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EDI Policy

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Document Revision Control and Amendment Record

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement

3Pillars Project adopts a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination on any of the protected grounds in the Equality Act 2010.


We are committed to providing equal opportunities to all current and prospective employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, interns, participants and apprentices regardless of age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, gender identity, or marriage and civil partnership.


We believe that a more inclusive workplace, where people of different backgrounds work together, ensures better outcomes for all staff. From application to interview, we place inclusion at the heart of all we do.


In particular, we strongly encourage suitably qualified applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to apply and join 3Pillars Project.


We will take positive steps to ensure that our employees, stakeholders, contractors and clients can enjoy an experience that is fair, equitable and free from discrimination in their dealings with us.




This policy applies to anyone working for us. This includes employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, interns, participants and apprentices. The policy also relates to job applicants, and is relevant to all stages of the employment relationship.


Our commitment

We believe that a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion not only benefits our Charity but supports wellbeing and enables our people to work better because they can be themselves and feel that they belong.


We are committed to promoting a working environment based on dignity, trust and respect, and one that is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation.


We ensure that our recruitment, promotion and retention procedures do not treat people less favourably because of their:

  • disability;

  • gender, gender identity or gender reassignment status;

  • marital status;

  • race, racial group, ethnic or national origin, or nationality;

  • religion or belief;

  • sexual orientation;

  • age;

  • civil partnership status;

  • pregnancy or maternity;

  • paternity;

  • educational background;

  • socio-economic background;

  • criminal record;

  • caring responsibilities;

  • part-time status; or

  • fixed-term status.


At 3Pillars Project we actively support the recruitment of and employ people who have been in prison. We will not discriminate on the basis of a criminal record, but given the nature of our work, applicants must be able to work with children and be capable of lone working, demonstrated by an Enhanced DBS check and a risk assessment review panel. Applicants should also be able to gain prison service clearance in order to enter prisons. This may be delayed if the applicant has served a custodial or suspended sentence.


What we expect

We expect everyone to take personal responsibility for observing, upholding, promoting and applying this policy. Our culture is made in the day-to-day working interactions between us so creating the right environment is a responsibility that we all share.


Cultivating this culture does not happen by accident but requires ongoing commitment and nurturing. The reality is that we live in a world where areas of difference (whether gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or others) often translate to biases, challenges and barriers that may not be faced by others. And the more areas of difference a person brings, the more this effect can be compounded. In this way, the experiences of a black woman with a disability may be very different to the experiences of a black woman without a disability and also very different from the experiences of a white woman. This way of looking at diversity and inclusion is known as "intersectionality".


We expect you to treat your colleagues and third parties (including customers, suppliers, contractors, agency staff and consultants) fairly and with dignity, trust and respect. Sometimes, this may mean allowing for different views and viewpoints and making space for others to contribute.


By embedding such values and constructively challenging inappropriate comments or ways of working, you can help us achieve and maintain a truly inclusive workplace culture.

Any dealings that you have with colleagues or third parties must be free from any form of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying.


If any of our people is found to have committed, authorised or condoned an act of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying, we will take action against them including (for those to whom it applies) under our Disciplinary procedure.


You should be aware that you can be personally liable for discrimination and harassment.


The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination because of certain protected characteristics. These are: disability; sex; gender reassignment; marital or civil partnership status; race; religion or belief; sexual orientation; age; and pregnancy or maternity.


Discrimination can be intentional or unintentional and may occur directly, indirectly, by association, or by perception. There are also two specific types of discrimination that apply only to disability: "discrimination arising from disability" and "failing to make reasonable adjustments".


Discrimination is not always obvious and can be subtle and unconscious. This stems from a person's general assumptions about the abilities, interests and characteristics of a particular group that influences how they treat those people (known as "unconscious bias"). Such assumptions or prejudices may cause them to apply requirements or conditions that put those in particular groups at a disadvantage. 


Different types of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

  • Direct discrimination: Treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic compared with someone who does not have that characteristic (for example choosing not to recruit someone because they are disabled and you think they "wouldn't fit in" to the team).

  • Indirect discrimination: Where a policy, procedure or way of working that applies to everyone puts people with a particular protected characteristic at a disadvantage, compared with people who do not have that characteristic, unless there is a good reason to justify it. An example is introducing a requirement for all staff to finish work at 6pm. It is arguable that female employees, who statistically bear the larger share of childcare responsibilities could be at a disadvantage if the new working hours prevent them from collecting their children from school or nursery.

  • Associative discrimination: Treating someone less favourably because they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example because their partner is transgender.

  • Discrimination by perception: Treating someone less favourably because you perceive them to have a protected characteristic even if they do not, for example choosing not to promote someone because you mistakenly perceive them to be gay.

  • Discrimination arising from disability: Treating someone unfavourably because of something connected with that person's disability and where such treatment is not justified. Examples include:

    • dismissing or failing to pay a bonus to someone because of their disability-related absence; or

    • disciplining someone for losing their temper where such loss of temper was out of character and was due to severe pain caused by them having cancer.

  • Failing to make reasonable adjustments: Employers are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that aspects of employment, or the employer's premises, do not put a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage. Failing to comply with this duty is unlawful. Examples of reasonable adjustments might include:

    • allocating some of the disabled person's duties to a colleague;

    • changing their working hours or place of work;

    • adjusting procedures for assessing job candidates; and

    • modifying disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Harassment and sexual harassment

Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of:

  • violating someone else's dignity; or

  • creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for someone else.


Sexual harassment is:

  • conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment; and

  • less favourable treatment related to sex or gender reassignment that occurs because of a rejection of, or submission to, sexual conduct.



Victimisation is treating another person detrimentally either because that person has made a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or because they have supported someone else who has made such a complaint, for example by giving a witness statement that supports the allegations.



There is no legal definition of bullying. However, we regard it as conduct that is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting, or an abuse or misuse of power, and usually persistent, that has the effect of undermining, humiliating or injuring the recipient.


Bullying can be physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct. It is not necessarily face to face and can be done by email, phone calls, online or on social media. Bullying may occur at work or outside work.


If the bullying relates to a person's protected characteristic, it may also constitute harassment and, therefore, will be unlawful.


What to do if you are being bullied or harassed


Informal route


Bully/harasser is a colleague

If you feel able to, you may decide to raise the issue with the individual themselves, to make clear that their behaviour is not welcome and to ask them to stop. They may not be aware that their behaviour is offending you.


Alternatively, if you do not feel up to speaking directly to the individual, you may consider asking a colleague, or the COO for support.


You may or may not want them to talk to the individual on your behalf and, where possible, we will respect your wishes. However, if the welfare or safety of you or others is at risk or where your allegations are particularly serious, we may have to approach the individual and instigate a formal investigation. 


Bully/harasser is a third party

If you are experiencing bullying or harassment by a third party, for example a client or a supplier, we encourage you to report this to the COO without delay so that they can advise and support you on the best course of action.


Formal route

If you are not happy with the outcome of an informal process, or if you feel it is not appropriate to approach the issue informally, you may decide to raise it formally.


If you are an employee, to make a formal complaint please follow the steps set out in our Grievance procedure. 


If you are not an employee, please put your complaint in writing and address it to the CEO.


We will investigate fully every formal complaint in an objective and confidential way, while also ensuring that we respect your rights as well as the rights of the alleged bully/harasser. We will make every effort to complete an investigation into bullying or harassment as quickly as possible.


Where the alleged bully/harasser is a third party, we may need to adjust the procedure under this policy to ensure we conduct appropriate investigations and we will discuss this with you.


Support for those affected or involved

We understand that anyone affected by, or involved with, a complaint of bullying or harassment may feel anxious or upset and we will do what we can to support you.


If you feel you cannot continue to work in close contact with the alleged bully/harasser, we will seriously consider any requested changes to your working arrangements during our investigation into the matter.


Anyone who complains or takes part in good faith in a bullying or harassment investigation must not suffer any form of detrimental treatment or victimisation. If you feel you have suffered such victimisation, please inform a Senior Manager as soon as possible.


Regardless of the outcome of your complaint, we will consider carefully how to best approach any ongoing working relationship between you and the individual concerned. For example, depending on the specific circumstances, we may consider amending the job duties, location or reporting lines of either you or the other person. Alternatively, we may decide workplace mediation or counselling is appropriate.


Sensitivity and confidentiality

Anyone involved with an informal or formal complaint about bullying or harassment, including witnesses, must keep the matter strictly confidential and act with appropriate sensitivity to all parties.


If you are found to have breached confidentiality or acted without due care or sensitivity in a case of bullying or harassment, we may take disciplinary action against you up to and including dismissal (or other appropriate action for non-employees).


Consequences of breaching this policy

If, following a formal investigation, we find that you have committed, authorised or condoned an act of bullying or harassment, we will deal with the issue as a possible case of misconduct or gross misconduct. We may take disciplinary action against you, up to and including dismissal (or other appropriate action for non-employees). 

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