Sister Pictures and all of its group companies recognises that diversity and inclusion help to support creativity and innovation: they are an essential ingredient in a successful television company. We are committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion and to ensuring there is no discrimination in our company. We want our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society. We want our company to be one in which every employee and freelancer feels respected and able to give of their best. We are committed to working with broadcasters towards shared diversity goals. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
To make a reality of those commitments this policy provides a framework of equality and fairness for all in our employment. It expresses our commitment not to discriminate because of any of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital status (including civil partnerships), race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
This policy applies to employed, freelance and agency staff and to people working on and off screen.
All freelancers and employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment – whether as a member of staff or on a freelance basis – will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. Access to opportunities for promotion, training or any other benefit will also be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the creativity and success of the company.
- Actively seek to increase the number of people we work with who are from groups/communities that are under-represented in the television industry as a whole, or in particular job roles in the industry.
- Review all our formal and informal employment/hiring practices and procedures to ensure they are fair and help us to identify the best talent.
- Identify and take opportunities to increase the diversity of casting decisions.
- Ensure reasonable adjustments are made to enable disabled people to work in or with our
company, both on and off screen.
- Actively seek to increase the diversity of our talent networks.
- Take positive action to increase our diversity where the law allows this.
- Identify and remove barriers facing potential employees from under-represented groups.
- Create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff and
freelancers are recognised and valued.
- Ensure every employee and freelancer is able to work in an environment that promotes dignity
and respect for all. We will not tolerate any form of intimidation, bullying or harassment.
- Ensure training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff.
- Comply with the CDN pledge
Sister Pictures will ensure that any advertising of vacancies is compatible with this policy and all applicable legislation and all questions on application forms are relevant and non-discriminatory.
Those involved in recruitment will take an unbiased approach regardless of the applicant’s race, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or age. They will ask only questions that relate to the job and avoid those that are discriminatory or which might be perceived as such or are unlawful.
The CDN Diversity Pledge
The CDN Diversity Pledge is about broadcasting being more diverse in all respects. It is about an inclusive approach that encourages talent and participation regardless of background, gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. All indies, in – house producers, post production houses and other suppliers are being asked by the main broadcasters to sign up to this pledge and will be monitored for compliance.
The targets of the pledge are to:
- recruit fairly and from as wide a base as possible and encourage industry entrants and production staff form diverse backgrounds;
- encourage diversity in output;
- encourage diversity at senior decision-making levels; and
- take part in, or run, events that promote diversity.
The pledge is about extending access to opportunities to as wide a pool as possible. It is not designed to promote positive discrimination, which is still broadly unlawful and will not be tolerated by this Company. If you are put under any pressure to positively discriminate or you have any questions about this, you should consult Dan Isaacs
The Legal Perspective
It is unlawful to treat anyone less favourably because of their gender or marital status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. This applies not only to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer and every other aspect of employment, but also to the termination of such relationships.
Individuals also have a right to work in an atmosphere free from intimidation and prejudice for any of these reasons and we are firmly committed to taking all responsible steps to provide such an environment. We also believe that all employees should be able to work free from any bullying behaviour. Bullying includes any behaviour which humiliates or undermines an individual’s self- esteem. It is therefore not restricted to physical abuse.
Although the most common form of harassment is sexual harassment, it will also include any unwanted conduct based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnic or national origin, disability, religious belief, age or sexual orientation which infringes that individual’s dignity or which creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Harassment may be either verbal or non-verbal and includes amongst other things, leering, ridiculing an individual, embarrassing remarks or jokes, unwelcome comments about someone’s dress or appearance, offensive use of pin-ups, deliberate abuse, repeated and/or unwanted physical contact or demands for sexual favours.
We will not condone any form of harassment, whether engaged in by employees or outside third parties who do business with us.
All employees have a duty and a responsibility to ensure that this policy is applied across all levels of the Company. Employees should also bear in mind that they may be held to be personally liable for any act of unlawful discrimination or harassment.
Any individual who is found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under Sister Pictures’ disciplinary procedure. Such behaviour may be treated as gross misconduct and may result in that individual’s employment or consultancy being summarily terminated. In addition, line managers who were aware that discrimination, harassment or bullying had been taking place in their departments but had taken no action to eliminate it, will be considered to have failed to perform their duties as manager properly and will also be subject to disciplinary action under Sister Pictures’ disciplinary procedure.
Responsibility for ensuring that this policy is consistently applied is assigned to Chief Operating Officer who will monitor the operation of the policy for job applicants, employees and workers. The Company acknowledges that responsibility rests particularly with those involved with recruitment and employee administration or management. To assist them, Sister Pictures will provide suitable training and information.
Providing equal opportunities requires much more than a formal statement: this policy is intended to help create the necessary conditions for success, but each individual in the Company must contribute. The policy will be bought to the attention of everyone in the Company and will be kept under review.
All allegations of discrimination, harassment or bullying will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and speedily. If you feel that you are, or have been discriminated against, harassed or bullied, you should raise the matter in complete confidence with Dan Isaacs.
In minor cases and with your agreement, the matter may be investigated and dealt with informally. If dealt with informally, this will not result in any formal investigations or disciplinary action being taken but is intended to enable you to try and resolve the matter without the need for it to go further.
However, where an informal resolution is not possible or where it is inappropriate, the complaint will be dealt with formally. The complaint will be thoroughly investigated in an independent and objective manner by Dan Isaacs.
Investigations will be carried out sensitively and with due respect for the rights of both you and the individual who is the subject of the complaint. The importance of confidentiality will be stressed to all those interviewed and everyone will be advised not to discuss the complaint in any way with any of their work colleagues or with anyone from outside the Company. Any breach of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action being taken against the individual concerned. Both you and the individual who is the subject of the complaint will be told at the outset how long the investigation is likely to take, and who will be communicating with you. You will be kept well informed at every stage.
Wherever possible, consideration will be given to ensuring that you are not required to work with an individual against whom you have complained whilst the complaint is being investigated. If however
you wish to remain working together, your wish will be respected. If necessary, the individual who is the subject of the complaint may be asked to move.
The investigation will focus on the facts of the complaint and notes will be kept of all elements of the investigation. Those individuals who are interviewed as part of the investigation will be asked to provide a written statement. No one will be required to report distressing or embarrassing details any more than is absolutely necessary.
The individual who is the subject of the complaint will also be kept informed of the general progress of the investigation and will be notified whether the complaint has been upheld and whether it will result in disciplinary action being taken against that individual. If disciplinary action is taken, the individual’s right to confidentiality about the disciplinary sanction that is applied will be respected.
In the event that your complaint is upheld, consideration will be given where possible to allow you to decide whether you wish to remain in your current position or whether you might wish to transfer to somewhere else within the Group. We will seek to ensure that you are not subjected to any direct or indirect detrimental treatment for having raised your complaint and the situation will be monitored to ensure that the behaviour that you have complained about has ceased.
Where your complaint has not been upheld (perhaps because the evidence is inconclusive) and you wish to move to another position, consideration will be given to this request.
Any complaint that is unfounded and which is not made in good faith, such as a malicious complaint, will be treated as a disciplinary offence.