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Policy Statement

KLS Law Ltd (“the Company”) is committed to achieving a working environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from all forms of unfair and unlawful discrimination, on the grounds of their protected characteristic(s), including race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.

This Policy states the Company’s commitment and intent to create a diverse and inclusive organisation, which provides equal opportunities and opposes all forms of discrimination.

The Policy applies to all employees, customers and clients, as well as other individuals that provide services on the Company’s behalf, such as contractors. The Company believes that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.

The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for ensuring that this policy is implemented. However, all employees and managers will play the biggest role in ensuring that no individual is subject to less favourable treatment.

Any and all personal data used in connection with this Policy shall be collected, held, and processed in accordance with the Company’s [Employee] Data Protection Policy.

Objectives of this Policy

To prevent, reduce and stop all forms of unlawful discrimination in line with the Equality Act 2010.

To ensure that recruitment, promotion, training, development, assessment, benefits, pay, terms and conditions of employment, redundancy and dismissals are determined on the basis of capability, qualifications, experience, skills and productivity.

To ensure that customers can expect to access our products and services and can also expect the same service standards, regardless of their protected characteristic(s).

Designated Officer

Name:                           HR Team

Telephone Number:       0333 043 3797

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality

Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents.  It is also the belief that no one should have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability.

Equality recognises that historically certain groups of people with protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender re-assignment, sex, sexual orientation, race or due to the fact that they have chosen to have children have experienced discrimination.

Diversity

Diversity is about recognising difference, while understanding and respecting those differences. It is acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision-making, widening participation and making a workforce representative of the Company’s clients and customers

Inclusion

Inclusion is where difference is seen as a benefit, and where perspectives and differences are shared, leading to better decisions. An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels valued, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances. An inclusive workplace enables a diverse range of people to work together effectively

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

Direct Discrimination

This occurs when a person or group of people 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

Indirect Discrimination

This is the creation or application of a policy, criterion, or practice which has the effect of discriminating unfairly and unjustifiably between one individual (or group) over another.  In terms of application from an employer to employees, an example would be where unnecessary or unreasonable entry standards for a role may lead to particular groups of society being excluded from applying for that role, such as a requirement that all contact centre staff must have at least 10 years contact centre experience, which would indirectly discriminate based on age, as young people may have the necessary experience to carry out the role

Institutional Discrimination

The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their race, sex, age, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and stereotyping which causes disadvantage.

Discrimination by perception

Where an employee is discriminated based on an incorrect perception that an individual has a protected characteristic. For example that an employee is disabled when they are not.

Associative Discrimination

Where someone is discriminated against because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic.

Harassment

Individual or repeated, and unwelcome comments, actions, suggestions or physical contact that are found objectionable by a person from a particular group covered by this policy and would cause them discomfort in their job. Harassment cannot be justified on the grounds that it was carried out in jest.

Victimisation

This occurs when a person is treated less favourably because they have brought or are suspected to have brought proceedings or they have given or intend to give evidence.

Unlawful Reasons for Discrimination

Sex

It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably on the grounds of sex, marital status, civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, gender reassignment or transgender status. This applies to men, women and those undergoing or intending to undergo gender reassignment. Sexual harassment of men and women can be found to constitute sex discrimination.

Example: Asking a woman during an interview if she is planning to have any (more) children constitutes discrimination on the ground of gender

Age

It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their age. This applies to people of all ages.  This does not currently apply to the calculation of redundancy payments.

Disability

It is not permissible to treat a disabled person less favourably than a non-disabled person.  Reasonable adjustments must be made to give the disabled person as much access to any services and ability to be employed, trained, or promoted as a non-disabled person.

Race

It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their race, the colour of their skin, their nationality or their ethnic origin.

Sexual Orientation

It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their sexual orientation. For example, an employer cannot refuse to employ a person because s/he is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.

Religion or Belief

It is not permissible to treat a person less favourably because of their religious beliefs or their religion or their lack of any religion or belief.

Positive Action in Recruitment

Under the Equality Act 2010, positive action in recruitment and promotion has applied from 6 April 2011. ‘Positive action’ means the steps that the Company can take to encourage people from groups with different needs or with a past record of disadvantage or low participation, to apply for positions within the Company. 

If the Company chooses to utilise positive action in recruitment, this will not be used to treat people with a protected characteristic more favourably, it will be used only in tie-break situations, when there are two candidates of equal merit applying for the same position.

Reasonable Adjustments

The Company 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 or all of a disabled employee’s duties.
  • Transferring a disabled employee to a role better suited to their disability.
  • Relocating a disabled employee to a more suitable office.
  • Giving a disabled employee time off work for medical treatment or rehabilitation.
  • Providing training or mentoring for a disabled employee.
  • Supplying or modifying equipment, instruction, and training manuals for disabled employees; or
  • Any other adjustments that the Company considers reasonable and necessary provided such adjustments are within the financial means of the Company.

If an employee has a disability and feels that any such adjustments could be made by the Company, they should contact the Designated Officer

Responsibility for the Implementation of this Policy

All employees, contractors and agents of the Company are required to act in a way that does not subject any other employees or clients to direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of their race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation.

The co-operation of all employees is essential for the success of this Policy. Senior employees are expected to follow this Policy and to try to ensure that all employees, subcontractors and agents do the same.

Employees may be held independently and individually liable for their discriminatory acts by the Company and in some circumstances an Employment Tribunal may order them to pay compensation to the person who has suffered as a result of discriminatory acts.

The Company takes responsibility for achieving the objectives of this Policy, and endeavours to ensure compliance with relevant Legislation and Codes of Practice.

Acting on Discriminatory Behaviour

In the event that an employee is the subject or perpetrator of, or witness to, discriminatory behaviour, please refer to the company handbook for the disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Advice and Support on Discrimination

Employees may contact their employee or trade union representative if access to such an individual is possible.  Other contacts include:

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Manchester - Arndale House, The Arndale Centre, Manchester, M4 3AQ
London - Third floor, Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL
Cardiff - Rooms 3.18 / 3.19, The Maltings, House 3, East Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF24 5EZ
Glasgow - 151 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 2JJ

Helpline - Phone: 0808 800 0082      Textphone: 0808 800 0084

Website - www.equalityhumanrights.com

Citizens Advice Bureau

3rd Floor North, 200 Aldersgate Street, London, EC1A 4HD

Website - www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Civil Legal Advice (CLA)

Telephone - 0345 345 4 345

Website - https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice

The Extent of the Policy

The Company seeks to apply this Policy in the recruitment, selection, training, appraisal, development and promotion of all employees.

The Company offers goods and services in a fashion that complies with the spirit of this Policy.

This Policy does not form a part of any employment contract with any employee and its contents are not to be regarded by any person as implied, collateral or express terms to any contract made with the Company.

The Company reserves the right to amend and update this Policy at any time.

Review of this Policy

This Policy will be reviewed annually or earlier where changes are required to the policy.

Diversity Monitoring Data July 2021

This is KLS Law data compared to regional benchmarks using the SRA’s law firm diversity tool.

KLS Law

North West law firm average

Age distribution

Gender

Disability

Ethnicity

Religion or belief

Parental Occupation at age 14

Type of school employee attended between ages 11 and 16

Care responsibilities