Golden Valley Walking Club Equal Opportunities Policy Equality and Diversity Framework – Statement of Principles

The Golden Valley Walking Club welcomes and supports the diversity of the community we serve, the volunteers and members we support and the people we employ. Our diversity is our strength; our employees and volunteers will reflect the community in which we work and for whom we work; and our policies, practices and procedures will reflect our constant striving for excellence. The Golden Valley Walking Club will use its best endeavours to integrate good equality practice in all that we say and do.

We promote a welcoming and inclusive attitude to diverse backgrounds and different communities, the GVWC believe that equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination are fundamental in creating an environment in which the talents of individuals can flourish. We will deliver our mission within an equality and diversity framework providing the highest quality to all.

The GVWC will not discriminate on any grounds and in particular in the spirit of current legislation in either our employment practice, sporting activities or service delivery.

The GVWC will implement its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010. We will continually review our practices to ensure that they comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law. Definitions of discrimination and harassment are at Appendix 1 below.

We will ensure that our employees (which for the purpose of this framework include workers, consultants and agency staff), members and volunteers, demonstrate equality and diversity awareness through GVWC values in their language, behaviour and working practices.

We will promote the principles of equality and diversity in our undertakings with all our stakeholders, ensuring as far as possible a common approach on joint undertakings.

Responsibility

The Club Chairman and the GVWC Committee have operational accountability for the implementation and monitoring of our equality and diversity strategy.

Club members, employees, volunteers , walk leaders and back markers are to accept their personal responsibility for the practical application of the policy. The GVWC Committee will maintain and overview of performance and provide direction and guidance where appropriate.

Equality and diversity are important to us and we will under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The GVWC Committee will therefore take action against those who are found to be breaching our policy. All those (Committee members, employees, volunteers, members or other stakeholders) who believe that our policy is being breached have the right to make a complaint. Such complaints will be investigated seriously and resolved in a timely manner.

Commitment to Equality & Diversity:

The GVWC is committed to creating an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our employees, volunteers and members are recognised and valued.
Our employees, volunteers and members can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy walking or their chosen sport without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.

Every employee, volunteer, member and user of our services is entitled to an environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.

As part of our commitment, Golden Valley Walking Club will ensure that key staff with a responsibility for service delivery will undertake Equality and Diversity training.

This policy was introduced in May 2022 and will be reviewed every three years (or when necessary due to changes in legislation)

Equality Areas: Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010) sets out particular groups that are protected from unlawful discrimination.
Age
The GVWC celebrates and values the diversity of employees, volunteers and members of all ages and aims to ensure that all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

Disability

The GVWC welcomes and celebrates employees, volunteers and members with ranging levels of abilities and aims to ensure that all are treated fairly, reasonably and with dignity and respect. Gender reassignment
The GVWC celebrates and values the diversity of its transgender employees, volunteers and members and aims to ensure that all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

Marriage and civil partnership

The GVWC aims to ensure that all employees, volunteers and members are treated fairly and with dignity and respect whether they are married, in a civil partnership or single.

Pregnancy and maternity

The GVWC aims to provide an environment where employees, volunteers and members are supported mand treated fairly and with dignity and respect during pregnancy and maternity and while breastfeeding.
Race and Ethnicity

The GVWC aims to ensure that all employees, volunteers and members are treated fairly and with dignity and respect regardless of race or ethnicity.

Religion and belief and non-belief

The Golden Valley Walking Club celebrates and values the diversity brought by its employees, volunteers and members, and aims to create an environment where those with a religious belief or none are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
Sex (Gender)

The GVWC celebrates and values the diversity brought by its employees, volunteers and members and aims to create an environment where all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect regardless of gender.
Sexual Orientation

The GVWC celebrates and values the diversity of its lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, volunteers and members and aims to ensure that all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

Equality Areas: Other disadvantaged groups

GVWC have adopted the groups cited in the EA 2010 and widened the scope to include other disadvantaged groups.
Socio economic Status
The GVWC celebrates and values the diversity brought by its individual employees, volunteers and members and aims to create an environment where all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect regardless of socio economic status.

Equality of Access: Employment

The GVWC welcome all sections of the community to work with us to achieve our vision as set out in our walk programmes . All members will have fair and equal access to recruitment and selection opportunities based solely on their abilities.

GVWC are committed to engaging employees and volunteers who are reflective of the wider community we serve.
To ensure equality of access to employees, GVWC will: Ensure that all employee role profiles reflect our commitment to equality and diversity. Provide induction to ensure that they are aware of GVWC commitment to equality & diversity. Ensure that everyone involved in recruitment processes is briefed about the GVWC’s Equality and Diversity framework and how it relates to the Recruitment Policy and Volunteer opportunities. Ensure that our commitment to Equality and Diversity is reflected in the Recruitment Policy.

 Ensure that communications encourage ways to support candidates prior to and during the recruitment process.

Regularly review role profiles so that they do not discriminate against potential employees on the grounds of race, gender, marital/civil partnership status, sexuality, gender reassignment, age, religion and beliefs, maternity and pregnancy, disability, responsibility for dependants, trade union activity or socio economic status.

 Find out about diverse needs and provide information in different ways (e.g. audio tapes, different languages or different formats with the use of technology) to those who need it.
Ensure, where reasonably possible, that all external vacancies are promoted in specialist publications for disabled people and/or social media platforms.

Ensure all adverts reflect the GVWC’c commitment to equality and diversity and that all sections of the community are welcome to apply.

Equality of Access: Employee training & Development

All employees will have equal access, based solely on their abilities, to training and development opportunities. GVWC are committed to continuous development and we will maintain an annual employee training programme linked to our walk programme.
To ensure equality of access to training and development, GVWC will:

Ensure that key employees will undertake appropriate Equality Awareness training.
Ensure that specialist training is available so that key employees effectively understand and apply reasonable adjustments as appropriate (e.g. computer equipment).
Ensure that all in-house training takes into account the needs of disabled employees.
Ensure that all employee training is delivered in a flexible way.
Ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to ensure maximum attendance from all employees. Work in partnership with other external training providers to ensure employees’ disabilities have been considered and reasonably addressed, prior to attendance.
Ensure that our commitment to equality and diversity is reflected in our training programmes. Find out about diverse needs and provide training materials in different ways (e.g. audio tapes, different languages or different formats with the use of technology) to those who need it.

Removing Barriers

The GVWC recognises the importance of taking proactive measures to remove barriers from the working environment for disabled people. It is recognised that this will benefit not only disabled employees and prospective employees but also in many cases other walkers and visitors. It will ensure that the organisation is able to recruit and retain the best employees on the basis of their abilities and individual merit.

Where, during the course of employment, a disabled employee recognises the need for a reasonable adjustment to working arrangements or to a feature of the premises, the employee should discuss this requirement with a GVWC Committee member. The Committee member in conjunction with the GVWC Committee and External HR Advice will then determine the appropriate action. GVWC will consider flexible working to improve disabled employees’ working environment where reasonably possible and may seek outside specialist help.

Induction

On starting work the employee’s nominated Committee member will be responsible, in consultation with a disabled employee, for ensuring such reasonable adjustments are made as are required to enable the employee to work safely and effectively and to secure equal access to the benefits of employment. Where the nominated Committee Member does not have the relevant knowledge or experience to make the reasonable adjustments he or she will consult external HR advice for further support and guidance. Where necessary an outside specialist may be consulted. Consultation & Communication

The GVWC believe that the smallest individual effort can have a big impact on our outcomes. We will consult with our employees, and other stakeholders to ensure that any review of current business practices and the introduction of new ones is actively owned by all of us and pursued and implemented with a collective will to win.

Monitoring & Management Information

The GVWC will monitor delivery of our services and employment practices for many reasons. We exist because we want to change people’s lives and we want the best for our stakeholders. We have limited resources and we must use them effectively and fairly, exploring new options to achieve our outcomes.

Monitoring will also identify difficulties so that we are able to plan and target resources at resolving them. The decision-making process, planning and use of resources will be guided by using monitoring information effectively.
The GVWC Committee will monitor employee and volunteer recruitment, retention, access to learning and development and promotion, and the outcomes of the probation, disciplinary & grievance, absence and departing members.

The Membership Officers will monitor data from membership, areas and groups and other user data to inform future decision making and planning.
The GVWC will monitor publicity materials for the promotion of equality and diversity. We will ensure that our publicity materials are free from stereotypes and are positive about diversity and differences.

Complaints

Employees, volunteers and members have the right to expect the highest standards of customer and employee care. Anybody who wishes to make a complaint about service standards, unfair treatment, discrimination, harassment or bullying should use the procedure found in the GVWC Constitution 4.2. No employee, member, volunteer or board member will be victimized for bringing a complaint under this policy. However, where a complaint is made maliciously and/or on knowingly false information, the complainant may be subject to appropriate formal proceedings. The GVWC will act against those breaching our strategy and policies. It is intended that this policy forms part of the implied term of employment for all employees and volunteers. Breach of this

policy may result in disciplinary action and, if appropriate, dismissal.

Policy Owner: Golden Valley Walking Club Committee Policy Update: May 2022

Appendix 1

Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals are protected from discrimination ‘on grounds of’ a protected characteristic.

Forms of discrimination and discriminatory behaviour include the following:

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination can be described as less favourable treatment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.
Indirect discrimination
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied to an individual or group that would put persons of a particular characteristic at a particular disadvantage compared with otherpersons.

Discrimination arising from disability

When a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and this unfavourable treatment cannot be justified, this is unlawful. This type of discrimination only relates to disability.
Harassment

Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic that has the purpose oreffect of violating a person’s dignity, or which creates an intimidating or hostile, degrading, humiliating oroffensive environment for that person.
Victimisation

It is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because he or she has made allegations or brought proceedings under the anti-discrimination legislation, or because they have helped another person to do so. To do so would constitute victimisation.
Bullying
Bullying is defined as a form of personal harassment involving the misuse of power, influence or position to persistently criticise, humiliate or undermine an individual.

1 The exception to this is pregnancy and maternity, which does not include protection by association or assumption – a woman is only protected from discrimination on grounds of her own pregnancy.