“We will produce safe, legal, sustainable quality halal food that complies with halal requirements and is independently approved by reputable halal certification bodies” – view our Halal Policy.


Equal Opportunities Policy

The Group is committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees and job applicants.

This policy covers employees of every level.

The Group is committed to ensuring that our workplaces are free from unlawful discrimination related to protected characteristics.  These protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

This policy impacts on all areas of our business including recruitment, career development and training, terms of employment and benefits, grievances, performance and disciplinary procedures, dismissals and redundancies and the way we manage employees and deal with each other (including by e-mail).  The principles set out in this policy apply not only in the workplace, but also outside the workplace in a work-related context (such as business trips, customer or supplier events and work-related social events).

The Group will take account of the principles set out in this policy in developing and applying its policies and procedures to ensure they do not discriminate unlawfully because of any of the protected characteristics.  Each member of the team is expected to enter into the spirit of the policy and to ensure that a positive equal opportunities climate exists by treating others on their merits and by disassociating themselves from any form of direct or indirect discrimination, victimisation, or sexual, racial or any other type of harassment.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

To supplement please refer to our Harassment and Bullying Policy and Family Friendly Policies.

Further guidance on the standards expected of employees with regard to e-mail and internet communications is contained in the Computer and Device Usage, Data Protection and Social Networking Policy.

Types of discrimination

There are a number of different types of unlawful discrimination.  The main types are considered below with illustrative examples.

Direct discrimination arises when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic.  It is important to realise that an individual does not actually have to have the characteristic themselves in order to suffer direct discrimination.  It will be also unlawful if they are less favourably treated because they are thought to have the characteristic, or because someone they know has the characteristic.

Examples of direct discrimination would include the following:

  • A woman with young children is not employed because it is feared that she might be an unreliable member of the team.
  • A member of the team is dismissed because they have a paraplegic partner.
  • A Sikh applicant for a senior post is turned down because it is feared that person will not “fit in” with an existing (all white) team.
  • A member of staff is not given a pay rise because a homophobic manager wrongly assumes the employee is gay (even though that person is actually heterosexual).
  • A visually impaired person is turned down for a job because of a mistaken assumption that such people are unable to use computers.

Indirect discrimination occurs where an apparently neutral requirement is applied which is more difficult for members of certain groups to meet and which cannot be justified on objective grounds.

Examples of indirect discrimination are set out below:

  • A policy that no members of the workforce can work part-time could constitute indirect discrimination as a higher proportion of women than men may choose to work on a part-time basis to meet caring responsibilities.  It may not be justified if the employer’s business needs can still be met by more flexible working arrangements.
  • A requirement that an applicant must be a “recent graduate” may be indirect age discrimination against older workers.  This could only be justified if asking for someone who has recently left university is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
  • A requirement for GCSE English as a selection criterion.  This requirement would be harder for people who have been educated overseas to meet and may not be justified if all that is really needed is the ability to demonstrate a reasonable level of literacy.  It might also be more difficult for older workers to meet as GCSEs were only introduced in the late 1980s.

Discrimination against disabled people can also occur where a person is unfavourably treated because of something arising in consequence of their disability or where an employer fails to make a reasonable adjustment to accommodate the needs of a disabled person.  It is important to realise that it is not only people who are visibly disabled who fall within the definition of people who are disabled.  The definition extends to anyone who has a serious physical or mental impairment which has lasted a long time and has a significant impact in their ability to perform normal daily activities.


  • A requirement for a member of staff to hold a driving licence for a job which involves little travelling.
  • Failure to recruit someone with hearing difficulties for a job which requires spoken communication without first considering whether suitable adjustments can be made to working arrangements.

Victimisation occurs when a person is subjected to a detriment because that person has taken or intends to take action to assert the rights conferred by equality legislation or because that person has assisted someone else with their complaint (for example by providing evidence).

Harassment occurs when a person is subjected to unwanted conduct (whether physical, verbal or non-verbal) related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or making the work environment hostile, intimidating or offensive for that person.  Please refer to the Harassment and Bullying Policy for more details.


The Group will not tolerate any form of discrimination.  Employees who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to the disciplinary procedure.  Breaches will be regarded as serious disciplinary matters and will, if there has been victimisation, intentional discrimination or deliberate harassment, be regarded as potential gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, you should raise a grievance through the  grievance procedure.  If you feel it is inappropriate to approach your manager, you may approach an independent member of management or HR.


The Group will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory.

The Group will ensure that poor performance and disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination.


We will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that disabled people are able to participate in our business activities on an equal basis with people who are not disabled.  If you are disabled or become disabled, you are encouraged to tell us about your condition so that appropriate support can be provided.

If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you may wish to contact your Manager or HR to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty.  We may wish to consult with you and your medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments. We will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason.  If we conclude that a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, we will try to find a reasonable alternative solution.

The Group will monitor the physical features of its premises to consider whether they place disabled workers, job applicants or service users at a substantial disadvantage compared to other employees.  Where reasonable, we will take steps to improve access for disabled employees and service users.

Part-time and fixed-term members of the team

Part-time and fixed-term staff will be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.

The Group will continue to review the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving its objectives.

December 2022