Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy
WORKING CULTURE, MANAGEMENT, AND COMMUNICATION
Human interaction is necessary to ensure that the work community operates well. It involves encountering diversity and diverse differences of opinion and accepting and respecting them. At Xamk, we treat everyone with respect. We respect and value the diversity of our community, meet everyone as individuals, and treat everybody equally.
Xamk has zero tolerance for harassment and inappropriate behaviour. Everyone has the responsibility and right to intervene constructively and in a solution-oriented manner in any incidents they witness. For this purpose, in addition to the guidelines on harassment and inappropriate behaviour, Xamk has a safety observation notification system, which can also be used to make development proposals. Any shortcomings detected will be addressed without delay.
Management, decision-making, and supervisory work
Equality and non-discrimination are at the core of Xamk’s management culture. Management and supervisors serve as an example for both staff and students. Everyone must feel like they are being treated fairly and that they are appreciated.
Xamk encourages open dialogue and decision-making and follows the principles of good governance. Management and supervisors take equality, non-discrimination, and people’s diversity into account in the planning of operations and decision-making. This is supported by appreciative interaction and an encouraging and participatory culture of feedback and initiative. The supervisor promotes the openness and two-way communication of the work community. Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that the tasks and resources are allocated equally. It is important for us at Xamk to promote and support the wellbeing of our community members and our working ability.
In addition to equal pay for staff, Xamk pays attention to career development, the opportunity to participate in decision-making, and equality between personnel groups. In addition to staff, it is also important to promote participatory interaction for students. Equality surveys targeted at both staff and students are carried out regularly, and the results are used to develop our operations.
Equality and non-discrimination competence and communication
Equality and non-discrimination themes are included in the supervisor training and the orientation of new staff. Xamk’s ethical principles are part of the responsibility training of Xamk employees. The competence and awareness related to equality and non-discrimination issues among all staff members will also be increased through regular training and campaigns.
STAFF EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
Recruitment processes at Xamk are transparent and fair. Applicants have equal opportunities to be selected in accordance with the Equality and Non-Discrimination Act. The job requirements are explained openly,and the recruitment criteria are as transparent as possible. Fixed-term employment relationships are concluded only for justified reasons.
Applicants’ merits are always assessed by at least two persons, and the aptitude assessment carried out by an external party is used at least when selecting persons for indefinite employment relationships. Vacancies are always advertised internally on the intranet and on the external website. We support the career development of our staff, for example, by enabling job rotation, staff exchange, and the utilisation of competence across unit boundaries.
In permanent teaching and RDI positions, the application process is also done in English, unless there is a position-related obstacle to this.
Xamk values the diversity of different age groups and the versatile expertise they bring to the organisation. Xamk employees are encouraged to keep an eye out for open positions and apply for them according to their interests and competence. The preliminary model of the researcher’s career path has been approved by the Management Team, and negotiations on the practical operating model are ongoing. In the future, the goal is to expand the operating model related to the planning of the career path to other tasks.
The goal is for Xamk to also have a diverse age structure. Therefore, older workers are seen as an important resource, and attention is paid to the transfer of tacit knowledge. The special needs of older workers are taken into account individually, and their health is monitored in accordance with the action plan through age group examinations in occupational health care.
The pay criteria at Xamk are equal, clear, and based on the collective agreement. The same salary is paid for work with similar levels of difficulty. An annual pay survey is carried out at Xamk, the purpose of which is to increase transparency and openness in tasks with the same requirements. The pay survey is reviewed by the work community advisory board with personnel groups.
Xamk supports the competence and career development of its staff, taking equality and non-discrimination into account. An orientation plan is drawn up for new employees. Supervisors review competence development needs annually in connection with development discussions and monitor the fulfilment of competence requirements. Employees are offered diverse training opportunities. All personnel groups have the right to spend the same number of working hours on training to develop their professional skills.
Reconciling free time, work, and family life
If possible, we aim to organise work tasks so that part-time work is possible if the person so wishes. Parttime family leaves are available annually. Part-time work, job alternation leave, and other flexibility arrangements are granted equally.
There are many reasons for part-time work. Part-time employment is often agreed upon at the employee’s initiative – for example, parents of young children may feel that it suits their life situation, or a person approaching retirement age may need slightly shorter working hours.
STUDENT EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
Everyone has the opportunity to apply for a student place and be admitted to study at Xamk, regardless of their background, personal characteristics, or life situation. The assessment criteria for student learning are transparent and treat students equally.
Xamk offers studies in different forms, such as online, contact, and blended studies, which makes completing studies easier for, e.g., students with families or who work. Regardless of the form of studying, we aim to provide all students with equal access to support and guidance services and the necessary orientations.
Equal and non-discriminatory learning environment and support services
Xamk’s learning environment is tolerant, safe, and fair. Students have the opportunity to be heard and influence the development of their studies and study environment. Learning environments enable accessible and equal opportunities for studying. This is taken into account when planning operating models and physical learning environments.
High-quality guidance and support services support learning and the progress of studies. In addition to the functionality of the processes, the resources of the services are adequate and correctly allocated. Guidance and advisory services follow the principles of gender sensitivity, meaning that the defining characteristics are individual tendencies, competence, and opportunities, regardless of gender.
Opportunities for influencing and advocacy
In order to promote equality and non-discrimination and to increase interaction, the students’ voices are heard in Xamk’s decision-making. Student Union Kaakko is an important partner in ensuring this. Among other things, the student union coordinates the selection of student representatives. Student representatives are members of the Board of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Ltd, various management groups, teams, and development forums.
Harassment is behaviour that is deliberately and effectively offensive to dignity. Harassment often involves a threatening, hostile, or aggressive atmosphere.
Anyone who has experienced harassment or inappropriate behaviour should bring up the matter and inform the person who they felt was inappropriate towards them as soon as possible. The employer must intervene without delay after being informed of the situation either from the victim of harassment, through the Falcony incident reporting system, or through an occupational safety and health representative, employee representative, or occupational health care.
Xamk has clear instructions for students in case of harassment and conflicts. The student union protects the students’ interests as a statutory task. The student union’s staff members include an expert in advocacyand harassment contact persons who have been trained for the task. The task of the harassment contact persons is to listen without judgement and, when requested, intervene in harassment situations. The operation of harassment contact persons is fully confidential. Students also have a functional feedback and feedback-on-feedback system. The contact details of the harassment contact persons and more detailed instructions for reporting harassment can be found on the Kaakko website: Harassment contact persons – Student Union Kaakko
Xamk has a Whistleblowing channel through which you can confidentially report suspected offences, violations, or abuses. The Whistleblowing channel is a tool for maintaining the ethical principles and trust. Our entire organisation and our employees are required to comply with the ethical principles and legislation applicable to our organisation in their daily work. If an employee or a person otherwise in contact with our organisation suspects violations, they can submit an anonymous report on the matter through the whistleblowing channel.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING OF THE EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
The Equality Act, the Non-Discrimination Act, the Criminal Code, the Constitution, and the Employment Contracts Act provide a framework for the objectives and measures required of the employer concerning the equal and fair treatment of their staff and the contents of the equality plan and non-discrimination plan.
Xamk’s Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy is prepared for two years at a time. In addition, the Policy is reviewed annually and updated as necessary. The Policy is drawn up in cooperation with HR services, the Sustainability Coordinator, and shop stewards. Students can also influence the content of the Policy during its preparation phase. The Management Team processes and approves the Policy. Before its publication, the Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy will also be discussed in the work community advisory board.
The information required by the Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy is compiled annually in a personnel report, which also includes the results of the pay survey. The effectiveness of the measures included in the Policy is monitored by means of an annual work community survey and a biannual equality survey for staff and students. In addition, Xamk assesses the progress of its equality and non-discrimination work by using the UN Women and the UN Global Compact’s WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool.
Harassment cases are monitored to the extent that they are reported, for example, through the incident reporting system and to the harassment contact persons.