TIGA publishes free Equal Opportunities Policy templates for UK games businesses

By May 28, 2015Press Releases

TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers, and trade association representing the UK video games industry, has published two free equal opportunities policy templates for UK games businesses, prepared by Stevens & Bolton LLP and Osborne Clarke, in partnership with Women In Games.

As previously set out in TIGA’s Leap 2014 Report – taking a proactive approach to encouraging diversity makes good business sense for games employers and educators alike. Measures that broaden the pool of talent available to the industry can only be helpful.

The equal opportunities policy templates have been made available to help UK games businesses follow and potentially improve practices in two important areas: HR and employee marketing.

Whilst diversity in games is a complex issue with a range of causes and solutions, it is also something that all organisations can do something concrete to address – particularly when it comes to ensuring that a company appeals as much as possible to people of all backgrounds.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission recommends that employers have some form of equal opportunities policy. An equal opportunity policy can help to set minimum standards of behaviour and reduce the risk of legal action.

However, as part of their employee marketing strategy, UK video games employers and educators may also wish to consider the tactics below, which some TIGA members have reported as being effective for increasing diversity within their organisation: 

  • publishing profiles or photos of the existing team on their website where appropriate, and where staff are happy to be featured, to show how diverse their teams are and encourage a greater diversity of applicants all the while being mindful for the nature of feedback from the internet;
  • publicising any policies that are, for example, family friendly such as “flexible working” or “no crunch” policies;
  • including a short policy statement on equal opportunities when advertising any vacancy e.g. “We are committed to promoting equal opportunities and diversity. All applicants will be considered on their merit, qualifications, competence and talent, regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation”;
  • drafting and sharing a code of conduct internally that emphasises the organisation’s commitment to fair and equal treatment of all employees;
  • proactively catering for staff with disabilities and showcasing their work and potential;
  • considering how your work environment is presented at e.g. university open days;
  • having more balanced imagery on the company or course website, with a more equal mix of genders and ethnicities and also imagery that reflects the creative range of the art form;
  • having as diverse a range of spokespeople representing your organisation as reasonably possible;
  • showcasing both female and male employees’ work; and
  • simply putting some time into thinking about, writing and communicating a strategy for increasing the diversity of your company. 

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, said:

“TIGA is committed to strengthening the UK games industry by sharing best practice business advice that developers and digital publishers can apply practically in their own companies.

“I would like to thank Lloyd Davey from Stevens & Bolton and Anna Chamberlain from Osborne Clarke for donating their time and expertise to create these excellent equal opportunity policy templates, and also to Women In Games for supporting this idea.

“Together, we can help build a stronger games industry and promote equality of opportunity in the sector.”

Jenny Richards, CEO, Women In Games, added:

“Following Women In Games announcement of our 10 year target – to double the number of women in the UK videogame industry, we are very pleased TIGA is making these high quality templates freely available to all games businesses.

“Best practice HR and employer marketing with respect to diversity does not have to be expensive or onerous. What makes a difference is just putting some conscious thought into how you can create and then show an environment that is welcoming to as wide a range of people as possible.

“Having a rigorous and prominently displayed equal opportunity policy on your recruitment pages could be the difference between someone applying for a job at your studio, or even in the industry, or not.”

 

– ends –

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY – GAMES INDUSTRY TEMPLATE 1

Prepared for TIGA and Women In Games by Lloyd Davey, Partner, Stevens & Bolton LLP

 

Equal Opportunities Policy

We are an equal opportunities employer. We will treat all employees and job applicants equally regardless of these protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Anyone who believes that he or she may have been disadvantaged on discriminatory grounds should inform their manager. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or engagement.

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

Discrimination

There are different types of unlawful discrimination which are prohibited under this policy, whether in or outside work, including social events outside of work time:

Direct discrimination: this means putting someone at a disadvantage or treating someone less favourably because of one of the above protected characteristics. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their age or gender.

Indirect discrimination: this occurs where a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than others and cannot be justified.

Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. It can include nicknames, stereotyping, offensive or degrading jokes and display or circulation of offensive material.

Victimisation: this occurs where an individual is treated unfavourably because he or she has taken action or assisted someone else with a complaint about discrimination or harassment.

Disabilities

If you are disabled, or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition. We will consider whether there are any reasonable adjustments or support which may be appropriate in the circumstances.

 

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY – GAMES INDUSTRY TEMPLATE 2

Prepared for TIGA and Women In Games by Anna Chamberlain, Associate Director, Osborne Clarke

 

1. Equal opportunities statement

We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. You and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (“Protected Characteristics”).

2. About this policy

2.1 This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work. It applies to all aspects of employment with us, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

2.2 This policy covers all employees, job applicants, officers, consultants, contractors, freelancers, interns, casual workers and agency workers.

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

3. Discrimination

3.1 You must not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other people including current and former employees, job applicants, officers, consultants, contractors, freelancers, interns, casual workers and agency workers. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (when dealing with work-related contacts), and on work-related trips or events including social events.

3.2 The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:

(a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.

(b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.

(c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

(d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else’s complaint about discrimination or harassment.

(e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.

4. Recruitment and selection

4.1 Recruitment, promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person if possible.

4.2 Vacancies should generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.

4.3 Job applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.

4.4 Job applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law: for example, to see if any adjustments might be needed at interview because of a disability. Health or disability questions may be included in equal opportunities monitoring forms, which must not be used for selection or decision-making purposes.

5. Disabilities

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate.

6. Part-time and fixed-term work

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

7. Breaches of this policy

7.1 We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.

7.2 If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Grievance Procedure. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.

7.3 You must not be victimised or retaliated against for complaining about discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.

 

About TIGA

TIGA is 90% funded by independent UK businesses. 80% of our board members are developers and/or from UK owned businesses, and 50% of our board are UK business owners themselves. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards and commendations. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities: 

  • Political representation
  • Media representation
  • Business services

This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.

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