and its responsibility for taking action on behalf of any trainees who are the victims of discrimination or harassment.
  2. Spadework will ensure that:
    • Training and guidance is given to all employees/volunteers to ensure that they clearly understand their position in law and the implications of the organisation’s equal opportunity and diversity policy:
    • Policies, procedures and working practices are regularly reviewed to ensure that they do not discriminate either directly or indirectly;
    • Appropriate data is gathered to enable proper monitoring to take place;
    • Policies are widely understood;
    • Policies are available and all staff/volunteers have easy access.


  • Racial discrimination arises from an act that has been committed against an individual because of his or her race, colour, nationality or national or ethnic origin or where
  • Disability discrimination occurs where an individual is disadvantaged for a reason connected with his or her disability unless the discrimination cannot be avoided by making reasonable adjustments;
  • Sexual Discrimination occurs where an individual is disadvantaged for a reason connected to their gender, sexual orientation;
  • Age discrimination occurs where an individual is disadvantaged as a result of their age:
  • Indirect discrimination occurs where an individual is subject to an unjustified condition which one gender/nationality/age etc. finds more difficult to meet, although on the face of it the condition or requirement is neutral;
  • Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage on discriminatory grounds. Direct discrimination may occur even when it is unintentional. This includes discrimination because of perception or association.

Developing skills for people with learning difficulties