Last updated: 25 May, 2021
Soccer Assist Academy will not tolerate behaviour in the form of discrimination, victimisation, harassment or bullying. Legislation and associated regulations exist to protect employees, and there are a number of policies and procedures in place to support the legislation.
Soccer Assist Academy is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity for all and values the diversity of its students, staff and other stakeholders. The purpose of this policy is to provide equal opportunities to all who learn and work for and with Soccer Assist Academy irrespective of gender, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic and national origins), disability, age, sexual orientation, religion and belief, including political belief (or lack of religion or belief), gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are known as protected characteristics in employment law.
Soccer Assist Academy is also committed to ensuring equal treatment for all staff regardless of the type of contract they are employed on e.g. fixed-term or part-time.
Soccer Assist Academy opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination (forms of discrimination are outlined in Appendix A).
Soccer Assist Academy will also give due regard and consideration to spiritual, moral, social and cultural values or beliefs of both staff and students in so far as these do not contravene either Soccer Assist Academy Policy or any legislation and to actively support decision making and personal choices which are made free from oppression, coercion or fear.
Soccer Assist Academy will work with all stakeholders to seek positively to remove conditions and barriers which place people at a disadvantage and promote community harmony and social cohesion by actively promoting equality for all and celebrating diversity.
All of Soccer Assist Academy students and members of staff will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential within an ethos which recognises and values the benefits that a diverse workforce supporting a diverse student body can bring to both the local and wider community.
This policy has been prepared taking account of prevailing legislation and new legislative requirements and follows effective practice by enabling Soccer Assist Academy to demonstrate that all Equality and Diversity practices are fair, equitable and transparent. Accordingly, the policy has been subject to an Equality Impact Assessment and is suitable for publication under the Freedom of Information Act.
This policy applies to all students and staff, wherever they learn or work and operates within the framework of Soccer Assist Academy mission, vision and values. This includes temporary workers or organisations working in partnership withSoccer Assist Academy where contractual arrangements are put in place.
The policy will be implemented within the framework of the Equality Act 2010 and will include the extended protections for carers and disabled people. The Equality Act supersedes all previous Equality legislation including:
- Equal Pay Act 1970 ( Equal Value Amendment 1984)
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999) & (Indirect Discrimination & Burden of Proof Regulations 2001)
- Race Relations Act 1976 ( Race Relations Amendment Act 2000)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995 & DDA (Amendment) 2005
All key materials used to market learning and employment opportunities will explicitly convey our positive attitude to Equality and Diversity. Means of distribution will be kept under review to ensure information reaches those who do not traditionally respond to learning or employment opportunities available within Soccer Assist Academy .
Guidance and admissions procedures will be clear, transparent and free from unfair discrimination. All appropriately qualified applicants will be given equal consideration during the selection process and entry qualifications will only include those that are necessary and justifiable.
Efforts will be made to ensure that any kind of gender stereotyping within the Curriculum is challenged, for example, ensuring that female students are encouraged and supported to enrol into courses which are more commonly associated with male students and male students are equally encouraged and supported to enrol into courses more commonly associated with female students.
Enrolments of International Students will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the UK Border Agency and within associated legal frameworks.
Effective plans will be in place to make the learning environment safe, welcoming and accessible for all groups of students, employees and other users in terms of timing and location of provision, physical access, amenities and services, including off campus activities.
What is Diversity?
Diversity encompasses a multitude of areas such as gender, race, disability, physical ability, mental capacity, education, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, values, age, personality, experiences, culture and the way each area approaches work. This list is not exhaustive. Embracing diversity means acknowledging, understanding, and appreciating the differences between individuals and developing a workplace that enhances their value. By being flexible in our approaches it is then possible to achieve a rewarding environment.
The Benefits of Diversity Management
A diverse workforce can offer a wide range of resources, skills, ideas and energy to the organisation. Organisations that embrace diversity reap the benefits of resourcing from a wider pool of talent, broaden their markets, improve productivity and raise the community profile.
Diversity management can benefit an organisation in a number of ways, such as:
- Improve opportunities within the organisation through internal promotion;
- Utilise the knowledge of different areas of the community;
- Understand market segments and student behaviour;
- Become an employer of choice;
- Have a more representative ‘balanced’ workforce;
- Value and respect employees, attracting/ and retaining a wider talent pool.
The Difference between Diversity and Equality
Diversity and equal opportunities are often regarded as the same thing. However, there are differences. Valuing diversity is about seeing everyone as individuals, valuing the abilities and skills they can bring to an organisation.
It is not about seeing people first and foremost in terms of the membership of a particular group. Equality of regard for people is about emphasising inclusiveness, openness and fairness, offering a positive outlook on the many differences, as well as similarities that can affect how people interact and perform with each other in the workplace. Diversity is about respecting differences within minority groups and not expecting everyone to conform to the ways of majority groups.
Widening diversity is something that is initiated internally, where a culture for diversity has developed over time. Equal opportunities are usually prompted by external factors such as legislation and codes of practice.
Managing diversity is concerned with improving quality within an organisation, with a focus on qualitative issues and good practice, whereas equal opportunities focus on improving numbers. This might include increasing the number of women in management positions, or increasing the number of ethnic minorities or raising the age profile.
Valuing people, and their many diverse qualities, enhances employee potential, therefore enhancing the services that an organisation can provide. Equal opportunities aims to ensure that no group receives less favourable treatment because of their differences, ensuring all people are treated equally. This is about adapting to individual needs rather than treating everyone the same.
Diversity focuses on being proactive and finding opportunities to enhance an organisation, a service or a programme. Equal Opportunities is reactive and will focus on existing problems while trying to redress the balance.
A diverse culture is something that can develop with support but an equal opportunities culture is socially constructed by specific measures being put into place. Managing diversity encourages people to reflect on and change their own practices and systems, resulting in a diverse culture.
Diversity at work is not only concerned with keeping within the confines of the law, but would also gradually seek to educate every staff member so that discrimination would become a thing of the past.
Direct discrimination will occur where in like for like circumstances, a person is treated, or would have been treated, less favourably than others on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age or personal characteristics.
Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice to everyone that puts, or would put, a group of people at a particular disadvantage compared to others. Furthermore, the individual complainant can show that he or she suffered that disadvantage compared to others.
Furthermore, the individual complainant can show that he or she suffered that disadvantage and the employer cannot show the provision, criterion or practice to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (within the limits of what is needed to achieve the business objective). This definition covers formal requirements, conditions and provisions, as well as informal practices. An example of indirect discrimination would be a requirement for all staff to be clean shaven. In this example, the same requirement is applied equally to all staff, but would particularly disadvantage those of a particular faith.
A diverse portfolio of relevant programmes will be offered which are responsive to student needs and enable students to study at an appropriate level with good opportunities for success and progression. Progression routes will be clearly published and advice given impartially. A range of delivery locations and methods inclusive by design will be used to minimise barriers to learning.
Inclusive learning practices including teaching students strategies for effective learning behaviours, perseverance, growth mindset and social skills; diverse and inclusive teaching and learning materials; evidence-based teaching and learning strategies which have high effect sizes with regard to student achievement such as providing effective formative feedback, reciprocal teaching and problem-solving teaching as well as differentiation of teaching and formative assessment based on catering for individual student needs whilst challenging each student appropriately with stretch targets enabling ambitious learning progress.
Learning materials which are free from bias, which celebrate diversity and challenge stereotyping will be used throughout the curriculum. If discriminatory material is used to support a teaching point, students should be challenged to think critically about the resource and if they don’t conclude so themselves, the discriminatory nature of the resource should be pointed out by the member of staff using the material.
Opportunities to promote Equality and Diversity, wherever possible and appropriate, should be capitalised upon by all members of staff. This will require students to be able to think critically about equality & equity, human and earth rights, ethical thinking, decision-taking and behaviour as well as diversity.
Provision of additional learning support tailored to individual needs is provided to all who require it and are eligible to support access, success and progression. Support mechanisms will be in place to catch students who may academically fail in order to help them succeed.
Soccer Assist Academy robust Safeguarding Policy will be communicated to and adhered to all staff at all times. Staff and student safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance and all instances of raised concerns will be documented and discussed with the directors of the academy.
With equal opportunities in the workplace promoted and monitored for work-based students and staff with work placements being assessed and monitored to ensure equality practices are being consistently operated.
Employment and Professional Development
Equality of opportunity exists for all staff and for recruitment purposes this extends to include potential employees. Equality of opportunity is also applied to career promotion opportunities where individuals meet the minimum criteria as well as access to Continued Professional Development (CPD) and other training opportunities. Soccer Assist Academy commitment to non-discriminatory process of recruitment and selection is outlined in the Equal Opportunities Policy.
Workforce Data in relation to HR & Professional Development including recruitment and selection, staff training and staff promotion will be reviewed annually by the Director of Soccer Assist Academy
All Soccer Assist Academy staff (regardless of their type of contract, hours of work or any other protected characteristic listed in Section 1.1) have equal access to career progression and development opportunities which are available at Soccer Assist Academy
Soccer Assist Academy takes account of the changing needs of individual members of staff and will implement reasonable adjustments, where this is required in accordance with advice from the Occupational Health Service e.g. someone who is or who becomes disabled during their employment.
The director of Soccer Assist Academy plans to ensure that Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are carried out on all policies and procedures, recruitment and selection documentation and all consultation papers, where proposals have either a direct or indirect impact on staff.
Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR)
In very limited circumstances it will be lawful for an employer to treat people differently if it is a GOR.
Where there is a genuine requirement for a particular type of person to do a particular job, the employee must be able to justify a sound business reason for this.
This may occur if it is necessary that, for example, an individual of a particular religion is required to do a job.
Victimisation will occur where a person is treated less favourably because he or she carried out a ‘protected act’, i.e. has alleged that discrimination or harassment has taken place; has presented a claim to an employment tribunal; or has acted as a witness in a discrimination or harassment case.
Protection against victimisation will not apply if allegations are false and not made in good faith.
Harassment and Bullying
Any form of bullying, harassment or victimisation discrimination within Soccer Assist Academy is unacceptable and should be challenged by staff. In a teaching context, where appropriate, this should also be used as an opportunity for wider learning.
Harassment and bullying are defined in many ways. For instance, unwanted remarks, inappropriate jokes or ridicule, unwelcome physical contact, suggestions or demands for sexual favours, racial shunning or segregation.
In general terms, behaviour which affects the recipient’s dignity, relating to age, gender, race, nationality, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any personal characteristic of the individual. This can include an isolated incident or a series of incidents.
Unacceptable behaviour might include the spreading of malicious rumours; insulting an individual; circulating emails or memoranda containing critical confidential information; picking on someone; setting up an individual to fail; victimisation; unfair treatment; circulating offensive material; constantly undermining and criticising a competent worker; or preventing promotional opportunities.
Sexual harassment is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act. This constitutes unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature, or other behaviour with a sexual reference, which affects the dignity of men and women at work.
Racial harassment is unlawful under the Race Relations Act. This constitutes unwanted behaviour of a racial nature, or other behaviour based on racial grounds, which affects the dignity of men and women at work.
Harassment on the grounds of religion or belief, or sexual orientation, is where unwanted conduct causes a violation of one’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Any allegations will be dealt with sensitively and investigated fairly and thoroughly. Disciplinary action may be taken when necessary.
The following are the main Acts and Regulations relevant to this policy. The list is not exhaustive.
The Equality Act, 2010, makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a prospective or current member of staff on grounds of disability. Under Section 20 of the Equality Act (2010) it is upheld as a duty for the employer to make reasonable adjustments, so that a person with a disability is not disadvantaged. This means that it is unlawful for employers to treat a person or person with a disability less proportionately than those who are not disabled without a good reason.
A reference to a disabled person is a reference to a person who has a disability, under the Act (2010), stating that a person has a disability if:
- The Person has a physical or mental impairment;
- The impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
Race Relations Act 1976 (RRA) defines racial grounds as meaning colour, race, nationality or ethnic origins.
Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another person who is not of the same racial group.
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) have issued a Codes of Practice for the purpose of eliminating discrimination employment.
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
The RR (A) Act (2000) placed certain requirements on public sector bodies (such as colleges, government departments, local authorities, the police and NHS), and these requirements came into force in May 2002. The general duty is to pay due regard, when carrying out functions, to eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote equal opportunities and good relations between persons of different racial groups.
Under the Race Relations Act 1976 (RRA), public Authorities, including further and higher education institutions, have a statutory general duty to promote race equality. The duty is made up of three distinct parts:
- To work to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
- To promote equality of opportunity
- To promote good race relations
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA) forbids discrimination directly or indirectly against a person on the grounds of sex or marital status.
Direct sex discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably on account of their sex in relation to issues such as recruitment, selection, training, promotion and selection for redundancy.
Indirect discrimination is when an employer imposes a requirement or condition which fewer persons of one sex can fulfil.
In exceptional circumstances there may be a GOR.
Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 introduced a new definition of indirect discrimination in employment matters prohibiting harassment and sexual harassment in employment and making it clear that less favourable treatment of women on grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave is unlawful sex discrimination.
The Sex Discrimination Act was extended in 1999 to make it unlawful to discriminate in employment on the grounds of an employee intending to, undergoing, or having undergone gender reassignment.
If it is known to the employer it is good practice to ask individuals how they wish to be treated.
The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates a substantial part of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The articles of convention which could have an impact on employment law in the United Kingdom are:
- Article 8: The right to respect for private and family life;
- Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
- Article 10: Freedom of expression;
- Article 11: Freedom of assembly and association.
It is important to be aware of and not to breach the Human Rights of individuals as this also can result in tribunal proceedings.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 states that if a person, male or female, is doing ‘like work’ of equal value compared to a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, they are entitled equal pay.
This Act does not permit claims for equal pay with other people of the same gender, or between different employers.
The Equal Pay (Questions and Replies) Order 2003 allows people to question their employer on matters they understand to be discriminatory on the grounds of gender, race and disability. A questionnaire can be submitted requesting information from the employer in order to establish if a person is receiving equal pay. This questionnaire can be submitted as evidence to a tribunal. Employers are required to answer the questionnaire.
However, there may be times when some of the information requested may impinge on what is protected by the Data Protection Act. This can also result in tribunal proceedings.
The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 cover discrimination in the workplace such as job applicants and those already in employment.
Discrimination is prohibited in the arrangements made by an employer when determining who should be offered employment opportunities, promotion, training and protection from dismissal.
This includes discrimination towards someone with orientation towards the same gender (lesbian or gay men), opposite gender (heterosexual) or both genders (bisexual).
There can be no justification for direct or indirect discrimination unless in very exceptional circumstances a GOR applies.
Care should be taken when considering social gatherings within the workplace. For example, invitations should be carefully worded so they are free of bias.
Religion or Belief
The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (2003) are designed to protect those who suffer discrimination on the grounds of religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. The Regulations will make it unlawful to discriminate on matters of employment against ‘workers’, which includes employees and contractors. This means it is unlawful for employers to discriminate in relation to recruitment and selection, employee terms and conditions, promotion, transfers, dismissals and training.
People who hold no religious belief are also protected as the regulations do not require the complainant to have a religion or belief.
There can be no justification for direct or indirect discrimination unless in very exceptional circumstances a GOR applies.
Soccer Assist Academy provides and advises on apparel products to represent the organisation during working hours. However, as an organisation, no dress code on staff is imposed at an impact detrimental to religion and/or beliefs. There are some requirements as listed below:
Health and safety requirements may mean that for certain tasks specific items of clothing such as sports kits, overalls, protective clothing, etc. need to be worn. Where wearing such items conflicts with a religion or belief, the issue will be sympathetically considered by the line manager, with the aim of finding a satisfactory but safe compromise.
Dress should conform to the current majority view in our society of what constitutes decency.
Wearing clothing with slogans which are considered discriminatory is not permitted.
Religious activities during work time
All staff, regardless of their religious belief or non-belief, are required to work in accordance with their contract.
Soccer Assist Academy will, however, treat sympathetic requests from staff who require flexibility over how the hours are worked. This may relate for example, to staff who need to pray at certain times of the day, or who may require an extra hour at midday on a Friday.
Soccer Assist Academy acknowledges that owing to current bank and public holidays those of Christian faith are guaranteed time off at Christmas and Easter. In the interest of equality Soccer Assist Academy will support and consider favourably requests from those of other religions to book up to three days of their holiday entitlement to enable them to celebrate their own special religious festival(s).
Requests for extended leave for the purpose of pilgrimages, or visiting relatives abroad for weddings, birth or deaths will be treated sympathetically. The needs of the Organisation, and extra burden placed on other staff, will be taken into account when considering extended leave requests. If extended leave extends beyond the annual leave entitlement, the granting of any excess days will be on unpaid basis.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
These regulations apply to all people who apply for work. In addition they will cover access to vocational training, professional associations, employers’ organisations, etc.
The Age Regulations will prohibit direct and indirect age discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
One of the main requirements is to abolish employer’s mandatory retirement age below age 65, unless employers can objectively justify such a retirement age.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders
People with criminal records are protected by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which makes it unlawful for an employee to take account of (or be informed of) a person’s previous offending history once the conviction has become ‘spent’. However, some sentences cannot be spent, and others may be ‘spent’ but still have to be declared when the individual is applying to work with Soccer Assist Academy in a capacity that will mean that they will be in contact with children and young adults.
Since the introduction of the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Record, employees and applicants in sensitive jobs have to give consent to a search being made for details of any previous or current convictions and for employers to be advised of the outcome.
The Disclosure service provides a means to carry out checks through DBS on staff or applicants and allows for decisions to be made about recruiting staff who have a criminal record.
Applicants are offered equal opportunities when going through the recruitment process. They are informed at the outset that they have the opportunity to discuss criminal convictions, ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’, in confidence with the director of the academy.
All posts atSoccer Assist Academy fall into the category where they require either a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure check as set out within our DBS Policy. Therefore, anyone who applies to work at Soccer Assist Academy will be expected to declare any convictions ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’ and will be subject to consideration of suitability for appointment in accordance with our policies and procedures.
When collecting, storing and analysing data, a full account must be taken of the Data Protection Act 1998. Therefore it is imperative to ensure that personal data collected is used appropriately in accordance with the Act. Our General Data Protection Regulation Policy (GDPR) outlines all policy and processes.
Work Life Balance
The Employment Relations Act 1999 and the subsequent Employment Act 2002 (which introduced new changes to the former), allow for greater flexibility in the workplace.
Maternity (if applicable)
Soccer Assist Academy administers not only a statutory maternity scheme but also an occupational maternity scheme.
Paternity Leave (if applicable)
To be entitled, you must have worked forSoccer Assist Academy for 26 weeks or more by the 15th week before the child is expected to be born. You will be eligible for 2 weeks in a 1 or 2 weeks block at any one time. The entitlement to pay is 2 weeks’ full pay if you meet the requirements.
There is no length of service requirement for staff to be entitled to adoption leave.
Recruitment and Selection
Soccer Assist Academy has a Safer Staff Recruitment Policy which sets out the procedure to be followed. Vacant posts are advertised in a number of ways to attract a wide variety of applicants.
Monitoring and Reviewing
The effectiveness of this policy will be reviewed through:
- Regular analysis of student participation, retention, achievement, success and progression.
- Regular analysis of the staffing profile in relation to recruitment, staff turnover, retention and levels of responsibility.
- Regular analysis of access to professional development opportunities and to promotion for staff in minority groups.
- Self-assessment and quality improvement structures for all curriculum and service areas.
The Director of Soccer Assist Academy will take responsibility for ensuring that the principles outlined in this policy will be integrated throughout their strategic and operational decision making process.
The Director and other senior members will monitor their performance against the standards set out in this policy and according to the relevant legislation. They will set agreed annual targets for improvement, which will be monitored by the Directors.
The Director of Soccer Assist Academy will ensure that staff employed by Soccer Assist Academy have access to regular mandatory training opportunities to ensure that they understand the principles implicit within this policy and the relevant legislation.
Breaches of the policy by staff or students will be regarded as misconduct and in some cases gross misconduct and therefore could potentially lead to disciplinary action.
Appendix A: Definitions of Discrimination
Discrimination can occur either directly or indirectly. Direct discrimination cannot be legally justified and individuals can be held personally liable by tribunals and/or other UK/EU courts.
Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than others would be treated in the same circumstances on the grounds of having a protected characteristic.
Indirect Discrimination occurs when applying a provision, criterion or practice which puts someone from a particular group having one or more protected characteristics at a particular disadvantage. Indirect discrimination may only be justified in exceptional circumstances if it can be shown that the action was reasonable in managing the business or organisation, i.e. that it is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. A legitimate aim might be any lawful decision made in running the business or organisation, but if there is a discriminatory effect, the sole aim of e.g. reducing costs is likely to be deemed unlawful. In this context, being proportionate means being fair and reasonable, including showing e.g. that ‘less discriminatory’ alternatives to any decision made have been considered, documented and recorded.
Discrimination by Association is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses one or more protected characteristic. For example, disability discrimination against someone who is a carer of a disabled dependant.
Discrimination Linked to a Perceived Characteristic is direct discrimination against an individual because of a belief that they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic, for example, discrimination against someone because they are thought to be gay but are not.
Harassment is defined as being “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”. Employees are able to complain of behaviour that they find offensive, even if it is not directed at them and the complainant need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves.
Victimisation takes place where one person treats another less favourably because he or she has asserted their legal rights in line with the Equality Act (2010) or helped someone else to do so. This includes making a complaint, taking legal action, providing evidence related to proceedings or alleging that discrimination has taken place. Victimisation may occur if, for example, a student alleges that they have encountered racism from a tutor, and as a result they are ignored by other staff members. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint.
Genuine Occupational Requirements – Under current legislation, certain jobs/roles may be restricted to a particular characteristic if the characteristic is a “genuine occupational requirement” (GOR) for the job, or for the context within which it is carried out. However, the circumstances in which this applies are very limited and would be exceptional at Soccer Assist Academy .
Location and Access to this Policy.
This policy will be accessible through contacting Soccer Assist Academy via: