Diversity and Inclusion

Peter Behan, Director at Group Horizon, highlights the company’s commitment to creating a diversity strategy of which equal opportunities is a part.

Diversity recognises that we are all different and involves building an environment where people are respected as individuals and where their diverse range of views, perceptions, qualities, experiences, and contributions are valued. Diversity is about the culture and environment of work and whilst equality and diversity are different concepts, equality is an essential ingredient in achieving diversity.

The principle of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity applies equally to the treatment of employees, learners, visitors, clients, customers, and suppliers. Our intention at Group Horizon is that both our staff and our learners reflect the diversity of our nation’s population.

All staff and learners have the right to be free from harassment and bullying of any description or from any other form of unwanted behaviour whether based on gender, trans- gender status, race, disability, age, political or religious belief or sexuality.

Types of discrimination

Discrimination can come in a range of forms and some are not always immediately obvious:

Direct – Putting a person at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more of the following grounds: gender, marital status, gender reassignment, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief, trade union membership, political affiliation, part- time or fixed term status, age, or disability.

Harassment – where unwanted physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct occurs which has the purpose or the effect of, affecting a worker or a learners dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.

Indirect – less obvious discriminatory treatment i.e. where an individual is subjected to an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which puts them at a particular disadvantage because of their gender, marital status, gender reassignment, ethnic or national origin, nationality, race, colour, sexual orientation, religious belief, trade union membership, part time or fixed time status, age, or disability.

Victimisation – treating a person less favourably than another on the grounds that he/she has taken legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in some way.

The objective is to address situations positively and timely and correct them, so early advice of situations is far better than allowing them to deteriorate beyond a point where remedial action can be taken.

Positive Discrimination

Positive action in recruitment and promotion can be used where an employer reasonably thinks that people with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workforce, or suffer a disadvantage connected to that protected characteristic.

In practice it allows an employer faced with making a choice between two or more candidates who are of equal merit to take into consideration whether one is from a group that is disproportionately under-represented or otherwise disadvantaged within the workforce. This is sometimes called either a ‘tie-breaker’ or the ‘tipping point’. However, this kind of positive action is only allowed where it is a proportionate way of addressing the under-representation or disadvantage.

Remember, all staff and learners have an equal chance to contribute and to achieve their potential.

For further information please visit Group Horizon’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy here