Our Corporate Commitment
AVA Energy has always been and continues to be, committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all people without regard to race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability. We are committed to being a responsible employer where remuneration, recruitment, promotion, and retention are not affected by irrelevant considerations and stereotyping.
As a company, we embrace diversity and will seek to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities for all employees, workers, and applicants. We will develop a business and recruitment culture that reflects that belief in order to create as diverse an employee and candidate base as possible.
AVA Energy is fully committed to providing a productive and harmonious working environment that offers equal treatment and equal opportunities for all employees and where every employee is treated with respect and dignity.
Principles underlying this Policy
We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in the workplace is not only good management practice; it also makes sound business sense. The AVA Energy Equal Opportunities policy will help all employees develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of our organisation.
Our policy is to
eliminate discrimination and harassment from the workplace as far as reasonably possible
encourage our employees to take an active role against all forms of discrimination and harassment
deter employees from participating in discriminatory behaviour or harassment
demonstrate to all employees that they can rely upon the Company's support in cases of discrimination or harassment at work.
AVA Energy will avoid stipulating any unnecessary requirements which would exclude a higher proportion of a particular gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or racial group or which would exclude disabled job applicants; and we will avoid prescribing any requirements as to marital or civil partnership status.
AVA Energy will not discriminate unlawfully when deciding which candidate/temporary worker is submitted for a vacancy or assignment, or in any terms of employment or terms of engagement for temporary workers. We will ensure that each candidate is assessed only in accordance with their merits, qualifications, and abilities to perform the relevant duties required by the particular vacancy.
AVA Energy will not accept instructions from clients that indicate an intention to discriminate unlawfully.
Key elements of our Policy are described in the following sections in relation to discrimination (direct and indirect), disabled persons, age discrimination, part-time workers, harassment and gender reassignment.
Unlawful discrimination occurs in the following circumstances:
Direct discrimination occurs where one individual treats or would treat another individual less favourably because of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs (“the protected categories”).
It is unlawful for a recruitment consultancy to discriminate against a person on the grounds of a protected category
in the terms on which the recruitment consultancy offers to provide any of its services
by refusing or deliberately omitting to provide any of its services
in the way, it provides any of its services.
Direct discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultancy accepted and acted upon a job registration from an employer which states that certain persons are unacceptable due to a protected category, unless one of the exceptions applies, for instance, if the job demands a genuine occupational requirement or in the case of age, the discrimination can be lawfully justified.
Indirect discrimination occurs where an agency or employer applies a provision, criterion or practice generally which disadvantages a minority group in the community on the basis of a protected category.
Indirect discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultant accepted and acted upon an indirectly discriminatory instruction from an employer.
If the vacancy requires characteristics which amount to a genuine occupational requirement, or the instruction is lawfully discriminatory due to a statutory exception or objective justification, AVA Energy will not deal further with the vacancy unless the client provides written confirmation of such genuine occupational requirement, exception or justification.
Direct discrimination against a person occurs where a person is treated less favourably because of disability, either their own disability or because someone they are associated with has a disability.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a practice, criterion or provision which cannot be objectively justified is applied to everyone but results in a person with a disability being placed at a disadvantage.
Discrimination arising from disability occurs when a person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in connection with their disability.
Duty to make reasonable adjustments and to provide auxiliary aids and services
This is a similar protection to indirect discrimination in the other protected categories.
Where a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of an employer, or any physical feature of the employer’s premises, places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, AVA Energy will take such steps as are reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, to remove the provision, criterion, practice or physical feature.
Agencies must take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids or services if this would make it easier for the disabled person to use their services. For instance, an appropriate auxiliary aid or service can include the provision of information on audiotape or provision of a sign language interpreter.
AVA Energy will not discriminate against a disabled person on the grounds of disability:
in the application form, interview or arrangements for selection for determining to whom a job should be offered; or
in the terms on which employment or engagement of temporary workers is offered; or
by refusing to offer or deliberately not offering the disabled person a job for reasons connected with their disability; or in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity; or
by subjecting him or her to any other detriment (detriment will include refusal of training or transfer, demotion, reduction of wage, or harassment).
AVA Energy will make career opportunities available to all people with disabilities and every practical effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff, candidates, and clients.
Wherever possible we will make reasonable adjustments to hallways, passages, and doors in order to provide and improve means of access for disabled employees and workers. However, this may not always be feasible, due to circumstances creating such difficulties as to render such adjustments as being beyond what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
AVA Energy will not discriminate directly or indirectly, harass or victimise any person on the grounds of their age. We will encourage clients not to include any age criteria in job specifications and will make every attempt to persuade clients to recruit on the basis of competence and skills rather than age.
We are committed to recruiting and retaining employees whose skills, experience, and attitude are suitable for the requirements of the various positions regardless of age.
No age requirements will be stated in any job advertisements on behalf of the company.
We will request age as part of our recruitment process but such information will not be used as selection, training or promotion criteria, or in any detrimental way. It is only requested for compilation
of personal data, which the company holds on all employees and workers and as part of our equal opportunities monitoring process.
This Policy also covers the treatment of those employees and workers who work on a part-time basis. We recognise that it is an essential part of this policy that part-time employees are treated on the same terms, with no detriment, as full-time employees (albeit on a pro rata basis) in matters such as rates of pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, parental and domestic incident leave and access to pension schemes.
We also recognise that part-time employees must be treated the same as full-time employees in relation to training and redundancy situations.
AVA Energy is committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political beliefs or any other basis protected by legislation. This is unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Examples of prohibited harassment are:
verbal or written conduct containing derogatory jokes or comments;
slurs or unwanted sexual advances;
visual conduct such as derogatory or sexually orientated posters;
photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures which some may find offensive;
physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or any interference because of sex, race or any other protected category basis;
Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favours;
Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
If you believe that you have been unlawfully harassed, you should make an immediate report to our Managing Director followed by a written complaint as soon as possible after the incident. Your complaint should include:
Details of the incident
Name(s) of the individual(s) involved
Name(s) of any witness(es)
We will undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations. If it is concluded that unlawful harassment has occurred, remedial action will be taken.
Any employee(s) who we find to be responsible for unlawful harassment will be subject to the disciplinary procedure and any sanction may include termination.
A person who discriminates or harasses another person or persons may be personally liable for payment of compensation to the person(s) offended, in addition to any compensation payable by AVA Energy.
There is no statutory cap on the amount of compensation which may be awarded in discrimination cases. Under the Criminal Justice Act 1994, harassment became a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison term of up to 6 months. Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the penalties for aggravated harassment are an unlimited fine and/or 5 years imprisonment.
AVA Energy recognises that any employee or worker may wish to change their gender during the course of their employment with the Company.
We will support any employee or worker through the reassignment.
For any employee or worker who has undergone, is undergoing or intends to undergo gender reassignment, we will make every effort to try to protect them from discrimination or harassment within the workplace.
All employees and workers will be expected to comply with our policy on harassment in the workplace.
Any breach of such a policy will lead to the appropriate disciplinary sanction.
Where an employee is engaged in work where the gender change imposes genuine problems and wishes to be assigned to an alternative role in our company, we will make every effort to accommodate this request.
Any employee or worker suffering discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment should notify their manager or our Managing Director as soon as possible and use the Company’s grievance procedure.
The AVA Energy Staff Handbook provides full details of our complaints procedure and we have management procedures in place for monitoring compliance with this policy.
All AVA Energy employees can have absolute confidence that any discrimination complaint will be investigated fully, quickly, sympathetically and without bias. Confidentiality will be assured, so far as possible.
Every effort will be made to ensure that individuals who make a complaint in good faith will not suffer any detriment or be victimised because of making such a complaint.
Any complaint of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and, as far as possible, confidentially. Victimisation will result in disciplinary action and may warrant dismissal.
Any act of discrimination which contravenes this policy will result in the disciplinary procedure being invoked against the individuals responsible or involved
Responsibility and Implementation
While responsibility for the compliance of AVA Energy with this policy lies ultimately with the Board, we require every employee to respect and act in accordance with the policy as follows:
All employees should:
co-operate with any measures introduced to develop equal opportunities;
never take discriminatory actions or decisions which are contrary to either the letter or spirit of this policy
ensure that employees who report to them also comply with the policy;
never instruct, induce, or attempt to induce or pressure other employees to act in breach of this policy.
Our employees’ continued co-operation and support are important elements in our goals of equal employment opportunities for all employees.
Our Board and managers will make sure that all staff are trained in this Policy and that it is communicated to all employees and as part of our Induction programmes for new employees.
Review and Update
We will review all aspects of recruitment on an on-going basis to make sure our procedures and practices avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.
Our formal policy will be reviewed annually and updated where appropriate in accordance with prevailing legislation.