Equality and Diversity Policy

SewellBrydenGunn (T/S of SCM Finance)

Equality and Diversity Policy


Equality and diversity are terms with which we are all familiar, if only in terms of their definitions of creating a fairer society (equality) and recognising that everyone is different (diversity). What may be less obvious is the positive impact that embracing the concepts of equality and diversity can have on you as an individual, your workplace, your business and our profession as a whole.


This policy sets out the principles underpinning our approach to fairness and equality in the workplace. It outlines what you can expect from us and what we expect of you, in particular in respect of conduct, recruitment, assessment and selection pay, access to benefits, discipline and grievance procedures and throughout all aspects of your employment with SewellBrydenGunn.

Additionally it sets out how you raise any concerns if you feel that you have not been treated in accordance with this policy and its principles.


This policy applies to you if you are an employee of SewellBrydenGunn and parts of it also apply if you are a contractor/supplier working on SewellBrydenGunn’s premises. Every person working for SewellBrydenGunn has a personal responsibility for adhering to and promoting these principles in their day-to-day dealings with customers, with each other and with business partners.

This policy does not form part of your contract of employment and may be changed, replaced or withdrawn at any time.


  1. We will not tolerate discrimination of any description on any grounds.

  2. We will comply with our statutory obligations under the Equality Act 2010 which specifically prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

  3. We aim to create a working environment in which all people are able to give of their best, where there is no bullying or harassment, victimisation or discrimination and all decisions are based on merit.

  4. We will help you understand what is and is not acceptable behaviour at work and at work related events.

  5. We will provide clear and accessible procedures that explain how to report concerns where you believe behaviours fall short of those required to comply with this policy.

  6. When applying these principles we will:

    1. Recognise your individual circumstances as well as those of the business when applying procedures and processes.

    2. Be clear about how we will deal with any policy breaches and how you can raise any concerns or complaints.

    3. Regularly monitor complaints of grievance and harassment and take any action required to address any adverse patterns or trends.

    4. Monitor the effectiveness of this policy and regularly review it.

    5. Review our processes regularly to make sure they remain fair and lawful.

Glossary of terms

Direct discrimination

Treating someone less favourably on prohibited grounds (gender/gender identity/race/disability/sexual orientation/religion or belief/age/socio-economic status) than another would be treated in comparable circumstances, where the treatment cannot be objectively justified (e.g. by a genuine occupational requirement). Direct discrimination is unlawful under all anti-discrimination law. An example would be failing to offer a man a job because he is gay.

Discrimination by perception

Direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a protected characteristic (even if they do not).


Unwanted conduct that violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. This definition is limited to anti-discrimination legislation and therefore only applies to harassment on grounds of sex/race/disability/sexual orientation/religion or belief/age. Example: Colleagues of a Muslim worker refer to him as Saddam which he finds offensive and distressing.

Indirect discrimination

Applying a provision, criterion or practice which disadvantages people of a particular group unjustifiably or disproportionately (where that group is defined by sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age). Example: Requiring job applicants to have a set number of years experience may indirectly discriminate against women who have taken a career break.

Positive action

Positive Action is often confused with positive discrimination. Positive discrimination, which generally means employing someone because they come from a deprived group, in spite of whether they have the relevant skills and qualifications, is unlawful. The term ‘positive action’ refers to a number of methods designed to counteract the effects of past discrimination and to help abolish stereotyping.

Vicarious liability

Employers are responsible for the discriminatory actions of their employees where such actions have been carried out during the course of their duties. The only defence for employers is to show that they have done everything reasonably practicable to prevent an employee committing an unlawful act.


Treating people less favourably because they have made a complaint or intend to make a complaint about discrimination or harassment, or have given evidence or intend to give evidence relating to a complaint about discrimination or harassment.