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Equality and diversity

Catch22 is wholeheartedly committed to the principle of equality of opportunity, both as an employer and as a provider of services to others.

Catch22 is determined to make all efforts to prevent discrimination or unfair treatment against, and promote equality of opportunity for, all members of staff, potential members of staff or users of its services on the grounds of sex, race, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, disability or offending background. We are opposed to discriminatory attitudes and are committed to translating this into all aspects of our everyday work.

Catch22 recognises that specific and positive programmes of action are necessary to ensure that the aims of our equal opportunities policy are achieved. We recognise, however, that progress requires the participation and commitment of all our staff to the policy, as well as the development of these procedures and structures.

It is the responsibility of every member of staff to apply Catch22’s Equality and Diversity Policy. Its application is also required from people who work with Catch22. The policy statement sets out the organisational framework within which all employees must work and where appropriate the areas where detailed organisational policy statements and related procedures apply.

People with Convictions

Catch22 recognises the contribution people with convictions can make as employees. Applications from people with convictions will be treated on their own merits alongside any special criteria relating to the post (e.g. the need to visit prisons or work with young people where particular sorts of previous convictions may debar some people).

We no longer ask candidates to disclose criminal convictions at application stage. Instead, we ask candidates to declare convictions at offer stage. If you are offered a job with us, you will be sent our declaration form which contains a section on Rehabilitation of Offenders, where the post being applied for is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974). When responding to these questions, you must disclose any ‘unprotected’ criminal convictions relating even when they may be considered ‘spent’ for other purposes. (Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975). Guidance on which convictions you must disclose to us, together with those which are ‘protected’ (and do not need to be disclosed) can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.

Applicants may also be required to complete an online disclosure form from the DBS. An enhanced disclosure is required when the post involves working with vulnerable adults or with children and young people, where substantial unsupervised contact with them is part of the post.

A person’s criminal record, in itself, will not debar that person from being appointed to a post with Catch22 unless the Protection of Children Act 1999, the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and/or the Care Standards Act 2000 applies. Discretion will also be exercised where it is felt that a recent and/or serious conviction might mean that a person might re-offend or cause harm.

Each case will be considered on its merits and in consultation with the applicant concerned. The appointing manager will discuss how to proceed with their line manager.

Discrimination either in favour of or against those persons currently in the employment of Catch22 who have a criminal record is not permissible, and such information should be strictly confidential.