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Diversity & Equality Policy

DIVERSITY & EQUALITY POLICY

Blackdown Clothing recognises a talented and diverse workforce as a key competitive advantage. Our business success is a reflection of the quality and skill of our people. Blackdown Clothing is committed to seeking out and retaining the finest human talent to ensure top business growth and performance.

Diversity management benefits individuals, teams, our company as a whole, and our customers. We recognise that each employee brings their own unique capabilities, experiences and characteristics to their work.

Blackdown Clothing believes in treating all people with respect and dignity.

We strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which all individuals realise their maximum potential within the company, regardless of their differences.

We are committed to employing the best people to do the best job possible. We recognise the importance of reflecting the diversity of our customers and markets in our workforce.

Our diversity policy and procedures will encompass differences in ethnicity, gender, language, age, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience, and education.

We believe that the wide array of perspectives that results from such diversity promotes innovation and business success.

Managing diversity makes an organisation more creative, flexible, productive and competitive.

Equal Opportunities

Blackdown Clothing aims to be an equal opportunity employer, and has a policy for this purpose. This policy covers all aspects of employment, from vacancy advertisement, selection recruitment and training to conditions of service and reasons for termination of employment.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively (and for no other purpose) the company maintains records of employee’s and applicants’ racial origins, gender and disability.

Ongoing monitoring and regular analysis of such records provide the basis for appropriate action to eliminate unlawful direct and indirect discrimination and promote equality of opportunity. The company’s view is that the composition of our workforce should reflect that of our local community.

Recruitment – Vacancy Advertising

  • Wherever possible, all vacancies will be advertised simultaneously internally and externally.
  • Steps will be taken to ensure that the knowledge of vacancies reaches underrepresented groups internally and externally.
  • Wherever possible, vacancies will be notified to job centres, careers offices, schools, and colleges etc, to reach significant minority groups and minority group press and media organisations within these establishments.
  • All vacancy advertisements will include an appropriate short statement on equal opportunity.
     

Selection Recruitment

  • Selection criteria (Job description and employee specification) will be kept under constant review to ensure that they are justifiable on non-discriminatory grounds as being essential for the effective performance of the job.
  • Wherever possible, more than one person must be involved in the selection interview and recruitment process.
  • Wherever possible, women, minorities and disabled persons will be involved in the short listing and interviewing processes.
  • Reasons for selection and rejection of applicants must be recorded.

 
Positive Action – Training, Promotion, and Conditions of Service

  • Underrepresented groups will be encouraged to apply for training and employment opportunities with the company. Wherever possible, special training will be provided for such groups to prepare them to compete on genuinely equal terms for jobs and promotion. However, actual recruitment to all jobs will be strictly on merit.
  • Wherever necessary, use will be made of lawful exemptions to recruit suitably qualified people to cater for the special needs of particular groups employed by the company.
  • Wherever possible, efforts will be made to identify and remove unnecessary and unjustifiable barriers and provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service to meet the special needs of disadvantaged and/ or underrepresented groups.
     

Personnel Records

  • In order to ensure the effective operation of the equal opportunities policy (and for no other purpose) a record will be kept of all employees’ and applicants’ gender, racial origins and disability.
  • Where necessary, employees will be able to check/ correct their own records of these details. Otherwise, access to this information will be strictly restricted.
  • Such records will be analysed regularly and appropriate follow-up action taken.
     

Equal Opportunity Employment Policy objective is to:

  • Ensure that the company has access to the widest labour market and secures the best employees for its needs.
  • Ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment, and that, wherever possible, they are given the help they need to attain their full potential to the benefit of the company and to themselves.
  • Achieve an ability-based workforce, which is in line with the working population mix in the relevant labour market areas.
     

The cooperation of all employees is essential for the success of the policy. However, ultimate responsibility for achieving the policy’s objectives, and for ensuring compliance with the relevant Acts of Parliament as well as the various Codes of Practice, lies with the company.

Behaviour or actions against the spirit and / or the letter of the laws on which this policy is based will be considered serious disciplinary matters, and may, in some cases, lead to dismissal.

All employees undergo diversity training. Diversity training encompasses raising awareness about issues surrounding diversity and developing diversity management skills.

Blackdown Clothing provides a safe and pleasant environment for our employees.

We offer:

  • Flexible working time arrangements
  • Employee education assistance
  • Employee network and support groups
  • Open communications
  • Childcare assistance
  • Mentor programmes
     

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act was incorporated into UK law on 1st October 2000 and is intended to implement the European Convention on Human Rights in the UK.

We acknowledge and have introduced the concepts of the Act to all company personnel, including communicating guidance relating to rights to freedom of thought, conscience & religion, the right to respect for private and family life and in particular, ‘The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

Equality Act 2010

  • The company acknowledges that it is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment because of any of the nine “protected characteristics” in the Equality Act 2010.
  • These are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
  • We understand that the Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for our staff to discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass customers or clients because of the protected characteristics of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation in the provision goods and services.
  • Although discrimination in goods and services because of age is not yet covered by the Equality Act 2010, we include it as a matter of good practice in the company.
  • We allow for the concept of associative discrimination in the Equality Act 2010, which is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic (although this does not cover harassment because of marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity).
  • We recognise that perceptive discrimination is covered in the Equality Act 2010. This is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that he or she has a particular protected characteristic when he or she does not, in fact, have that protected characteristic (although this does not cover harassment because of marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity).
  • We have ensured we are aware of new third-party harassment procedures. Third party harassment occurs where an employee is harassed and the harassment is related to a protected characteristic (although this does not cover harassment because of marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity), by third parties such as clients or customers.
  • For an employer to be liable, the harassment must have occurred on at least two previous occasions; it must be aware that the previous harassment has taken place; and it must have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment from happening again.
  • Any forms of victimisation will not be tolerated. Victimisation occurs when an employee is subjected to a detriment, such as being denied a training opportunity or a promotion because he or she made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010, or because he or she is suspected of doing so, or being about to do so. The definition is no longer based on less favourable treatment.
     

Disciplinary Measures

Failure to comply fully with the procedures and guidance provided in this Policy will be deemed to be disciplinary offences and as such the management will instigate a full and thorough investigation of any complaint or non-compliance that may result in written or verbal warning or in severe cases will result in instant dismissal.

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