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  • Equal opportunities policy

    Equal opportunities policy

    Statement of policy


    The ANYORG recognises that in our society certain individuals and groups of people are unfairly discriminated against, both directly and indirectly. They are denied equality of opportunity on the grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, caring responsibilities, mental or physical health/disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic/national origin), political or religious beliefs, economic status, criminal record, trade union activity, or a combination of any of these. We strive to eliminate all such forms of discrimination and to create a climate in which equal opportunities are promoted as a means of developing the full potential of everyone who is involved with our organisation. We do this by fulfilling our legal obligations and by taking positive action which goes beyond the requirements of the law, but by avoiding stereotyping and tokenism. Procedures


    1. General principles 


    1.1 Scope
    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on all aspects of equal opportunities at the ANYORG. We are always seeking ways in which we can improve our record on equal opportunities.


    1.2 Responsibility
    The ANYORG Manager is responsible for ensuring that the policy and the procedures in this document are implemented efficiently and effectively. All other staff and volunteers (including voluntary management committee members) are expected to facilitate this process.


    1.3 Measures
    These procedures list the measures that must be taken in order to fulfil the policy. They must be adhered to at all times. If they are breached, the appropriate procedures (e.g. complaints, grievance or disciplinary) may be used to resolve the problem and to make improvements. Anyone who chooses to take such action will not be penalised by the organisation or treated less favourably as a result.


    2. Employment practice 
    2.1 General
    The ANYORG has a public role and we recognise that the services we deliver should ideally be performed by workers who are representative of the diverse community in which we operate. In order to achieve this, the ANYORG aims to be an equal opportunities employer; optimising on available human resources and ensuring fairness to potential and actual employees.


    2.2 Recruitment
    ANYORG staff are recruited and selected on objective criteria that test the relevant skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications and personal qualities necessary for posts. No applicants are placed at a disadvantage by requirements which are not genuine occupational qualifications, as this would constitute indirect discrimination. This does not preclude the setting of certain legitimate limits and exclusions, however. Examples are a retirement age of 65, banning those with a criminal record of abuse from working with vulnerable groups of people, not employing immigrants without work permits, etc. Job vacancies are advertised as widely as possible and make reference to the operation of an equal opportunities policy to which staff are expected to adhere.


    2.3 Training
    We provide training opportunities to all our staff to meet their training needs. If appropriate, this may include assertiveness training for those individuals who have little confidence as a result of belonging to a disadvantaged group. All members of staff receive suitable and relevant equal opportunities training and are provided with a copy of this document.


    2.4 Other conditions of employment
    (Further details of these are found in the ANYORG staff policies and procedures document.) The ANYORG is open to flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, part-timing, flexi-timing, career development initiatives, etc., which enable members of staff to juggle their competing time demands more efficiently. The ANYORG is sensitive to the time and other constraints under which people operate as a result of their socio-economic situation and cultural background. Meetings, events and the like, are arranged as far as practicable in a way that takes into consideration the needs of current and potential staff members (in terms of timing of meetings, childcare arrangements, religious holidays, etc.). All service conditions are reviewed regularly to ensure that they do not discriminate against any particular group and instead provide for the varying needs of the staff team


    3. Volunteers working at the ANYORG 


    3.1 Overview
    The positive and open attitude towards recruitment, selection and day-to-day treatment of ANYORG staff is also extended to ANYORG volunteers and the conditions described above therefore also apply to management committee volunteers and other volunteers. The ANYORG expects its volunteers to share its commitment to equal opportunities and ensures that each one receives a copy of this document. (Further information is given in the ANYORG volunteer policy and procedures document.) 3.2 Adapting to volunteers? needs We actively look for ways in which we can achieve adequate representation amongst our volunteers, in terms of the community in which we operate. We will only be successful in attracting a wide range of people if we adapt to the needs of individual volunteers. The ANYORG is able to be much more flexible with volunteers than it can be with paid staff, for example by changing a role description to suit a volunteer?s interests and abilities.


    4. The work of the organisation
    4.1 Our work with volunteers
    The ANYORG believes that everyone has the right to volunteer and to have equal access to volunteering opportunities, without experiencing discrimination. We also wish the organisations with which we work to benefit from a true mix of available volunteers and we therefore closely monitor the potential volunteers who register with us. Our ?matching? service will try to redress any apparent imbalances, by using initiatives to target volunteers from underrepresented groups.


    4.2 Our work with volunteer-involving organisations
    The ANYORG provides a variety of services to organisations that are run by, which involve, or which wish to involve volunteers. We will consider assisting and working with any such organisation, provided that its ethos and operations do not contravene ANYORG policy. In addition, we actively seek to work with a very broad range of organisations, so that potential volunteers for the ?matching? service have as wide a choice of volunteering options as possible.


    4.3 Publicity
    In order to bring our message to volunteers, organisations and the general public, we publicise the ANYORG as widely as resources will allow, using as many media as possible. We aim to be inclusive by using positive imagery of, and making reference to, all types of people. The language in our publications is clear and non-discriminatory. We publicise our commitment to equal opportunities whenever appropriate. A copy of this document is available to anyone who requests it.


    4.4 Premises, facilities and equipment
    The ANYORG strives to make the physical environment in which we operate as attractive and user-friendly as possible for everyone; volunteers, staff and visitors. This mainly involves the ANYORG office, but also premises elsewhere used for any ANYORG events and meetings. Healthy and safe conditions for everyone are of paramount. Special provisions, such as wheelchair access and extended opening hours, are made for people with special needs wherever viable.


    5. Dealing with harassment 
    5.1 Our approach
    The ANYORG is committed to social justice and equality and believes that everyone involved with the organisation has the right to freedom from harassment, whether this is on the basis of disability, race, sex, sexual orientation or any other grounds. The ANYORG does not condone any harassment whatsoever, whether it is verbal, written, physical, sexual, to person or property, intentional or not. Any such harassment, abuse or victimisation will be dealt with severely and quickly, using the disciplinary procedure in the case of a member of staff and any other appropriate form of action with anyone else.


    6. Monitoring and evaluation 
    6.1 Success of policy
    The ANYORG monitors, reviews and evaluates the success of its equal opportunities policy and procedures on a regular basis and seeks to make ongoing improvements. It also studies its other policies and procedures to see that they do not operate against this policy and can be improved in terms of equal opportunities. The ANYORG is always on the lookout for new ideas to improve the equal opportunities performance of the organisation. 


    6.2 Feedback
    Constructive feedback on this document is always welcome. It must be given to the ANYORG Manager who will ensure that the management committee considers it.


    6.3 Review
    This document will be reviewed by the management committee on an annual basis, or sooner if circumstances change.


  • Volunteer Policy

    Volunteer Policy


    The ANYORG. exists to ..................................................................


    We recognise that in order to achieve our goals we need to involve volunteers in our own work too. It is also essential that we present a model of good practice in volunteer management.

    We regard volunteers as a valuable resource and encourage them to get involved at all levels of the organisation and within all appropriate activities. We aim to train, support and supervise our volunteers to the best of our abilities, and to act quickly and fairly if difficulties arise.



    1. General principles (Back to top)


    1.1 Purpose of document


    The purpose of this internal document is to provide guidance on all aspects of volunteering at the ANYORG. It does not constitute a binding contract. It supplements other ANYORG. policies and procedures, as well as our definition of volunteering, our mission statement and our value base.


    These procedures apply to all non-elected volunteers who undertake tasks on behalf and at the direction of the ANYORG.


    1.2 Responsibility


    The ANYORG. Manager is responsible for ensuring that the policy and the procedures in this document are implemented efficiently and effectively. All other staff and volunteers (including voluntary management committee members) are expected to facilitate this process.


    1.3 Eligibility


    The ANYORG. will consider involving anyone as a volunteer. Individuals must, however, be able to demonstrate a commitment to the aims of the organisation and may only be placed if their needs as volunteers match the needs of the organisation. No person who has a conflict of interest with any aspect of the organisation will be accepted as a volunteer. Voluntary management committee members may not undertake other voluntary work within the ANYORG. itself, but will be encouraged and supported by the ANYORG. if they wish to volunteer elsewhere.


    1.4 Relationship with paid staff


    Volunteers are appointed to enhance the capacity of paid staff (including Community Employment workers), not as a substitute for them. Conversely, the ANYORG. does not accept the services of its paid staff as volunteers. Clear roles are established to differentiate between paid staff and volunteers to foster mutually beneficial and complementary relationships. 


    1.5 Working conditions


    Volunteers are treated as full members of the ANYORG. team. They are treated as equally and fairly as paid staff and are included in the organisation?s functions and decision-making processes wherever practical. Volunteers are provided with appropriate work sites and have access to the space, equipment and facilities necessary to volunteer effectively and comfortably. 


    1.6 Working times


    Working times are negotiated between the ANYORG. Manager and the volunteer and are as flexible as the tasks allow. Voluntary time commitment is never expected to match that of full-time paid staff, but unscheduled absences can create organisational problems. When expecting to be absent, volunteers should inform their supervisor as soon as possible, so that alternative arrangements can be made.


    1.7 Appropriate behaviour


    Volunteers are expected to work within the policies and procedures of the ANYORG. and adhere to its ethos. As representatives of the organisation, they are responsible for presenting a positive image of the ANYORG. to the outside world. 


    1.8 Representation of the ANYORG.


    Volunteers must seek prior approval from the ANYORG. Manager before undertaking anything that might affect the organisation. This includes, but is not limited to, statements to the press, joint initiatives with other bodies, and agreements involving contractual or financial obligations.


    1.9 Confidentiality


    The ANYORG. respects the volunteer?s right to privacy and confidentiality. In turn, volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all privileged information to which they are exposed while volunteering with the ANYORG.


    1.10 Records


    A system of records is maintained on all volunteers, including dates and times of service, duties performed, evaluation of work, etc. Volunteer records are accorded the same confidentiality as staff records.


    1.11 Service at the discretion of the ANYORG.


    Any voluntary service is at the discretion of the ANYORG.. The ANYORG. may, at any time, and for whatever reason, decide to terminate volunteers relationships with the organisation. Similarly, volunteers may at any time, and for whatever reason, decide to terminate their relationships with the ANYORG. Notice of such decisions should be communicated at the earliest opportunity, preferably in writing.


    2. Recruitment 


    2.1 Role descriptions and person specifications


    Like paid staff, volunteers require a clear and accurate description of the tasks and responsibilities they are expected to undertake. Prior to any volunteer assignment or recruitment effort, a role description must be developed for each voluntary opportunity. This must include a title of the volunteering role, starting and finishing dates, hours and place of work, name of supervisor and tasks to be undertaken. If appropriate, a brief person specification may also be drawn up. The role description may be amended in joint agreement with the volunteer and the ANYORG. Manager. A copy of the final version must be given to the volunteer before commencing voluntary work, as it will be used in supervision and evaluation sessions. Role descriptions must define a time limit (no longer than one year) for voluntary involvement, after which time they are reviewed, and updated if appropriate.


    2.2 Applications


    Volunteers are recruited on a pro-active basis by the organisation using publicity avenues that are suitable for the roles that need to be filled. Potential volunteers may also apply speculatively or come via the volunteer placement service provided by the ANYORG.. Volunteers are recruited in accordance with the ANYORG.?s equal opportunities policy. All volunteers are required to complete an application form.


    2.3 Interviews


    If necessary, applications are short listed and suitable candidates are invited to attend an informal chat with the ANYORG. Manager, to ascertain their interest in and suitability for the role. Written records of all interviews are kept. All unsuccessful candidates are thanked for applying and encouraged to reapply for other volunteering opportunities, either current or in the future.


    2.4 Checks for suitability


    References are always taken up. If the role requires it, health (mental and physical) are also undertaken. Other checks may also be completed (for example, ascertaining professional qualifications). Volunteers are always warned in advance of the intention to make these checks. If they refuse permission and cannot provide an acceptable reason, they will not be placed.


    2.5 Appointment


    Formal appointments are made only after the role description has been agreed and all necessary checks have proved acceptable. No placements are made unless the requirements of the volunteer and the volunteer?s supervisor can be met.


    2.6 Probation


    All placements are subject to an initial trial period of one month. At the end of this period, the ANYORG. Manager meets with the volunteer to discuss the volunteer?s suitability for their role. At this point, volunteers may continue in their current role, be reassigned to a more suitable role, or be asked to leave.


    3. Training 


    3.1 Induction


    All volunteers receive induction when they begin voluntary work with the ANYORG.. This consists of a general introduction to the organisation, as well as a specific orientation on the purposes and requirements of their volunteering role. 


    3.2 On-the-job training


    Volunteers receive initial and ongoing on-the-job training to provide them with the information and skills necessary to perform their tasks well. The training must be appropriate for the demands of the position and the capabilities of the volunteer.


    3.3 Additional training


    Volunteers are actively encouraged to identify training courses, seminars, conferences, and so on, which would help them to perform their roles better and which would aid their personal development. Approval to undertake such training free-of-charge must be given by the ANYORG. Manager and this will only be done if sufficient funds are available. Priority is given to long standing volunteers and those who have received little or no training in the past.


    3.4 Training information


    If additional training was paid for by the ANYORG., any course or other materials belong to the organisation and must be filed in the ANYORG. office. All volunteers are required to submit a short report outlining the content and usefulness of the course or meeting attended. Training information must be disseminated to relevant people within the organisation.


    4. Supervision 


    4.1 Lines of communication


    Lines of communication should operate in both directions and should exist formally and informally. Volunteers must have access to all appropriate information, memos, materials and meetings relevant to their assignments. Volunteers must be consulted on all decisions that would substantially affect their volunteering conditions.


    4.2 Supervisors


    Each volunteer must have a clearly identified supervisor who is responsible for the day-to-day management of that volunteer. The ANYORG. Manager normally takes on the supervisor?s role, but all staff members receive training and guidance on how to involve volunteers effectively in the work of the organisation. 


    4.3 Supervision sessions


    Volunteers receive regular appraisals of their work, based on their role descriptions. Evaluation sessions take place at least once a month between the volunteer and his or her supervisor. These review the performance of the volunteer, suggest any changes in work style, seek suggestions from the volunteer on means of enhancing the volunteer?s relationship with the ANYORG., convey appreciation to the volunteer and ascertain the continued interest of the volunteer in serving in his or her role. The sessions also serve as an opportunity to plan future tasks.


    4.4 Corrective action


    If appropriate, corrective action may be taken following evaluation sessions. Examples include the organisation of training for an identified training need, the reassignment of a volunteer, or the dismissal of a volunteer.


    4.5 Dismissal


    Volunteers who do not adhere to the organisation?s rules or who fail to perform their volunteer assignments satisfactorily may be subject to dismissal. No volunteer?s involvement will be terminated in writing until the volunteer has had an opportunity to discuss the reasons for possible dismissal with their supervisor. Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to, the following: gross misconduct, being under the influence of drugs (including alcohol), theft, misuse of equipment and materials, abuse of clients and co-workers, breaches of confidentiality, failure to abide by ANYORG. policies and procedures and failure to complete duties to a satisfactory standard.


    4.6 Concerns and grievances


    If volunteers are not satisfied that issues relating to their volunteering are being handled appropriately, they are entitled to have their concerns reviewed by the management committee. The management committee will discuss the issue as soon as practical after receiving a written complaint, and take appropriate action. The chair of the management committee makes the ultimate decision.


    4.7 Exit interviews


    Where possible, informal exit interviews are held with any volunteers who are leaving the organisation, either because they have reached the end of their project, or are leaving for some other reason. Interviews are usually conducted with the volunteer?s ex-supervisor and written records are kept. The session should ascertain why the volunteer is leaving, how they found the volunteering experience and what suggestions they offer to improve the way the organisation operates. The offer of a personal reference for future employment etc. is made to each volunteer.


    5. Support and recognition


    5.1 Support


    The ANYORG. endeavours to provide the support necessary to encourage and empower volunteers to make a meaningful contribution and gain significant benefits from their voluntary work. Support forms part of the regular supervision sessions and gives volunteers a safe setting in which to express themselves, let off steam and discuss how they feel about volunteering. The ANYORG. manager will always try to be available to volunteers who require support in other areas that are affecting their performance.


    5.2 Recognition


    Volunteers provide a unique service to the ANYORG., the benefits of which are difficult to quantify. It is essential that their efforts are recognised and rewarded. ANYORG. staff are responsible for thanking all volunteers informally on a regular basis for the valuable contribution that they make to the organisation. The ANYORG. Manager is responsible for ensuring that more formalised recognition takes place at key times.


    5.3 Expenses


    Volunteers give their time and skills free of charge, so it is essential that the ANYORG. offers to reimburse any out-of-pocket expenses they may incur in the course of undertaking voluntary work for the organisation. The costs of volunteering should never be allowed to discourage those on low incomes. Current rates and procedures for claiming expenses are agreed by the management committee and publicised to all volunteers.


    5.4 Insurance


    Insurance is provided by the ANYORG. to cover all volunteers working on behalf and at the direction of the organisation.


    5.5 Personal and vocational development


    Volunteers are encouraged to develop their skills while involved with the organisation and are assisted into assuming additional and greater responsibilities over time, if they desire this.


    6. Monitoring and evaluation 


    6.1 ANYORG. volunteer involvement


    The ANYORG. monitors and evaluates volunteer involvement in the organisation on a regular basis and seeks to make ongoing improvements.


    6.2 Feedback


    Constructive feedback on this document is always welcome. It must be given to the ANYORG. Manager who will ensure that it is considered fully.

  • Public Complaints Policy

    Public Complaints Policy

    Statement of policy
    The ANYORG is committed to providing .................................................................. 

    We recognise that we may make mistakes from time to time, and that people may feel that the service they have received from us, or tried to receive from us, is unsatisfactory. We encourage feedback, both positive and negative, on all aspects of our policy and operations, so that we can maintain and improve standards on an ongoing basis. If an individual or organisation chooses to make a formal complaint, we will deal with this as quickly and fairly as possible and put things right where appropriate. 


    1. General principles (Back to Top)
    1.1 Scope
    The purpose of this document is to set out for all parties concerned the ANYORG code of practice for dealing with formal complaints. (It cannot be used as an alternative or additional complaints mechanism to the ANYORG grievance and disciplinary procedures, which deal with the relationship between the ANYORG staff and management committee.) 

    1.2 Responsibility
    The ANYORG Manager is responsible for ensuring that the policy and the procedures in this document are implemented efficiently and effectively. All other staff and volunteers (including voluntary management committee members) are expected to facilitate this process. 

    1.3 Eligibility
    Anyone using or trying to use ANYORG?s services can make a complaint. This includes potential, current and past volunteers, voluntary organisations, statutory bodies, etc. However, the ANYORG does not respond to anonymous or abusive complaints. 

    1.4 Treatment of complaints
    Complaints are taken seriously. Each complaint is treated equally, sensitively and in confidence. All complaints are handled with an open mind and investigated without prejudice. Complaints are dealt with promptly in an attempt to resolve them as quickly as possible. All complainants will receive a written explanation of the ANYORG response to their criticism. 

    2. Complaints method 
    2.1 First step
    Complaints should be in writing, addressed to the ANYORG Manager. The Manager will respond to the complaint within five working days of receipt. If it requires further investigation, the complainant will be made aware of this. It is hoped that most complaints will be resolved at this stage. 

    2.2 Second step
    If the complainant is unhappy with the reply they have received (or if the original complaint is actually about the ANYORG Manager), they can appeal in writing to the chair of the ANYORG management committee within five working days. The chair of the management committee will let the complainant know in writing, within five working days of receiving this letter, that the complaint is being investigated further and that it will be presented to the next meeting of the management committee. The management committee?s decision is final. 

    3. Monitoring and evaluation 
    3.1 ANYORG complaints
    The ANYORG monitors and evaluates complaints about the organisation on a regular basis and seeks to make ongoing improvements.

    3.2 Feedback
    Constructive feedback on this document is always welcome. The ANYORG will ensure that the management committee consider it, if appropriate 

    3.3 Review
    This document will be reviewed by the management committee on an annual basis, or sooner if circumstances change.

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