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Equality & Diversity Policy

YO! Sushi UK Limited Equality and Diversity Policy

Last updated: March 2018

YO! Sushi UK Limited believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual and is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst its workforce. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society and to create an environment that respects the diversity of employees, enabling them to achieve their full potential, to contribute fully and to derive full benefit and enjoyment from working at YO! Sushi.

To that end, the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all those in our employment and not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, gender reassignment, marital status (including civil partnerships), race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, maternity or pregnancy. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect.

Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

YO! Sushi’s Commitment to Equality and Diversity

Our Commitment:

  • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.
  • Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. 
  • Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff. 
  • Equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense. 
  • We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
  • Breaches of our equality policy may be regarded as gross misconduct and could lead to disciplinary action being taken, up to and including summary dismissal.
  • This policy is fully supported by senior management.
  • The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.


Discrimination
It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of:

  • gender
  • gender reassignment
  • marital status (including civil partnerships)
  • race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin)
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • religion/belief 
  • age
  • pregnancy and maternity

These are known as ‘protected characteristics’
 

Types of Discrimination:

Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic. For example, a manager does not select a pregnant woman for employment or promotion even though they meet all of the competencies.

Associative discrimination occurs when someone discriminates against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.  This is a type of direct discrimination.  For example, a manager does not give a job-applicant the role, even though they have met all of the competencies for the role, just because the applicant tells the employer they have a disabled partner.

Associative discrimination applies to age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, and gender.

Discrimination by perception occurs when someone discriminates against an individual because they think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic. For example, when a manager selects a person for redundancy because they incorrectly think they are disabled.

Discrimination by perception applies to age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, and gender.

Indirect Discrimination occurs when there is a rule, policy, criterion or practice that applies to all employees but is a disadvantage to those who have a protected characteristic.  This may be classed as indirect discrimination unless it can be shown that the provision put in place is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Indirect discrimination applies to age, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, marital status (including civil partnership), disability, gender reassignment, maternity or pregnancy.

Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated unfavourably, disadvantaged or treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint of discrimination or raised a grievance under the Equality Act, or because they are suspected of doing so. For example, an employee requests to work flexibly and their manager refuses their request because they supported a colleague in a complaint of discrimination. However, an employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint.  

Harassment occurs when an employee is subject to “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.  For example, a manager frequently teases and humiliates an employee about their disability. 

Harassment can be between individuals or it may involve groups of people and applies to all protected characteristics except for pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership. 


Dignity at Work
YO! Sushi is committed to creating a work environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect at all times.  In addition to discrimination (detailed above), YO! Sushi will not tolerate bullying of any of its employees, whether this be by another employee or a third party.

Bullying occurs when an employee is subject to offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, and/or an abuse or misuse of power that is meant to undermine, humiliate or injure the person on the receiving end. Bullying may be misconduct that is physical, verbal or non-verbal (for example an e-mail, text message, comments on social media).

Examples of bullying may include but are not limited to:

  • Physical conduct ranging from an unwelcome touch to serious assault;
  • Unwelcome sexual advances;
  • Demeaning comments about a person’s appearance;
  • Unwelcome jokes or comments of a sexual or racial nature or about an individual’s age, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion;
  • Spreading malicious rumors or insulting someone;
  • Setting someone up to fail;
  • Exclusion, isolation or non-cooperation at work.

Responsibility
All employees have a responsibility to create and maintain a work environment free from any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying and to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity at all times.  Therefore, employees at all levels must ensure that there is no discrimination in any of their actions, decisions or behaviour. 

Employees can help to do this by:

  • being aware of how your own behaviour may affect others and changing it, if necessary 
  • treating colleagues with dignity and respect
  • Raising concerns of unacceptable behaviour in a clear, constructive and professional manner and supporting the organisation in the investigation of complaints
  • If a complaint is made, not prejudging or victimising the complainant or alleged harasser

Managers have a particular responsibility to:

  • set a good example by their own behaviour
  • ensure that there is a supportive working environment
  • make sure that employees know what standards of behaviour are expected of them
  • intervene to stop bullying or harassment
  • report promptly to Human Resources any complaint of bullying or harassment, or any incident of bullying or harassment witnessed by them

Dealing with Complaints
YO! Sushi takes all claims of discrimination, harassment or bullying very seriously and will take appropriate action against those concerned. 

The following procedure should be followed if an employee has any complaint, however, employees are encouraged to seek advice and support from their Manager, an Operations Manager or Human Resources at any time should they need to.

Step 1. 

Where an employee has a complaint, they should seek to raise it informally, where appropriate, with the person who has undertaken the alleged behaviour.  This should be done as soon as possible after the behaviour has occurred and the employee should make clear that the behaviour is unacceptable to them, whether or not it was intended. 

If an employee feels they are unable to raise the complaint with the person directly they should progress directly to Step 2.

Step 2

If the matter remains unresolved, continues or is of a more severe nature, the employee should raise their complaint with their Manager or Operations Manager who will endeavour to resolve the situation with the parties concerned. The parties concerned will be informed of any outcomes that may result from the complaint resolution.  Following a full investigation, disciplinary proceedings may be initiated at this stage should it be deemed necessary.

Step 3

If the matter remains unresolved, continues or is deemed to be too serious to be dealt with informally, the employee should raise a formal complaint in line with YO! Sushi’s Formal Grievance Procedure. 

Employees will not be penalised for raising a grievance, even if the grievance is not upheld, unless the complaint is found to be both untrue and made in bad faith.
 

Breaches of the Equality and Diversity Policy
YO! Sushi will not tolerate any behaviour from staff which breaches this policy. 

Any alleged breaches will be fully investigated and appropriate action will be taken in line with YO! Sushi’s Disciplinary Policy. Serious breaches such as discrimination on protected grounds; serious offences including harassment, bullying, or victimisation will be treated as gross misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action including dismissal without notice.

Wherever possible, whilst a complaint is under investigation, employees directly involved in the alleged breach will not be required to work together. If the allegation is of gross misconduct, the employee alleged to be responsible for the breach may be suspended on full pay during the investigation and, if a disciplinary hearing is to be called, until disciplinary proceedings have been concluded.

If, following investigation, the alleged breach is not upheld, an employee’s Manager, Operations Manager and the Human Resources Department will support employees in making arrangements to help repair working relationships. The organisation may also consider making arrangements so that employees directly involved are not required to continue to work alongside each other, however, this will be decided on a case by case basis.

Training Review and Monitoring
YO! Sushi will provide training to all existing, new employees and others engaged to work at the organisation to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under this policy and what they can do to help create a working environment free of discrimination, bullying and harassment. 

YO! Sushi will review the outcomes of cases where complaints of discrimination, bullying and harassment have been made to check that the proper procedures have been followed and to identify any points that can be learned from those cases and implement any necessary changes.

YO! Sushi will also periodically monitor how successful it is in encouraging diversity and equality as well as creating a workplace which is free from discrimination bullying and harassment.