Equal Opportunities Policy     

City Life Church Exeter - September 2019

1. Statement Of Policy
1.1 City Life Church (CLC Exeter) is a Christian organisation committed to social justice and resolutely opposed to discrimination in society. We are committed to providing services on a fair and equitable basis, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, sex, sexuality, physical/mental disability, offending background or any other factor. No person requiring services from City Life Church Exeter will be treated less favourably than any other person on any grounds.

1.2 CLC Exeter is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities within the organisation, and all affiliated projects, through the way we manage the organisation and provide services to the community. In order to express this commitment we develop, promote and maintain policies that will be conductive to the principles of the fairness and equality in the workplace.

1.3 The objective of this policy is that no person should suffer or experience less favourable treatment, discrimination or lack of opportunities on the grounds of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, health status, HIV status, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, political beliefs or trade union membership, class, responsibility for dependents, physical attributes, ex-offender status as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, lack of formal qualifications where such qualifications are not formally required, or any other grounds which cannot be shown to be justified within the context of this policy.

2.1 Where a disclosure is to form part of a recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of any criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent separately and in confidence to the Recruiter within the organisation and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to, as part of the recruitment process.

2.2 Unless the nature of the position allows questioning about your entire criminal record, we only ask about "unspent" convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

2.3 We ensure that all those in the organisation who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance of offences. We will also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

2.4 At interview, or in separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment or voluntary work.

2.5 Every person undergoing DBS check will be made aware of the DBS Code of Practice and a copy will be available on request.

2.6 We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking a position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend upon the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

3. Complaints of discrimination
3.1 CLC Exeter will treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any forbidden grounds made by employees, trustees, clients or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.

3.2 All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the organisation's grievance, complaints or disciplinary procedure, as appropriate and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in line with these procedures.

3.3 We will also monitor the number and outcomes of complaints of discrimination made by my staff, volunteers, clients and other third parties.

4. Legal Obligations
4.1 Equal Opportunities and Discrimination (Equality Act 2010) The new Equality Act came into force in October 2010 and replaces all previous equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales — namely the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, the Civil Partnership Act 2004, the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 (religions and belief and sexual orientation). The Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

In valuing diversity, CLC Exeter is committed to go beyond the legal minimum regarding equality. The Equality Act 2010 harmonises, strengthens and replaces most previous equality legislation. The following legislation is still relevant:

The Human Rights Act 1998
The Work and Families Act 2006
Employment Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000 (as amended)

5. Recruitment and Selection
5.1 In employment we actively seek to recruit with the right mix of talent, skills and potential, promoting equality for all, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, experience and commitment to the values and purposes of the organisation.

5.2 As an organisation seeking to deliver services within a Christian context, some posts can only be filled by Christians. These posts are specified in the Person Specifications for Church Leader and kept under regular review. The nature of these posts or the context in which they are carried out, and their link to the ethos of the organisation, give rise to a genuine occupational requirement (GOR) for the pot-holders to be Christians. All staff in these posts are required to demonstrate a clear personal commitment to the Christian faith. This policy is implemented in accordance with Employment and Race Directives issued by the government and ACAS guidance.

5.3 The recruitment and selection process is crucially important to any equal opportunities policy. We will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that employees, making selection and recruitment decisions will not discriminate, whether consciously or unconsciously, in making these decisions.

5.4 Job descriptions, where used, will be revised to ensure that they are in line with our equal opportunities policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any personal specifications.

5.5 We will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of vacancies.

5.6 All applicants who apply for jobs with us will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on their ability to do their job in line with the Person Specifications.

5.7 Shortlisting and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person, where possible.

5.8 Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of a discriminatory nature.

5.9 Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other staff.