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Equality and diversity policy and procedure

Last Updated On: 18th August 2023
Effective Date: 18th August 2023

1. Purpose

1.1 To ensure that all members of staff can work in an environment that is free from harassment or discrimination.

1.2 Nouvita Healthcare is committed to ensuring that all members of staff and job applicants receive equal treatment, regardless of their Protected Characteristics.

1.3 This policy applies to all aspects of employment with Nouvita Healthcare. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, business trips or at work-related events or social functions and termination of employment.

1.4 To meet the legal requirements of the regulated activities that {Nouvita Healthcare} is registered to provide:

  • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (Amendment to Parts 4 & 5)
  • Care Quality Commission (Registration) and (Additional Functions)
  • Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Equality Act 2010: Chapter 1 (Protected Characteristics) Chapter 2 (Prohibited Conduct) and Chapter 3 (Services and Public Functions)
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Gender Recognition Act 2004


2. Objectives

2.1 To set out the zero-tolerance approach of Nouvita Healthcare to the perpetrators in the workplace

2.2 To ensure that Nouvita Healthcare has an open and transparent approach to all aspects of employment, free from discrimination.

2.3 To ensure that all members of staff are able to thrive in an inclusive environment.

2.4 To create a working environment that enables everyone to work to the best of their skills and abilities without the threat of discrimination or harassment in the workplace.


3. Policy

3.1 All forms of discrimination are unlawful and prohibited under this policy.

3.2 Nouvita Healthcare takes a zero-tolerance approach to any type of discrimination, bullying, harassment and/or victimisation which one member of staff may perpetrate against another and/or against any other person, including but not limited to former employees, job applicants, Service Users, customers, suppliers and visitors.

3.3 Equally, this policy not only applies in the workplace but also outside of it when the member of staff is dealing with customers, suppliers or other work-related contacts, or when wearing a work uniform and on work-related trips or events including social events.

3.4 Any data collected as part of this policy will be processed in accordance with UK GDPR, data protection legislation, the Privacy Notice issued to staff and the Data Security and Data Retention Policy and Procedure of Nouvita Healthcare. Nouvita Healthcare appreciates that certain health data and medical reports will be special category data and Nouvita Healthcare will process this data accordingly.

3.5  Nouvita Healthcare complies with the Equality Act 2010 in all its processes regarding employees.

3.6 This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time


4. Procedure

4.1 Nouvita Healthcare will provide appropriate training on Equal Opportunities. Nouvita Healthcare is committed to following the European Human Rights Commission Employment Statutory Code of Practice and has appointed an appropriate senior manager to have responsibility for Equal Opportunities training.

4.2 Recruitment and Selection

Any selection exercises including recruitment, promotion and redundancy selection, amongst others, will be carried out with regard to objective criteria which specifically avoid any issues of discrimination. Similarly, where possible, Nouvita Healthcare will ensure that such exercises are carried out by more than one person.

Any vacancies will be advertised to as wide and diverse an audience as possible. Such advertisements will not discourage any individual or group from applying. Job applicants will not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.

Job applicants will not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law, for example, to check that the applicant could perform an intrinsic part of the role, for example, heavy lifting (taking account of any reasonable adjustments), or to see if any reasonable adjustments may be required at an interview. Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check. Health or disability questions may be included in equal opportunities monitoring forms; these forms will not be used for selection or decision-making purposes.

4.3 Disabilities

Nouvita Healthcare is committed to ensuring that all members of staff have the ability to thrive in their career. If a member of staff is disabled or becomes disabled, whether this disability is obvious or not, Nouvita Healthcare encourages them to tell Hospital Director about their condition so that Nouvita Healthcare can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate.

4.4 Immigration Status

Nouvita Healthcare will not make any assumptions about immigration status based on appearance or apparent nationality.

However, Nouvita Healthcare is required by law to ensure that all of its employees are entitled to work in the UK. Therefore, all prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to prove their right to work in the UK before their employment commences at Nouvita Healthcare. Please refer to the Right to Work Checks Policy and Procedure at Nouvita Healthcare for further details.

4.5 Part-time and Fixed-term Work

Part-time and fixed-term employees should be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent employees and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.

4.6 Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a broad term that is used to describe the infinite number of ways the human brain can operate (most commonly used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or development conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia).

Nouvita Healthcare appreciates that members of staff may be neurodivergent and Nouvita Healthcare promotes neurodiversity within the workplace and will ensure that neurodivergent employees are not treated unfairly or suffer any detriment due to their neurodivergence.

In order to support any neurodivergent employees, Nouvita Healthcare encourages those employees who are living with a neurodiverse condition to speak to their line manager to inform them of their condition. Nouvita Healthcare will deal with any information disclosed in confidence, sensitively and in accordance with its data protection requirements.

If an employee has a neurodiverse condition, their line manager may discuss with them how, if at all, their condition affects their ability to complete their role and where necessary, complete a “needs assessment” to help identify any workplace adjustments that can be put in place to support them within the workplace and help the employee complete their role. Examples of workplace adjustments that can be put in place include but are not limited to:

  • Amending duties
  • Putting in place visible instructions next to equipment
  • Allowing employees to use noise cancelling headphones
  • Allocating work areas with more natural light; and
  • Providing an area that is considered ‘quiet’ or a location away from busy areas


Nouvita Healthcare is committed to ensuring that neurodivergent employees feel comfortable in the workplace and is committed to raising awareness of neurodiversity by:

  • Providing training to managers on supporting neurodiverse employees
  • Creating neurodiverse support networks for employees
  • Encouraging employees to speak about neurodiversity; and
  • Creating neurodiverse champions


4.7 Disciplinary Procedure

Any member of staff found to be in breach of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct, resulting in dismissal.

Please see the Discipline Policy and Procedure for further information.

4.8 Grievance Procedure

If a member of staff believes that they have suffered discrimination, then they should raise these issues through the Grievances Policy and Procedure and/or the Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedure and the Harassment Policy and Procedure at Nouvita Healthcare. A member of staff will not be bullied or victimised for raising issues under this policy. However, if a complaint is made in bad faith and/or is knowingly false, the member of staff may be subject to the Discipline Policy and Procedure of Nouvita Healthcare.

4.9 All staff should understand their responsibility to show consideration to, and to not discriminate against, disabled colleagues, and this will be reinforced in supervision.


5.0 Definitions

5.1 Victimisation

Retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment. For example, Person A raised a complaint of being subject to discrimination, following which their manager subjected Person A to a disciplinary process

5.2 Disability Discrimination

This includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability

5.3 Discrimination

The act of unjustified or prejudicial treatment towards other people based on their Protected Characteristics

There are a number of types of discrimination, including distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived

5.4 Bullying

This is categorised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can leave an employee feeling vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened

Bullying is dealt with further in our Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedure

5.5 Harassment

This includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them

Harassment is dealt with further in our Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedure and our Harassment Policy and Procedure

5.6 Disability

A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The effect must have lasted for 12 months or be likely   to last 12 months. An effect that is likely to recur is treated as continuing for this purpose

5.7 Direct Discrimination

Treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic, for example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because of their sexuality

5.8 Special Category Data

Special Category Data is a category of data which is more sensitive than normal personal data. This includes data which relates to:

  • Race
  • Ethnic origin
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetics
  • Biometrics (where used for ID purposes)
  • Health
  • Sex life; or
  • Sexual orientation


5.9 Indirect Discrimination

A provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than others and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time may adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified

5.10 Protected Characteristic

Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.