DIVERSITY & INCLUSION POLICY
This policy supplements the Forces Equine Handbook and is supplemented further by the Forces Equine Social Media policy.
As a not for profit organisation our committee and its members are all volunteers who give up their time to make Forces Equine (FE) the best organisation it can be. Forces Equine are lucky enough to be in partnership with British Show jumping (BS), British Eventing (BE), British Dressage (BD) and British Riding Club (BRC), all of whom are a department of the Forces Equine (BHS) and adhere to FE policy. For FE activities it should be noted that 'representation' applies to all FE members and officials. Concerns from any attendee at an FE activity should be raised to the Safeguarding Officer who will raise it to the FE Committee.
For FE activities this policy should be read in conjunction with the FE rulebook.
Why We Have an Equality and Diversity Policy?
The Forces Equine (FE) recognises that every person is an individual with different needs, preferences, and abilities. It aims to reflect this diversity in everything it does, including making its services inclusive and accessible to people from all sections of the community, and attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. FE believes in harnessing different life experiences, attributes and contributions from employees, volunteers, and FE representatives. This will make FE a more effective and inclusive organisation and a better place to work.
This policy sets out our approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination or harassment whilst conducting the Society's business. The Policy works hand in hand with several the FE's Policies, all of which refer to aspects of working with us, including the treatment and conduct of representatives of FE.
This Policy is supported by The BHS Values;
HORSES FIRST, the Horse is at the heart of all we do
ONE TEAM, we collaborate with and value our employees, members, supporters and partners
RESPECTFUL, we deliver with respect, integrity, dedication and passion
SUPPORTIVE, we support horses and people to safely enjoy life together
EXCELLENCE, we strive for excellence in everything we do
The Policy Statement
FE values diversity and equality. By respecting and using diversity and equality it can maximise its impact through meeting individual needs and staying in touch with the changing societies in which it works.
Volunteers and representatives of FE recognise and fulfil their personal role in making FE a genuinely inviting and inclusive organisation.
FE has a commitment to equality, diversity and discrimination, which is about:
- Recognising and valuing difference
- Creating an environment in which individual differences and contributions are valued
- Recognising and seeking to address inequality and disadvantage
- By dealing with acts of discrimination, bullying, harassment, or victimisation against Trustees, visitors, or volunteers under FE's disciplinary procedures
- Treating all in a fair, open, and honest manner
- Recognising the right of members and volunteers and other FE representatives to be treated with respect
- Equality of opportunity which may include exploring opportunities to make reasonable adjustments
- Working towards making its workforce and the organisation as a whole, more representative of the diverse communities that make up the UK
- By ensuring that training, development, and progression opportunities are available to all employees
- By regularly reviewing all our practices and procedures to ensure fairness
- Encouraging and supporting our partners to adopt similar policies on equality and diversity for example, through our Accredited Professional Coach Code of Conduct
FE will not tolerate less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, gender, gender identity, age, race, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, marital/civil partnership status, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity and religion or for any other reason which cannot be shown to be justified. These grounds, are called 'protected characteristics'
FE has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that its members are not subject to discrimination on designated grounds. FE will consider providing facilities for members of disabled individuals and make reasonable adjustment where possible.
FE is committed to arranging training, where required, to the committee, members and all other representatives about their rights and responsibilities under the equality and diversity policy. Responsibilities include FE representatives conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, volunteering and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination.
All FE representatives should understand they, as well as the organisation, can be held accountable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, against fellow members and representatives, volunteers, customers, suppliers and the public.
FE will ensure members, volunteers and representatives are made aware of this and relevant policies, and that a copy is available. The policy will be on the FE website. The policy will be accessible and easy to understand. It will guide all involved in the organisation and others to share the commitment of equality and diversity.
It will explain the internal process for those who do not share our values. FE will inform members, volunteers, and FE representatives how they can raise concerns if they feel these standards are not being adhered to. This policy works in conjunction with other policies;
- Social Media Policy
FE addresses this policy in the following procedures;
- Bullying and Harassment including Third Party Harassment and Victimisation
- Disciplinary Procedures, including Capability
- Raising a concern (Whistleblowing)
FE members, volunteers and representatives will not unlawfully discriminate against or harass other individuals including, members, volunteers, suppliers and visitors. This applies in the workplace, outside the workplace (on FE's business), and on work-related trips or events including social events.
The following forms of discrimination are prohibited under this policy and are unlawful:
(a) Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. For example, rejecting a volunteer applicant because of their religious views or their sexual preferences.
(b) Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others and is not justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men. Such a requirement would be discriminatory unless it can be justified.
(c) Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Further details can be found in our Bullying and Harassment including Third Party Harassment and Victimisation policy.
(d) Victimisation: retaliation against someone who has complained or has supported someone else's complaint about discrimination or harassment.
(e) Disability discrimination: this includes direct and indirect discrimination, any unjustified less favourable treatment because of the effects of a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantages caused by a disability.
Volunteers Recruitment and Selection
FE will ensure that selection practices fulfil the requirement of the equality and diversity policy, follow best practice, and uphold FE Values.
Relevant information is found in the;
- Bullying and Harassment including Third Party Harassment and Victimisation policy
- Disability policy
- Volunteer Recruitment and Selection policy
Opportunities should be advertised to a diverse section of potential members and volunteers. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying. All posts will have a job description with person specification, which will contain essential and desirable skills, qualifications and experience. A copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy will be available on request from our safeguarding officer.
Volunteer applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.
All volunteers and committee members involved in selection will be aware of this policy and adhere to it at all times. All applicants for posts will be treated strictly on merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. As an exception, posts targeted at specific groups of people will be exempted, as allowed by legislation.
Part-time and fixed-term work
Part-time and fixed-term volunteers should be treated the same and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions unless different treatment is justified.
Posts which are deemed suitable will be advertised as available for job share. Job shares may also be available to members in suitable posts on request, and providing that a suitable job sharer may be recruited.
If a member/volunteer is disabled or becomes disabled, they are encouraged to talk about their condition so that reasonable adjustments or support may be considered as appropriate.
Training and Development
The Committee, members and volunteers need to recognise and fulfil their personal role in making FE a genuinely inviting and inclusive organisation. FE will ensure that all members and volunteers know about the Equality and Diversity policy and their responsibilities within it and ensuring it has a high profile within our internal communications and practices.
Additional role specific training will be undertaken to ensure understanding of and commitment to equality and diversity policies and procedures as appropriate.
Recording and Monitoring
Monitoring will be carried out based on the current protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. Provision of individual monitoring data will be supplied on a voluntary basis, using agreed categories. The data will be collected anonymously, yearly and via an online survey.
The Chairman alongside the Executive Committee has the ultimate responsibility to provide, implement and review the policy. It is the responsibility of members, volunteers, and representatives to support the policy by ensuring that FE's activities and communications promote equality and diversity. The Chairman or appointed representative holds the day to day responsibility for ensuring that the policy is implemented and, in the first instance, for dealing with or acting on disciplinary offences.
The Committee will hold a D&I meeting on an annual basis, to retain oversight of the impact and implementation of the policy.
Breaches of this policy
FE takes seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow members, volunteers, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation's work activities.
We take a strict approach to breaches of this policy, which will be dealt with in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure and Codes of Conduct. Serious cases of deliberate discrimination may amount to gross misconduct resulting in termination of membership and dismissal without notice. Any concerns that may include criminal behaviour will be reported to the appropriate authority.
If a member believes that they have suffered discrimination the matter can be raised through to FE's Safeguarding Officer who will bring it to the Chairman's and Executive Committee's notice and discussed at an exceptional Out Of Committee D&I meeting who will look at all the evidence available and cast a vote on whether the accused individual should be disciplined and what level of sanction may be issued. The Executive Committee will vote with the majority carried; however, the Chairman can overrule the Executive Committee whose decision is final. The Chairman, on behalf of the Executive Committee, will write to the accused individual explaining what behaviour or actions have breached FE rules, regulations, and policies. This will formulate a first warning or a final warning depending on the seriousness of the breach. After two written warnings from the Chairman and Executive Committee will result in the individual's membership being revoked.
Any of the following sanctions can be imposed:
• A reprimand
• Disqualification to representing Forces Equine at any event
• Disqualification of qualifying to a Forces Equine event
• Suspension of membership
• Your membership ceased with immediate effect
• Horse/Pony disqualified from further Forces Equine competitions
Subsequently Volunteers should initiate any concerns using the above FE Volunteer Complaints Procedure. Concerns from any other interested parties should be raised to FE Safeguarding Officer in the first instance. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
Members, Volunteers and Representatives must not be victimised or retaliated against for complaining about discrimination. However, anyone making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure. Volunteers and Representatives will equally be managed within the policy and procedures associated with misconduct.
Forces Equine's Executive Committee is made up of the following volunteers:
- David Heath French – Chairman & Military
- Caroline Vine – Discipline & Prison service
- Nikki Byrne – Safeguarding Officer
- Nicola Miller – Police service
- Jenna Hastings – Secretary & Police service
- Debi Heath French – Treasurer & Social Media
- Amy Meecham – Diversity & Inclusion and Disability
Registered in England & Wales.
Company No. 08203892