Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

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Equal Opportunities & Diversity

We are wholly committed to the principle and the practice of equal opportunities in employment and recognise the benefits that a diverse workforce has to offer in adding value to the business and improving organisational performance. We believe in putting these principles into practice, and we promote this in all aspects of working life at Gardner.

Outlined below are our policies on equal opportunities, diversity and harassment, which are inevitably closely linked. These policies make up a formal system to exclude discrimination and embrace differences within Gardner, but it is you as individuals who can do most to change or remove attitudes and assumptions that discriminate against other people.

Our Equality & Diversity Policy

Gardner believes that our success is a direct result of the experience and quality of our employees.

We are therefore committed to focusing our employment procedures and practices on maximising the potential of each unique individual. We believe this is best achieved by developing our employees’ talents, whilst recognising their differences.

By treating people fairly and equally and by accepting and embracing their diversity, we can also improve our market competitiveness, foster innovation, enhance our corporate social responsibility and enrich employee relations.

Gardner is committed, not only to the letter of the law, but also to the promotion of equality of opportunity in all areas of work and employee relations.

It is the policy of the Company that no person acting on our behalf shall discriminate in any situation against another individual or group, directly or indirectly, because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Gardner endorses the principle that the workforce at each location should reflect, as far as is reasonably possible, the composition of the local community.

These principles apply to recruitment selection, training, promotion, transfer, pay and benefits and performance appraisal procedures, in addition to all terms and conditions of employment.


This Policy covers all Gardner employees, regardless of position or status, and to contractors and sub-contractors.


  • To ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community
  • To offer fair treatment in every aspect of working life in Gardner, from our written procedures through to every decision made
  • To promote a culture where each employee and colleague is treated with respect and dignity and recognises the value that a diverse workforce can bring

To achieve these aims, Gardner commits to the following:

  • Ensure that the principles of this Policy are embedded in HR strategy and all policies and procedures are regularly monitored and reviewed
  • Provide awareness training and guidance to all employees and managers to ensure Gardner’s commitment to diversity is known and understood
  • Monitor and measure diversity to remove any direct or indirect discrimination
  • Challenge and investigate discriminatory behaviour and enforce the disciplinary procedure, when this is considered necessary
  • Communicate and regularly review the positive initiatives that have been implemented and ensure ever-wider access to them
  • Support and uphold the communities in which we live and work to ensure that we are involved, accessible, socially responsible and perceived as a positive presence.
  • Work with external groups and advisory bodies to keep up to date and aware of the necessary issues and best practice


Gardner’s recruitment and selection procedures are based solely on the necessary and justifiable job requirements and the individual’s suitability.

Job profiles and person specifications are drawn up for every post to be filled. Where posts are advertised externally, consideration is given to the most appropriate outlets to ensure that a wide range of potentially suitable applicants have the opportunity to apply.

Selection methods, including interviews, are conducted in accordance with documented and standardised procedures and checklists, designed to ensure that discrimination forms no part of the recruitment process.

The objective is to make each appointment on the grounds of selecting the most suitable candidate for the post.

Training & Development

Through its Performance Management Procedure, Gardner ensures that all staff are given an opportunity to take part in both job specific training and have an individual Development Plan designed to promote their opportunities and career advancement within Gardner. Appraisal processes are carried out in accordance with clear and laid down criteria to ensure that its application is free from discrimination at every stage.

Selection Processes for Promotion

Whenever undertaking processes to select between groups of staff, for instance for promotion situations, Gardner undertakes to ensure that a fair and consistent procedure is applied and that the selection criteria applied are free of discrimination and based on objective assessments of competence. Promotion opportunities are available to all of our employees on an equal basis.

Disability & Particular Requirements

When a disabled person or any other person with particular requirements applies for a job in Gardner, we always consider their application based on relevant skills, experience and knowledge. If you are disabled or have particular requirements, we will do our best to adapt the job and the workplace to meet your needs.

Pay Awards

Gardner’s arrangements for determining employees’ salaries are based on the principle of rewarding individual merit and of providing equality of pay and reward for all employees.

Grievance and Harassment

While it is hoped and intended that most problems relating to employment in Gardner can be resolved on an informal basis, the grievance procedure exists so that causes of genuine concern can be dealt with equitably.

Any employee who believes he/she has been discriminated against should raise the matter under the grievance procedure, or where appropriate use the Dignity at Work Policy which contains our Anti-Harassment and Bullying. Please remember that any employee can discuss any matter with her/his manager or any Director of the business.

By having clear and well publicised grievance and harassment procedures in place, Gardner ensures that every opportunity is given to address any area or situation where discrimination is perceived to have arisen.

Disciplinary Procedure

Gardner takes a serious view of any and all discrimination and breaches of this Policy are deemed as misconduct. Any such actions will be investigated as possible disciplinary offences and dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

All staff have a shared responsibility to ensure that the Equality and Diversity Policy is adhered to and to promote dignity and equality of opportunity at work.


Whilst we all have a collective responsibility to ensure this Policy is successfully adopted, there are specific responsibilities within this.

The Group Directors

The Group Directors endorse this Policy and hold ultimate responsibility for reviewing and achieving its aims. The Group Directors recognise their role in being responsible and accountable for the development of diversity awareness in Gardner and, as such, will lead by example.


All managers are responsible for implementing and enforcing this Policy and ensuring that their teams and employees are aware of their responsibilities. Managers should promote, respect, and encourage each employee to reach their full potential and deal appropriately with any breach of this policy.


All employees of Gardner, at every level, have an individual responsibility for ensuring equality of opportunity and adherence to this Policy. This can be achieved by respecting the right to work in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination, exhibiting the correct behaviours and challenging colleagues who fall short of these expectations.

This Policy is owned by the Vice President Human Resources, who is responsible for its effective implementation and regular review. The HR team will ensure all employees are trained and made aware of their responsibilities under this Policy. The team will continuously review all related policies, monitor employment practices and provide relevant advice and support to managers in championing diversity across Gardner.


We continuously review this policy, together with all of our employment policies and practices, to maintain our focus on equality of opportunity. To ensure that this policy and other procedures are operating effectively, HR will continue to monitor and measure the records of our employees, benchmark our performance as a company and ensure that any patterns or trends are identified and resolved.