EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

Equality and Diversity Statement 

 1. Our vision for equality and diversity is of providing services and employing people as equals, valuing the diversity of their contribution and aspirations, no matter who they are or what their circumstances.  

2. Sports Alive believes that all citizens have a right to equal access to life opportunities, services and employment by Sports Alive. This right places responsibilities on us that we must carry out.  

3. We will promote equal opportunity and good community relationships respecting and valuing the diversity of people in the Charity. Our public statements, service and employment practices will reflect this commitment.  

4. We will promote this policy and expect respect for it from our users of SPORTS ALIVE services, partner agencies, employees and our contractors. 

 Context  

5. The needs of people in the charity set the context for this policy.  But the government and other organisations also influence. 

 Adherence to the Equality Act 2010  

 6. SPORTS ALIVE is fully compliant with The Equality Act 2010 which prohibit SPORTS ALIVE from discriminating against any person who has a Protected Characteristic. The Equality Act 2010 describes the following as Protected Characteristics: 

  • age 
  • disability 
  • gender reassignment  
  • marriage and civil partnership 
  • pregnancy and maternity 
  • race 
  • religion or belief 
  • sex 
  • sexual orientation. 

7. We are committed to meeting our responsibilities under these laws, but we see them as minimum requirements.  We will update our policy as and when needed to meet new legislation and to follow codes of practice. 

8.SPORTS ALIVE is committed to encouraging equality of opportunity in all sections of the organisation. We aim to ensure that every employee, board member, job applicant, contactor, individual or group, is given the basic rights of freedom and access to opportunity, including freedom from all forms of harassment, discrimination or bullying. 

9. SPORTS ALIVE  recognises that discrimination and victimisation is unacceptable and that it is in the interests of the Company and its employees to utilise the skills of the total workforce. It is the aim of the Company to ensure that no employee, job applicant or service user receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) in recruitment or employment on grounds of age, disability, gender / gender reassignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy / maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation (the protected characteristics). 

10. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society and each employee feels respected and able to give their best. 

 11. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation. To that end the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment. 

 12. All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation. 

 13. Our staff will not discriminate directly or indirectly, or harass service users or clients because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation in the delivery of the charities services. 

 14. This policy and the associated arrangements shall operate in accordance with statutory requirements. In addition, full account will be taken of any guidance or Codes of Practice issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, any Government Departments, and any other statutory bodies. 

 Our Commitment  

  • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff and young people are recognised and valued. 
  • Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. 
  • Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff. 
  • To promote equality in the workplace and throughout our service delivery which we believe is good management practice and makes sound business sense. 
  • We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness. 
  • Breaches of our equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings. 
  • This policy/handbook is fully supported by senior management. 
  • The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually 

Serving Young People 

15. Sports Alive is committed to providing high quality services through individual needs and aspirations.  We know that these differ from young person to young person, so we will adjust our services accordingly to ensure that they all have a fair and open chance to use and benefit from our services. 

 16. So, our commitment means understanding and meeting the needs of young people regardless of race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, cultural background, gender (including gender reassignments), sexuality, disability, illness (such as HIV or AIDS status), age, membership of trade unions or political beliefs. 

17. We deliver a wide range of services directly to young people and though partnership with other organisations. We will improve their contribution to equality and diversity by: Linking policies and service delivery, Giving a clear account of our performance through service monitoring 

 Tackling Discrimination  

18. It is our policy not to discriminate unlawfully or unfairly against anybody.  Sometimes we have to discriminate between people, for instance in selecting candidates for jobs or deciding on people’s eligibility for services. In these cases, it is our policy to discriminate lawfully and fairly, only taking into account relevant factors, and explaining our decisions on that basis. 

 19. We do know, however, that unlawful and unfair discrimination is common in society. It is based on stereotypes and false assumptions, and the belief that some groups of people have more or fewer rights than others. We oppose unfair discrimination as an abuse of advantage and power 

20. We also know that institutions as well as individuals can unlawfully discriminate.  We define institutional discrimination as:

  • The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of who they are; 
  • Processes, attitudes and behaviour, which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and stereotyping; 
  • Not just actions taken by a person or organisation but also actions not taken, neglect, or services provided which do not meet the needs of members of different social groups. 

 21. Institutional discrimination can be unwitting, and it can exist no matter how good the intentions of the individual or the organisation. This is a challenge that all organisations, including ourselves, need to face honestly and openly.  

22. We will examine our policies and practices and their outcomes to guard against disadvantaging any section of local communities. 

Employing Staff     

23. Sports Alive’s workforce are our largest resource in improving equality and diversity so we want to ensure that they understand its importance and have the confidence and capacity to do so. This includes: 

  • Developing a workforce profile reflects that community profile;  
  • Giving staff the knowledge and confidence to tackle equality and diversity issues.  

24. SPORTS ALIVE employ staff to deliver our mission.  We recognise our staff are our most valuable asset in delivery of our services.  Our employment and recruitment is fully inclusive and adheres to the Equality Act 2010. Our Equal Opportunity Policy for Staff is set out as follows:   

 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY  

 The principle of equal opportunities is viewed as fundamental to the employment relationship.  

Our Commitment to Equal Opportunities  

26. SPORTS ALIVE views itself as an equal opportunity employer. SPORTS ALIVE endeavours to ensure that within the framework of the law no employee, job applicant or candidate for promotion receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, race, nationality, religion, religious belief, disability, family commitments, age, gender (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, marital status or actual or suspected infection with HIV/AIDS.  

27. Accordingly, SPORTS ALIVE will endeavour to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and receive treatment that is fair and on the basis of their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.  

28. The reason for this attitude is SPORTS ALIVE’s belief that it is in its own and the individual’s best interests to achieve his/her full potential as well as the natural justice of this policy. SPORTS ALIVE aims to ensure that all staff, achieve their full potential and that all employment decisions are taken without reference to irrelevant or discriminatory criteria.  

 Discrimination  

 29. Direct discrimination can be defined as putting someone at a disadvantage for a discriminatory reason in relation to his or her employment whether this be intentional or unintentional.  

30. Indirect discrimination consists of applying a requirement or condition which whether intentionally or unintentionally adversely affects one group considerably more than another and which cannot be justified.  

31. Disability discrimination occurs where an individual is unjustifiably disadvantaged in employment/recruitment for a reason connected with his/her disability unless the discrimination cannot be avoided by making reasonable adjustments.  

32. Victimisation occurs where an individual is treated less favourably than colleagues, for instance because he/she has taken action to assert their statutory rights or assisted a colleague with information in that regard.  

Your Commitment to Equal Opportunities  

33. SPORTS ALIVE recognises that all employees have a right to equal opportunities.  

34. Employees are under a duty to accept personal responsibility for fostering a fully integrated community at work by adhering to the principle of equal opportunities.  

35. Breach of the equal opportunity policy is a serious disciplinary matter.  

 36. Anyone who believes that he or she may have been disadvantaged on discriminatory grounds is entitled to raise the matter through SPORTS ALIVE’s Grievance Procedure.  

37. Any employee who believes that he or she may have been bullied or harassed is entitled to raise the matter either through SPORTS ALIVE’s Grievance Procedure or through the Complaints Procedure detailed below. In those circumstances, regard should also be had to SPORTS ALIVE’s Harassment Policy.  

38. Employees will not be victimised in any way for raising concerns in good faith. 

 Trade Union Activities 

 39. We will not discriminate against anyone because of his or her trade union activities or membership. We encourage our employees to join relevant trade unions, but recognise that this is a personal choice, which cannot be a basis for any form of discrimination. 

40. SPORTS ALIVE are also committed to the following when employing people: 

  • Setting equal employment objectives and targets 
  • Continuing our fair employment policy  
  • Monitoring and reporting on employment and pay 

What we do: 

Disability Equality Statement  

41. Sports Alive’s Disability Equality Statement sets out the Charity’s commitment to promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people by adopting the Social Model of Disability. Disability occurs because stereotypes, assumptions, exclusion, segregation and physical barriers deny disabled people equality of access in the above areas. We recognise that social disadvantage and exclusion is not an inevitable consequence of people’s medical condition or impairment, but rather that people are disabled by society’s negative attitudes and treatment of disabled people. 

42. This can limit their opportunities and choices and prevent disabled people from taking part fully in the life of their community. This discrimination stems from prejudiced attitudes and beliefs about the abilities, skills or characteristics of disabled people and can make disabled people more vulnerable to discrimination, hostility and inappropriate treatment.  

43. This means we will strive to remove the barriers disabled people face, in particular with regard to education, employment and services. An integral part of this process is the involvement of disabled people. 

44. In particular we will: 

  • Challenge discriminatory assumptions about disabled people; 
  • Ensure that we comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. 
  • Continue to support groups and networks of disabled young people 
  • Consult and involve disabled young people and groups 
  • Support disabled people to make choices about their own lives 
  • Protect vulnerable disabled people from abuse 
  • Continue to respect disabled people’s dignity 

45. SPORTS ALIVE is committed to ensuring that all of its buildings are regularly monitored for accessibility and that a programme of access improvements is put into place in order to meet its obligations contained within the Disability Discrimination Act. It will not discriminate against a person if the workplace is not yet accessible. In order to address this, the charity will endeavour to overcome these barriers by providing any reasonable adjustments where appropriate. 

Race Equality  Statement 

46. We recognise racism as any unfair discrimination on the grounds of people’s skin colour, accent, religious beliefs, dress, culture or ethnic origin. We are determined to challenge racism and to create an environment that is free from discrimination. 

47. We know that racism is widespread within society. And we know that we must confront it to reduce its damaging effects on everybody in the Charity. Racist assumptions create the barriers which can hinder appropriate, services and employment opportunity.  

48. Sports Alive’s Race Equality statement sets out the charity’s commitment to ensuring that our staff, customers and service users are not discriminated against on the grounds of race, colour or nationality; 

  • Recognize that black and minority ethnic communities are not homogenous. Different communities and people within these communities will have different needs and we will work to ensure that these needs are not defined by stereotyping or presumptions. 
  • Ensure that the charity fully identifies and considers the rights and needs of black and minority ethnic people when planning and delivering services. 
  • Promote a culture in which there is respect for others, an understanding between different communities and an appreciation of racial and cultural difference 
  • Ensure that all people, regardless of race, ethnic or national origins, have the same rights of access to employment and that this will be reviewed periodically to reflect the changing culture of Merseyside and the Charity. 

Gender Equality Statement 

49. We recognise that women can experience disadvantage and discrimination. We will promote equality for all female employees and service users. They are a large and diverse group of people who may experience various forms of discrimination. 

50. We will: 

  • Challenge discriminatory assumptions about women; 
  • Offer equal access for women to services and employment and encourage other organisations to do the same. 

Caring responsibility 

51. We recognise that people with caring responsibilities for others may face discrimination. We will: 

  • Adopt flexible employment practices; 
  • Provide maternity, paternity, partner or support leave for birth, adoptive and foster parents.

52. We will set gender equality goals in consultation with our service users and employees and to take action to achieve them. Although there is only protection in law for transsexual people, it is best practice for SPORTS ALIVE to afford the same protection to all transgender people. We will follow the Merseyside Police by defining transgender as “a generic term commonly used to cover those people who do not conform to the existing social and cultural classifications of men and women. It embraces transsexual people, transvestites, cross dressers, intersex people and others whose gender is not easily defined” 

53. In order to comply with this legislation we will:  Collect information about the proportions of men and women using services and employed at different levels in the organization 

  • Take steps to promote a gender balance at all levels in the workforce. This point includes the promotion of flexible working practices 
  • Consult employees and stakeholders as appropriate when setting equality goals and actions
  • Monitor progress and publish annual reports 
  • Review gender equality goals and actions every three years 

Sexuality Orientation Equality Statement  

54. This equality statement recognizes that employment and service delivery procedures and practices should not be based on the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience discrimination because of attitudes and practices. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people who are open about their sexual orientation, and also people who are not open about their sexual orientation but are assumed to be lesbian, gay or bisexual may face discrimination when trying to gain access to education, training, job opportunities and mainstream services.  

55. This statement recognizes that everyone has the right to define their own sexual orientation and that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is unacceptable. There is a need to confront and challenge the effects of homophobia and disadvantage by encouraging the participation of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in reviewing, planning and developing services. 

56. Sports Alive recognizes that the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities have different needs and that these needs should not be defined by stereotyping or presumptions. In order to do this we will:

  • Work towards enabling lesbian, gay and bisexual employees at all levels in the workforce to feel safe in being open about their sexual orientation 
  • Take positive steps in conditions of service to take account of the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, including recognition of their needs as partners, having partners, and as parents and carers 
  • Ensure that information and publicity  is non-homophobic and uses positive images and language to counteract the effects of homophobia. Where appropriate the images and language used should promote equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. 
  • In policy development, service planning and delivery, the charity will ensure that people do not receive a different quality of service due to their sexual orientation. Age Equality Statement  

57. Ageism is the discrimination against people based on assumptions and stereotypes about their age. Ageism can be directed at people of any age but is often targeted at younger or older people. Definitions of young and old change over time according to social, political and economic factors and the stereotypes are based on perceived notions of a person’s ability and potential. In order to address age discrimination the charity will: 

  • Ensure that people of all ages are treated with respect and dignity; 
  • Challenge discriminatory assumptions about younger and older people. 
  • Continue to support mechanisms that work with old and young people such as Youth Forums and Neighbourhood meetings 
  • Develop access to decision-making forums that take account of access needs of young and older people (venues, time etc.) 
  • Ensure that young people and older people are effectively represented in all consultation
  • Work towards ensuring that young and older people have their views taken into account separately from those of families and carers, and provide independent advocates where necessary 

HIV or AIDS Equality Statement 

 58. We recognise that people face discrimination due to being HIV positive or having AIDS. We will:

  • Ensure that services meet the specific needs of people living with HIV or AIDS; 
  • Support people who are HIV positive or have AIDS; 
  • Challenge false information about the nature of HIV or AIDS. 

Faith, Religion and Belief Equality Statement  

59. This equality statement recognises that employment and service delivery procedures and practices should not be based on the assumption that everyone is or should belong to a specific faith, religion or belief. People who follow faiths, religions and beliefs may experience discrimination when trying to gain access to education, training, job opportunities and mainstream services because of attitudes and practices. 

60. The statement recognizes that everyone has the right to follow their own chosen faith religion or belief and that discrimination on the grounds of belief systems is unacceptable. There is a need to confront and challenge the effects of discrimination and disadvantage by encouraging the participation of people from faith communities in reviewing, planning and developing services 

61. Sports Alive recognises that faith communities are not homogenous. Different communities and people in the communities have different needs. Needs should not be defined by stereotyping or presumptions.  

62. We will not discriminate against anyone because of his or her religion or belief, which is any religion, religious belief, or similar philosophical belief. 

63. We will respect and accommodate people’s religious observances in both serving and employing them, and we will expect others to do the same. 

64. We realise that at times some people’s beliefs may conflict with other aspects of this policy. We will try to resolve any such conflicts, but we will treat the aims of this policy as overriding and expect others to comply with it. 

 65. To achieve this, SPORTS ALIVE will: 

  • Work towards enabling employees at all levels in the workforce to feel safe in being open about their faith, religion or belief systems 
  • Take positive steps in conditions of employment to respect and take account of the rights of employees to follow the observances of their chosen faith, religion or belief system 
  • Make provisions for religious awareness training in existing diversity training courses 
  • Ensure that all information and publicity is not prejudiced and uses positive images and language to counteract the effects of religious discrimination 
  • In policy development service planning and delivery the council will ensure that requirements according to their faith, religion or belief will be taken into account. Partnership Work  

66. Equality is integral to all of SPORTS ALIVE’s work with clients, partners and throughout the supply chain.  

 67. This is reflected in our statement of purpose and our values. 

 68. We ensure that through the methods including monitoring, reflective practice, evaluations and client feedback that equality issues are central to how we deliver services to young people. We ensure that our services are accessible and flexible to respond to individual needs. We assess young people and design programmes with them to ensure that their needs are met. We also undertake proactive anti discriminatory work to ensure that diversity is central to learning and that we challenge stereotypes and prejudice. 

69. We also ensure that our delivery partners throughout the supply chain share this ethos and have active equal opportunities policies. We will ask for evidence of equality and diversity policies and procedures from any sub contractors or delivery partners. 

70. SPORTS ALIVE has a clear policy regarding inclusive practices and equal opportunities, underpinning all of SPORTS ALIVE’s work is a commitment to delivering inclusive activities which promote understanding of difference and celebrating diversity. Through a range of activities young people are exposed to new experiences and ideas as well as drawing young people from a variety of diverse backgrounds. Young people learn from their peers and from experiential learning as part of the programme  

SPORTS ALIVE’s Equality Principles  

71. At the core of all SPORTS ALIVE policies there are six equality principles, which promote social justice. SPORTS ALIVE believe that a socially just society is about every young person’s right to be recognised as citizens, enjoying the chances and opportunities to make the most of their lives and use their talents to the full. 

 72. SPORTS ALIVE strive to: 

  • Promote Accessibility by providing responsive programmes, which meet the needs of our targets groups, in accessible and safe environments. 
  • Value Cultural Diversity by celebrating difference and providing opportunities for organisations to enable young people to express their identity and are sensitive to the cultural needs of our client group. 
  • Promote Participation by engaging with organisations at management committee, worker, and service-user level, to ensure ownership of the development process. 

Responsibilities  

Responsibilities of management  

 73. Responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation and operation of the arrangements will rest with Directors / Managers who will ensure that they and their staff operate within this policy and arrangements, and that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to avoid discrimination. Each manager will ensure that: 

  • all their staff are aware of the policy and the arrangements, and the reasons for the policy; 
  • grievances concerning discrimination are dealt with properly, fairly and as quickly as possible; 
  • proper records are maintained. 

74. Management team will be responsible for monitoring the operation of the policy in respect of employees and job applicants. 

 Responsibilities of staff 

75. Responsibility for ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination rests with all staff and the attitudes of staff are crucial to the successful operation of fair employment practices. In particular, all members of staff should: 

  • comply with the policy and arrangements; 
  • not discriminate in their day to day activities or induce others to do so; 
  • not victimise, harass or intimidate other staff or groups who have, or are perceived to have one of the protected characteristics. 
  • ensure no individual is discriminated against or harassed because of their association with another individual who has a protected characteristic. 
  • inform their manager if they become aware of any discriminatory practice. 

Third parties  

76. Third-party harassment occurs where a Company employee is harassed, and the harassment is related to a protected characteristic, by third parties such as clients or customers. SPORTS ALIVE will not tolerate such actions against it’s staff, and the employee concerned should inform their manager / supervisor at once that this has occurred. SPORTS ALIVE will fully investigate and take all reasonable steps to ensure such harassment does not happen again. 

Related policies and arrangements   

 77. All employment policies and arrangements have a bearing on equality of opportunity. The Company policies will be reviewed regularly and any discriminatory elements removed.  

 Implementation  

78. We will monitor our workforce as well as our services. We will use national and locally developed performance indicators as part of our audit and scrutiny of our progress in increasing equality and diversity in the Charity.   

 79. We require every member of staff to recognise and carry out their own responsibility to contribute to the success of this policy.  

 80. Managers supported by staff have an essential role in delivering this policy by: 

  • Actively developing their services’ approach to equality and diversity; 
  • Ensure that staff are adequately trained to meet the requirements of this policy; 
  • Establish and maintain appropriate consultation with community and key stakeholder groups. 

Communication  

81. All SPORTS ALIVE staff and beneficiaries will be expected to abide by SPORTS ALIVE equal opportunities Policy. We ensure that all of our partners in projects have active equal opportunities policies which comply with all relevant legislation. SPORTS ALIVE also operate an organisational communication structure that allows information to be shared throughout the organisation. Equality and Diversity communications are included in this structure.  

 Monitoring Declaration  

  • SPORTS ALIVE deems it appropriate to state its intention not to discriminate and assumes that this will be translated into practice consistently across the organisation as a whole. Accordingly, a monitoring system will be introduced to measure the effectiveness of the policy and arrangements. 
  • The system will involve the routine collection and analysis of information on employees by gender, marital status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion / beliefs, grade and length of service in current grade. Information regarding the number of staff who declare themselves as disabled will also be maintained. 
  • There will also be regular assessments to measure the extent to which recruitment to first appointment, internal promotion and access to training/development opportunities affect equal opportunities for all groups. We will maintain information on staff who have been involved in certain key policies: Disciplinary, Grievance and Bullying & Harassment. 
  • Where appropriate equality impact assessments will be carried out on the results of monitoring to ascertain the effect of the Company policies and our services / products may have on those who experience them. 
  • The information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and it will not be used for any other purpose. 
  • If monitoring shows that the Company, or areas within it, are not representative, or that sections of our workforce are not progressing properly within the Company, then an action plan will be developed to address these issues. This will include a review of recruitment and selection procedures, Company policies and practices as well as consideration of taking legal Positive Action. 

Communication & Monitoring in Practice   

82. We monitor all job applicants via an equal opportunities form which is detached before short listing. We undertake a fair recruitment and selection process, which includes sending information on posts to agencies who have direct contact with underrepresented groups. All adverts have an equal opportunities statement within the text. We monitor our workforce on an annual basis. 

 83. All SPORTS ALIVE staff attend six weekly developmental supervision where equality and diversity are discussed, addressed and any required actions agreed.  

 84. SPORTS ALIVE staff attend project team meetings, at which staff can raise and discuss issues pertinent to their work. 

85. We assess our accessibility and inclusiveness via user monitoring which includes monitoring on equal opportunities including gender, sexuality, disability, age and ethnicity. Initial assessment and action plans will record specific needs including religious, cultural and additional support. This could include access issues, literacy and numeracy, health issues, drug and alcohol and housing issues etc. Sessional evaluations will also be used to insure equality issues are flagged up and addressed. This may mean adapting and changing programme delivery to meet the diverse needs of the beneficiaries.  

86. SPORTS ALIVE also conduct an annual User Satisfaction Survey this gives all young people working with SPORTS ALIVE a chance to have their say on projects they attend, buildings they use, what they enjoy, what they would like to see changed, opening hours etc. 

87. SPORTS ALIVE has a complaints procedure, which will be used to deal with any discrimination, bullying or harassment. This is a staged process which includes recording the complaint, informal resolution, formal complaints or grievance procedure and an appeal process. Staff will be dealt with using the disciplinary procedure. 

Staff Training   

88. All staff are trained in the equal opportunities policy at induction and an ongoing programme of equal opportunities training is accessible to all staff.