Opportunities Policy

1 Statement of policy
The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of the chief executive, Board of Directors and senior management team to the promotion of equality of opportunity in Armstrong Optical Ltd.

It is our policy to provide employment equality to all, irrespective of:

• Gender, including gender reassignment
• Marital or civil partnership status
• Having or not having dependants
• Religious belief or political opinion
• Race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins)
• Disability
• Sexual orientation
• Age
We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All job applicants, employees and others who work for us will be treated fairly and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds. Decisions about recruitment and selection, promotion, training or any other benefit will be made objectively and without unlawful discrimination.
We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in the workplace is not only good management practice; it also makes sound business sense. Our equal opportunities policy will help all those who work for us to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be utilised fully to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
2 Scope of the policy
The Armstrong Optical Equal Opportunities policy applies to all those who work for (or apply to work for) the organisation, and also includes:

• Job applicants and potential applicants
• Employees
• Contract workers
• Agency workers
• Trainee workers and students on work experience or placements
• Volunteer workers
• Former employees
3 Equality commitments
We are committed to:
• Promoting equality of opportunity for all persons
• Promoting a good and harmonious working environment in which all persons are treated with
respect
• Preventing occurrences of unlawful direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and
victimisation
• Fulfilling all our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice
• Complying with our own equal opportunities policy and associated policies
• Taking lawful affirmative or positive action, where appropriate, regarding all breaches of equal
opportunities policy as misconduct which could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
4 Implementation
The chief executive/managing director has specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. Each director, manager and supervisor also has responsibilities and we expect all our employees to abide by the policy and help create the equality environment which is its objective.

In order to implement this policy we shall:

• Communicate the policy to employees, job applicants and relevant others (such as contract or agency
workers)
• Incorporate specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing the equal opportunities policy into
job descriptions and work objectives of all staff
• Provide equality training and guidance as appropriate, including training on induction and management
courses.
• Ensure that those who are involved in assessing candidates for recruitment or promotion will be trained
in nondiscriminatory selection techniques
• Obtain commitments from other persons or organizations such as subcontractors or agencies that they
too will comply with the policy in their dealings with our organisation and our workforce
• Ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfill the objectives of the policy.
5 Monitoring and review
We will establish appropriate information and monitoring systems to assist the effective implementation of our equal opportunities policy.
The effectiveness of our equal opportunities policy will be reviewed regularly and action taken as necessary. For example, where monitoring identifies an under-representation of a particular group or
groups, we shall develop an action plan to address the imbalance.
6 Complaints
Employees who believe that they have suffered any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through their line manager. All complaints of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.

In addition to our internal procedures, employees have the right to pursue complaints of discrimination to an industrial tribunal or the Fair Employment Tribunal under the following anti-discrimination legislation:

• Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, as amended
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended
• Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, as amended
• Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003
• Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, as amended
• Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006
• Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, as amended.

However, employees wishing to make a complaint to a tribunal will normally be required to raise their complaint with their line manager first.

Every effort will be made to ensure that employees who make complaints will not be victimised. Anycomplaint of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially. Victimisation will result in disciplinary action and may warrant dismissal.

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