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Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy

1. Definitions

1.1   For the purposes of this document, we use the following definitions:
(a) Prejudice -  a belief, opinion or assumption formed beforehand without sufficient information or from misinformation, resulting in an unfavourable view about a person or group of people;
(b) Discrimination – Prejudice plus an action (or omission to act). Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another in similar circumstances; indirect discrimination is where an unjustifiable provision, criterion or practice applies equally but where such application disadvantages a particular group;
(c) Oppression – Discrimination plus power;
(d) Positive Action – Taking steps to allow an under represented group, or group which has historically had less access to particular employment/services, to operate on a more level playing field. Positive Action is legal in this country.
(e) Positive Discrimination – Employing an individual purely on grounds of their membership of a particular group. This is generally unlawful in this country, but note that where a Genuine Occupational Qualification (GOP) applies, this is not unlawful;
(f) Victimisation – Where a person is treated less favourably as a result of their making a complaint or supporting someone who has made or intends to or is suspected of making a complaint of discrimination;
(g) Harassment – is a form of discrimination and involves unwanted or unwelcome physical or verbal attention of a sexual/racist/homophobic or other discriminatory nature, which is found to be offensive or objectionable to the recipient, and which creates a hostile or intimidating environment. 

2 Why this policy is needed

2.1 Glos Folk recognises that in this society, groups and individuals have been and continue to be oppressed and discriminated against on the grounds of their identity and/or membership of particular groups. Such inequality includes discrimination on grounds of race, nationality, physical or mental impairment, age, class, ethnic or cultural origins, HIV status, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs (or absence thereof), responsibility for dependents, learning difficulty, etc. This is not an exhaustive list. We also recognise that people often face simultaneous or multiple oppression.

2.2 Glos Folk acknowledges that discrimination operates through a number  of commonly held assumptions and prejudices, and customs, which can result in institutional discrimination in addition to personal prejudice.

2.3 This policy underpins all other policies of Glos Folk and forms part of the contract of employment. Where another policy is in conflict with the Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy, the Equal Opportunities Policy shall prevail.

3. The Legal Framework

3.1 Glos Folk strives to ensure that it complies with its legal obligations under The Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Human Rights Act 1998, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Parental Leave Directive, Equal Treatment Directive 2000, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Rights Act 1996, Gender Recognition Act 2005, and Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

3.2 Glos Folk recognises that legislation is constantly being updated and amended and is therefore not static. We are committed to keeping up to date and complying with the same.

3.3 Glos Folk further recognises that existing law does not offer protection to all groups who may experience discrimination. This policy is intended to offer that additional protection in as far as is possible.

3.4 Vicarious Liability – Glos Folk understands that it is held responsible for the acts of its employees except where it has taken active steps to prevent this.   

4 Employment and Training

4.1 Glos Folk will not discriminate in its recruitment, training, promotion and other employment practices and will take positive action where necessary, including in the recruitment and retention of committee members, members,  and volunteers. 

5. Service Delivery and Implementation   

5.1 Glos Folk recognises that the basic argument for an equal opportunities policy is one of access to services and contribution to their development and change.  Each individual should have the opportunity to use Glos Folk’s services in relation to their need, provided that this use does not impinge unduly upon other users or local residents, does not unduly exclude people on any of the grounds listed in this policy; and that such use does not sanction discrimination on any of these aforementioned grounds.

6. Marketing, Publicity And Public Liaison

5.1 All external communications, including advertising, will reflect a commitment to equal opportunities and will promote equality of access to Glos Folk’s services,
7. Glos Folk Environment

7.1 Glos Folk aims to ensure that all people will receive a positive welcome from their first point of contact with the organisation and to create and sustain an environment in which people using our services and paid workers and volunteers feel comfortable, free from oppressive attitudes and surroundings, and not exposed to racial or sexual harassment; or to stereotyped attitudes and beliefs.

7.2 Glos Folk aims to create a climate of communication which reflects the aspirations of different linguistic and cultural groups and to facilitate communication between them by the provision of aids to communication and appropriate resources and equipment.

8 Responsibility for Implementation

8.1 Overall monitoring responsibility for this policy rests with the Committee, members will take day to day responsibility for its implementation.
8.2 Glos Folk believes that passive policies are inadequate and ineffective in combating discrimination  and will positively seek to ensure that groups and individuals referred to in this policy are not disadvantaged in the composition of the management committee, in the provision of services, or in recruitment practices.

9. Monitoring And Evaluation

9.1 Glos Folk will keep statistical and other information on employment and service use to ensure that our services are anti-discriminatory and are made as accessible as possible to under-represented groups. Such information will be used to inform and develop future planning.

9.2 Glos Folk will review this policy annually and make amendments and set targets as a result. This will be an item on the Agenda at each AGM.

Date revised: 29.10.2008
Prepared by: Peter Cripps
Issue Number: 01

Appendix 1:  Glos Folk Equal Opportunities Procedures

1. Employment and Training

1.1 This section should be read in conjunction with Glos Folk’s other policies..

1.2 In advertising for vacancies, Glos Folk will ensure as far as is possible that all posts will be advertised in accordance with good equal opportunities practice, including advertising in a variety of press. Advertisements will include a summary of the person specification, details of hours and pay, whether training shall be given, and whether any positive action has been identified.

1.3 All jobs shall be open to job share or considered for flexible working hours where appropriate.

1.4 Training and development will be available to all members to ensure equal participation in the organisation’s service delivery.

2. Service Delivery and Implementation   

2.1 All Adult members and members of Glos Folk Committee must be aware of the organisation’s commitment to equal opportunities and should be familiar with the contents of this policy document.

2.2 In order to ensure that its services are accessible to all, a service guide will be made available

2.3 Glos Folk will aim to use buildings accessible to people with disabilities..

2.4 Glos Folk aims to make provision for a broad and balanced  range of integrated services which take into account the varying needs of different individuals and user groups.  This will be reflected in the planning, provision, development and evaluation of services.

2.5 All members will take appropriate steps to identify the unmet  needs of groups of people who are under-represented in Glos Folk, and will strive to plan services to meet those needs in ways that are sensitive to all sections of the community.

2.6 In order to promote equality of access, committee members  will ensure that the organisation’s services are well publicised.  Publicity will include statements about the Glos Folk Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy and complaints procedures, and descriptions of provision for different needs;

2.7 Publicity will be targeted and terms of content, language and distribution as appropriate;

2.8 Adult members and the Glos Folk Committee will expected to deal sensitively and effectively with the tension that may arise from the integration of different groups of people using Glos Folk services;

2.9 Adult Members and Officers will record, and report to the Committee when appropriate, on the uptake of Glos Folk services by specific groups of people in order to monitor trends of usage and to inform the service planning process.

3. Marketing, Publicity And Public Liaison

3.1 Glos Folk will ensure that no information or resource materials  distributed contain images, language or attitudes which are offensive or challenging to disabled people, or are racist, ageist, homophobic, or sexist.

4 Use of Contractors and Outside Experts

4.1 All contractors and outside experts must sign up to, and adhere to, this policy.

5. Grievances And Breaches Of Equal Opportunities

5.1 Any Adult Member, or member of the  Committee or service user who feels that they have been discriminated against should raise the matter under the grievance procedure or complaints procedure.

5.2  Where an individual or user group behaves in such a manner as to be in contravention of the spirit of this policy, Glos Folk will exclude such individual(s)/group from using its services and ask them to leave the premises immediately.

Glos  Folk
Equal Opportunities Code Of Conduct 
For Members, Paid Staff, Volunteers And Building Users

1. Everyone using Glos Folk services will be treated with dignity and respect and will be expected to reciprocate.

2. Everyone’s feelings will be valued.  Offensive behaviour, language or humour will not be tolerated.

3. The Committee, and Adult Members of Glos Folk are committed to ensuring that the Equal Opportunities Policy is effective and is implemented through a plan of action, including monitoring procedures.  This policy will be brought to the attention of all our members.

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