BARROWDEN VILLAGE HALL
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
Barrowden Village Hall Committee is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination, and actively promotes equality of opportunity for everyone in its employment and service delivery. The charity agrees wholeheartedly with the principles of equality and diversity and declares its opposition to any form of less favourable treatment, whether through direct or indirect discrimination. The charity recognises it is the duty of all charity trustees, members and any employees to accept their personal responsibility for fostering a fully integrated community, by adhering to the principles of equality and diversity and maintaining racial harmony in the provision of dedicated services to people on equitable terms. This policy sets out how the charity intends to meet its commitments by working alongside everyone, irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Barrowden Village Hall is aware that the above list is not exhaustive and that there are other forms of discrimination that should not be tolerated.
The 2005 amendment to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) places a duty on all public authorities to actively promote disability equality, and to produce a scheme showing how this will be achieved. The DDA defines a disabled person as ‘someone with a physical or mental impairment, which has substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. The Race Relations Act 1976 (Section 71) places a general obligation on local authorities to promote good race relations, and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 amended and strengthened this by making it unlawful for public authorities to discriminate on racial grounds in carrying out any of their functions. The Act also places a general statutory duty on public authorities to promote racial equality, prevent racial discrimination.
The Equality Act 2006 amended the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to place a statutory duty on all public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, to promote equality of opportunity between men and women and to show how gender equality will be achieved. It also incorporated the duty to prohibit discrimination on grounds of religion, belief or lack of belief.
In 2010 the Equality Act provided overarching law covering all aspects of discrimination.
This policy applies to all elected members, volunteers, employees, placements, contractors of Barrowden Village Hall.
In this document they will all be referred to as “employees”. Trustees of the charity are not employees, but they share responsibility with employees when representing the charity or carrying out the functions of their elected office. Therefore, all aspects of this policy apply equally to trustees.
The policy aims to achieve the five core values, which embrace and provide a framework within which all members, employees and trade unions can work:
Equality: recognition that everyone is of equal value and should be respected according to individual needs and abilities.
Equity: to be fair, reasonable and just in all charity activities.
Empowerment: helping individuals take on responsibility so that they can influence and participate in the decision-making process.
Accessibility: equal access for all in employment and service delivery.
Quality: obtaining the highest standards in service delivery.
The aims of the policy are to:
• Work towards the elimination of discrimination, either direct or indirect, and all forms of harassment.
• Ensure that individuals are treated equally with respect to their specific needs and that there is consistency in the charity’s approach to working practices and conditions.
• Be a role model and influence others through good practice in service delivery and employment.
• Provide public information, as far as possible, in a way that best meets the needs of the person requesting it.
• Be accountable and encourage active participation of communities and groups in the development and application of the charity’s policies and practices.
• For employees and trustees to attend any relevant training programmes.
There is no single way that equality and diversity can be achieved. Progress will be through a diverse number of factors, which are outlined below. These factors are fundamental in the implementation and incorporation of the core values that embrace equal opportunities and its practice:
• Community development
• Employment monitoring
• Service delivery and monitoring
• Policy review
Barrowden Village Hall Committee will actively promote equality and diversity throughout the organisation through the application of its policies, which will ensure that individuals receive treatment that is fair and equitable and consistent with their relevant aptitudes, potential, skills, experiences and abilities. No applicant will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of any job or which constitute indirect unfair discrimination. Reasonable adjustments will be taken where a disabled person is put in a detrimental position and such reasonable adjustments remove the detriment. The charity is committed to ensuring that such adjustments will be affected where reasonably practicable and where the detriment is substantial. Barrowden Village Hall recognises the problems that sexual or racial harassment may cause and is committed to ensuring that such unacceptable behaviour does not take place. Sexual harassment includes (but is not limited to) unwanted physical contact, suggestive remarks or behaviour, compromising invitations, demands for sexual favours and similar unwanted behaviour.
Racial harassment is similarly unwanted treatment but could also form derogatory treatment and language based on racial grounds. All members of the charity are expected to comply with the policy and to ensure that such conduct does not occur.
COMPLAINTS: Any individual who considers they have been treated inappropriately under the above guidelines should contact any member of the management committee, or appoint a representative to do so. The matter will be raised either at a subsequent committee meeting or if sufficiently serious, with the legal authorities.
The policy will be implemented within the framework of the relevant legislation and codes of practice, which include or have included:
• Equal Pay Act 1970
• Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
• Sex Discrimination Act 1975 as amended by the Equality Act 2006
• Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999
• Race Relations Act 1976 as amended in 2000
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended in 2005
• The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
• The Equality Act 2010
Adopted by Barrowden Village Hall Committee
Signed V Fraser
Review date Dec 24