Our Equality and Diversity Policy

Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust Equality and Diversity Policy 2024

The Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust (MBCCT) is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity and aims to ensure that all participants and employees are treated fairly and on an equal basis, irrespective of gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, social status, sexual orientation, trade union activity, unrelated criminal convictions, gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnerships; pregnancy and maternity.

Objectives

• To make all adventurous activities fully open to anyone who wishes to participate.
• To provide a framework for everyone to enjoy water and land based adventurous activities in whatever capacity and to whatever level the individual desires.

Policy Implementation

The aim is for the workforce of MBCCT to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.
MBCCT – in providing goods and/or services and/or facilities – is also committed against unlawful discrimination of customers or the public.

The policy’s purpose is to:

• provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time
• not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.
• oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities.

Key Terminology:

What is equality?

Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favorably, on the basis of their specific protected characteristic, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the aforementioned areas. Bullying, harassment, or victimization are also considered as equality and diversity issues.

What is diversity?

Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value people’s differences to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture – be that in a workplace, educational establishment.

What is anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment practice?

Any practice meant to counter discrimination and harassment in the UK and promote equality by introducing anti-discrimination policies and anti-harassment policies.

MBCCT commits to:

• encourage equality and diversity in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense
• create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination. All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.
• take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities. Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and any appropriate action will be taken (see MBCCT company handbook 2020 for further details on these procedures). Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

• make opportunities for training, development, and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
• decisions concerning staff being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act)
• review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
• monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality and diversity, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality policy. Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality policy, and any sporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Implementation specific to MBCCT

• Appointments to voluntary or paid positions with MBCCT will be made solely on the basis of an individual’s knowledge, skills and experience and the competences required for the role.
• The MBCCT will consult with the relevant National Governing Bodies when necessary to alter regulations in relation to training schemes which may inhibit the performance of candidates with special needs, provided the standard, quality and integrity of schemes and assessments are not compromised.
• The MBCCT will strive to provide a fully inclusive range of activities both on land and on water. This includes the provision of accessible activity equipment and vessels which will enable participants with physical disabilities to participate. The centre is fully accessible throughout and has toilet / changing facilities for male / female / gender neutral. The centre is recognised by the Royal Yachting Association as a “Sailability centre” with the centre’s facilities inspected on an annual basis for recognition as a provider of inclusive sailing activities, furthermore British Canoeing inspect annually and accredit the centre as a “Paddle-ability” provider.
• This Policy is communicated to staff, volunteers, trustees and key stakeholders through staff induction and training, staff meetings and secure email communication. This Policy is communicated to clients through our terms and conditions issued at the point of booking and through learner inductions and team contracts on educational courses (see section Educational Delivery)
• Reasonable adjustments – MBCCT recognises its legal responsibilities towards reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010. A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or a physical or mental health condition, which may place a person at a disadvantage during employment, education or training. MBCCT will make reasonable adjustments so that employees and service users have the necessary tools, infrastructure and support in place, to do their work.
• Reasonable adjustments for Educational Delivery – MBCCT recognises that reasonable adjustments are individual and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In respect to educational delivery the process of establishing what reasonable adjustments are needed is initiated by MBCCT Education Officer in direct communication with the potential learner(s), and if applicable the learner’s support agency. This process is initiated prior to course delivery so that potential learner(s) can establish a clear point of reference to whom they can discuss what reasonable adjustments can be made for their needs. Reasonable adjustments can include but not limited to classroom lecture notes provided in advance or in a different format, accessible venues and additional support. Adjustments not classed as reasonable could include but not limited to changing exam criteria that advantages some learners but disadvantages other students or adjustments that meets one learner’s need but affects other people’s access needs or everyone’s health and safety.
• This Policy has the full support of MBCCT Board of Trustees and Senior Management, with the working practices of this policy integrated into staff management practices.
• The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis.