Policy Statement

Cleveland Scott York is committed to promoting diversity, preventing discrimination and creating an inclusive working environment in which everyone can fulfil their potential and maximise their contribution.

Everyone, including colleagues, job applicants, contractors, suppliers, and clients will be treated fairly and with dignity and respect regardless of any of the following protected characteristics:

    1. Age
    2. Disability
    3. Gender
    4. Gender reassignment status
    5. Marriage and Civil Partnership status
    6. Pregnancy, maternity and paternity
    7. Race
    8. Religion or belief or absence of religion or belief„
    9. Sexual orientation


Understanding and Avoiding Discrimination

At Cleveland Scott York we want an environment in which all colleagues, job applicants, suppliers, contractors and clients will feel safe, comfortable, valued and respected.  Everyone has a part to play in making this a reality and for the good of all, we will not tolerate any behaviour that constitutes discrimination, harassment or victimisation or that threatens or demeans others.  This includes but is not limited to: exclusion; intimidation; use of offensive words or actions; inappropriate or unwanted physical contact; inappropriate gossip, jokes or remarks whether written or spoken; and bullying.


Types of Discrimination:

  1. Direct discrimination – where a person is treated less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic;
  2. Indirect discrimination – where a rule or arrangement which cannot be justified is applied to everyone but puts those with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage;
  3. Discrimination by association – where a person is treated less favourably because they associate or are connected with someone who possesses a protected characteristic;
  4. Harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them.

An important related concept is “Victimisation” – where a person is treated less favourably or is punished or threatened with punishment for having complained about discrimination or supported someone else who has complained about discrimination.

We treat all cases of discrimination (including for these purposes victimisation) seriously. If any member of staff acts in a discriminatory manner towards a colleague, job applicant, contractor, supplier or client this will result in disciplinary action.

We encourage everyone to report any incident of actual or suspected discrimination the Practice Director or the Chairman. All concerns will be taken seriously and investigated promptly.


Recruitment and Selection

Cleveland Scott York endeavours to attract applicants from a diverse talent pool and aims to recruit and develop the best people. We are committed to treating all applicants fairly and without discrimination and to providing equal opportunities at each stage of the recruitment process.

When recruiting, the firm will advertise that it is particularly keen to receive applications from candidates who are members of groups under-represented in the patent and trade mark profession.


Promotion and Career Development

Promotion within Cleveland Scott York is based on merit and decisions in relation to advancement and career development are based on demonstrated skills and ability and genuine occupational requirements. All staff will be treated fairly and without discrimination and given equal opportunities in their job or career progression.


Remuneration, Benefits and Amenities

Within Cleveland Scott York decisions about remuneration, benefits and amenities will be made without regard to or assumptions about the protected characteristics. All staff will be treated fairly and without discrimination and given equal opportunities in their job or career progression.


Communication of this Policy

Cleveland Scott York is committed to the effective implementation of this policy.  The HR Manager is responsible for communicating the policy and ensuring that it is brought to the attention of all staff and that all staff have continuing access to it. New joiners will receive a copy of this policy and relevant training as part of their induction.



This policy will be reviewed periodically by the Practice Director to evaluate its effectiveness. It will be amended and updated where necessary and any changes communicated to all staff.



    1. This statement reflects the underlying Human Rights & Labour Standards Policy approved and published internally in February 2018.
    2. The principles and guidelines set out in the Policy are derived from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, and reflect our aim of respecting human rights as laid out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    3. The underlying Policy applies to all partners, directors, officers and employees of Cleveland Scott York and those of its wholly-owned subsidiaries (“Cleveland Scott York Employees”).


Policy Statement

    1. Cleveland Scott York seeks to provide a work environment where employees are treated with respect, dignity and consideration. This commitment is built upon a framework of policies and procedures designed to ensure fairness in the recruitment, development and retention of all employees.


General Principles

    1. All employment must be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which Cleveland Scott York operates. Where the applicable local laws and regulations require higher or additional levels of protection of human and employment rights than those set out in this Policy, the local laws and regulations will take precedence.
    2. All Cleveland Scott York Employees are required to report any actual, suspected or potential violations of all Company policies, including this Human Rights and Labour Standard Policy. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
    3. This Policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis and updated where necessary to ensure the continuous improvement of working conditions and management of labour risks in Cleveland Scott York’s global operations.
    4. Cleveland Scott York shall make available sufficient resources to give effect to its commitment to year on year improvements to working conditions and management of labour risks in its global operations.


Specific Provisions

Human Rights

    1. Cleveland Scott York supports and complies with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and seeks to honour the principles of internationally recognised human rights wherever it operates.
    2. Each Cleveland Scott York employee shall be treated with dignity and shall not suffer harassment, physical or mental punishment or other forms of abuse.
    3. Cleveland Scott York has effective grievance mechanisms which are transparent, equitable and predictable to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts that may arise in its operations.
    4. Cleveland Scott York promotes effective employee engagement throughout its operations and welcomes open feedback from employees on all matters of company business.


Freedom of Association

    1. Cleveland Scott York recognises and respects the right of employees to establish and join organisations which are designed to engage in collective bargaining and other initiatives to further and defend the interests of the workforce.
    2. No Cleveland Scott York employee shall be dismissed or otherwise prejudiced for reason of membership of such an employee organisation or because of participation in that organisation outside of working hours, or with consent of their line manager, within working hours.
    3. Cleveland Scott York employees shall enjoy protection against discrimination by virtue of their membership of an employee organisation and employment shall not be conditional upon an employee not joining or relinquishing membership of such an organisation.


Compulsory Labour and Human Trafficking

    1. Cleveland Scott York does not accept nor condone any form of modern slavery whether forced, compulsory or trafficked labour. Without limitation, Cleveland Scott York does not engage sweatshop labour, convict labour or indentured labour under penal sanction.
    2. All Cleveland Scott York employees shall provide their services to the Company on an entirely voluntary basis and no one shall be forced to remain in the employ of Cleveland Scott York against their will.
    3. Cleveland Scott York has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and encourages all employees to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery, in any part of the Cleveland Scott York business at the earliest opportunity.


Child Labour

    1. Cleveland Scott York adheres to and strictly complies with international child labour conventions and child labour laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates.
    2. The minimum age of a Cleveland Scott York Employee shall be not less than the age of completion of compulsory education in the country of location of the relevant Cleveland Scott York business unit, and in any event, shall not be less than 16 years.
    3. Where the work concerned is by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, deemed to be “hazardous” under the definition provided by the International Labour Organisation 138 Concerning Minimum Age, the minimum age of the Cleveland Scott York Employee shall be not less than 18 years.



    1. Cleveland Scott York strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against any Cleveland Scott York Employee or any applicant for employment with Cleveland Scott York, whether such discrimination or harassment is based on sex, race, age, colour, ancestry, religion, belief, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or any other feature protected by law.
    2. This provision should be read in conjunction with Cleveland Scott York’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy, which contains further guidance on the Cleveland Scott York position with regard to discrimination, harassment and other potential issues in the workplace.




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