East Devon District Council

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Policy Equality policy and Strategy 2017-20

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9. Principle 4: Recruit and employ people fairly

Employees agency/contract workers, volunteers, people applying for a job or trainees at East Devon District Council must not be discriminated against because of a protected characteristic. This means that people must be given equality of opportunity in all aspects of recruitment, selection, appraisal, training, promotion/transfer, work allocation, supervision, reward, recognition, retirement, redundancy, career development and any other conditions of employment or work

All staff must be treated fairly and their diversity valued, recognising the different experiences, skills and knowledge people have and the different contributions they make. Staff must also be provided with a work environment where they are free from harassment or other barriers from performing their role.

Advertise jobs openly:

  • When advertising jobs, make sure that they draw the attention of a wide range of applications, in line with employment policies. In special circumstances, such as redundancy and redeployment, priority can be given to internal candidates.
  • Advertisements and interview procedures must reflect the job description and person specification (which is non-discriminatory), follow equality standards, and should promote our commitment to equality.
  • Tests may be used to check suitability objectively. Ensure that they are free from cultural, racial, gender or any other form of bias so that they do not indirectly discriminate.
  • Do not ask candidates questions (formally or informally) that are not directly relevant to the job (for example about family life or hobbies).
  • Other than in the following circumstances, do not ask questions about disability or health prior to a job offer: diversity monitoring (provided this is clearly anonymous and properly separated) checking ability to carry out functions of the role or selection tests.

Monitor and review employment practice:

  • Employment policies need to adhere to codes of practices and best practice to ensure they are not discriminating and are promoting equality of opportunity.
  • Monitoring (the collection and analysis of diversity data) must be carried out by the council so that it can identify if there is over or under-representation of men/women, racial groups, disabled people and other relevant characteristics, and use the information to take action to address any imbalance under workforce strategy. This is a legal requirement for public services with more than 150 members of staff.
  • Personal data collection for monitoring purposes must be done so on a voluntary and anonymous basis, in line with data protection rules. The reasons for monitoring should be clearly stated to encourage a positive return rate. Inform staff, who are asking questions, of the sensitivities of monitoring and why it is being carried out.