It is SmileWisdom Academy of Dentistry and Dental Nursing, policy not to discriminate against its students on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, disability or age, pregnancy or maternity, trade union membership or the fact that they are a part-time worker or fixed-term employee.
Our students shall not be disadvantaged by any policies or conditions of service that cannot be justified as necessary for operational purposes. SmileWisdom shall, at all times, strive to work within legislative requirements as well as promoting best practice. The board of SmileWisdom long-term aim is that all workers should be offered equal opportunities to achieve their full potential. This policy, and the measures we take to implement it, have been devised on the basis of advice from the relevant governmental and professional bodies and is in line with the Equality Act 2010. We are committed to a programme of action to make this policy effective and to bring it to the attention of all students. The principle of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity applies equally to the treatment of visitors and students by members of our workforce and also, in some circumstances, ex-students.
The following paragraphs deal with the specific categories of students we have identified as potentially giving rise to equalopportunities issues and provides more specific guidance on the parameters of our policy and approach to equal opportunities. This policy is for guidance only and shall be provided to all students.
1. TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY
1.1 This policy applies to SmileWisdom’s students.
1.2 All students have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues and staff members with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other students and members of staff, whether junior or senior to them.
2. PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
2.1 The board has overall responsibility for the effective operation of SmileWisdom equal opportunities policy (EOP) and for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory framework prohibiting discrimination. The board has delegated day-to-day responsibility for operating the policy and ensuring its maintenance and review to Operations Director.
2.2 All students and members of staff are responsible for the success of this policy and must ensure that they familiarise themselves with the policy and act in accordance with its aims and objectives.
3. SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF POLICY
3.1 The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for staff to discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass students because of the protected characteristics of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, age, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation, trade union membership.
3.2 SmileWisdom will take appropriate steps to accommodate the requirements of students’ religions, cultures and domestic responsibilities.
4. FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
4.1 Direct Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have.
4.2 Associate Discrimination is a direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
4.3 Perceptive Discrimination is a direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.
4.4 Indirect Discrimination can occur when a SmileWisdom has a condition, rule, policy or even a practice that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.
4.5 Harassment applies to all protected characteristics except for pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partners. This is behaviour that a student finds offensive even if it is not directed at them, and the complainant need not possess the relevant characteristics themselves.
4.6 Victimisation occurs when a student is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance or because they are suspected of doing so.
5. DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
5.1 If you are disabled, or become disabled in the course of your study with us, you are encouraged to tell us about your condition. This is to enable us to support you as much as possible. You may also wish to advise your tutor or any reasonable adjustments to your studying. Your Operations Director may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser(s) about possible reasonable adjustments.
5.2 The Operations Director will monitor the physical features of its premises to consider whether they place disabled students. Where possible and proportionate, the Operations Director will take steps to improve access for disabled students.
6. BREACHES OF THE POLICY
6.1 If you believe that you may have been disadvantaged on any of the unlawful grounds listed at paragraph 3.1, you are encouraged to raise the matter through SmileWisdom’s grievance procedure. If you believe that you may have been harassed on any of the unlawful grounds listed at paragraph 3.1, you are encouraged to raise the matter through our bullying and harassment policy. Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure. Students who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations of a breach in this policy which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with.
6.2 If, after investigation, you are proven to have harassed any other students on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status and pregnancy & maternity or otherwise act in breach of this policy, you will be subject to disciplinary action. In serious cases, such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. Your tutor will always take a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.
6.3 As this policy applies equally to SmileWisdom’s students’ relations with other students and members of staff, if, after investigation, you are proven to have discriminated against or harassed you will be excluded.
7. MONITORING AND REVISON OF POLICY
7.1 The Operations Director reviews this policy annually. Recommendations for any amendments are reported to the audit committee and board.
7.2 Policy last updated 1 May 2017.
7.3 We will regularly monitor the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving the objectives stated in the EOP statement by monitoring the composition of job applicants and the benefits and career progression of its workers.
7.4 SmileWisdom is committed to providing relevant training for all staff and students on their responsibilities and duties under this policy.