Red Admiral butterfly copyright LDNPA

Equal Opportunities Employer

The Lake District National Park Authority is committed to the principle of equal opportunities for all, and the aim of this policy is to ensure that employees, job applicants and individuals in receipt of our services are treated fairly and equally at all times.

The Authority seeks to prohibit improper discrimination of every type and its policy is therefore to ensure that all persons are treated fairly irrespective of their:

colour, ethnic origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, age (within the context of the normal retirement age) or youth, religion, political beliefs, trade union membership or non-membership, marital and physical or mental status, disability, pregnancy and maternity or any other factors which are in no way relevant in terms of individuals receiving our services or in terms of an individual’s ability to perform a job.

The Authority's Policy

The Authority’s policy is to respect all the people we deal with (such as employees and all external contacts) and to treat them fairly. Furthermore, the Authority requires all employees irrespective of position to comply with this policy at all times.

The Authority’s Commitments

The Authority is committed to ensuring that all practices and procedures in operation do not discriminate directly or indirectly against any individual. This includes:

  • The Authority’s Policies and Procedures and Conditions of Service – all terms and conditions of employment will be applied in a fair and consistent manner
  • Recruitment and Selection Procedures – decisions on recruitment and selection will be made on the basis of the job requirements and the individual’s ability
  • Training and Development – opportunities will be open to all on a fair basis
  • Provision of Services – the Authority will try at all times to ensure that the services it supplies do not discriminate directly or indirectly in favour or against any individual or group.

Further details of the Authority’s commitments and actions it will take with respect to these areas are given in appendix 1.

Purpose of the Policy

The Authority believes that an effective equal opportunities policy will help it make full use of the talents of all employees which will result in a healthy and more productive atmosphere and so create a better quality of working life.

We accept the right of everyone to be different and recognise the value of having a diverse workforce, where men and women with different backgrounds, skills and abilities contribute in their own way to the work of the Authority.

The Authority will:

  • Via the National Park Officer and Heads of Department be responsible for ensuring the policy is implemented and maintained
  • Ensure that appropriate advice, training and guidance is provided to ensure the effective operation of the policy
  • Investigate immediately any claims of discrimination on the grounds described above
  • Where discrimination is identified, require that the practice ceases immediately.

Line Manager Responsibilities

The Authority requires all line managers:

  • to act in a manner consistent with the principles of this policy
  • to ensure employees are aware of the principles of the policy and that they are implemented at all times
  • to ensure action is taken where the principles are breached
  • to treat all employees fairly, to listen to and give due consideration to their views and the views of anyone speaking or acting on their behalf.

Employee Responsibilities

All employees will be provided with a copy of this policy and are required to comply with it at all times.

Any employee offending will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure and, if found guilty, unless assurances of future non-discriminatory actions are forthcoming, an employee repeating any act of discrimination may be dismissed.

In addition, employees should be aware that whilst the Authority can be held liable in law for acts of discrimination committed by employees, individual employees can also be held personally liable for acts of discrimination which they commit, authorise, contribute to or condone in relation to other employees and members of the public.

Publicising the Policy

All employees will be provided with a copy of the policy and all job applicants will receive a copy of the policy with their application form.

In addition, Members, volunteers and others providing services on behalf of the Authority will be issued with a copy.

Monitoring and Reviewing the Policy

The National Park Officer will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Equal Opportunities Policy and reporting the outcome to Members on a yearly basis.

As part of the monitoring, recruitment and selection procedures, along with the Authority’s policies, procedures and conditions of service will be reviewed as appropriate to check they conform with the law and current best practice in the provision of equal opportunities. The number of complaints about discrimination will also be monitored and reported.

The annual stress audit and the Personal Development Review system, along with exit interviews (carried out before an individual leaves the Authority’s employment to establish why they are leaving) are mechanisms which should also give the Authority an idea about the effectiveness of its equal opportunities policy in the workplace.

How to Raise a Complaint or Grievance about Discriminatory Action

As already stated, the Authority will treat any complaints from an employee or any other individual concerning discrimination very seriously, and will fully investigate the matter. Appropriate action to rectify the matter will be taken.

Where an employee is found to have acted in a discriminatory way, the disciplinary procedure will be applied.

If you feel you have been discriminated against

If you believe that any form of discriminatory action against you has occurred in the course of your employment (either by someone at the Authority or someone from outside), then you should in the first instance talk in confidence to your line manager. If this is not possible, for whatever reason, your complaint should be raised with a member of the Senior Management Team or the Personnel Officer. You may do this via your Staff Representative or the Union if you prefer.

You have recourse to the Authority’s Grievance Procedure if you feel it is appropriate.

In addition, employees are reminded that they have access to the free counselling service, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) if they wish. Leaflets are available at each place of work or alternatively your line manger or the Personnel Officer can be contacted.

If you believe or consider a Colleague of taking Discriminatory Action or using Discriminatory Behaviour

Employees are reminded that while there is a duty to report the suspected discriminatory action of others, under the Authority’s Confidential Reporting Policy employees are assured protection from possible reprisals or victimisation if they make such a disclosure in good faith and with a reasonable belief that discrimination has occurred.

If you believe or consider a colleague of acting in a discriminatory manner, you should report this to your line manager or, if this is not appropriate, to a member of the Senior Management Team or the Personnel Officer. Your Staff Representative or the Union will offer you support if you wish.

Harassment and Bullying

The Authority will not tolerate the following forms of discrimination in the workplace:

  • Any form of harassment including sexual or racial harassment
  • Bullying of an employee

Such forms of discrimination can be a source of great distress to employees concerned. A separate staff note deals with these sort of discrimination and the procedures for raising a complaint should you feel you are a victim.

Our commitments to Equal Opportunities and the actions it will take

The Authority is committed to ensuring that all practices and procedures in operation do not discriminate directly or indirectly against any individual. This includes:

  • The Authority’s Policies and Procedures and Conditions of Service
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Training and Development
  • Provision of Services

Our Policies and Procedures and Conditions of Service

The Authority aims to promote equality of opportunity for all employees in its policies, and as such all terms and conditions of service and employment policies and procedures will be applied fairly and consistently.

Examples of existing personnel polices which relate to equal opportunities are:

  • Good practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection at the LDNPA
  • The Authority’s Training and Development Policy Statement
  • Harassment and Bullying Policy
  • Special Leave
  • Parental (Maternity/Paternity) Leave
  • Flexi-time scheme
  • Other forms of flexible working including part time working and job sharing
  • Employing People with Disabilities

Recruitment and Selection Procedures

The Authority aims to ensure that there are no discriminatory barriers to the employment and promotion of any individual.

All appointments will be made on merit and to ensure this happens, the Authority will take the following actions:

  • Produce accurate job descriptions with no unnecessary duties
  • Use person specifications in the process which describe essential and desirable qualities; unnecessary criteria will not be included
  • Use job application forms which seek only information relevant to the post in question
  • Offer special provision to those unable to complete an application form if so requested
  • Advertise vacancies internally and externally normally, except for example where there are employees at risk of redundancy and there is a "freeze" on recruitment
  • Notify vacancies to job centres in normal circumstances
  • Shortlist against the criteria listed in the person specification; this to be carried out independently in the first instance by 2 or more individuals
  • Record the reasons for rejecting/selecting applicants
  • Carefully structure interviews around a common set of relevant questions
  • Use tests which are non-discriminatory and use these consistently with all candidates
  • Provide facilities where appropriate for people with disabilities to attend interviews and complete tests
  • Record reasons for decisions taken by the interview panel
  • Provide confidential feedback for candidates if they wish

In addition, the Authority will endeavour to offer appropriate training to employees involved in the recruitment and selection process.

Employees and Individuals with Disabilities

The Authority will endeavour to provide those who have physical or mental disabilities with specific assistance and arrangements to enable them to work for the Authority wherever and whenever this is reasonably practical. The Staff Note on Employing People with Disabilities provides more information on this.

Training and Development

The Authority has committed to plan and deliver training and development provision on the basis of equality of access for all. In other words, all individuals are to be given full and fair consideration for training opportunities, irrespective of their gender, race, colour etc.

Provision of Services

As an organisation which provides a variety of services, the Authority will try at all times to ensure that all facilities and services and good supplied conform with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and that they do not discriminate directly or indirectly against any individual or group. There is recourse to the Authority’s Complaints procedure if necessary.

The Authority will ensure that all external providers of services engaged on its behalf - for example those not directly employed by the Authority such as contractors, events leaders, volunteers and appointed Members - are aware of the Authority’s Equal Opportunities Policy. Such individuals will be required to undertake to conform with the Policy when providing services under the Authority’s name. If the Authority is made aware that any discriminatory action has occurred, then the matter will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken if the complaint is substantiated.