ASM Equal Opportunity Policy

Preamble

The equal opportunities policy, intended as a framework for the development of procedures and guidelines for implementation of the policy throughout the ASM Group.

It is stated that:
"No religious, racial, or political discrimination shall be exercised by the ASM Group as regards any person seeking to hold any appointment or to hold any other advantage or privilege. Men and women shall be equally eligible for any office or appointment in the ASM Group."

The Equal Opportunity Officer is responsible for ensuring that the ASM Group meets its legal obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976, and any subsequent modifications or replacements to those Acts. An employer is liable for any discriminatory act by an employee in the course of his or her employment even if the act was done without the employer's knowledge or consent, unless the employer took all reasonably practicable steps to prevent such discrimination.

Statement on Equal Opportunities Policy

The ASM Group must be a place where people are welcome regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Racist, sexist and other discriminatory behaviour is not acceptable and positive action to combat such behaviour is encouraged. This positive commitment is to be reflected in all the ASM Group's policies and procedures including those relating to the employment of staff, and the provision of all services whether to staff or the public.

The Equal Opportunity Officer therefore endorses the following statement on Equal Opportunities policy:

The ASM Group affirms its commitment to the equal treatment of all people regardless of their sex, age, race, ethnic or national origins, colour, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical and sensory disability, political or religious beliefs and activities, unless those activities are contrary to the policies of the ASM Group. It is firmly opposed to any form of discrimination based on these human attributes and values.

The ASM Group will, therefore, as an employer operate an equal opportunities policy in the recruitment, selection and promotion of staff at all levels. Selection criteria and procedures will be monitored and reviewed to ensure that individuals are recruited and selected on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities by ways that can be shown to be not directly or indirectly discriminatory as defined

in the Sex and Race Discrimination Acts. All employees will be afforded the opportunity to undertake training appropriate to their present posts and future aspirations.

The ASM Group will, therefore, as a provider of services and product supplier offer equal opportunities for positive recruitment policies to ensure maximum open access. Selection criteria and procedures will be monitored and reviewed to ensure that staffs are recruited on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Staff progress and achievement will similarly depend on their relevant merits and abilities and will be subject to monitoring and review to ensure that discrimination is not occurring.

The ASM Group will take appropriate disciplinary or legal action to protect staff while at work from any discriminatory behaviour, verbal or physical, by any individual or groups from within or outside the institution.

Allegations of discriminatory behaviour by any member of the ASM Group or staff, will be dealt with under the appropriate Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures.

Implementation

In implementing its Equal Opportunities policy the ASM Group will have regard to: an individuals' capacity to undertake and benefit from a ASM Group activity; legal requirements such as those for health and safety; and any limitations or improvements in ASM Group facilities, so far as these are not reasonably capable of remedy within the resources available to the ASM Group.

The specific responsibilities of the Board of Directors, and their committees as regards the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of Equal Opportunities policy are as follows:

Equal Opportunity Officer:

to monitor the work of its committees and working groups and coordinate that and the corresponding work of the ASM Group Board of Directors

to ensure that personnel policies and procedures relating to the holders of senior posts embody and realise the ASM Group's commitment to equal opportunities in employment

to receive and consider annual reports by the Director on monitoring and implementation of equal opportunities policy.

Equal Opportunities policy affects all areas of the ASM Group's operation, but in particular it bears on the ASM Group as an employer and as a business operator.