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Equal Opportunities Policy

This is the policy of Escentics Dental & Implant Centre in respect of discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability or religion.  This practice is committed to working towards equality of opportunity for every member of the team.  This policy is one important way of achieving this objective.  

Please read it carefully.  If there is anything you do not understand, please ask the Practice Manager, for an explanation. 

 

THE POLICY 

Escentics recognises that discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability or religion is harmful and in many cases may be illegal.  Through this policy, through training and by example, we wish to demonstrate that we do not tolerate discrimination by anyone working at the practice. 

 

DEFINITIONS

Discrimination is any form of unfavourable treatment. 

Policy is the same as a Code of Conduct and it is how we expect everyone in the practice - partners, associates and employees - to behave.  It applies to our dealings with each other, with candidates for job vacancies, with suppliers and with our patients. 

The Dental Practice is the business owned by Dr Daljit Sohal and administered by the Practice Manager. 

Sex discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is related to gender or marital status.  Discrimination according to sex is illegal under the terms of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.  The Act applies equally to men and women. 

Direct sex discrimination is when one person is treated less favourably on the grounds of their sex than a person of the other sex is or would be treated in similar circumstances.  This can occur when a person is refused a position or promotion because of their sex or because of a factor which is sex linked, such as the ability to bear children.  For example, it is illegal to refuse to employ a woman because she is of child bearing age and 'judged' likely to have children.  A candidate should be treated on merit, irrespective of sex.  

Indirect sex discrimination is a requirement or condition, which cannot be justified on job related criteria on grounds other than sex, which is applied to men and women equally but has the effect, in practice, of disadvantaging a considerably higher proportion of one sex than the other.  For example, requiring employees to be of a minimum height, which cannot be justified in terms of the task, they have to perform.  

Direct marriage discrimination can occur when a married person is treated less favourably in employment, because their is married, than a single person of the same sex is or would be treated in similar circumstances. 

Indirect marriage discrimination occurs when a requirement or condition of employment, which cannot be justified on job related criteria on grounds other than marital status, is applied equally to married or single persons (of either sex) but has the effect in practice of disadvantaging a considerably higher proportion of married than single people (of the same sex). 

Race discrimination is any form of treatment which is unfavourable and which is related to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin.  Discrimination according to race is illegal under the terms of the Race Relations Act 1976.  As with sex discrimination, race discrimination can be direct or indirect.  An example of direct discrimination might be offensive remarks about black people or about a religion or faith where the majority of believers are black.  Indirect discrimination might be where an employer requires higher language standards from employees than are needed for the safe and effective performance of the job. 

Victimisation is when the employer treats an employee (of either sex) less favourably than other employees are or would be treated, because the employee has brought or threatens to bring proceedings, or give evidence or information against an employer with reference to the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act or Equal Pay Act.  These provisions do not apply if the original discrimination allegation was false or was not made in good faith. 

Harassment is a form of discrimination where a person is made to feel uncomfortable because of sex, race, disability or religion.  It may involve action, behaviour, comments or physical contact, which is found objectionable, offensive or intimidating by the recipient.  The recipient may feel threatened, humiliated or patronised by the perpetrator.  It is not always a conscious or intentional act but it is the recipient's feelings in response, which are important. 

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.  The practice defines harassment as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex, which affects the dignity of those who work in the practice.  This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct.  Both men and women may be subject to harassment. 

Racial harassment is a form of race discrimination and might involve racist jokes and banter or insults, taunts and jibes. 

Religious discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of their religious beliefs; for example, promoting a less able person to work rather than a Jewish person using the reason that the Jewish person would not work on Saturdays.  The Fair Employment (NI) Act 1989 enables employees who feel that they have been discriminated against on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion to take action against an employer. 

The right to equal pay provides equality in the terms of an employee's contract where s/he is employed to perform work which is rated equivalent to that performed by a member of the opposite sex or work of equal value to that of a member of the opposite sex. 

Disability discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably because of disability.  Occasionally a disability can limit a person's capability for some forms of employment.  Discrimination occurs when the treatment of the individual is unfavourable taking into account the disability; for example, making it a condition of employment that the employee can drive an unmodified car when the job can be performed adequately without driving. 

Do not tolerate means that we will take disciplinary action in accordance with the practice disciplinary procedure against any employee who breaches this policy.  If the allegation involves a self-employed contractor or a partner in the practice, the matter will be dealt with by Dr Daljit Sohal. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE THE SUBJECT OF DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT  

Discrimination  

Raise the issue with the Practice Manager in the first instance. If the matter is not resolved informally then you should submit a written complaint to Dr Daljit Sohal.  

Harassment  

  • Let the perpetrator know how you feel about their behaviour.  You could do this either by speaking to them or, if you do not wish a confrontation, by putting your thoughts in writing. 
  • Ask them to stop the behaviour. 
  • Keep a good record of the incidents. 
  • Report the incidents as soon as possible to the Practice Manager.  If the incident the Practice Manager then you should report the matter to Dr Daljit Sohal. 

WHAT WE WILL DO ABOUT DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT 

  • We will take any allegation seriously. We will listen to your complaint sympathetically and record it thoroughly. 
  • We will adopt this policy, modify it in the light of changes in the law and monitor our performance against it. 
  • If you make a complaint or allegation of harassment, the practice will initiate its grievance procedure in your contract of employment. The incident will be investigated thoroughly. You will be informed of the outcome and you will be kept well informed at every stage. Your complaint may be treated as confidential if you request it to be so, but if you wish us to investigate or take action we will have to involve the alleged perpetrator in the investigation of your complaint, who has a right to give their version of the events. We will deal with your complaint as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days. 
  • If you make an allegation of discrimination the practice will initiate its grievance procedure in your contract of employment. Your complaint will be investigated thoroughly and you will be informed of the outcome within twenty working days. 
  • An employee breaching this policy will be liable to disciplinary action.  Persistent or blatant discrimination or harassment could lead to dismissal. 
  • In the event of an allegation of discrimination by a prospective employee, the incident will be investigated thoroughly and the complainant will be informed of the outcome. The matter will be dealt with as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days. 
  • If you feel that your complaint has not been resolved by the practice, you should contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice. Legal redress may also be sought from an employment tribunal and the complaint should be referred to a tribunal within three months (less one day) of the alleged discriminatory act.