Equal Opportunities Policy


Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd is committed to achieving a working environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, class, marital status, civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, age, disability or special need. The Agency is also committed to building a workforce that is diverse and reflects the community around us. Being an Equal Opportunity Employer, Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd strives to ensure that the talents and resources of all our employees are utilised to the full. As such the Organisation is committed to adopting, implementing and monitoring a Policy of Equal Opportunities for all employees guaranteeing the non existence of discrimination in the work place.

Definition of Discrimination

The Agency interprets discrimination as the treatment of an individual less favourably on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, class, marital status, civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, age, disability or special needs.

Discrimination can take many forms:

Direct Discrimination- Eleanor defines direct discrimination as the treatment of an individual unfavourably as a result of a particular characteristic which is protected by law. The refusal to appoint someone to a particular post because of their race would be an example of direct discrimination.

Indirect Discrimination– Occurs when an unnecessary condition or requirement is imposed, such that a considerably smaller proportion of members of one group could comply as compared to the remainder of the relevant population. E.g.

  • Job advert stating good standard of written English is needed for a job as a labourer.
  • Promotion is offered on the basis of continuity of service. Women employees will have shorter continuous service than men because of career breaks for family reasons.

Victimisation- is the less favourable treatment of an individual because he/she has asserted their rights under the equal opportunity law or assisted a colleague to assert their rights in this regard.

Harassment- is any unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or results in an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

Disability Discrimination- is the less favourable treatment of an individual as a result of a characteristic relating to the individual’s disability. There are exceptions in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 in which discrimination may not be regarded as unlawful. For example an individual maybe discriminated on the basis of disability in order to meet the special needs of that individual, such as providing specific services and facilities designed to improve access for people with a disability.

Areas of Discrimination

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Promotion, advancement and retention
  • Service delivery and publicity 

Setting Equalities Priorities, Targets & Plans

Our services are designed to support people to remain in the community, to minimise dependency and to reflect diverse lifestyles.  The approach described below reflects how we address setting targets and developing action plans while taking into account equalities priorities in service delivery.

We consider the following areas when we are setting priorities and targets for service users and creating a care plan to address them:

  • Disability, diversity, race and culture, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious and spiritual needs
  • Personal strengths
  • Ability and willingness to be supported to self care
  • Opportunities to learn new skills
  • Support networks in place
  • Can specialist equipment or assistive technology improve things
  • Information needs
  • Communication needs
  • Ability of person to identify own risks and solutions
  • Least restrictive options
  • Social isolation or exclusion, and opportunities for inclusion
  • Quality of life outcomes and risks to independence of not supporting choice.
  • Language needs

 The care plan resulting from considering these points identifies equality based challenges, it then sets out:

  • Key issues
  • Actions required
  • Evidence that will show achievement
  • Persons responsible
  • Timescale

Although we have shown the example above about care plans for service delivery the same process applies to our actions as an organisation in respect of:

  • Recruitment
  • Dismissal and retirement
  • Managing Staff
  • Pay and benefits
  • Working hours
  • raining and development

Implementing Equality of Opportunity

The Director of the company is the person who oversees effective implementation of our policy.

It’s the immediate line manager/supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that all staff are adhering to the policy and if not, take the appropriate action.

The agency will ensure that all contractors, maintenance companies, referral agencies and other organisations that are connected to Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd are fully aware of our commitment to Equal Opportunities.

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and selection decisions will be made on the basis of fair and objective criteria and in accordance with Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd’s recruitment and selection policy.

All staff involved in recruitment and selection will be trained and fully aware of Eleanor Nursing and Social Care Ltd’s Equal Opportunity and Recruitment and Selection Policies.

Job and person specification will be limited to those requirements, which are necessary for the effective performance of the job.

The Agency will positively seek to encourage applicants from the local community by circulating jobs through local media including newspapers, job centres, employment agencies and local community groups. To ensure that the vacancies reach under represented groups, recruitment leaflets and materials are translated into a number of different languages.

Training and Development

As part of the induction training, all new staff will be made aware of the Equal Opportunity policy present at Eleanor Nursing and Social Care Ltd and will be trained accordingly. Existing staff will have refresher sessions and appropriate training to ensure that they are up to date with any changes to the policy.

Training programmes will be designed to support the aims of the policy. Care will be taken to ensure that all training materials do not stereotype, prejudice or discriminate in any way. Every effort will be made to ensure external courses also meet these requirements.

Part of the training programme includes educating staff about the importance of respecting different cultures and beliefs. This will be achieved through training modules such as Equality, diversity and inclusion; dignity in home care and residential care; and the principles of person centred care, where we will equip staff with cultural competence by developing cross cultural skills.

Training opportunities will be based upon a member of staff’s ability, business needs and the availability of appropriate work related courses. Whenever possible, practical training will be arranged so that all categories of staff may attend, for example part-time workers.

Where English is not a first language for a member of staff, every effort will be made to sign post and encourage staff to improve their skills

All staff are required to attend an annual review process which involves discussion of available and appropriate training opportunities as well as including career developmental aspects.

Equalities Training 

We undertake equalities training:

  • As part of the induction process
  • During regular team meetings
  • By having specific equality focused courses
  • By using the SCIE e-learning and social care online training resource

Training content includes:

  • The law covering all the protected characteristics and what behaviour is and is not acceptable.
  • The risk of ignoring or seeming to approve inappropriate behaviour and personal liability.
  • How discrimination can affect the way services are delivered and the impact that generalisations, stereotypes, bias, inappropriate language in day-to-day operations can have on people’s chances of obtaining work, promotion, recognition and respect.
  • Monitoring activities and responsibilities.
  • Our equality policy, why it has been introduced and how it will be put into practice.
  • Our commitment to equality and culturally appropriate services
  • Guidance on religious beliefs, holy books, religious symbols and approach to prayer.
  • Information on dress codes, religious importance of particular clothing and jewellery.
  • Awareness of specific hairdressing, bathing and personal care needs.
  • Family values including naming systems.
  • Dietary considerations such as forbidden foodstuffs, avoidance of alcohol or stimulants as well as methods of food preparation.
  • Awareness of festivals, ceremonies, religious celebrations.
  • Death and dying practices and customs.


The Agency will ensure as far as resources allow, that our premises and information are accessible for people with disabilities, and wherever possible, Eleanor will make reasonable adjustments so that it improves the quality of working environment for those individuals.

In this respect, employees with physical disabilities will only be prohibited from positions where the job duties involve activities that would make it impossible or inherently hazardous to perform.

Adapting Working Environment

Eleanor Nursing and Social Care Ltd is committed to recognising cross cultural differences and to this end will respect an individual’s needs regarding the observance of their faith such as specific prayer times. Requests for annual leave to attend religious festivals will be respected and accommodated as far as is practical within the particular working environment.

Discipline and Grievance

All staff and clients have access to company complaints and grievance procedures as well as the formal feedback channels if they feel that they have been unfairly discriminated against. All complaints and grievances in respect of equality and equal opportunity issues will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with in a fair and consistent manner.

Monitoring Arrangements

Monitoring of equality in practice is carried out anonymously and will consist of a statistical analysis of the ethnic origin, sex, age, contract status and disability of all staff. Of particular importance will be the statistics showing the number of:

  • Staff in post
  • Applicants for employments
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Staff receiving training
  • Promotions offered
  • Transfers
  • Work/ life balance, flexible employment opportunities
  • Disciplinary, dismissal or harassment situations
  • Leaving employment, resignation or redundancy
  • Staff satisfaction levels

Monitoring of staff

Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd will monitor the effectiveness of the steps taken to ensure equal opportunity is present at all times. Those steps will include: questions and inviting feedback about issues during first performance review, feedback sessions with staff and clients and formal feedback mechanisms for clients, family and relatives.

The Agency will regularly monitor the composition and movement of staff to ensure equality of opportunity at all levels in the organisation.

The Agency will also monitor records of those applying for work to ensure discrimination does not take place.

Communicating the Policy to Staff

Key elements of how we communicate the equalities policy to staff include:

  • Thorough induction and ongoing training systems.
  • Provision of copies of equalities and diversity policies and procedures.
  • Provision of staff handbook including equalities.
  • Provision of Codes of Practice including GSCC codes.
  • Briefing on diverse service user needs for individuals.
  • Care staff receiving directions from our Care Co-ordinator.
  • Care staff reading of home based care records.
  • Quarterly group and individual supervision sessions.
  • Utilising specific Skills for Care Knowledge Sets on Dementia and Learning Disability to address particular equality aspects.
  • Monthly staff newsletters, also available in different languages

Protecting Staff from Unlawful Discrimination

We have a responsibility to protect staff from direct or indirect discrimination, associative or perception based discrimination, harassment, harassment by a third party, victimisation or discrimination arising from a disability and will take appropriate actions to deal with actual or potential situations of this kind.  Training is made available on combating any form of discrimination.

Our policies in relation to equality and diversity are written and set out to ensure widespread promotion and application including:

  • Instructions to those concerned with recruitment, selection, remuneration, training and promotion and the provision of services include:
    • Use of widespread advertising to reach all sections of the local community.
    • Requirement to use open recruitment methods to ensure equality.
    • Training on interview techniques focusing on competence and capability based selection.
    • Guidance on providing assistance in the recruitment process to those candidates who require extra help.
    • Selection processes using application forms and set job descriptions to enhance equality.
    • Following the latest Equality & Human Rights Commission guidance on pay and benefits when reviewing remuneration.
  • Information available to employees, recognised trade unions or other representative groups of employees include:
    • A written Equality policy.
    • Identification of the senior manager with responsibility for equality and diversity matters.
    • The employee handbook with content on equality at work.
    • Staff code of conduct which makes discrimination, victimisation and harassment specific disciplinary matters.
    • Policies on religion, sexuality, disability and other diversity aspects.


  • Information available to service users includes a Service User Guide which clearly states our responsibilities to protect staff from any type of unlawful discrimination

Suppliers and Contractors

The Agency will ensure that all contractors, suppliers, maintenance companies, referral agencies and other organisations that are connected to Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd are fully aware of our commitment to Equal Opportunities.


The Director of the company is the person who oversees effective implementation of our policy.

Every member of staff is required to support this policy and therefore prevent any discrimination taking place in the work environment.

 Breaches of the Policy

The terms of the policy applies equally to all staff, board members, clients and any organisations involved with Eleanor Nursing & Social Care Ltd. Any breaches of the policy will be taken seriously and could lead to disciplinary action.

Legislative Framework for Equal Opportunities and Anti- Discriminatory Practice

  • Equality Act 2010
  • The Sex Discrimination Act, 1975
  • The Race Relations Act, 1976
  • The Race Relations (Amendment) Act, 2000
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, 2003
  • The Commission for Racial Equality’s Code of Practice