FORT Equality and Diversity Policy –  2020

Section 1 – Statement of Intent

  1. FORT is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and is responsible for ensuring that no job applicant, employee, volunteer or member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, gender, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, colour, parental or marital status, pregnancy, religious belief, class or social background, sexual preference or political belief.
  2. The company will ensure that there will be open access to all who wish to participate in the activities of FORT and be treated fairly.

Section 2 – Purpose of the Equality policy

  1. FORT recognises that certain sections of the community have been affected by discrimination and may be denied the opportunity to participate equally and fully in the sport at all levels.
  2. This policy has been produced to prevent/tackle any potential/current discrimination or other unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, against its employees, members and volunteers.

Section 3 – Scope

  1. This policy applies to all members of FORT, whether paid or unpaid or anyone acting in an advisory capacity.
  2. The areas covered in this policy include age, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, faith, marital status and pregnancy/maternity. 
  3. Equality information is communicated to all parties including coaches, members, participants etc. via the FORT website and email.
  4. A positive approach is encouraged in all member behaviours. 

Section 4 – Legal Requirements

  1. FORT is by law required to not discriminate against its employees or members and recognises its legal position under the following acts:
  • Equal pay act 1970 
  • Sex discrimination acts 1975, 1986 & 1999 
  • Race relations act 1976 
  • Disability discrimination act 1995 • Rehabilitation of offenders act 1974 • Human Rights act 2000
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • Employment (Religion and Belief) Regulation 2003
  • Age Discrimination Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010

Any later amendments to the above acts/regulations, or future acts/regulations that are relevant to FORT

Section 5 – Discrimination, Harassment & Victimisation

Discrimination can take the following forms:

  • Direct discrimination – Refers to treating someone less favourably than others in the same circumstances, either deliberately or unwittingly.
  • Indirect discrimination – This occurs when a job requirement or condition is applied equally to all, which has a disproportionate and detrimental effect on one sector of society, because fewer from that sector can comply with it and the requirement cannot be justified in relation to the job.
  • Harassment is described as inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments or physical contact that is objectionable or causes offence to the recipient. It may be directed towards people because of their gender, appearance, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, age, sexual preference, a disability or some other characteristic. FORT is committed to ensuring that its employees, members, participants and volunteers are able to conduct their activities free from harassment or intimidation. 
  • Victimisation is defined as when someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has taken action against FORT under one of the relevant Acts/regulations (as previously outlined) or provided information about discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behaviour. 

FORT regards discrimination, harassment or victimisation, as described above, as serious misconduct and any employee, volunteer or member who 4 discriminates against, harasses or victimises any other person will be liable to appropriate disciplinary action.

When decisions are made about an individual, the only personal characteristics taken into account will be those which, as well as being consistent with relevant legislation, are necessary to the proper performance of the work involved.

Section 6 – Responsibility, Implementation and Communication

The following responsibilities will apply:

  • The FORT management is responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is followed and that any actual or potential breaches are dealt with. 
  • The management has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • A specific member of staff designated by the management has the overall responsibility for achieving the equality action plan as this will form part of their work programme.
  • All employees, volunteers and members have responsibilities to respect, act in accordance with and thereby support and promote the spirit and intentions of the policy and, where appropriate, individual work programmes will be amended to include equality related tasks.

This policy is effective immediately and implemented as follows:

  • A copy of this document will be made available to all officials (both permanent and contract) and members and volunteers of FORT.
  • FORT will take measures to ensure that its employment practices are non-discriminatory and that anyone acting on its behalf is fully conversant with the requirements of the policy. 
  • No job applicant or official (paid or unpaid) will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of the job or official position which constitute unfair discrimination. 
  • A planned approach will be adopted to eliminate barriers which discriminate.
  • Ensure that consultants and advisers used by FORT can demonstrate their commitment to the principles and practice of equality and that they abide by this policy. 5 The new/revised policy will be communicated in the following ways: a. It will be part of any official’s role description and reference will be made to it in any codes of conduct. b. It will be covered in all training courses organised by FORT  c. The policy will be made available to all FORT members on the FORT website.

Section 7 – Commitment to Action

  1. FORT will produce and maintain an action plan to ensure the intent of this policy is delivered.
  2. All areas of the organisation will be affected by this action plan, which will be incorporated into the overall business delivery plan itself reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
  3. FORT recognises that, in some cases, to achieve the principle of equality, unequal effort is required and, if appropriate, will consider positive action to tackle under representation.

Section 8 – Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

  1. To safeguard individual rights under the policy, an employee, volunteer or member who believes he/she has suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of the policy may raise the matter through the appropriate grievance procedure. 
  2. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, volunteer or member who violates the FORT Equality and Diversity Policy. 
  3. An individual may raise any grievance and no employee, volunteer or member will be penalised for doing so unless it is untrue and not made in good faith.

Section 9 – Monitoring and evaluation

  1. This policy will be formally reviewed every three years unless any proposal to the FORT management or legislation change requires an interim review and/or amendment.
  2. To ensure the effectiveness of our Equality policy we will carry out regular monitoring. We will monitor our membership to find out whether it broadly reflects our local communities and to ensure our practices are free from discrimination. We will monitor those accessing our services to determine whether they are reaching the wider community. We will also seek feedback from employees, partners, service users and community representatives. 
  3. Long term development plans will be monitored and reviewed regularly at management meetings. Equality will be included as an agenda item.
  4.  Feedback from these meetings will be made available to all staff where any issues raised can be dealt with appropriately. 

Section 10 – Responsibility

The person within FORT who is responsible for equality on behalf of the management can be contacted at should there be any concerns. Other sources of support include the Citizens Advice Bureau who can be of assistance.