Hazlems Fenton LLP - Equality & Diversity Policy

Our Commitment to Equality and Diversity

(A)    Commitment

We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. This applies to our professional dealings with:

  • clients,
  • employees and partners,
  • other accountants and professionals,
  • other third parties

We shall treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:

  • Sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
  • Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
  • Race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
  • Religion or belief;
  • Age;
  • Caring responsibility; or
  • Disability

We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the Firm and its employees do not unlawfully discriminate under:-

  • The Equality Act 2010;
  • The Employment Rights Act 1996;
  • The Human Rights Act 1998;
  • The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000;
  • The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000;
  • The Work and Families Act 2006;
  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004; and

Any other relevant legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services.

(B) Meeting Clients Needs

(i) General Statement

As a provider of accountancy, tax and related services we will treat all clients equally and fairly and will not unlawfully discriminate against them. We will also, wherever possible, take steps to promote equal opportunity in within our firm.

(ii) Identifying Clients Needs

We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients.  We will take account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients who are unable to communicate effectively in English.

(C) Dealings with Third Parties

(i) General Statement

We do not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with fellow professionals and other third parties.

(D) Employment

(i) General Statement

As an employer, we will treat all employees and job applicants equally and fairly and will not unlawfully discriminate against them. This applies equally to voluntary positions and anyone undertaking work experience with us. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, bonus schemes, work allocation and any other employment related activities.

(ii) Recruitment and Selection

We recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will take steps to ensure that:

  • we endeavour to recruit from the widest pool of qualified candidates practicable;
  • employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit;
  • where appropriate, positive action is taken to attract applications from all sections of society and especially from those groups which are underrepresented in the workforce;
  • selection criteria and processes do not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity); sexual orientation (including civil partnership status); race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); religion or belief; age; caring responsibility; or disability.
  • wherever appropriate and necessary, lawful exemptions (genuine occupational requirements) will be used to recruit suitable staff to meet the special needs of particular groups;
  • any recruitment agencies acting for us are aware of this policy and act accordingly.

(iii) Conditions of Service

Where appropriate and necessary, the Firm will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of employees which arise from their sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity); sexual orientation (including civil partnership status); race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); religion or belief; age; caring responsibility; or disability.

(iv) Promotion and Career Development

Promotion within the Firm will be based solely on merit. The Firm’s recruitment and selection policy is kept under review to ensure that we comply with anti-discrimination legislation.

 (E) Working with other organisations

All those who act on the Firm’s behalf will be informed of this policy and will be expected to adhere to it when conducting business on the Firm’s behalf.

(F) Implementing the policy

(i) Responsibility

The Firm has appointed the Staff Partner to be responsible for the operation of this Policy. The Staff Partner will report directly to the Senior Partners once every year and also in the event of systemic failings in this Policy.

All employees are informed of this Policy as part of their induction and this is included in their employment contracts with the firm.

 (ii) Complaints of discrimination / Breach of this Policy

We treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination made by any of our employees, clients, or other third parties and will take action where appropriate. All complaints are investigated in accordance with our Grievance Procedure or Complaints Procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome. We also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination.

(iii) Monitoring

We monitor and record equality and diversity information about employees and partners on the basis of age, race, gender and disability. We monitor, at least annually:

Recruitment and selection (applicants and existing staff including partners);

  • Promotion and training;
  • Terms and conditions of employment;
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures; and
  • Resignations

We store equal opportunities data as confidential personal data and restrict access to this information. Equal opportunities information will be used for exclusively for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring.

(iv) Review

We will review the operation of this Policy not less than once a year (or more regularly if we identify any non-compliance or problem concerning equality and diversity issues with clients or employees). We will take remedial action if we discover non-compliance under this policy or barriers to equal opportunities.