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Discrimination Policy


Single Mothers in Progress recognizes a moral and legal responsibility to provide a work environment for employees, contractors, customers and visitors that is free from discrimination. Single Mothers in Progress considers discrimination as unacceptable behaviour and it will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Reports of discrimination will be investigated promptly and confidentially.

Definitions: The Equal Opportunity Act 1995 makes discrimination in employment unlawful on the following grounds:

* Age
* Impairment
* Industrial activity
* Lawful sexual activity
* Marital status
* Physical features
* Political belief or activity
* Pregnancy
* Race
* Religious belief or activity
* Sex
* Parental status or status as carer
* Personal association

Discrimination is likely to be most evident in:
* The recruitment process
* Ongoing work practices and/or attitudes


Single Mothers in Progress will:
* Provide a workplace that is free from discrimination
* Ensure compliance with legislative requirements
* Provide information, instruction, training and supervision to employees where necessary
* Provide support and assistance to employees


It is the responsibility of Single Mothers in Progress to create a culture that recognises discrimination as unacceptable behaviour and where everyone can realise their full potential

Management is responsible for:
* Ensuring that all staff are aware of the appropriate and acceptable standard of behaviour at work
* Ensuring that unlawful discrimination is prevented by maintaining a supportive, comfortable and productive work environment
* Ensuring that staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding unlawful discrimination
* Intervening if staff member conduct creates an intimidatory, hostile or offensive work environment; adversely affects staff prospects; adversely affects an individuals work performance, health or job satisfaction or staff member’s action results in resignation
* Take early action to deal with behaviour which may be discriminatory
* Handling complaints immediately, seriously and confidentially with due sensitivity; and
* Preventing the victimisation of anyone involved in a discrimination complain.

Employees are to:
* treat colleagues with respect and dignity
* ensure their behaviour does not constitute unlawful discrimination or condone circumstances that may allow such to happen
* ensure individuals do not suffer from unlawful discrimination
* ensure they do not act in an inappropriate manner towards other staff, contractors, clients or the public
* Report all known or observed discrimination to their immediate supervisor or manager
* Actively contribute to a discrimination free environment

Application of the Policy

This policy is applicable to SMIP in all its operations and functions including those situations where employees are required to work off site.

As a general rule, SMIP will ensure the following:
* Any observed contravention of this policy should be immediately advised to the staff member’s line manager or Executive Director
* The offending staff member is to be counselled by the Executive Director or Supervisor if the former is unavailable.
* Where necessary, a conciliation process between the relevant parties may be initiated by the Executive Director.

Any persons found to have been the cause of discrimination can expect to face disciplinary action, which may include summary dismissal.

Policy Authorised on behalf of SMIP Board by: Sherril Downer




SMIP will normally adhere to the following progressive disciplinary process:
1. Verbal Caution: An employee will be given a verbal caution when he or she engages in problematic behavior. As the first step in the progressive discipline policy, a verbal caution is meant to alert the employee that a problem may exist or that one has been identified, which must be addressed. Verbal warnings will be documented and maintained by your supervisor. A verbal caution remains in effect for three month.
2. Verbal Warning: A verbal warning is more serious than a verbal caution. An employee will be given a verbal warning when a problem is identified that justifies a verbal warning or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior during the period a verbal caution is in effect. Verbal warnings are documented and placed in the employee’s personnel file and will remain in effect for three months.

  1. Written Warning: A written warning is more serious than a verbal warning. A written warning will be given when an employee engages in conduct that justifies a written warning

or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior during the period that a verbal warning is in effect. Written warnings are maintained in an employee’s personnel file and remains in effect for three months.
4. Suspension: A suspension without pay is more serious than a written warning. An employee will be suspended when he or she engages in conduct that justifies a suspension or the employee engages in unacceptable behavior during the period that a written warning is in effect. An employee’s suspension will be documented and, regardless of the length of the suspension issued, will remain in effect for three months.
5 Decision Making Leave: Generally following a suspension, an employee will be reprimanded then sent home for the day on decision making leave. This is intended to help the employee decide whether they should continue employment with the company. If the employee returns, they will be expected to work harder than before to follow the agency guidelines and continue their employment without interruption. The other option with this leave is the employee may choose to resign because employment with the agency is not a match.
6. Termination: An employee will be terminated when he or she engages in conduct that justifies termination or does not correct the matter that resulted in less sever discipline.
Again, while the agency will generally take disciplinary action in a progressive manner, it reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to decide whether and what disciplinary action will be taken in a given situation.

Using the triangle method can make an appeal of decision for employees and volunteers;

If the matter cannot be resolved between the employees (volunteers) your next step would be to proceed to the Volunteer Coordinator.  Shall there be any concerns or further disagreement in the matter, at this point it will be heard by the Executive Director. A Board Member and Director where decisions must be made and the issue will result in a professional and productive matter in the best interest of the employee/ volunteer and SMIP agency will hear the final stage of the appeal.