EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY
This policy sets the requirements for establishing a culture whereby all forms of unlawful discrimination, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and workplace violence are not tolerated at Helping Hoops. The policy promotes inclusiveness, equity and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) as the means of promoting a workplace and environment where people are appreciated for their diversity and where employees and volunteers feel psychologically and physically safe in the course of their work.
Helping Hoops is committed to fair, non-discriminatory work practices and promoting a workplace culture free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying and workplace violence. Helping Hoops is committed to an inclusive workplace that is achieved through the principles of workforce diversity, equity and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
Helping Hoops will promote this policy as a way to access information about managing suspected or actual breaches of this policy, and will provide support to deal with alleged breaches appropriately.
This policy applies to Helping Hoops and all related entities including volunteers, employees, contractors and associates.
This policy is applicable to all employees during working and non-working hours, and on or off premises.
All stakeholders are responsible for creating a workplace culture which values:
- fairness and equity
- respect and dignity
- equal employment opportunity and
- psychological and physical safety
Employees and associates are also responsible for:
- not engaging in any form of discrimination, bullying, sexual or other harassment, or acting in a threatening, intimidating or violent manner.
- contacting their supervisor or manager if they feel they are being subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or violence in the workplace.
- assertively and respectfully challenging and addressing actions or behaviours in breach of this policy through direct discussion with the person concerned.
- only lodging a complaint where there is a genuine belief that this policy has been breached. Frivolous or vexatious complaints will be dealt with under the discipline process.
- acting professionally in the workplace at all times, remembering that their conduct during work hours and work-related events must comply with these principles. Work related events include all activities or functions where employees or volunteers are representing Helping Hoops.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO)
Helping Hoops is an equal opportunity employer. This means enabling people within EEO target groups to compete effectively for recruitment, selection, training, promotion and transfer opportunities. Decisions consistent with EEO apply the principle of equity and fairness in deciding the best person for a job, and providing appropriate development once in the job.
Employment decisions do not include consideration of attributes that are prohibited on discriminatory grounds.
Diversity is about recognising and valuing the varied skills, knowledge, backgrounds and perspectives that every individual brings to work. A diverse workforce has people of different backgrounds which include race, ethnicity, ages, gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, family and life circumstances, cultural beliefs, religious beliefs, work experiences, physical ability, ability to speak and write languages other than English, educational attainment and social backgrounds.
Equity is about treating people fairly and not necessarily the same. Equity means appreciating individual differences and providing equal access to recruitment, selection, training, promotion irrespective of attributes that are not relevant to the performance of a role. It is about improving employment and training opportunities for those who have a disability or who are recognised as being a member of an EEO target group.
Equity includes the concept of reasonable adjustment – making an adjustment that does not impose an unjustifiable hardship, to ensure that a person with a disability is not treated less favourably than someone who does not need the adjustments in the same circumstances.
Helping Hoops will apply the equity principle to support people who have been traditionally disadvantaged in employment including Aboriginal people, Torres Strait Islander people, people from a non-English speaking backgrounds, people with a disability, women, and people with a physical, sensory, intellectual or psychiatric disability, whether the disability presently exists or previously existed but no longer exists.
Unlawful discrimination means treating, or proposing to treat, someone less favourably than someone who does not possess that attribute (direct discrimination). It also means proposing to, or imposing, a term which a person (or a high proportion of people) with an attribute cannot comply (indirect discrimination).
Legislation prohibits discrimination, harassment, vilification and the inciting or enacting of physical harm, hatred or severe ridicule on the basis of:
- potential pregnancy
- relationship status
- marital status
- parental status
- family responsibilities (the responsibility of a person to care for or support a dependent child or any other immediate family member who is in need of care and support)
- impairment, including the reliance on assistance animals, carers or aids for persons with a disability
- lawful sexual activity
- sexuality (heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality)
- gender identity
- religious belief or religious activity
- political belief or activity
- trade union activity
- association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes
A person may still be found to be in breach of these provisions, irrespective of whether it was their intention to discriminate. The intention of the behaviour is irrelevant to determining whether discrimination has occurred.
Sexual harassment is any unsolicited and unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is offensive, humiliating or intimidating. Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace. The conduct does not have to be intentional. The behaviour must be unwanted, and such that a reasonable person would recognise the behaviour as likely to cause the person harassed to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.
Sexual harassment happens if a person:
- subjects another person to an unsolicited act of physical intimacy.
- makes an unsolicited demand or request for sexual favours from the other person.
- makes a remark with sexual connotations relating to the other person.
- engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the other person.
Such behaviour may be a one-off incident. It does not have to be repeated or ongoing to be considered sexual harassment.
Examples of behaviours that could be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- physical contact such as patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way
- discussions about personal sexual activity
- unnecessary familiarity such as touching, deliberately brushing against someone
- comments or innuendo with sexual references and connotations
- suggestive comments about a person’s appearance or body
- sexual propositions
- lewd comments, smutty jokes, insinuations and questions about a person’s private life
- stalking, sexual assault, indecent exposure
- offensive telephone calls
Workplace harassment (excluding sexual harassment) occurs when there is unwelcome, offensive and unsolicited behaviour that:
- makes a person, feel intimidated, humiliated or threatened
- a reasonable person would consider offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.
Bullying incidences may occur as singular events, or repetitively which amounts to harassment. Unlawful harassment occurs when the behaviours relate to an attribute specified under anti-discrimination legislation.
Examples of bullying or harassment behaviours include, but are not limited to:
- abusing a person loudly, usually when others are present
- offensive jokes or practical jokes (initiation practices)
- assault, pushing or unwanted physical contact
- repeated threats of dismissal, loss of employment (eg: cut back in work hours), or other severe punishment for no legitimate reason
- persistent and unjustified (non-constructive) criticisms, often about irrelevant matters
- constant ridicule and being put down
- spreading gossip or false, malicious rumours about a person with an intent to cause the person harm
Workplace violence occurs when an employee or group of employees subjects another person to threats of violence or actual physical violence. The type of behaviour is prohibited at Helping Hoops.
PROCEDURE ON BREACH
Employees who believe this standard has been breached can take the following actions:
- advise the person that you find the behaviour to be unacceptable, and request that the behaviour cease immediately
- discuss your concerns with a supervisor
- discuss your concerns with the a member of the Committee of Management (comprising the President, Vice-President, Executive Director, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Members)
If Helping Hoops becomes aware of a breach of this policy, Helping Hoops will, within a reasonable time, give the person concerned notice of the breach together with reasonably sufficient information regarding the circumstances of the breach (a ‘breach notice’).
The employee will be afforded the opportunity to respond to the breach notice, in writing or in person, within such time as Helping Hoops indicates in the breach notice, or in default of a time being specified, within 48 hours.
Subsequent to this, Helping Hoops may require the person to attend a meeting in person, attended by Helping Hoops management, to discuss the matter.
After following the foregoing procedure, the person will be given notice in writing of any action to be taken by Helping Hoops in respect of the breach, which may include without limitation warnings or dismissal from employment. If within 48 hours of any such notification, a person requests a review of the decision, the Helping Hoop’s Committee of Management will give reasonable consideration to such a review, having regard to the circumstances of the matter.
Conduct of a sexual nature includes making a statement of a sexual nature to a person, or in the presence of a person, whether the statement is made orally or in writing.
Equity is about treating people fairly, it is not about treating everyone the same. It means appreciating that people have differences and providing people with access to equal opportunities in employment regardless of their sex, race or any other characteristic not related to job performance.
Gender identity is identifying oneself as a member of the opposite sex by living or seeking to live as a member of that sex, or someone who identifies as being transgender or intersex and who seeks to live as a member of the opposite sex.
- disabilities (the total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions)
- total or partial loss of a person’s body part
- a condition or illness or disease that impairs a person’s thought processes or perception of reality or judgement, or that results in disturbed behaviour (eg: mental illness or diseases)
- presence in the body of organisms causing, or capable of causing disease or illness (eg: HIV, cancer)
- a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder of malfunction
- physical impairments (disfigurement, malfunction or malformations) of a person’s body
- the reliance on assistance animals for persons with a disability (eg: guide or hearing assistance dogs)
- the reliance on a disability aid or guide for persons with a disability (eg: carers, assistants or aids such as wheelchairs, walking sticks, frames)
Workplace harassment (bullying and harassment) occurs when there is repetitive, unwelcome and unsolicited behaviour that makes a person, feel intimidated, humiliated, threatened (excluding behaviours that amount to sexual harassment).
Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person with an attribute is treated or proposed to be treated less favourably than a person without that attribute in the same or similar circumstance, on prohibited grounds.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which is offensive, humiliating or intimidating.
Vilification refers to the inciting of physical harm, hatred or severe ridicule on the basis of race, religion, gender identity and sexuality.
Work related activities refers to functions and events which are either directly linked to work or which involve work related colleagues.
Workplace violence occurs when an employee subjects another employee in the workplace to degrading behaviour ranging from verbal abuse or threats to actual physical violence.