Equality, diversity and inclusion are more than just words for us. It is important that all of our employees feel valued, appreciated, empowered and free to express who they actually are at work as that is what makes them unique. We want to create a workplace that reflects the diverse and vibrant communities we serve with a zero tolerance to any discrimination at all. Our holistic approach is designed to create leaders, help our employees grow and manage their careers with the help of all of Zest #TogetherIsBetterOur Approach

Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Policy

Zest is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and against unlawful discrimination of customers or the public.

The terms equality, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of this policy. Equality means ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential free from discrimination. Inclusion means ensuring everyone feels comfortable to be themselves at work and feels the worth of their contribution. Diversity means the celebration of individual differences amongst the workforce. We will actively support diversity and inclusion and ensure that all our employees are valued and treated with dignity and respect. We want to encourage everyone in our business to reach their potential. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.

The policy’s purpose is to:

• Provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time

• Not unlawfully discriminate because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

• Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.

We value people as individuals with diverse opinions, cultures, lifestyles and circumstances. All job applicants, employees and workers, including agency workers, are covered by this policy and it applies to all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, training, career development, and promotion. Equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and compliance with the law is to the benefit of all individuals in Zest as it seeks to develop the skills and abilities of its people. While specific responsibility for eliminating discrimination and providing equality of opportunity lies with managers and supervisors, individuals at all levels have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. The personal commitment of every employee to this policy and application of its principles are essential to eliminate discrimination and provide equality throughout the Company.

We will ensure that the policy is circulated to any agencies responsible for our recruitment and a copy of the policy will be made available for all employees and made known to all applicants for employment. The policy will be communicated to all private contractors reminding them of their responsibilities towards the equality of opportunity. The policy will be implemented in accordance with the appropriate statutory requirements and full account will be taken of all available guidance and in particular any relevant Codes of Practice. Management has the primary responsibility for successfully meeting these objectives by

• Not discriminating in the course of engagement against employees, workers or job applicants.

• Not inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.

• Bringing to the attention of our workforce that they may be subject to action under the disciplinary procedure, or other appropriate action, for unlawful discrimination of any kind.

Zest commitments are to:

• Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as it is good practice and makes good business sense.

• Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination. All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

• Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities. Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice. Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

• Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

• Decisions concerning staff being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).

• Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.

• Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Management will ensure that recruitment, selection, training, development, and promotion procedures result in no job applicant, employee, or worker receiving less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic within the Equality Act 2010 which are race, including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin and caste; religion or belief; disability; sex; sexual orientation; pregnancy or maternity; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership; and age. In accordance with our overarching equal treatment ethos, we will also ensure that no one is treated less favourably on account of their trade union membership or non-membership, or on the basis of being a part-time worker or fixed-term employee. The Company’s objective is to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted, and otherwise treated solely on the basis of their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.

Zests zero policy against any form of discrimination means that no employee shall:

• Discriminating against fellow employees, workers, clients, suppliers or members of the public with whom you come into contact during the course of your duties.

• Inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.

• Reporting any discriminatory action to Finance Director.

The successful achievement of these objectives necessitates a contribution from everyone, and you have an obligation and are strongly encouraged to report any act of discrimination known to you.

If you consider that you are a victim of unlawful discrimination you may raise the issue immediately with your line manager or alternatively raise through the grievance procedure.