Hygeia dental care recognises that discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability or religion is harmful and in many cases illegal. Through this policy, through training and by example, we wish to demonstrate that we will not tolerate discrimination by anyone working at the practice.
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 – business owners, associates and employees – to behave. It applies to our dealings with each other, with candidates for job vacancies, with suppliers and with our patients.
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 both men and women.
Direct sex discrimination is when one person is treated less favourably on the grounds of his or her 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 his or her sex or because of a factor that is linked to sex, 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 tasks they have to perform.
Direct marriage discrimination can occur when a married person is treated less favourably in employment, because he/she 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 are 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 that affects the dignity of those who work in the practice. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal 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 his or her 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 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.
Will 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 Mr Phillips.
what team members should do if they feel they are the subject of discrimination or harassment
To begin with, raise the matter with Joanne Giddy. She will attempt to resolve the matter informally. If the matter is not resolved informally then you should submit a written complaint to Neil Phillips.
1. Let the perpetrator know how you feel about his or her behaviour. You could do this either by speaking to him or her or, if you do not wish a confrontation, by putting your thoughts in writing.
2. Ask him or her to stop the behaviour.
3. Keep a good record of the incidents.
4. Report the incidents as soon as possible to Joanne Giddy or Neil Phillips.
what we will do about discrimination or harassment
1. We will take any allegation seriously. We will listen to your complaint sympathetically and record it thoroughly.
2. We will adopt this policy and modify it in the light of changes in the law.
3. If you make an allegation of harassment, the practice will initiate its grievance procedure as set out in your statement of employment terms. Your complaint may be treated as confidential if you request it to be so. However, 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 his or her version of the events.
4. If you make an allegation of discrimination the practice will initiate its grievance procedure as set out in your statement of employment terms.
5. Any employee breaching this policy will face disciplinary action. Persistent or blatant discrimination or harassment could lead to dismissal.
6. If a prospective employee alleges discrimination, 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.
Web version 2: 4.8.2016 (Reviewed 1.9.2017)
Previous web versions: 4.9.2000 (Reviewed 4.2.2011, 26.1.2012, 13.3.2013; 19.6.2014; 5.6.2015)