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Eversheds Diversity Policy

Diversity and Equality Policy – Eversheds Sutherland in Ireland

Our commitment and vision

Eversheds Sutherland, as an equal opportunities employer, are committed to ensuring that all employees of the firm are treated fairly and equally. We aim to create an environment that values the diversity of our colleagues, clients and people.

Eversheds is committed to providing policies, procedures and practices to support recruiting, training and promoting the best person for the job regardless of age, gender, marital status, race or ethnicity, nationality, disability, religion, sexual orientation, social or educational background or family or care responsibilities.

Our commitment to diversity forms the basis of the firms values and overall vision. The partners of the firm support an environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying and within which all individuals are treated fairly, with respect and courtesy.

The firm will support the implementation of the policy by providing training, written information and guidance in our HR policies. Everyone is responsible for the implementation of this policy and breach of it will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

Scope of the policy

Our policy applies to everyone working at Eversheds Sutherland including partners, employees, contract or agency employees, trainees, work experience students, secondees, contractors and consultants. It also applies to potential new employees and recruitment candidate.

The policy covers the following matters:

  • recruitment and selection 
  • terms and conditions of employment 
  • discrimination, victimisation and harassment
  • learning and development 
  • promotion 
  • pay and benefits 
  • performance review procedure 

Recruitment and selection

We will ensure through the structure of our recruitment and selection process the correct applicant is considered for selection, regardless of age, gender, marital status, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, social or educational background or family or care responsibilities.

Terms and conditions of employment

We ensure that terms and conditions of employment/terms of engagement are free from all forms of direct and indirect discrimination and apply equally regardless of age, gender, marital status, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, social or educational background or family or care responsibilities.

We will continue to recognise employees requirements to balance work and life responsibilities and flexible working and will consider any reasonable requests where the business can support it.

Discrimination, victimisation and harassment

Eversheds Sutherland believe that our people have a right to work in an environment which promotes equality of opportunity and does not allow discriminatory practices. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, victimisation or harassment by or against our employees.

Discrimination

Discrimination is when an individual is treated less favourably than an another on the grounds of age, gender, marital status, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, social or educational background or family or care responsibilities.

Any acts of discrimination of the grounds of age should be submitted to the Head of Department and the Head of HR. 

Victimisation

Victimisation can be defined as when someone is treated unfairly or less favourably than others because the person made a complaint or assisted with a complaint of another person.

Harassment

Harassment is unreasonable or inappropriate treatment of, or behaviour towards another person which causes them distress or worry. Harassment includes sexual harassment, including harassment by someone of the same sex as the victim and homophobic bullying and harassment.

Homophobic bullying and harassment 

The following list gives examples of actions that maybe perceived as homophobic bullying and harassment. The list is not exhaustive.

  • making homophobic insults and threats
  • making unnecessary and degrading references to
  • an individual’s sexual orientation 
  • making jokes in reference to an individual’s sexual orientation
  • outing an individual as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGBT) without their permission
  • spreading rumours or gossip about another employees sexual orientation
  • asking LGBT intrusive questions about their private life
  • Such behaviour may amount to gross misconduct in which case disciplinary action will be taken against any person breaching this policy.

LBGT

Eversheds Sutherland will ensure that all our policies are inclusive of evolving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender specific legislation and good practice.

The firm has initiated a group to review current legislation and good practices to ensure that our LBGT objectives and principles are in line with best practice.

Learning and Development

As a firm we aim to provide employees with opportunities of learning and development to enable them to improve their skill set and achieve the level of performance required.

Promotions 

Eversheds Sutherland will ensure that promotions within the firm are based on transparent criteria to ensure that those individuals merit their promotion.

Pay and benefits

Eversheds Sutherland reward programme is based on market data and on the merit of the individual’s performance in their role. They are also underlined by the economic climate. The firm will ensure that there are regular audits to ensure that male and female contemporaries are being treated on an equal basis.

Performance review procedures

The firms performance review programme contains clearly outlined criteria to ensure that its application is free from discrimination at every stage. 

Complaints procedure

Making a complaint

If you believe that you have experienced or are experiencing any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying, please consider if you deem appropriate to raise the matter directly with the person concerned. If it is not appropriate to do so, please discuss the matter with the partner, head of your team or contact the Head of HR.

Following this discussion should you to choose to pursue your complaint you may do so by making a formal written complaint to the HR Department. This may initiate a full investigation and if appropriate will involve the disciplinary procedure.

Investigation

Once a formal complaint has been received the allegations will be investigated carefully and discreetly. Both parties will have an opportunity to give a detailed account. Others may be required to give additional information.

Disciplinary procedure

If the investigation concludes that there is substance to the complaint, the disciplinary procedure will be initiated.

Eversheds Sutherland will ensure that if an employee experiences discrimination from members of the public through their work, the firm will take appropriate action and provide support.