Equal Opportunities Policy This Equality of Opportunity Policy Statement and Policy Statement on Harassment at Work are designed to implement the commitment of Trade Counter Distribution Ltd to Equal Opportunities. It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure their own conduct conforms to the expected standards and reflects these Policy Statements. The aim of the policy is to encourage harmony and respect amongst individuals so as to promote good working practices with a view to maximising the performance and the return to the Company and the employees. If Equal Opportunities are not applied then valuable talent and potential are wasted. Moreover, when unfair discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation takes place they bring about a climate of fear, insecurity and poor work performance. As well as being unlawful it affects profitability and morale. It is therefore vital that every employee understands their responsibilities. Equal Opportunities are taken very seriously by us and wilful failure to apply the policies or evidence of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation will result in disciplinary action which may include your dismissal. The Equal Opportunities Policy Statement Trade Counter Distribution Ltd seeks to employ a workforce which reflects the diverse community at large because we value the individual contribution of people irrespective of sex, pregnancy or maternity leave, age, marital status, civil partnership, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, colour, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin. Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. We will use our best endeavours to provide a working environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of sex, pregnancy or maternity leave, age, marital status, civil partnership, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, colour, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin. Trade Counter Distribution Ltd recognises its legal obligations, including those under the Equality Act 2010. We undertake to review periodically our selection criteria and procedures to maintain a system where individuals are selected, promoted and treated solely on the basis of their merits and abilities. We will not tolerate acts which breach this Policy and all instances of such behaviour or alleged behaviour will be taken seriously, fully investigated and may be subject to the disciplinary procedures. We further seek to give all employees equal opportunity and encouragement to progress within the organisation by implementing a positive action plan. If an existing employee becomes disabled, we will make every effort to retain them within the workforce whenever reasonable and practicable. Whenever reasonably practicable to do so we will install in existing premises facilities for people with disabilities. Whenever we invest capital in new or refurbished premises every practicable effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff and customers with disabilities. Trade Counter Distribution Ltd. undertakes to distribute and publicise this Policy statement to all employees and elsewhere as from time to time appropriate. Any employee who believes that they may have been subjected to treatment which breaches this policy may raise the matter through the grievance procedure of the Employer. Policy Statement on Harassment at Work Trade Counter Distribution Ltd believes that the dignity of every person must be respected. Harassment of colleagues or visitors is unacceptable and will be regarded as gross misconduct. The highest standards of conduct are required of everyone regardless of seniority. We recognise that harassment may take many forms. It may be directed towards persons of either sex. It may relate to a person’s ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, age, sex, gender re-assignment, pregnancy or maternity leave, sexual orientation, marital status, civil partnership, physical or mental attributes or some other personal characteristic. Harassment may involve action or inaction, behaviour, exclusion, comment or physical contact that the recipient finds objectionable or offensive. It may result in the recipient feeling threatened, humiliated, intimidated, patronised, demoralised or less confident in their ability. Condoning such conduct may be harassment in itself. The test of harassment is, at least in part, subjective. Examples of unacceptable conduct include: Verbal abuse, or insulting behaviour Sexist or racist jokes, jokes about an individual’s sexual orientation or jokes about an individual’s physical or mental attributes The display or circulation of sexually suggestive or racially abusive material Bullying, coercive, or threatening behaviour The ridicule or exclusion of an individual for cultural or religious differences, on the grounds of sex or sexual orientation or on the grounds of disability Unsolicited or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including touching, staring or commenting Comments of a sexual nature about a person’s appearance or dress. Any conduct, whether or not of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of intimidating, degrading, humiliating or offending someone simply because their particular sex Treating someone unfavourably because they have rejected or submitted to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or to harassment on the grounds of their sex. Harassment, particularly on the grounds of sex, gender re-assignment, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion or belief, marital status or civil partnership will be regarded as gross misconduct for disciplinary purposes. Accordingly, employees guilty of harassment run a serious risk of summary dismissal. Equally, an allegation of harassment must not be made lightly. If it is found that an allegation of harassment has been made without foundation and maliciously then this will also be regarded as gross misconduct for disciplinary purposes.