Diversity & Inclusion Policy
Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion
As a joint venture of BSkyB, A+E Networks UK, its leaders and employees adhere to the following Diversity & Inclusion policy. The policy document is available to all employees via an internal online resource. The policy and further training in competency based interviewing ensure fairness in our recruitment processes. Following the data gathered from our October 2011 employee engagement survey on fairness and inclusion we believe that we are effective in operating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Diversity & Inclusion Policy
We deliver some of the most diverse content and services available. We value the same diversity within our business. To ensure this, we provide a culture of entrepreneurialism and opportunity for all. You should therefore be inviting in the way you work with others regardless of their background.
Everyone who works with us and for us should be treated fairly and with consideration and respect.
We expect all our people to work together to create an inclusive working environment and not to make assumptions about others.
We will make decisions about your employment with Sky based only on what is relevant: your ability, your performance and your skills and qualifications. This is particularly relevant when we make decisions about:
• Recruitment and selection • training and promotion
• pay and benefits • career management
We don’t believe people should be treated less favourably due to:
• age • sexual orientation • marriage or civil partnership status
• gender • race • working patterns (eg part-time or flexible working)
• gender reassignment
• pregnancy or maternity status • religion or belief • disability
These aspects of a person are known as “protected characteristics” and we will refer to this term in the rest of the policy and guidelines to make it easier to explain.
We don’t tolerate discrimination or harassment at work in any form.
The following go against our policies and in some cases might even be against the law:
• discrimination against or harassment of colleagues
• discrimination against a person because they associate with another person who has a “protected characteristic” (e.g. an employee is friends with a team member who is gay and is subjected to homophobic innuendo themselves)
• discrimination against a person because they are believed to have a “protected characteristic” (e.g., an employee is not promoted because her manager believes she may be pregnant)
• failing to report harassment or discrimination that you have witnessed
• failing to prevent harassment of our people by third parties (eg a supplier uses offensive racist language to the employee who liaises with them)
• treating a person less favourably for having spoken out against discrimination or harassment they have witnessed or experienced. This is also known as victimisation
We want you to be able to recognise discrimination and harassment at work. We also want you to know what you should do about it. The guidelines that follow give you some examples of inappropriate conduct and outline what you should do it if it happens.
Where someone does something that goes against our policy, we’ll normally take formal action under our Disciplinary Policy.
Who our policy applies to
Our policy applies to everyone who works at Sky and people who have applied to work with us. It’s not just about how you behave towards your colleagues. The policy also covers how you behave with our contractors, clients and customers.
If you ever feel that you’ve been discriminated against or harassed, we encourage you to try to deal with it informally at first. Depending on the situation, you could speak directly to the person whose actions are causing the problem. If it is not appropriate or you don’t want to speak directly to the person, you should speak to your manager or HR representative in the first instance.
If you feel that informal action won’t solve the problem or if you’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked, you can raise the problem through our formal process. You can find the formal procedure in our Grievance Policy. It’s your decision whether or not to start the formal process. Initially you’ll need to write to your manager or HR. HR will arrange for the problem to be investigated sensitively.
Your conditions of employment
We make sure our policies are up to date and right for everyone at Sky. With this in mind, this policy may change from time to time and it doesn’t form part of your contract of employment.
Discrimination and Harassment Guidelines
• Learn to recognise and be alert to discrimination and harassment at work
• If you’re a manager, be clear on the important role you play in preventing, recognising and dealing with discrimination and harassment at work
• Be aware of how to take formal or informal action if you have experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is treating a person less favourably because they have, are believed to have or associate with someone who has a “protected characteristic.”
Discrimination can take many forms. All of the examples in the list that follow are discrimination, but this is not an exhaustive list.
• Not considering an employee for promotion because she is on maternity leave
• Not employing somebody because they are “too old” to learn a new role
• Not employing a man in a job because that job is more usually undertaken by a woman or vice versa eg, employing a man as a PA
• Paying a part-time employee less than a full-time employee (on a pro-rated basis) for doing the same work
• Not considering someone with a disability for a development programme because of an assumption that their disability would prevent them from participating
• Not recruiting somebody from an ethnic minority group or who is gay because of a perception that “they wouldn’t fit in with the team”
• Selecting an employee for redundancy based on their age: whether young or old
• Not recruiting someone with a disability, although they’re the best person for the job because of a perception that they’ll take too much time off work
• Not considering an employee for promotion or a new role because of an assumption that they may have caring responsibilities that could get in the way of doing that job
• Not permitting an employee to do certain tasks (such as handle funds) due to a perception about their ethnic origin,
• Placing restrictions in adverts not necessary for the successful completion of the role
• Refusing an employee’s special leave request for a day off to take part in a civil partnership because they are gay
• Not offering the same opportunity to meet customers or senior managers because of a perception that does for example, a gay or older, employee or an employee from an ethnic minority group doesn’t effectively represent the company because they are gay or older or from a minority ethnic group.
What is harassment?
Harassment is unwanted behaviour related to a “protected characteristic”, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
“At work” doesn’t just mean where you normally go to work, like your office. It can mean other places you go to for work like customer’s homes. It can also mean occasions we arrange like social events.
Here are some examples of harassment; it might be regular incidents or a single serious incident of:
• unwanted physical contact
• verbal abuse such as anonymous answer phone messages, threats, shouting, offensive language or innuendo, insults, telling offensive jokes, name calling or spreading malicious rumours
• written abuse, such as letters, faxes or e-mails.
• Displaying offensive pictures posters or flags
• humiliating or offensive behaviour
• secretive or disguised behaviour. This could be leaving you out or isolating you socially, not cooperating with you at work or hidden/indirect threats
• pressure for sexual favours
• pressure to take part in political/religious groups
• incidents associated such as stalking, pestering or spying
• Selecting an employee to do certain tasks on the basis of any of the protected characteristics, for example always asking female employees to make the tea
• Refusing to refer to someone by their chosen name or by their chosen gender during the gender reassignment process
If you’re a manager, you have an important role in helping to make our policy work:
• Make sure your team know about this policy, how to raise discrimination and harassment issues and the importance of doing so at the earliest opportunity
• Have an open-door policy, encourage good communication with and amongst your team. Talk about discrimination and harassment at team meetings
• Set the standard for good workplace behaviour and be aware of how your behaviour affects other people
• Don’t tolerate unacceptable behaviour and treat everyone with consideration and respect
• Look out for unacceptable behaviour and take action where it occurs
• Work to find solutions to alleged discrimination and harassment to support your team
• Deal with complaints fairly, thoroughly, quickly and sensitively, respect the feelings of all concerned and make sure that there is no retaliation against the person who made a complaint
What should I do if I experience or witness discrimination or harassment?
Even if you’re not sure whether or not something is discrimination or harassment, you should still report it if it is causing you or someone else distress. No one should embarrass you or subject you to intimidation or publicity if you make a complaint; this is victimisation and is not tolerated within Sky. Don’t feel that discrimination or harassment in any form is your fault and don’t tolerate it.
The action you might take will depend on the type and severity of the situation. For example, ongoing harassment from a team-member may require a different approach than a management decision which you believe to have been discriminatory.
(i) Informal action – Most people who experience discrimination or harassment simply want it to stop. It may be possible for people who work together to try and resolve things informally.
Please refer to the information given in the Bullying Guidelines if you would like to try to resolve the issue informally. Depending on the circumstance, the suggestions provided there could be relevant if you have experienced discrimination or harassment from other people at work.
If you believe that a decision that the company has made in relation to your employment (eg promotion, training, pay) is discriminatory and you wish to resolve this informally, you should speak with your manager or HR representative in the first instance and describe why you believe this to be the case.
(ii) Formal action – If you want to start formal action then you can make a formal complaint under our formal Grievance Policy. Once we’ve received your complaint, HR will arrange for an investigation into what has happened by someone who understands what constitutes harassment or discrimination.
At this stage, we will need to give the alleged perpetrator of the harassment or discrimination full details of your complaint. This gives them a chance to respond to it. We might also need to speak to witnesses but we will keep the investigation confidential. Once we’ve finished the initial investigation, we’ll decide what we need to do next.
• After the initial investigation, it may be that we find we don’t need to take disciplinary action. In this case we will arrange conciliation, mediation, provide appropriate training or take other appropriate action to redress the consequences of any discrimination.
If the investigation supports an allegation of harassment or discrimination against an individual, we’ll start our Disciplinary Procedure. To avoid any bias, the people who investigated the complaint won’t manage the disciplinary process. In serious cases we may dismiss people without notice if we find that they have harassed or discriminated against others at work.
• If you made the complaint we’ll give you feedback on what we have found and confirm this in writing to you. We keep details of actions under our disciplinary procedure confidential, so this won’t be included in the feedback.
• If you and the person you complained about are based in the same workplace and your complaint is upheld we might need to separate you. It might also be necessary to separate you even if the complaint is not upheld. This helps us to keep up good working relations.
• If you’re alleged to have harassed or discriminated against someone you may have been suspended from work. If you’re allowed back after the investigation we’ll help you with your return to work. Your manager will organise this with help from HR.
In some cases we might need to move someone temporarily. This can happen at any stage of the process.
If you’re a manager this is likely to be a decision you have to take in difficult circumstances. You will need to decide if moving someone is in the best interests of the alleged harasser or the person who has complained. HR can help you to do this. If you decide to move someone, be clear about why it’s necessary. Also stress the benefits in terms of clearing the air and deciding what the right thing to do is. We also use it to stop potential harassment or discrimination happening during the investigation.
Suspension or Special Leave Arrangements
If someone claims you’ve harassed or discriminated against them we might suspend you from work or ask you to take special leave. This is not disciplinary action. If you’re on leave or suspended from work, we’ll still pay you and you’re still entitled to other non-pay benefits of working for Sky.
If you complain about harassment or discrimination we will make sure you don’t suffer any retaliation. If it does happen, let us know and we will investigate. We may need to take action under our Disciplinary Procedure.
Harassment Involving Violence
We sincerely hope you never encounter violence while you’re working for Sky. If you do, this policy doesn’t stop you from using your other legal rights. If you have been attacked (or feel threatened in any way, or have been the subject of harassing telephone calls) get help immediately. This may include involving the Police.
We treat all complaints as having been made in good faith. We also support the alleged offender by treating them as innocent until and unless we find otherwise. If during our investigation we find that your complaint is malicious we will take disciplinary action.
Promotion of Learning & Development
At A+E Networks UK we believe:
• People are our assets.
• In supporting the growth of all our employees.
• Continuous learning is a way of life.
• Investing in our people is a key competitive benchmark.
• Learning by experimentation should be actively encouraged.
• In developing people for their own benefit as well as the business’.
• In helping people manage their careers.
• In aiming for internal promotion where possible.
• All employees should take active ownership for their development with input and guidance from their managers.
In the last financial year we had an above average budget for learning and development which has been fully utilised. As part of that we have delivered skills based learning as well as personal development and leadership programmes. The learning and development has progressed the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours within the company and is an ongoing priority.