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Equal Opportunities Policy

Posted: Fri 04 Apr 2014

Code of practice

STAFF Policy

The Club is an equal opportunities employer and does not condone any kind of discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic amongst colleagues, job candidates, customers, or associates. Our Equal Opportunities Policy, as detailed below, forms part of your contractual obligations and any evidence of discriminatory behaviour will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.

Equal opportunities are based on respect of individual human dignity, fairness and justice. It recognises that certain sections of the community have not only been affected in the past by discrimination, but are still denied opportunities for developing their talents to the full. The success of our business relies upon our attracting and retaining people from the widest possible backgrounds with the widest, most diverse range of attitudes, opinions and beliefs.

An Equal Opportunities Policy is a statement of intent, derived from these values. Such a Policy, when backed by operational objectives, provides a basis for endeavours to achieve equal opportunities within the whole sphere of an organisation’s activities.
It is the policy of the Club to provide equal opportunities for all employees. The Club will also take every action possible to avoid unlawful discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics such as sex, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religious or philosophical, beliefs or disability, etc.

In addition, the Club deplores any form of harassment amongst or by employees. If any employee is found guilty of harassment, disciplinary action will be taken which could lead to dismissal. In cases of serious harassment, criminal action may be taken against the perpetrator.
It is the duty of all employees to uphold this policy and to report any known actions of discrimination or harassment to a Director immediately. All employees are responsible for their own behaviour and are expected to act in a manner that avoids and discourages any form of discrimination or harassment.

Because discrimination is deeply rooted however, and takes many forms, some of which are not easily recognisable, even people with the best of intentions can discriminate unintentionally. The Club believes, therefore, that the adoption of an explicit Equal Opportunities Policy will: -

-Raise the general level of consciousness throughout the Club
-Set out and clarify expectations for staff, directors and customers, and the other agencies with which we work to provide professional football and associated services
-Ensure compliance with the relevant discrimination legislation
-Facilitate the monitoring of good practice

Equal Opportunities Policy Statement
The Football Club is an Equal Opportunities employer. In everything we do we seek to respect people for who they are, not what they are. We judge people only for the way they do their job and for what they can contribute. We aim to achieve an environment in which everyone feels free to contribute to the organisation and to maximise their potential without unfair obstruction. It is our policy to ensure that all existing, potential employees, customers or any associate of the Football Club receive equal consideration, and experience no discrimination, harassment or less favourable treatment either directly or indirectly. The Club is committed to the elimination of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, disability, age, colour, ethnic and national origin, nationality, sexuality, marital status, responsibility for dependants, religion and trade union activity, etc.

The Club will, within the terms of its Memorandum and Articles of Association and available resources, aim to achieve equality of opportunity, both in the provision of its services, and in the recruitment and employment of staff.

In pursuit of this aim, the Club will not unlawfully discriminate, either directly or indirectly on the grounds of race, gender, age, nationality, ethnic or natural origin, political or religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or marital status, etc., by applying conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified.

To this end, the Club commits itself to ensuring that:

No event, action or behaviour is condoned or promoted within the Club which is threatening, insulting, demeaning or otherwise unwelcoming to any individual or section of the community on the grounds of race, gender, age, nationality, ethnic or national origin, political or religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or marital status, etc.

Action will be taken to prevent any infringing words or behaviour infringing by spectators, in accordance with the notices displayed in various places in St Andrew’s Stadium. This action may take the form of exclusion from a match or matches and, if the words or behaviour are repeated, banning the person or persons concerned from attendance at future matches for a period to be decided by the Club’s Board of Directors.

It is this Club's policy to treat all job applicants and employees fairly and equally, regardless of sex, pregnancy, trans-gender status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marital status, civil partnership status, age, race, colour, nationality, national or ethnic origins or disability. Furthermore, the Club will monitor the composition of the workforce to ensure that this policy is effective.

Through this policy and procedure and the training and development of managers and staff, the organisation will do all it can to promote good practice in this area in order to eliminate discrimination and harassment as far as is reasonably possible.

1. Equal opportunity is about good employment practices and efficient use of our most valuable asset, our employees. Every manager and employee has personal responsibility for the implementation of the policy. Any instance of doubt about the application of the policy, or other questions, should be addressed to the Head of HR, as should any requests for special training.
2. The organisation will not discriminate unlawfully on grounds of sex, trans-gender status, pregnancy or maternity/paternity, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, marital status, civil partnership status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national or ethnic origins, disability or age, or any other grounds
3. The non-discrimination principle inherent in this policy includes the prohibition of discrimination against an individual because he or she associates with someone of a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc, for example an employee who is married to someone of a minority ethnic origin or who socialises with gay or lesbian friends.
4. The prohibition on discrimination applies equally to situations where someone thinks or perceives (whether rightly or wrongly) that a colleague is of a particular race, sexual orientation, religion, age, sex or that he or she has a disability, is a trans-gender person, or is pregnant.
5. The policy applies to the process of recruitment and selection, promotion, training, conditions of work, pay and benefits and to every other aspect of employment, including general treatment at work and the processes involved in the termination of employment.
6. Where increased pay and/or enhanced benefits are offered to employees on the basis of length of service, these are intended to reward loyalty, maintain motivation and reflect higher levels of relevant experience.
7. The policy applies to job applicants (both internal and external) and all employees and other workers whether full time, part time, temporary, seasonal or contract.
8. Employees should note that the imposition of any provision, criterion or practice which has a disproportionate adverse impact on someone for a reason related to sex, trans-gender status, race, married status, civil partnership status, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age will be unlawful unless it can be objectively justified. In the event of any query or doubt, the Head of HR should be consulted.
9. When establishing criteria for recruitment and promotion into vacant posts, the employer will consider carefully whether any minimum or maximum number of years of relevant experience is necessary for effective performance of the job. Such restrictions will not be imposed unless there is a proper job-based reason why they are necessary.
10. The employer does not operate any compulsory retirement age, and each employee may choose for him/herself when to stop working, subject to him or her continuing to be sufficiently fit to perform his or her job to a satisfactory standard.
11. Employees who are disabled or become disabled in the course of their employment should inform the organisation about their disability. Management will then discuss with the employee reasonable adjustments to his or her job or working conditions or environment might assist them in the performance of their duties. The employee will also be encouraged to suggest any adjustments that he or she believes would be helpful. Consideration will be given to any proposals and, where reasonable and reasonably practicable, such adjustments will be made. There may, however, be circumstances where it will not be reasonable or reasonably practicable for the organisation to accommodate proposals put forward by the employee.
12. Any member of staff may use the Grievance Procedure to complain about discriminatory conduct. If the matter relates to harassment the complaint may be raised directly with their line manager
or if not appropriate with the Head of HR. The Club is concerned to ensure that the staff feel comfortable about raising such complaints. No individual will be penalised for raising such a complaint unless the substance of the complaint is untrue or the complaint is made in bad faith, for example out of malice.
13. All employees and job applicants will be asked to complete a form denoting their sex, race, ethnic origin, age and any disabilities that they have. The information provided on this form will be used solely for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of its equal opportunities policy.
14. This policy will be monitored on a regular basis by senior management. Where there are issues with the way the policy is working, these will be looked at closely with a view to identifying measures to improve the effectiveness of the policy.