Policy on Equal Opportunities / Anti-Discrimination
- The Basic Conception of DIDF towards Equal Opportunities / Anti-Discrimination
1.1. As an equal opportunities organization and employer aimed at promoting inclusion as well as equality, Dialogue In The Dark (HK) Foundation Ltd. (“DIDF”) shall respect the concept of equality and shall also promote diversity, mutual respect, equality and anti-discriminatory acts and all related values.
1.2 It is unlawful or in breach of this Equal Opportunities / Anti-Discrimination Policy (“the Policy”) for a member, employee, trainee, service provider, service user, volunteer, etc. of DIDF to harass, discriminate against or victimize another member, employee or trainee, etc. of DIDF, or any other person who has dealings with DIDF, on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, family status, disability or race of that person. DIDF shall treat these wrongdoings as a serious disciplinary issue which would be handled in a serious manner.
1.3. DIDF, members and employees of DIDF who hold supervisory positions, shall take all necessary steps in order to ensure that any member, employee, service provider, trainee or service user, etc. of DIDF or any other person who has dealing with DIDF is not subject to harassment, discrimination or victimization on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, family status, disability or race in their employment or in the educational environment arising therefrom.
1.4. DIDF suggests people with disability has his / her own superiority and there is no difference between those people without disability and people with disability in the sense of their respective talent. The employment opportunity, treatment and chance of using any service is the same as those people without disability in DIDF. We shall ensure and safeguard they have identical opportunities with people without disability when working, providing service and using service provided by DIDF.
1.5. If it is reasonable and feasible, DIDF will make reasonable efforts to make accommodation for disabled staff, trainees, and service users, and job applicants.
- Strict Observance of Anti-Discrimination Ordinances of Hong Kong
2.1. DIDF adopts in their entirety the Codes of Practice on Employment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO). All these named anti-discrimination Ordinances are collectively referred to the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances.
2.2. Members, employees, service providers, trainees and service users of DIDF should observe the requirements of the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances. They shall be personally liable for acts committed by them.
2.3. Members, employees, service providers, trainees and service users of DIDF can be proactive in helping to eliminate harassment, victimization or discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, family status, disability or race by becoming familiar with the subjects and through a sensitivity towards the issues and by ensuring that standards of conduct for themselves do not cause offence. A member, employee or trainee of DIDF shall not discriminate or harass any other member, employee or trainee of DIDF or any other person who has dealings with DIDF.
2.4. Members, employees, service providers, trainees and service users of DIDF are prohibited to commit any unlawful act as stipulated in the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances and they should be aware of the definitions in order to follow the requirement under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances.
2.5. DIDF’s equal opportunity policy forbids the following discrimination / harassment in activities carried out in the course of employment, education, provision of goods and services, or other activities organized by Departments of DIDF. The definitions as stipulated in the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances will apply. For the sake of ensuring we could understand the spirit of these definitions correctly, all staff members are encouraged to read the introduction of these terminology in a reframed short form as listed in paragraph 3 below carefully.
- Definitions and Prohibited Acts
3.1. Direct discrimination means treating a person less favorably than another person in comparable circumstances, because of a person’s sex, marital status, pregnancy, family status, race or disability.
3.2. Indirect discrimination consists of applying the same treatment as between the sexes, persons with different marital status, persons who are pregnant or not, persons with or without family status, persons with different race and persons with a disability and persons without a disability but is in practice discriminatory in its effect and such treatment or requirement is not justifiable.
3.3. Family Status in relation to a person means the status of having responsibility for the care of an immediate family member. An immediate family member is a person who is related by blood, marriage, adoption or affinity.
3.4. Disability includes physical, mental, sensory, neurological or learning disabilities and the presence of some disease-causing organisms in the body (for example HIV). It also includes the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body; or a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgments or that results in disturbed behavior. Disability includes a disability that presently exists; previously existed but no longer exists; may exist in the future; or is imputed to a person.
3.5. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome or uninvited sexual behavior which is generally regarded as offensive, humiliating or intimidating. This includes unwelcome sexual advances or unwelcome requests for sexual favors. The harasser may incur legal liabilities and may be liable to pay compensation to the victim. According to section 2(5) and section 2(8) of SDO, acts of sexual harassment can be done by any person to a man or a woman. The provisions concerning sexual harassment also apply to homosexual relations. For example, a man can be sued under the SDO if he sexually harassed another man, and likewise a female trainee who harassed another female trainee. Acts of sexual harassment may be carried out directly or indirectly in physical or verbal forms.
3.6. Disability Harassment is any unwelcome conduct on account of a person’s disability where it can be reasonably anticipated that the person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated (e.g., insulting remarks or offensive jokes about a person’s disability).
3.7. Disability Vilification is an activity in public which incites hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of people with a disability. For example, if a person speaks openly in The Dialogue Experience Place (“DEP”) of DIDF that people with a disability are useless and a burden to society, this may amount to vilification. Discrimination, harassment or vilification of persons with a disability (or their associates) is unlawful under the DDO. If the degree of vilification is very serious, such unlawful act may amount to a criminal offence of serious vilification under the DDO.
3.8. Victimization occurs where a person (the discriminator) treats another person (the person victimized) less favorably than other persons in comparable circumstances because the person victimized or a third person has done or intends to do, or is suspected to have done or to intend to the following:
3.8.1. bringing proceedings against the discriminator or any other person under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances.
3.8.2. giving evidence or information in connection with proceedings brought by any person against the discriminator or any other person under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances.
3.8.3. otherwise doing anything under or by reference to the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances in relation to the discriminator or any other person, or
3.8.4. alleging that the discriminator or any other person has committed an act which is unlawful under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances.
3.9. In summary, DIDF also prohibits the following acts in addition to the unlawful acts under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances. In general, the acts as listed below are prohibited:
- Sex discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Marital status discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Breastfeeding discrimination
- Breastfeeding harassment
- Disability discrimination
- Disability harassment
- Disability vilification
- Family status discrimination
- Racial discrimination
- Racial harassment
- Racial vilification
- Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation
- Harassment on the ground of sexual orientation
- Victimization discrimination
- Other forms of discrimination or harassment / vilification
- Prohibition of Staff members of DIDF to commit any act of Disability Discrimination against his or her Associates
4.1. Disability discrimination against a person includes;
4.1.1. Discrimination against him or her on the ground of the disability of his or her associate (e.g., caretaker or relative),
4.1.2. Possesses a palliative or therapeutic device or auxiliary aid, or any matter related to this act, and
4.1.3. Because of the fact that that person is accompanied by an interpreter, a reader, an assistant or a caretaker, or any matter related to this fact.
4.2. In recruiting for a job, or in providing opportunities for promotion or transfer to, or training for, a job DIDF is not in breach of this Policy under the DDO where:
4.2.1. Absence of disability is a genuine occupational qualification for the job; or
4.2.2. A person with a disability is unable to perform the inherent requirements of a job; or
4.2.3. A person with a disability requires services or facilities that are not required by a person without a disability in order to carry out the inherent requirements of a job, and the provision of which would impose unjustifiable hardship on the employer.
- Provision of Reasonable Accommodation by DIDF
5.1. For many people with a disability, the main barrier to equal opportunities, participation and performance at work is not the disability itself, but certain features of the work that could otherwise be reasonably altered. If a person with a disability can perform the inherent requirements of the job with some adjustments, including the provision of certain services or facilities, DIDF shall consider making such changes unless this imposes unjustifiable hardship. Making adjustments where required to ensure equal opportunities for people with a disability is commonly referred to as reasonable accommodation.
5.2. The types of adjustment could include:
5.2.1. Changes or adjustments to the recruitment and selection procedures;
5.2.2. Modifications to work premises.
5.2.3. Changes to job design;
5.2.4. Provision and modification of equipment.
- DIDF ’s Assurance of its Staff Members will not be discriminated
DIDF shall ensure no staff members would be discriminated against in relation to employment on ground of his / her sex, pregnancy, marital status, race or disability in all respects, including but not limited to hiring, retention, re-appointment, crossing of efficiency bar, promotion, termination, reassignment, salary increases, pay, rewards, fringe benefits, workload, opportunities, training and staff development, and working conditions.
7.1. All complaints and associated correspondences and interviews must be treated in strict confidentiality.
7.2. Breaches of confidentiality will be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary procedure.
- Proceedings on Complaints of Harassment, Discrimination or Victimization
8.1. If DIDF receives complaint in relation to discrimination, we will make preliminary inquiry to the matter. In the event DIDF decides to investigate the case, the formal procedure of complaints handling, and disciplinary proceedings shall then be adopted.
8.2. If it is found that any staff member, trainee, consultant, etc. has committed any unlawful act of harassment, discrimination, victimization or vilification under the Anti-Discrimination Ordinances, DIDF is as of right to investigate and to apply the formal procedure of and impose penalty on them pursuant to the Complaints Handling Procedures and Disciplinary Proceedings of DIDF.
8.3 If the unlawful act as committed by the discriminator is serious, DIDF reserves the right to hand over the complaint to Equal Opportunities Commission for further investigation and management.
8.4. DIDF weighs heavily on equality and mutual respect. It is also devoted in promoting the values of diversity, inclusion and empathy etc. We will provide training on anti-discrimination to our employees, service providers, volunteers, trainees or other persons in connection with DIDF etc. on a regular basis. We may update and revise this Policy from time to time.
8.5. In case of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the Chinese and English version of this Policy, the English version shall prevail.