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  • EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND DIVERSITY POLICY

    Introduction Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA recognises the need for, and supports wholeheartedly, a policy of equal opportunity in its services and programmes and in employment. The Christian message is based upon developing relationships, and this underpins all the work of the Association. This policy is not aimed to address the issues faced by those in a minority, but to challenge all (staff and volunteers) to recognise that much can be learned from those with a different experience to our own. Also to recognise that we all have the potential to change and grow. Life is a journey, and self discovery and awareness of others can enrich our lives. Within the values of the YMCA stated, it is clear that the YMCA recognises the value of all persons. It is in the working out of these values, in practice, that is the challenge to the Association. It is recognised that tensions will exist when both trying to welcome diversity and to provide for all equally. Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA aims to be a place where there is respect, acceptance and valuing of diversity. We aim to be representative of the communities within which we are based, and to be flexible in the way we undertake our work, in order to meet the needs of all. Diversity encompasses many areas, a non-exhaustive list of which includes:

    Ability Age Behaviour Beliefs Birthplace Circumstances Citizenship Class Colour Criminal record Culture Diet Disability

    Dress Education Expectations Experience Finance Gender Geography Heritage Interests Language Marital status Opinions Preferences

    Race Religious beliefs Responsibility for dependents Sexual orientation Substance use/ misuse Taste Transexualism Values Wealth Work status

    Page 1 of 8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Approved: December 2002; Reviewed: January 2005; Next Review due: January 2008

  • Consultation Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA recognises that each person has an individual identity; that within society there are those who are secure with their identity, whilst others feel uncomfortable with or threatened by their identity. This can lead to dominant elements of society wielding power and perhaps putting others in a position of fear. Some face recurring or multiple discrimination and this cumulative effect can have an adverse effect on the individual and the contribution they can make both at work and in wider society. It is important that people feel able to speak out in an environment where they feel safe. The YMCA recognises that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and skills. It values diversity and welcomes interest from all sections of the community. It is committed to building and reinforcing a culture where people value each other and treat each other with dignity and respect. The Association will actively involve people in the design, delivery and evaluation of services, not simply regard those with minority needs as a consultation group. The Association aims to reflect in its senior team and Board the diversity of the communities within which we work (our stakeholders). This will mean recruiting representatives from ethnic groups and those other than the Christian faith to participate in decision-making and to be critical friends so that the Associations knowledge and experience can truly reflect the communities we seek to serve. The Association will undertake occasional Community Audits to assess whether the services and facilities currently provided are those required by the community, and to inform the Association of needs to be addressed in the future. The Association recognises the importance of understanding the local communitys perception of us. Regular consultation on our services is undertaken with residents and service users. It is important that the external perception of Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA is seen as positive, welcoming and accessible to all members of our community. Policy Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA endorses the YMCA England Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy, adopted in November 2003, which states:

    EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES & DIVERSITY POLICY This Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy reflects both the Aims and Purposes of the YMCA and the spirit and intentions of legislation which outlaws discrimination. The YMCA recognises that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and skills. It values diversity and welcomes interest from all sections of the community. And it is committed to build and reinforce a culture where people value each other and treat each other with dignity and respect.

    Page 2 of 8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Approved: December 2002; Reviewed: January 2005; Next Review due: January 2008

  • The YMCA will not discriminate or treat any individual less favourably on the grounds of sex, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, age or sexual orientation. As an employer of paid staff and an organisation which has Board Members and volunteers, the YMCA aims to ensure that no individual receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, age or sexual orientation. The YMCA aims to ensure that people with disabilities are given equal opportunity to enter employment or to become Board Members or volunteers. In so doing, it will fully consider making reasonable adjustments to operating practices, equipment and premises to ensure that a disabled person is not put at a substantial disadvantage due to their disability. In addition, where someone becomes disabled, every effort will be made through reasonable adjustment, retraining or redeployment as appropriate to enable them to remain in the service of the YMCA. Entry to employment and promotion or change of post for paid staff, or the equivalent for Board Members and volunteers, within the YMCA is determined by personal merit and ability relevant to the Aims and Purposes of the YMCA. The YMCA is committed to keep requirements and practices under review and to take action where necessary in order to facilitate the recruitment, involvement and development of paid staff, Board Members and volunteers from all sections of the community. It welcomes difference and recognises that action may be needed to give everyone a chance to contribute on equal terms within the aims and purposes of the YMCA. The Aims and Purposes of the YMCA express its ethos as an ecumenical Christian Movement. Accordingly all those m roles which are assessed to be central in promoting the Movements Christian ethos and enabling people to experience, explore and express the faith based motivation of its work, are required to demonstrate a commitment to the Christian faith. People in all other roles are expected to respect the Movements faith based ethos and uphold its values. For these roles we welcome people of all faiths and none. It is the responsibility of every individual, both staff and volunteer, to eliminate discrimination by ensuring the practical application of the equal opportunities policy and reporting incidents of discrimination to an appropriate senior person. All allegations of discrimination will be treated seriously. Any discrimination is totally unacceptable to the YMCA and anyone found to be discriminating would face disciplinary action. Harassment on the grounds of sex, race, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief is a form of discrimination. This and any other harassment is totally unacceptable to the YMCA and any such behaviour is considered a

    Page 3 of 8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Approved: December 2002; Reviewed: January 2005; Next Review due: January 2008

  • disciplinary offence. All allegations of harassment are treated seriously and all practicable steps will be taken to prevent the behaviour continuing.

    Service Provision A wide range of experiences are represented in Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA, and opportunities will be made to hear from and value different cultures and stories and to value these in the life and work of the Association. Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA will strive to involve residents and service users in areas of decision-making and governance of the Association, primarily through the Centre Consultative Committees, encouraging participation, providing support and training to grow our own Board members from interested constituent groups within the Association. In all our premises, we will meet the statutory regulations, and attempt to exceed these by being fully accessible, welcoming, providing for special needs, having appropriate notices and signs for sight impaired and non-English users, and having images (pictures, posters, ornaments, etc.) which reflect the diversity of the communities within which we work. Each Department will work this out in practise, and utilisation of Government benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance, to enable workplace alterations to be made. In order to assist those whose first language is not English, documents (particularly such as Licence Agreements) will be provided in a range of formats translations, large print, audio, and interpretation will be provided for languages not provided for in the organisation or for those who would struggle with understanding legal documents, etc.. Efforts will be made to ensure that our residents and service users fully understand and can participate in the life of the Association. Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA will offer its facilities, e.g. health and fitness, to disadvantaged groups of people, applying appropriate charges to enable them to access our services. In the food we offer, menus will always have a vegetarian option. Other special diets will be provided (vegan, halal meat, etc.), and times of meals can be varied for those whose religious observance precludes them from eating at the regular mealtimes. Facilities for those of non-Christian faiths will be provided prayer space and times, menus and mealtimes to fit with particular faith requirements. The Association will recognise a range of religious festivals. Those with a criminal conviction will receive the same level of service as those without, unless particular safety or other restrictions apply. Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA is also fully committed to the active promotion of equal opportunity in the provision of all its services to young people and the community. It is recognised that while much can be achieved through developing procedures to meet legal obligations, genuine equality of opportunity requires a programme of action which involves the participation of all staff.

    Page 4 of 8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Approved: December 2002; Reviewed: January 2005; Next Review due: January 2008

  • The YMCA is a local, national and international Movement and opportunities will be given to appreciate the size and scope of work of this organisation, and where possible, to gain experiences first hand by encouraging residents, service users, volunteers and staff to participate in a range of YMCA events. Staffing The Aims and Purposes of the YMCA commit the Movement, and Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA, to further the work of Christ in the world. As an Ecumenical Christian Movement all Senior Staff Team postholders are required to demonstrate clear commitment to the Christian aims and purposes of the YMCA. All other staff are required to be in sympathy with the Aims and Purposes of the Association. It is the policy of the YMCA that no person is discriminated against because of membership of a particular recognised Christian Denomination. The Association is committed to keep requirements and practices under review and to take action where necessary in order to facilitate the recruitment, involvement and development of paid staff, Board Members and volunteers from all sections of the community. It welcomes difference and recognises that action may be needed to give everyone a chance to contribute on equal terms within the aims and purposes of the YMCA Movement. The YMCA is proud of its Christian basis and heritage. Our Memorandum and Articles of Association require that we uphold and promote the Christian faith in our work. For this reason, certain positions in the Association are required to be held by practising Christians. Essentially these are senior decision-makers in the organisation, whose responsibility it is to ensure the mission and core values of the Association. Therefore the majority of Board Members and all senior staff team members are expected to be able to demonstrate their Christian commitment and to take a lead in the Association in such things as public worship, Association Prayers, and in being able to explain the Christian faith to those who wish to explore this. Other posts in the organisation may also be required to be held by Christians, but all will have this clearly identified in Job Descriptions and Person Specifications. The Association is an equal opportunity employer and unreservedly accepts the spirit and intention of the various statutory instruments which separately and collectively promote the abolition of certain kinds of discrimination in employment. These acts make it unlawful for an employer or employee to discriminate or treat an individual differently on grounds of sex, marriage, religion, race, colour, nationality, or ethnic origin and are enshrined in Acts of Parliament, of which the following are examples:

    Equal Pay Act 1970 Sex Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986 Race Relations Act 1976 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Taking account of relevant exclusion clauses as laid out in The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 1986)

    Page 5 of 8 Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy Approved: December 2002; Reviewed: January 2005; Next Review due: January 2008

  • Employment Rights Act 1996 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

    It is the policy of the Association that no candidate for employment, any employee seeking a change of post, or anyone considered for appointment to the Board of Management or Committee will receive less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability marital status, nationality or ethnic or national origins or be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified within the principles of the YMCA. The policy and practice of the Kingston & Wimbledon YMCA ensures that entry to employment in the YMCA is determined by personal merit and ability relevant to the aims and purposes of the YMC...

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