EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY
The Bath Cancer Unit Support Group (known as “BCUSG” for the purpose of this and other policies) believes that, in fulfilling its aims and objectives, it is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and delivery of any of our activities.
The BCUSG therefore aims to ensure that the values of equality, diversity and respect for all are embedded into everything it undertakes.
This policy is intended to demonstrate the BCUSG’s commitment to eliminating discrimination and encouraging and valuing diversity its volunteers.
The BCUSG recognises its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and is committed to meeting them in full. It believes that a culture which embraces equality and values diversity will help ensure that everyone feels involved and included in plans and activities.
The BCUSG aims to create an environment which respects and welcomes everyone and in which no form of bullying, harassment, disrespectful or discriminatory behaviour is tolerated by anyone towards anyone. This particularly applies in relation to the ‘protected characteristics’ named in the Equality Act 2010: Age, disability, gender reassignment, income, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, (see below for explanations).
The BCUSG understands that for equality to be achieved this policy needs to be understood and embraces by all volunteers. All volunteers having a responsibility to ensure that their language and actions are consistent with the spirit as well as the contents of this policy.
The BCUSG recognises that an Equality and Diversity Policy alone is not enough to ensure that equality and diversity are central to everything we do. It will seek to create recognised and valued.
Policy agreed August 2017
Review August 2018
Equality Act 2010 – Explanation of the Protected Characteristics
Age: An age group includes people of the same age and people of a particular range of ages. Where people fall in the same age group they share the protected characteristic of age.
An age group would include “over fifties” or twenty-one year olds. A person aged 21 does not share the same characteristic of age with “people in their forties”. However, a person aged 21 and people in their forties can share the characteristic of being in the “under fifty” age range.
Disability: A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
This section replaces similar provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and provisions in secondary legislation made under that Act.
Gender reassignment: A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
Marriage and civil partnership: A person has the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership if the person is married or is a civil partner.
- A person who is engaged to be married is not married and therefore does not have this protected characteristic.
- A divorcee or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved is not married or in a civil partnership and therefore does not have this protected characteristic.
Race: Race is defined as
- Colour: includes being black or white.
- Nationality: includes being a British, Australian or Swiss citizen.
- Ethnic or national origins: include being from a Roma background or of Chinese heritage. A racial group could be “black Britons” which would encompass those people who are both black and who are British citizens.
This section replaces similar provisions in the Race Relations Act 1976. However, the power to add caste to the definition of race is a new provision.
Religion or belief: Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.
A religion must have a clear structure and belief system. Denominations or sects within a religion can be considered to be a religion or belief, such as Protestants and Catholics within Christianity.
A belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief.
A “philosophical belief” must
- Be genuinely held;
- Be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available;
- Be a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour;
- Attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance;
- Be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
Any cult involved in illegal activities is not covered. Beliefs such as humanism and atheism would be covered.
This section replaces similar provisions in the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and the Equality Act 2006.
- a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a man or to a woman;
- a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same sex.
Sexual orientation: is a person’s sexual orientation towards:
- people of the same sex as him or her (in other words the person is a gay man or a lesbian)
- people of the opposite sex from him or her (the person is heterosexual)
- people of both sexes (the person is bisexual).
The definition is designed to replicate the effect of similar provisions in the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Equality Act 2006.
Source: Equality Act 2010 and Explanatory Notes to the Equality Act 2010