Equal Opportunities Policy

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  1. Mercy Central is a Christian organisation committed to social justice and resolutely opposed to discrimination in society. We are committed to providing services on a fair and equitable basis, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, sex, sexuality, physical/mental disability, offending background or any other factor. No person requiring services from Mercy Central will be treated less favourably than any other person on any grounds.
  2. In employment, we actively seek to recruit with the right mix of talent, skills and potential, and experience, promoting equality for all, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, experience and commitment to the values and purposes of the organisation.
  3. As an organisation seeking to deliver services within a Christian context, some posts can only be filled by Christians. These posts are kept under regular review. The nature of these posts or the context in which they are carried out, and their link to the ethos of the organisation, give rise to a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) for the post-holders to be Christians. All staff in these posts are required to demonstrate a clear personal commitment to the Christian faith by signing an appropriate statement of faith as agreed from time to time by Mercy Central. This policy is implemented in accordance with the Employment and Race Directives issued by the Government and ACAS guidance.
  4. In recruiting volunteers, the overwhelming majority of individuals come from within the membership of Network Vineyard Church (NVC) with which Mercy Central is closely associated. We encourage all members of NVC to play an active role within the various areas of activity of the church, including our compassion ministries, which are spearheaded by Mercy Central. Our emphasis is therefore on inclusion rather than exclusion. By virtue of the Christian ethos of Mercy Central, most volunteer roles will require the individual recruited to be a practising Christian. Some opportunities may be available to non-Christians, but individuals in these cases will still need to demonstrate a clear sympathy with our Christian values.
  5. As an organisation using the DBS to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Mercy Central undertakes to comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice and to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any person on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
  6. A Disclosure is only requested if relevant for the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered a position.
  7. Where a Disclosure is to form part of a recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of any criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent separately and in confidence to the Mercy Central Recruiter and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to, as part of the recruitment process.
  8. Unless the nature of the position allows questioning about your entire criminal record, we only ask about “unspent” convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  9. At an interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to the withdrawal of an offer of employment or voluntary work.
  10. Every person under-going a DBS check will be made aware of the DBS Code of Practice and a copy will be available on request.
  11. We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking a position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend upon the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

(Policy approved by Mercy Central Trustees – 30.04.18)