REF: This policy and related documents are affiliated to the AEB procured project and ESF logo.
The London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy aims to be an inclusive organisation where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, and where there are equal opportunities for all. The LHAA respects and values the diversity of its staff and users.
This means that all LHAA staff and users should understand and respect that there is a diverse work force and user community and that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and equality. This includes the legal and ethical requirement for LHAA to provide public services and conditions of employment that are appropriate to the needs of a diverse society.
The LHAA Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy 2019 2020 ensures that equality and diversity are guiding principles in our pursuit of academic excellence. Its introduction coincides with the implementation of the Equality Act 2010 and builds on its principle of integrating equality and diversity in policy and practice. The LHAA have brought together an Equality action plan which specifically aims to address equality of opportunity in relation to the Protected Characteristics under the Act and sets out the priorities for action for the LHAA.
Activities supported through the implementation of LHAA strategies and action plan will address the needs of each member of staff or learner, as an individual. The LHAA will address and support the needs of men or women who could face a barrier to enter the sector and who share one or more of the Protected Characteristics.
The LHAA Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy is open and accessible to all staff and learners to promote a positive culture for working and studying to which every learner and member of staff contributes and within which they are able to develop to their full potential.
The LHAA are committed to promoting equality in-line with the Public sector Equality Duty, ESF and ESFA requirements and ensure that this policy is communicated to all staff and covers the nine protected characteristics. Valuing equality and diversity means that we all have complex identities made up of many strands. These can include, but are not limited to age, disability, race, nationality, socio-economic status, religion and beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity. This means we embrace and celebrate our differences in a positive environment, and are committed to engage with the needs of our diverse staff and users to enable us to achieve our aims.
How the law applies to the LHAA
The LHAA has legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. The Act consolidated previous anti-discrimination legislation and also introduced new measures that have direct implications for higher education institutions. The Equality Act provides a single legal framework with clear, streamlined law that will be more effective at tackling disadvantage and discrimination. It brings disability, sex, race and other grounds of discrimination within one piece of legislation which covers nine protected characteristics.
(A full version of the Equality Act can be viewed at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/pdfs/ukpga_20100015_en.pdf )
The Equality Act introduced a new Public Sector General Equality Duty which requires the LHAA to pay 'due regard' to the need to: eliminate unlawful discrimination, victimisation and harassment; advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
Definitions of equality, diversity and discrimination
Equality is about creating a fairer society where everyone can participate and has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential. Equality is backed by legislation designed to address unfair discrimination based on membership of a particular group.
Diversity is about recognising that everyone is different in a variety of visible and nonvisible ways. It is about creating a culture and practices that recognise, respect and value difference. It is about harnessing this potential to create a productive environment in which the equally diverse needs of the customer/client can be met in a creative environment. It is about creating a workforce who feel valued/respected and have their potential fully utilised in order to meet organisational goals. Diversity is not an ‘initiative’ or a ‘project’; it is an ongoing core aim and a core process.
The areas of discrimination where the law offers protection are:
Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another in a similar situation on a protected ground.
Specific forms of direct discrimination have also been defined:
Associative (transferred) discrimination
Now extended to cover age, disability, gender reassignment and sex. This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
Now extended to cover disability, gender reassignment and sex. This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic
Disability related direct discrimination:
Where a person discriminates against a disabled person if, on the ground of that person's disability, he or she is treated less favourably than a person not having that particular disability has been or would have been treated.
Disability - reasonable adjustments:
Where employers are obliged to make reasonable adjustments to premises or working arrangements to prevent a disabled person from being placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with persons who are not disabled.
Where a rule or practice is applied across the board, but it operates to particularly disadvantage a protected group when compared to others outside the group, unless the rule is needed to achieve a legitimate aim, and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.
Where an individual who has sought to enforce their rights, or has helped another to do so, has as a result been treated less favourably than others who have not complained.
Where an individual is subjected to unwanted conduct on a protected ground which has the purpose or effect of violating his or her dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment.
The protected characteristics
Age - refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32-year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30-year olds).
Disability - a person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day to-day activities.
Gender reassignment - the process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and civil partnership - marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. The public sector equality duty does not apply to this characteristic.
Pregnancy and maternity - pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context.
In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
Race - refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion or belief - Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
Sex - a reference to a man or to a woman Sexual orientation - Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes
Equality outcomes and actions
Over and above the provisions set out in its own policy and procedures, the company is also bound by certain legal responsibilities in the field of equal opportunities.
These Procedural include:
- The Race Relations Act 2000
- The Equal Pay Act 1970, Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulation 1983 and Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986 (as amended)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- European Social Fund Law
- Equality Act 2010
LHAA Management Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of all LHAA Directors and SMT to:
- ensure that the standards established within this policy are adhered to within their own area of responsibility
- familiarise themselves with the procedures in all Equal Opportunities documentation
- ensure that they are not instructing employees to act in a discriminatory manner
- ensure they are not putting pressure on employees to discriminate
- bring the details of the policy and procedure documents to the attention of all staff
- ensure that information on equal opportunities is incorporated in all induction processes for new or temporary staff and is supported by ongoing training
- Review and update the Equality and Equal Opportunities action plan
It is the responsibility of employees at all levels to:
- co-operate with any measures introduced to ensure equality of opportunity
- report any discriminatory acts or practices
- not induce or attempt to induce others to practice unlawful discrimination
- not victimise anyone as a result of them having reported or provided evidence of discrimination.
- not harass, abuse or intimidate others
More Information:View our Equality and Diversity Strategy