Equality and Diversity Policy
Statement of Intent:
Farmcare Solutions (The Company) is committed to equality of opportunity, whether or not required by legislation, both as an employer and a service provider.
We are committed to building an organisation that makes full use of the talents, skills, experience and different cultural perspectives available in a multi-ethnic and diverse society and where people feel that they are respected and valued and can achieve their potential regardless of:
- Gender, including gender reassignment;
- Marital or civil partnership status;
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Having or not having dependents;
- Religious belief or political opinion;
- Race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins);
- Disability (including learning disability or mental illness);
- Sexual orientation;
- Spent criminal convictions;
- Blood born virus;
- Socio-economic status.
- Trade Union membership
We will follow the recommendations and guidance of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in all our employment policies, procedures and practices and in dealing with customers and members of the public.
We will implement a programme of action to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups and prevent unlawful discrimination
We seek to comply fully with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, and all other legislation and various Codes of Practice dealing with the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunities.
The Equality Act 2010 brings together all existing equality legislation. The protected characteristics are now all in one Act: age, disability, race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, religion or belief, and sexual orientation. It is now possible for employees to claim discrimination on up to two of these grounds.
We wish to achieve the objective of employing a workforce that is representative of the qualified resources from which it is drawn and where people from all groups are employed at all levels in the Company. The Company is committed to actively tackling racial discrimination and promoting equal opportunities and good race relations.
The Company is committed to encouraging, supporting and helping its entire staff to reach their full potential.
The Company will work with its Customers and their clients and others to tackle racial discrimination and to encourage and promote good practice in achieving race equality.
This policy is to be made available to our Customers, to Suppliers of goods and services to the Company and to the staff that we, and they, employ.
The aims of this policy are to ensure that:
- No-one receives less favourable treatment, on grounds of any protected characteristic (including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion/belief, sex and sexual orientation); or is disadvantaged by any conditions, requirements, provisions, criteria, procedures or practices that cannot be justified on any other grounds.
- No one is victimised for taking action against any form of discrimination or harassment, or instructed or put under pressure to discriminate against, or harass, someone on the above grounds.
- The organisation is free of unwanted conduct that violates the dignity of workers or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, offensive, or humiliating environment.
- Opportunities for employment, training and promotion are equally open to male and female candidates, candidates from all racial groups, candidates with or without disabilities, and candidates of any age, and of any sexual orientation, religion or belief.
- Selection for employment, promotion, transfer, training, and access to benefits, facilities and services, will be fair and equitable, and based solely on merit.
This policy applies to all aspects of employment, from recruitment to dismissal and to former workers’ rights.
We will take the following steps to put the policy into practice and make sure that it is achieving its aims:
- The policy will be a priority for the organisation.
- Our Board Chairman, will be responsible for ensuring that this policy is operational on a day-to-day basis throughout our organisation
- The policy will be communicated to all workers, job applicants, and subcontractors and will be placed on the company’s website.
- Workers and their representatives and trade unions will be consulted regularly about the policy, and about related action plans and strategies.
- All workers will be trained on the policy, on their rights and responsibilities under the policy, and on how the policy will affect the way they carry out their duties. No one will be in any doubt about what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable conduct in the organisation. Unacceptable conduct includes discrimination and harassment at work-related social functions.
- Managers and workers in key decision-making areas will be trained on the discriminatory effects that provisions, practices, requirements, conditions, and criteria can have on some groups, and the importance of being able to justify decisions to apply them.
- Complaints about discrimination or harassment in the course of employment will be regarded seriously, and may result in disciplinary sanctions, and even dismissal. Our grievance procedure will be published in a form that is easily accessible.
- Opportunities for employment, promotion, transfer and training will be advertised widely, internally and externally, and all applicants will be welcomed, irrespective of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or belief.
- All workers will be encouraged to develop their skills and qualifications, and to take advantage of promotion and development opportunities in the organisation. All employees carrying out work of ‘equal value’ will receive equal pay, regardless of their sex, race or any other protected characteristic, and equal pay audits will be carried out as necessary.
- Selection criteria will be entirely related to the job or training opportunity.
- We will make reasonable changes to overcome physical and non-physical barriers that make it difficult for disabled employees to carry out their work, and for disabled customers to access our services.
- We will take a flexible approach to working arrangements. We will consider requests for changes carefully and objectively and will accommodate them unless it would cause significant difficulties to the business or employees.
- Information on the ethnic and racial background, gender, disability, and age of each worker and applicant for employment will be collected and analysed, to monitor each stage of the recruitment process. The information will be held in strictest confidence and will only be used to promote equality of opportunity. Information about the religion/belief and sexual orientation of employees may also be monitored. Monitoring may include data on promotion and training if necessary.
- If the data shows that people from particular groups are under-represented in particular areas of work, lawful positive action training and encouragement will be considered for workers and others from that group, to improve their chances of applying successfully for vacancies in these areas.
- Grievances, disciplinary action, performance assessment, and terminations of employment, for whatever reason, may also be monitored by gender, racial group, age, disability, religion/belief and sexual orientation if necessary.
- Requirements, conditions, provisions, criteria, and practices will be reviewed regularly, in the light of the monitoring results, and revised if they are found to, or might, unlawfully discriminate on any of the above grounds. We will also regularly review advertising, recruitment and application materials and processes, and this policy.
- All contracts between Farmcare Solutions and contractors to supply goods, materials or services will include a clause prohibiting unlawful discrimination or harassment by contractors and their staff, and by any sub-contractors and their staff (where employed). The clause will also encourage contractors and potential contractors to provide equality of opportunity in their employment practices.
- The effectiveness of the policy will be monitored regularly. A report on progress will be produced each year and made available to all interested parties on request.
- Customers and clients will be made aware of the policy, and of their right to fair and equal treatment, irrespective of race, colour, nationality, national or ethnic origins, sexual orientation, gender, religion/belief, disability or age.
- Fair and equal treatment will be given to customers and members of the public by all staff. The business will investigate any complaints from staff that they are being harassed by a customer for reasons linked to protected characteristics and take suitable action to prevent further incidents.
- The business will take all necessary steps to ensure that employees are legally entitled to work in the UK, making sure that employees from outside the EU have permission to work here by checking the validity of documents and keeping copies of them for two years after the employment has come to an end.
This policy is been endorsed by all the Company’s Directors and has the full support of the senior management of the Company
The policy was approved at a Board meeting.
Overall responsibility for the effectiveness of the policy lies with the Chairman of the Company Board of Directors.
We recognise that our staff are our most important asset and we will strive to ensure that no member of staff or job applicant will be disadvantaged on the grounds of their gender, age, race, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation or marital status, by conditions or requirements that cannot be shown to be justifiable.
We will regularly review and monitor, by reference to the racial groups in which they belong:
- the numbers of people employed
- applicants for employment, training and promotion, from each such group.
The numbers of employees from each such group who:
- receive training
- benefit or suffer detriment as a result of the Company’s assessment procedures
- are involved in grievance procedures
- are the subject of disciplinary procedure, or
- cease employment with the Company
The Company will review its findings of the above on an annual basis
Women are generally under-represented at senior levels of management and in certain types of work
The aim of this policy is to ensure equality of opportunity in employment matters and the removal of barriers that prevent women from realising their career potential.
In addition, the Company wants to maintain the good practices that encourage the return of women to work.
The Company recognises its obligations under the Age Discrimination Act 2006.
Discrimination on the grounds of age can be unjust and to the detriment of the Company in that it wastes talent and considerable experience.
We will not make assumptions about commitment, motivation, maturity or suitability on the basis of age alone.
We will adopt good practical policies with respect to older and younger people and eliminate unjustified age related criteria from all aspects of employment, development and utilisation.
The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on every employer to make appropriate arrangements with a view to ensuring that their various functions are carried out with due regard to the need to eliminate racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.
The policy aims to achieve equality of opportunity in all employment matters including giving encouragement and the use of positive action measures to people from ethnic minorities to apply for positions in the Company.
The Company will adopt measures to increase the number of people with disabilities within the workforce and will arrange, where appropriate, to adapt premises and provide equipment to aid in their employment.
We take a positive view towards the employment of people with disabilities and wish to work towards the removal of barriers that may prevent them from achieving their true potential.
We will promote a positive attitude towards people with disabilities and assist those responsible for employment decisions and staff supervision to introduce measures that will enable people with disabilities to lead a normal working life.
We will attempt to accommodate the religious needs of all our staff, so far as is reasonably practicable, having regard to the circumstances of the individual case, the needs of the person and the operational requirements and efficiency of the Company.
The Company believes that people should not be discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
We seek to provide an environment where individuals will not be discriminated against in respect of the recruitment, employment or service delivery.
Whether people disclose their sexual orientation is a personal matter and the Company will not seek this information for the purposes of employment or service delivery.
We are committed to ensuring that all members of staff and applicants for employment, regardless of their marital status, shall have equal opportunity for employment and advancement on the basis of objective, non-discriminatory work-related criteria.
The Company believes that every member of staff has the right to be treated with dignity and respect at work within an environment that supports them.
Harassment is defined as a range of unsolicited behaviour which, whether intentionally or not, creates feelings of unease, humiliation, intimidation or discomfort, causes offence or threatens, or appears to threaten job security.
All staff, particularly those with supervisory responsibilities, have a duty to challenge and eliminate harassment.
To support this policy, the Company has appointed an Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator to provide an independent contact point for members of staff who feel subjected to any form of harassment.
The Company will ensure that, in providing its services to its Customers, it will treat people with dignity and respect regardless of their gender, age, race, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation or marital status and that our policies and procedures are designed so as not to discriminate, either intentionally or unintentionally, against any group or individual.
We will seek to respond sensitively to any special needs experienced by particular groups.
We recognise that a workforce that broadly reflects the composition of the public in which it serves will be in a better position to provide services that meet the needs and expectations of all concerned.
- The Chairman
Has overall responsibility for the Policy and its effective implementation and review on behalf of the Company.
She/He is responsible for making sure that the Company complies with the Equality Act 2010 and to meeting all its duties.
- Equal Opportunities Coordinator:
Currently the Chairman is also the Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator and is responsible for ensuring that this Policy is effectively implemented. He is tasked with working towards the promotion of equal opportunities and the identification and elimination of any discrimination in the Company’s activities.
- Operational Directors:
Are responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this Policy are implemented in full within the organisation and will conduct reviews of service practices in relation to equal opportunities.
Are also responsible for ensuring that written instructions are given to managers and supervisors with regard to racial equality in recruitment, selection, training, promotion, discipline and dismissal of staff.
- Office Administrative Personnel:
Are responsible for the co-ordination of the various employment aspects of the Policy and will report periodically on the operation of the Policy to the Company Directors.
- Managers, Supervisors and Operatives:
All employees, including Managers, Supervisors and Operatives have a general responsibility for the application of this Policy, particularly those with supervisory or managerial responsibilities.
They are responsible for making sure that all staff know their responsibilities and receive support in carrying these out.
They are responsible for communicating that any act of intentional victimisation, discrimination or sexual harassment, racial harassment or bullying may be regarded as a disciplinary offence and the Company will institute disciplinary proceedings against those found engaged in such activities.
They are responsible for dealing with racist incidents and being able to recognise and tackle racial bias.
They are responsible for promoting equal opportunities and good race relations and avoid unlawfully discriminating against anyone for reasons of race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins.
They are responsible for keeping up to date with the law on discrimination and taking up training and learning opportunities
A series of regular briefing sessions will be carried out for staff on equality issues. These will be repeated as necessary dependent on staff turnover. Equality information is also included in induction programmes.
Training is provided for managers on this policy and the associated arrangements. All managers who have an involvement in the recruitment and selection process will receive specialist training.
Harassment means any unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of women and men at work. All employees of this company have a right to be treated with dignity. Therefore, harassment at work will not be permitted or tolerated. Any person who feels that they have suffered harassment has the right to make a complaint.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that discrimination caused by harassment does not occur in the workplace, and, if it does occur, to ensure that adequate procedures are readily available to deal with the problem and prevent its recurrence. Such harassment pollutes the working environment and can have a devastating effect upon the health, confidence, morale and performance of those affected by it. The anxiety and stress produced by such harassment commonly leads to those subjected to it taking time off work due to sickness, being less efficient at work, or leaving their job to seek work elsewhere. This policy applies in full to harassment based on a person’s disability, sexual orientation, age, political views, membership or non-membership of a trade union, social class or religion. In addition, this policy applies to harassment caused by general bullying not related to any such reasons.
Harassment is specifically referred to as gross misconduct. A single act of harassment may constitute gross misconduct. Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who acts in breach of this policy. Disciplinary action may include summary dismissal in the case of a serious breach of this policy or repeated breaches. In other cases, it may include a formal warning, oral or written. Disciplinary action (which may include summary dismissal) will also be taken against any employee who victimises or retaliates against an employee for alleging that harassment has occurred or any employee who makes malicious or vexatious allegations of harassment. Such action will be taken in accordance with the company’s disciplinary procedure.
Breaches of this policy may also result in the employee responsible being held personally liable for compensation if the person who has been harassed takes legal action. In addition, in cases of serious harassment, the employee responsible may be prosecuted in the criminal courts.
Definition of Sexual, Racial and Other Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work. Such behaviour becomes unacceptable if it is unwanted, unreasonable and offensive to the recipient. It is for each individual to determine what behaviour they find acceptable and what they regard as offensive.
Sexual harassment can include physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct. The following are non- exhaustive examples of inappropriate behaviour:
- Physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature e.g. unwanted physical contact, even if not obviously sexual, including unnecessary touching, patting, pinching or brushing against another person, unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, lewd comments or pressure of a sexual nature (for example that sexual favours may further a career or that refusal may hinder it).
- Physical or verbal conduct of a non-sexual nature e.g. threatening, insulting, abusive or violent behaviour, which is gender, related or offensive comments about appearance or dress.
- Non-verbal conduct e.g. display or circulation of sexually suggestive material.
Racial harassment is unwanted conduct of a racial nature, or other conduct based on race affecting the dignity of women and men at work. Non-exhaustive examples of racial discrimination include physical or verbal conduct of a racial nature e.g. threatening, insulting, abusive or violent behaviour which is race related or offensive comments about appearance, dress, religion or ethnic background.
Other harassment includes: bullying, intimidation, undermining publicly, making unwanted comments. Harassment can be direct or indirect.
Responsibility of Managers
It is the responsibility of those who are responsible for staff to implement this policy and to take quick corrective action to ensure compliance with the policy. Failure to take appropriate action will be considered to be a failure to meet the responsibilities of the position which in itself is a disciplinary offence. All such persons will receive adequate training.
Responsibility of Employees
It is the responsibility of all employees to comply with the policy and to treat all other employees with respect and dignity.
The company recognises that any employee who feels that they need to bring a complaint of harassment will feel embarrassed and vulnerable. Those employees will receive support and reassurance and are assured that their complaint will be treated in the strictest confidence. Employees need not fear that they will be victimised for bringing a complaint of sexual or racial harassment. Any person who is found to have victimised or retaliated against another for complaining about or giving evidence about harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.
Similarly, the company recognises that those who are accused of harassment need to have their views heard and the allegations made against them investigated thoroughly. The company recognises that, whilst all acts of harassment are serious, any action taken will depend upon the gravity of the alleged harassment.
Wherever possible, an employee who feels that he or she has been the subject of harassment should firstly inform the person responsible that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask them to stop. He/she may be accompanied by a work colleague or Trade Union representative if they so wish. If the harassment continues, or if there are employment consequences, a complaint should be made as follows:
The employee who believes that they are the victim of harassment should report the incident(s) to their immediate supervisor or Manager. If the employee would find this embarrassing or the complaint is against such a person, then the employee should make the complaint to Human Resources.
The person to whom a complaint is made is under a duty to immediately investigate the complaint themselves, or if they feel unable to do so, should refer the complaint to the designated investigator who should be impartial.
All complaints will be handled in a confidential and impartial manner. The investigating officer should firstly discuss the situation with the employee affected. He or she should then make arrangements to interview the employee against whom a complaint has been made. These two procedures should be completed within a week of the complaint being made, depending on the availability of the parties, and should be fully documented.
Investigations into a complaint will be impartial and independent. Employees against whom a complaint has been made are assured a fair and impartial hearing and the chance to put forward their side of the story. Full details will be given of the complaint in writing before the investigatory interview and the employee concerned will be offered the opportunity to be interviewed in the presence of a fellow employee or other employee representative.
It may also be necessary to place any person accused of harassment on investigatory suspension depending on the circumstances of the particular allegation(s). Any suspension will be in accordance with the disciplinary procedure.
If it is necessary to interview other employees who may have witnessed acts of harassment, these employees can be assured of the same degree of confidentiality.
After hearing both sides of the complaint, the investigating officer should make a decision based on the seriousness of the complaint. If the investigation upholds the complaint, the investigating officer will take prompt action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence. The company’s Disciplinary Procedure may be used if appropriate. The investigating officer will inform both parties in writing of the outcome and the action to be taken as soon as that decision is made.
Further, in certain situations, and where possible by mutual agreement, it may be appropriate to relocate or transfer one of the parties concerned. Every effort will be made to relocate the harasser and not the recipient.
There may be situations where the complaint of harassment is not upheld, for example where the evidence against the “harasser” is inconclusive. In these situations, the investigating officer should give consideration to transfer or rescheduling of work patterns so that the individuals concerned do not have to work together. The emphasis should be on rebuilding working relationships.
Farmcare Solutions operates a disciplinary procedure, which is intended to promote fairness and order in the manner in which it deals with individual workers whenever disciplinary action has to be considered or taken.
Workers will usually be disciplined where:
- There has been a failure to meet the standards of job performance expected by the Company.
- There is an issue of misconduct (whether during working hours or not); or
- There has been a breach of any of the terms of the contract of employment (whether expressly provided for in the written contract, contained in express guidance issued by or implied by custom and practice or law).
The same procedure will be followed in all cases although the timescale and outcome may be different in each case.
Each worker is responsible for familiarising him or herself with his or her Statement of Terms and Conditions, and all relevant policy and guidance notes issued by Farmcare Solutions.
Issues of Poor Performance
Farmcare Solutions’ aim when confronting poor performance will always be to correct, not to punish. Its aim is to assist workers to achieve and maintain the required standard or performance. Formal procedures will only be used when informal action has failed to produce the required improvement or when the disciplinary matter is considered sufficiently serious to merit a more formal approach.
In the first instance Farmcare Solutions will establish the facts surrounding the complaint, if appropriate, taking into account the statements of any available witnesses.
In certain circumstances workers may be suspended from work on full pay whilst investigations are carried out. Suspension in these circumstances will not be regarded as a disciplinary penalty and will not usually last for more than five days. A period of suspension may be renewed or extended at the company’s discretion. We are committed to ensuring that periods of suspension should be no longer than required and, in most cases, periods of suspension will be short. However, there will be cases where a period of suspension may continue for longer periods (for example, where a particularly complex or serious allegation is being investigated).
After establishing the facts, the company may conclude that there is no need to use the formal procedure and that either the matter should be dismissed or that it is sufficient to talk the matter over through counselling. This type of counselling would not amount to a disciplinary warning.
This type of counselling should always:
- Identify what the worker has done wrong:
- Identify the standard the worker was expected to reach;
- If appropriate, give a timescale for the improvement required;
- Offer encouragement and coaching to ensure a worker does reach the standard required and
- Ensure that a worker understands what is required.
Informal counselling discussions may be confirmed in writing. Workers will often be advised during the informal procedure that they are likely to face formal disciplinary proceedings if their conduct/performance does not improve.
Any formal disciplinary action will always ensure that:
- A proper investigation of the facts is undertaken;
- A worker is advised of the complaint and given the opportunity to respond to it;
- A worker is given the opportunity to be accompanied to any disciplinary hearing by a co-worker, full time union official or certified lay union official (a “Companion”);
- A worker (and Companion) are given sufficient time to prepare for the hearing;
- A worker and Companion are given the opportunity to address the hearing (although the Companion will not have the opportunity to answer questions of the worker’s behalf);
- A worker is given the opportunity to put forward any explanations that may be relevant to whether he or she did or failed to do what is alleged and the circumstances that led to that action or failure;
- A worker is given the opportunity to put forward any mitigation that might be relevant if the disciplining manager decides to impose a disciplinary penalty;
- A worker is given the opportunity to appeal any disciplinary penalty (with the exception that a worker has not got the right to appeal the decision of a manager hearing the matter at the final stage of appeal within this procedure).
The types of disciplinary warnings
- First Warning – For minor offences or if conduct or performance does not meet acceptable standards, a warning would be given and confirmed in writing as a first warning.
- Second Warning – If a sustained improvement in performance does not follow or alternatively, different or more serious problems occur.
- Final warning – would be issued and confirmed in writing as a final warning.
The effect of disciplinary warnings
Disciplinary warnings will be placed on a worker’s personnel file and will normally remain current for:
- 6 months for a first warning;
- 12 months for a second warning; and
- 12 months for a final warning.
If Farmcare Solutions has cause to further discipline a worker during the period when a warning remains current, a more severe disciplinary warning is likely to be imposed than would be the case if the worker had no current disciplinary warnings. To give an example: if a worker’s poor time keeping leads to a first warning and further timekeeping issues arise within six months, those further issues are likely to lead to a more severe disciplinary penalty because of the current warning already in place.
Disciplinary action beyond final warning
If, despite a formal written warning, a worker fails to achieve the standard required or commits another offence, further disciplinary action may be required.
Where a disciplinary hearing could result in a worker’s dismissal, the hearing will always be before a Director. The fact that a Director conducts a disciplinary warning should not be seen as a sign that, after hearing the case, the senior manager will dismiss the worker.
A hearing will only take place after a full investigation. This investigation will normally be conducted by the worker’s line manager. This may not always be appropriate (such as where an allegation involves the line manager, the allegation is complex or the allegation requires speedy or specialist investigation).
Dismissal with notice
After investigation of the facts and hearing any evidence that the worker’s line manager can offer in support of the worker, the disciplining manager may dismiss with notice. Where this occurs, Farmcare Solutions reserves the right to make a payment in lieu of notice.
Dismissal without notice (summary dismissal)
Where a worker has committed a fundamental breach of his or her contract of employment or is guilty of gross misconduct, the worker will be dismissed without notice and will not be paid any sum other than that required by law.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of conduct likely to be considered as gross misconduct:-
- Disorderly or indecent conduct, fighting or physical violence, wilful damage to equipment or property on or off any of our company’s
- Dishonesty/falsification or records.
- Misconduct or breach of health and safety rules that could endanger the safety of plant or personnel.
- Wilful disobedience, alcohol and substance misuse.
- Acts of discrimination or incitement to discriminate, bullying or any other form of victimisation or intimidation perpetrated against a fellow member of staff, customer or third party in the workplace.
- Use of abusive language.
- Failure to take reasonable steps to safeguard cash or property belonging to the company.
- Being or convicted of a criminal offence which in the opinion of Farmcare Solutions demonstrates unsuitability for further employment with the company.
- Behaviour grossly prejudicial of the good name of Farmcare Solutions.
If any worker feels that he or she has been unjustly disciplined, he or she may appeal at any formal stage of the disciplinary procedure. The grounds for appeal should be specified in writing and given to either the disciplining manager or site personnel contact within 5 working days of dismissal or other disciplinary action.
Appeals should be concluded as soon as practicable, normally within five (5) working days of Farmcare Solutions receiving the worker’s appeal. Where this is not possible (for example, where there is a large amount of paperwork for the manager hearing the appeal to review, further investigations are required or there is some difficulty in agreeing a time when the worker, his or her Companion and the manager hearing the appeal are free to meet) the worker will be told, and kept up to date with the anticipated timescale.
Appeals will be considered by an appropriate manager who has not previously been involved in the case in each case the decision of the manager who hears the appeal will be final.
The manager conducting the appeal should review the notes of the investigation and disciplinary hearing and, if necessary, carry out further investigations. The appeal hearing should focus on the specific issues which the worker highlights which lead him or her to believe that he or she has been unfairly treated. An appeal against a disciplinary decision should not normally be used as a re-hearing of the case, unless there is additional material to introduce which was not available or was overlooked at the original disciplinary hearing.
An appeal against any disciplinary penalty, other than dismissal, will usually involve a review of all the relevant documentation including the worker’s grounds of appeal and may involve a further hearing. An appeal against a dismissal will usually involve a further hearing to be attended by the worker and the person who made the decision to dismiss. At the appeal any disciplinary penalty imposed will be reviewed: it may be increased.
The worker should be notified of the outcome of the appeal as soon as possible after the appeal has been held. If a dismissed worker is re-instated he or she will be reimbursed for any loss of earnings for the period between dismissal and re-instatement.
Farmcare Solutions strives through the high standards it demands of its employees, to maintain a productive and agreeable working environment for all staff.
Situations will arise from time to time however where employees feel that they have a valid complaint against a colleague, manager or the organisation. The Company actively encourages employees to raise such complaints as they arise and to assist in doing this it operates a grievance procedure.
Employees are encouraged to attempt to solve problems informally and directly without entering the formal grievance procedure. Open discussion is often a constructive way of reaching solutions, which satisfy all concerned.
Where attempts above fail, or if the Employee feels unwilling/unable to deal with the matter informally, then the formal procedure below should be used;
- If you have any grievance in relation to your employment, you must set out the grievance in writing and send the statement or a copy to your Supervisor or Manager who will deal with the matter. If the grievance concerns your Supervisor or Manager, you should refer to your next level of Manager, or HR Manager.
- Once your grievance has been considered, you will be invited to attend a hearing to discuss the issue. At the hearing you may be accompanied by a fellow Employee or by a union representative, if you are a member of a recognised Trade Union.
- Following the meeting, you will be notified of the Employer’s decision in writing.
- If that decision is unacceptable to you, you may appeal in writing within 5 working days of your received notification of this initial decision to a Director of the company
- Once your appeal has been considered you will be invited to attend an appeal hearing. At the appeal hearing you may be accompanied by a fellow Employee or by a union representative, if you are a member of a recognised Trade Union.
- Following the appeal meeting you shall be informed of the decision in writing and any such decision shall be final.
Any complaint in relation to sexual or racial harassment or any form of discrimination will be treated in complete confidence.
Farmcare Solutions understands that it is unlawful to victimise any employee who has raised a grievance on the grounds of racial or sexual harassment or any form of discrimination. Therefore Farmcare Solutions will not discipline or dismiss the employee, and the employee will not be transferred to a lower paid/status post. Any transfers that may occur as a result of the grievance will be by mutual agreement between the employee and the company.
Rights to Accompaniment
If you wish to exercise your right to accompaniment at a Grievance hearing, you may bring a work colleague or a trade union representative with you. The work colleague must be a current Employee of the Company who is not otherwise directly connected with the case. In accompanying you at the grievance hearing your chosen companion may make the opening and closing submissions and ensure the conduct of the procedure is as per the Company’s policy. Your chosen companion may also discuss the matter with you and guide and support you as appropriate but they should not answers questions on your behalf and any issues that need addressing regarding your conduct must be dealt with by you.
- The Company Chairman has overall responsibility for implementing the Company’s Equal Opportunities policy. Each manager will take the lead on actions for their department’s services. This will include actions relating to recruitment and employment practice, and the overall development and monitoring of the policy.
- The Company’s management team will consider an action plan for the implementation and subsequent development, of the Equal Opportunities policy, when it will also receive an annual monitoring and review.
- Guidelines on the Company’s Equal Opportunities policy, and the rules to be complied with, will be sent to all employees.
- Training for staff, to help them fulfil their equal opportunities responsibilities will be provided.
- All managers, team leaders, and supervisors have a specific duty to help set the policy standard and be an example. They will implement the Company’s Equal Opportunities policy and make sure staff are aware of their responsibilities. All employees have a responsibility to comply with the policy and to make sure service users and other employees are treated with dignity and respect.
- Service users will be made aware of the Equal Opportunities policy when dealing with the Company. Job applicants will be made aware of this policy when receiving information about job vacancies.
- Service and operational procedures will be reviewed regularly, and changes will be made where necessary to bring them into line with the Company’s Equal Opportunities policy.
- A variety of monitoring mechanisms will be put in place in order to identify improvements and provide an action plan for senior managers.
Farmcare Solutions is keen to ensure that its Equal Opportunity policy remains current and addresses all areas relating to the diversity of its workforce. Regular monitoring of staff must take place and be reported to senior managers and directors on a minimum quarterly basis and after any major recruitment drive and form part of the Equal Opportunities Action Plan. Monitoring of staff will take place in several ways:
Reports should be produced to monitor numbers of employees from different cultural backgrounds, those with disabilities and of different gender. The reports should cover staff in post, job applications received, promotion, transfer, training, number of grievances and number of disciplinary actions.
As part of the interview process all applicants whether successful or not shall be asked to complete a questionnaire as to age, marital status, cultural background, sexual orientation and whether he/ she has a disability. These sheets will be collated and used to determine if the advertising media used is reaching all communities, if the job specification or description is alienating any particular group and if the working conditions are favourable to all.
Staff will be periodically surveyed with regard to their working terms and conditions, ease of communication within the company, promotional and training opportunities available and general questions giving rise to improvement in job satisfaction. This will provide senior management with a forum for agreeing and implementing changes and receiving feedback from all staff. This forms part of the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System under which Farmcare Solutions works.
During the staff appraisal scheme mangers should allow staff the opportunity to raise any issues under the Equal Opportunities Initiative. Any areas highlighted of a minor nature be reported to senior management and where appropriate changes made immediately and any major issues be reported to senior managers and where appropriate be incorporated into the company’s action plan.
This Policy will be communicated to all staff and will be referred to in relevant documents such as advertisements, recruitment literature, job descriptions, person specifications and contracts of employment.
In addition, Farmcare Solutions will ensure that all applicants for all posts are made aware of its contents.
The Company will ensure that regular consultation takes place on racial equality issues within its workforce through feedback, management-led discussion and management review meetings.
Farmcare Solutions will communicate with its Customer base in order to examine the effectiveness of this provision in meeting the needs of its Customers.
Farmcare Solutions will include in its contracts with Suppliers, a clause prohibiting the unlawful discrimination or harassment by contractors and their staff and by any subcontractors and their staff. Suppliers of goods and services will be encouraged and supported to provide equal opportunity in their employment practices.
Should any concerns in regard to discrimination or harassment come to light, Farmcare Solutions will take the matter seriously and will make the matter part of an urgent review meeting with the supplier. Failure to satisfactorily deal with the matter and to make appropriate changes to prevent repetition of similar events will lead to termination of and contract agreement.
Enquiries about the Policy or requests for further information may be obtained from the Farmcare Solutions Administration team on 0800 612 5289