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Equality Policy

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Equality Policy Objectives

  1. Living Sport is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and is responsible for ensuring that no job applicants, employees, workers, office holders, volunteers, participants or members (together “Stakeholders”) are unlawfully discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (together the “Protected Characteristics”)
  2. In addition Living Sport recognises that we live in a diverse society and will endeavour to ensure that all Stakeholders are given the same opportunities regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
  3. Living Sport encourages partner organisations, including member clubs, affiliated associations, suppliers, sponsors and customers, to adopt and demonstrate their commitment to the principles and practice of equality as set out in this equality policy

Purpose of the Policy

  1. Living Sport recognises that individuals (and/or certain groups in our society who share one or more Protected Characteristics) may not have been able to participate equally and fully in the sports related activities in the past. In some instances this may have been as a result of unlawful discrimination.
  2. This policy has been produced to try to prevent and address any unlawful discrimination or other unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, against Stakeholders that may preclude them from participating fully in sports related activities.

Legal Requirements

  1. Living Sport is required by law not to unlawfully discriminate against its Stakeholders and recognises its legal obligations under, and will abide by the requirements of, the Equality Act 2010, and any equivalent legislation (as amended) in any jurisdiction, and any later amendments to such legislation or subsequent equality related legislation that may be relevant to Living Sport.
  2. Living Sport will seek advice each time this policy is reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect the current legal framework and good practice.

Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying and Victimisation

  1. Living Sport recognises the following as being unacceptable:
    1. Direct Discrimination: treating someone less favourably than you would treat others because of a particular Protected Characteristic(s).
    2. Indirect Discrimination: applying a provision, criterion or practice which, on the face of it, applies equally to all but which, in practice can disadvantage individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic(s).  Such requirements or conditions are lawful only if they can be objectively justified.
  2. Harassment: engaging in unwanted conduct relating to a relevant Protected Characteristic or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature where the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient, or any other individual affected by such conduct. Living Sport is committed to ensuring that its Stakeholders are able to conduct their activities free from harassment.
  3. Bullying: The misuse of power or position to criticise persistently or to humiliate and undermine an individual’s confidence.
  4. Victimisation: subjecting someone to a detriment because he or she has in good faith taken action under the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation) by bringing proceedings, giving evidence or information in relation to proceedings, making an allegation that a person has contravened the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation) or doing any other thing for the purpose of or in connection with the Equality Act 2010 (or any equivalent legislation)
  5. Living Sport regards discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation, as described above, as a serious misconduct. All complaints will be taken seriously and appropriate measures including disciplinary action will be brought against any Stakeholder who unlawfully discriminates against, harasses, bullies or victimises any other person.

Reasonable Adjustments

  1. When any decision is made about an individual, the only Personal Characteristics that may be taken into account are those that are consistent with any relevant legislation and are relevant to the substance of the decision being made.
  2. Living Sport recognises that it has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons. Living Sport will consider all requests for adjustments and where possible will accommodate reasonable requests and will work with disabled Stakeholders to implement any adjustments that will enable them to participate more fully in sports related activities.

Transgender Athletes

  1. Any transgender athlete looking to participate in Living Sport sports activities is requested to contact the Equality Officer who will work with the transgender athlete to formulate a policy, linked with the policy of the particular sport. Any such request will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Responsibility, Implementation and Communication

  1. The following responsibilities will apply:
    1. The Board of Living Sport is responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is implemented, followed, and reviewed when appropriate. The Living Sport Board is also responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is enforced and any breaches are dealt with appropriately.
    2. A member of the Board will be appointed as the ‘Equality Champion’ and will ensure that Equality is included as an agenda item at the Board meetings when appropriate and that the Board takes the equality issues into consideration when making decisions.
    3. The Chief Executive has the overall responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy.
    4. A member of staff will be designated as the Equality Officer by the Chief Executive, and will have the overall day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy and for achieving any equality related actions resulting from it. The Equality Officer’s work programme will be amended to reflect this. If required, an internal and/or external equality group will be created to provide additional support.
    5. All Stakeholders have the responsibility to respect, follow and promote the spirit and intentions of this Equality Policy. Individual work programmes for Living Sport staff will be amended to include equality related tasks where appropriate.
  2. This Equality Policy will be implemented immediately following Board approval. Implementation requires the following actions:
    1. All job packs sent out by Living Sport will contain a policy statement similar to the following: “Living Sport is committed to providing equal opportunities for all (and is committed to following best practice in the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults).  For further information please consult the Living Sport website www.livingsport.co.uk.”
    2. No applicant for any post (including job applicants, consultants, advisers and suppliers) will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of the job or which constitute unlawful discrimination.
    3. Consultants and advisers (and where appropriate suppliers) to Living Sport will be required to abide by the Equality Policy and it will be referred to in any service level agreements or contracts issued by Living Sport.
  3. This Equality Policy will be communicated in the following ways:
    1. Reference will be made to this Equality Policy in the Code of Conduct.
    2. The Policy will be highlighted in all staff and volunteer inductions;
    3. A copy of this Equality Policy will be publicly available on the Living Sport website and copies in other formats will also be available from Living Sport.  All members of staff and Directors will be made aware of the Policy when they join;
    4. Each time this Policy is reviewed, Living Sport Stakeholders will be consulted. Following consultation, a notice of the changes being made will be publicly available and a direct communication will be sent to all those who contributed to the consultation process (subject to Data Protection provisions); and
    5. Living Sport will promote continuing professional development for all employees and volunteers to support equal opportunities within the organisation and, where appropriate, provide specialist facilities, equipment or training

Actions

  1. Living Sportwill produce, maintain and monitor an Equality Action Plan linked with the Annual Delivery Plan to ensure the objectives of this Equality Policy are consistently delivered throughout all areas of the organisation.
  2. Living Sport recognises that, in some cases, to further the principle of equality, an unequal distribution of resources may be required. If appropriate and proportionate, Living Sport will consider positive action or may introduce special measures to assist any group with a Protected Characteristic which is currently underrepresented within any group of Stakeholders.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. This Equality Policy will remain in force until it is amended, replaced or withdrawn. A review of this Equality Policy will take place as and when required, but not less than once every two years.
  2. The Equality Action Plan, created to ensure the objectives of this Equality Policy are delivered, will form part of the Annual Delivery Plan and will therefore be reviewed by the Chief Executive and the Equality Officer, Management Team and Board regularly, but in any event not less than once every 12 months.
  3. Once approved by the Board the report will be published internally and externally, to show the impact of this Equality Policy and progress towards achieving the Equality Action Plan.

Complaints Procedure

  1. To safeguard individual rights under this Equality Policy, any Stakeholder who believes they have suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of this Equality Policy may raise the matter through the appropriate procedure (i.e. the employee grievance procedure for employees or the complaints procedure for Stakeholders who are not employees)
  2. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any Living Sport Stakeholder who violates this Equality Policy under the employee disciplinary procedure or the Living Sport disciplinary procedure.
  3. An individual raising an employee grievance will not be penalised for doing so unless it is untrue and not made in good faith.
  4. As with all grievance and disciplinary procedures, the final point of appeal relating to this policy is the Board Appeals Committee.

Policy adapted from the Sport & Recreation Alliance recommended Equality Policy

Consulted on at the Risk & Governance Sub-Committee meeting  – 26th October 2012

Consulted on at the Living Sport Board meeting – 23rd November 2012

Adopted by the Risk & Governance Sub-Committee meeting – 18th January 2013

Adopted by Living Sport Board – 1st February 2013

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