The objectives of this Equal Opportunity (EEC) and Anti-Discrimination Policy are to ensure that all:
- VGU’s employees or potential employees do not suffer unfair discrimination in the workplace.
- Individuals and groups within the VGU work in an environment where all decisions are free of discrimination, where they have equal opportunity based on relevant abilities and merit.
- Employees are encouraged to take positive action towards promoting equal opportunity throughout the organization.
- Personnel actions, such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, company-sponsored training programs, and social and recreational programs, will be administered on a non- discriminatory basis.
- Application of labour laws to be uniformly applied in the organization.
- VGU will not adversely discriminate, and prohibits other adverse discrimination at the workplace, on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, descent, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age or any of them (“Discrimination Characteristics”). VGU will not condone any adverse discrimination against any person on its premises, whether that person is its students or employee or otherwise.
- Any person who believes himself or herself to have been subjected to adverse discrimination on the basis of the Discrimination Characteristics is encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the Internal Complaint Committee of VGU at the earliest practical opportunity. No person will be punished, retaliated against, or limited in employment or other opportunity for exercising anything set out in this Policy, or for filing a complaint, furnishing information for, or participating in an investigation, or any other activity related to the administration of this Policy.
- Any adverse discrimination or other action or behaviour that constitutes a violation of law will be reported to the police.
- VGU provides equal opportunities to its employment, consultancy or otherwise without regard for the Discrimination Characteristics. All actions of VGU with regard to its employees relating to compensation, benefits, transfers, leave, layoffs, training, education, and assistance, will be made without regard for the Discrimination Characteristics.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the previous paragraph, if VGU reasonably believes that its employment, workplace or premises do not adequately represent the balance of diversity of persons who share one or more of the Discrimination Characteristics, it may, with the aim only of redressing that imbalance, take positive discriminatory action in respect of persons who share that aspect, or those aspects, of the Discrimination Characteristics that are sought to be adequately represented.
- Any person who believes himself or herself to have been subjected to adverse discrimination, or impermissible positive discrimination, on the basis of the Discrimination Characteristics is encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the Internal Complaint Committee at the earliest practical opportunity.
Nature of workplace Discrimination:
Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfavourably because of a certain attribute. Discrimination may involve some or all of the following:
- Conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive or disruptive, including sexual harassment
- Making offensive ‘jokes’ about another worker’s clan, ethnic background, colour, sex or disability
- Expressing negative stereotypes about particular groups e.g. “married women shouldn’t be working.”
- Judging someone on their political or religious beliefs rather than their work performance.
- Using selection processes based on irrelevant attributes such as ethnic or clan group, age, sex or disability rather than on knowledge, skills and merit. Parameters of Discrimination – Strictly Prohibited
VGU and its employees shall strive to create a workplace that is free from discrimination in their employment practices against any potential or existing employees, and shall not discriminate on a person’s:
- Age or other circumstances
- Cultural or social beliefs such as religious
- Educational Background
- Race, ethnicity or nationality
- Spiritual, traditional or customary beliefs
- Political opinion
- Physical features
- Gender identity and expression
- Marital status
- Pregnancy or judging the impacts of potential pregnancy on decisions
- Sexual orientation
- Health or physical disability or impairment
- Medical record / HIV status
Complaint process and procedures:
A person wishing to make a complaint of discrimination can consult and file a complaint with the Internal Complaint Committee. The complaint should be made in writing and addressed to chairperson of the committee within 5 working days of any such incident of discrimination.
The constitution of the Committee shall be:
- A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman faculty member employed at a senior level (not below the rank of Professor) nominated by the President – Presiding Person
- Two faculty members and two non-teaching employees, preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge, nominated by the President.
- Three student representatives, if the matter needs the involvement of students
- One member from non-government organisations or association committed to the cause of women or a person familiarly with the issues relating to discrimination.
- Director, Student Counselling – Member Secretary
Once the complaint has been filed an investigation will be undertaken immediately by IIC and work towards the prompt resolution and prevention of discriminatory acts and practices. The matter should be resolved within 15 working days.
Within 10 days of result of the IIC meeting, either the complainant or the respondent may make a request that an investigation be reviewed stating which aspect of the investigation is inadequate. The request must be submitted to the office of the President, who will determine if the investigation is to be re-opened in order to address the concerned raised. In case the appeal is taken up, then the investigation shall be completed within 15 working days by the independent committee constituted by the President. The result of the appeal shall be binding on the complainant for all purposes