Equal Opportunities Policy

Bushmead Community Centre aims to encourage, value and manage diversity and is committed to providing equality for all. Bushmead Community Centre wishes to secure genuine equality of opportunity in all aspects of its activities.

Bushmead Community Centre is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst employees, volunteers and users of its services. Equality and diversity will be considered in all activities and resources. This policy will be implemented within the framework of current legislation.


1.     Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in Bushmead Community Centre employment, volunteering and service delivery and to eliminate discrimination on grounds of:

Gender (including sex, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, gender re-assignment)

Women and men are fully and properly represented and rewarded for their contribution at all levels of the organisation through:

  • challenging gender stereotypes
  • supporting employees and volunteers in balancing their life at work and at home

Employees and volunteers are treated fairly and equally in the workplace irrespective of their marital/civil partnership or family status.

Employees and volunteers who plan to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone gender re-assignment are protected against all forms of discrimination and harassment. Bushmead Community Centre will take positive steps to support a transgender person and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.


Race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national origin)

The racial and cultural diversity of the local community is represented at all levels of the organisation through:

  • challenging racial stereotypes
  • understanding, respecting and valuing racial and cultural difference and perspectives
  • encouraging and enabling members of minority ethnic groups to volunteer or work for Bushmead Community Centre at all levels

Disability

The abilities of disabled people are recognised and valued at all levels of the organisation through:

  • focussing on what people can do rather than on what they cannot
  • challenging stereotypes about people with disabilities and in particular, not making false assumptions that disabled people are unable to do certain things
  • making appropriate adjustments in the workplace so that people can reach their full potential regardless of any disability.

Sexual orientation

People are treated fairly irrespective of their sexuality through:

  • respecting the rights of everyone irrespective of whether or not they are open about their sexuality
  • respecting different lifestyles even if someone’s different lifestyle conflicts with one’s own religious or cultural beliefs
  • challenging negative stereotypical views
  • celebrating and welcoming significant lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) events in the same way that similar events of importance to heterosexual people are celebrated

Religion or belief

People are treated fairly irrespective of their religious beliefs, faith or lack of belief.

Employees and volunteers are also expected to recognise the individual freedom of belief and right to protection from intolerance and persecution of other individuals and groups.

Demands of religion (e.g. prayer times and religious holidays) and of culture (traditional dress) are accepted.


Age

Age diversity within the organisation is promoted and valued through:

  • challenging age stereotyping, recognising that the new ideas and fresh approaches can come from anyone irrespective of their age
  • recognising the benefits of a mixed-age workforce, including volunteers


2.     Eliminating Discrimination

Discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement is applied which cannot be justified. Forms of direct discrimination include less favourable treatment (denial of access to or a poor level of service), harassment or victimisation.

Harassment occurs when someone's actions or words, based on the relevant grounds, are unwelcome and violate another person’s dignity or create an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.

Bushmead Community Centre will not tolerate harassment in any form and in particular:


Racial harassment is unlawful. Incidents include:

  • physical assaults/threats against a person or group because of colour or ethnicity
  • racist insult/joke/name calling
  • racist graffiti/any other written insult
  • provocative behaviour (e.g. wearing racist badges or insignia)
  • racial comments in meetings conversation/workshops
  • attempting to recruit for racist organisations or groups
  • racist literature (leaflets, comics, magazines) brought into the organisation's premises
  • providing a platform for racism

Sexual harassment is unlawful. The definition adopted by Bushmead Community Centre is:

  • Repeated and unwanted verbal or sexual advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminating remarks which are offensive to the person involved, which cause them to feel threatened, humiliated, patronised or harassed or which creates a threatening or intimidating environment.

Harassment against disabled people. It is unlawful to subject a disabled person to harassment by engaging in unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating the disabled person's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him/her.


Victimisation means treating someone less favourably because they have made a complaint of discrimination (a "protected act"), or are thought to have done so; or because they have supported someone else who has made a complaint of discrimination.


Indirect discrimination occurs where the effect of provisions, criteria or practices imposed by an employer have an adverse impact disproportionately on one group or other. Indirect discrimination generally occurs when a rule or condition, which is applied equally to everyone, can be met by a considerably smaller proportion of people from a particular group; the rule is to their disadvantage and it cannot be justified on other grounds.

Bushmead Community Centre  will seek to overcome indirect discrimination by:

  • provision of training for all employees/volunteers
  • provision of information about relevant support organisations
  • offering training opportunities for our service users where possible
  • making clear its expectations of staff and volunteers in the conduct of their duties in any circumstances where they represent Bushmead Community Centre

3.     Responsibilities

Bushmead Community Centre’s commitment to equality and diversity means that everyone involved with Bushmead Community Centre has a duty to:

  • promote equality and diversity in the delivery of Bushmead Community Centre  services
  • ensure that everyone associated with Bushmead Community Centre  is treated in a non-discriminatory way
  • promote a welcoming environment in which individuals from all backgrounds feel welcome, valued and respected
  • promote this equality and diversity policy

Managers and trustees have additional responsibility to:

  • ensure systems, procedures and services do not discriminate
  • promote and implement diversity within the management of service provision
  • provide appropriate training to put our equality and diversity policy into practice
  • challenge inappropriate behaviour immediately
  • listen to and respect others, and not dismiss their problems as “trivial”
  • set a positive example in everything they do

All employees must be aware that discrimination, abuse or harassment on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexuality - if proven - is a dismissible offence.



4.     Recruitment and employment

Bushmead Community Centre is an equal opportunities employer and wishes to attain a workforce that is representative of the local community to secure the widest pool of talent possible. 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.


5.     Volunteering

It is crucial that all volunteers are able to participate and enjoy the activities without discrimination. Bushmead Community Centre believes that volunteers should not be excluded from any opportunity without due reason.

Volunteers will not be discriminated against in the advice and support they are given. Nor will they be denied access to opportunities because of their assumed abilities, skills or behaviour and each volunteer will be judged on his/her own merits. Bushmead Community Centre will actively encourage and support volunteers to participate in the planning and implementation of their work.


6.     Monitoring, review and responsibility

The Trustees are responsible for implementing the equal opportunities policy. Any complaint or grievance should be made to the chair of the organisation.

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We used to have real problems finding a hall that was bit enough and accessible enough to hire for our yearly events. There are not many places in this area which offer what Bushmead Community centre offers. It’s a friendly place to go as well, well run and the staff are great. #