Ramsgate Operatic Society
Registered charity no 109538
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
Ramsgate Operatic Society is committed to encouraging equality and diversity among our members and eliminating unfair and unlawful discrimination.
‘Equal opportunities’ does not mean political correctness and it is not just a legal requirement of organisations and employers. It is about treating people the same way whatever their background or social situation and making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to take advantage of whatever activity or service our society has to offer.
The aim of the Society is for its members, staff, volunteers and supporters to be truly representative of all sections of general society and our audiences and for each member of the society to feel respected and able to give of their best.
Accordingly all members, volunteers, supporters and those representing Ramsgate Operatic Society are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, and ensure activities are welcoming and inclusive for all.
Ramsgate Operatic Society recognises its statutory obligations under:
● The Equality Act 2010
● The Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
● The Race Relations Act (1976)
● The Equal Pay Act (1985
● The Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
This 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 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, gender or sexual orientation (protected characteristics)
• oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes casting, selection, pay and benefits, dismissal from the society and other opportunities within the Society.
The Society is committed to:
• encourage equality and diversity for its members and potential members in access to membership, performances and musical activities and opportunities within the membership criteria.
• create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in which the contributions and needs of everyone are fully valued and recognised.
● ensure no individual wishing to volunteer or work for (including on a freelance basis) Ramsgate Operatic Society will receive less favourable treatment or be disadvantaged by the criteria and characteristics set out in the aims.
● promote dignity and respect for all by informing all members of the Society about their rights and responsibilities under the equality policy including their own liability for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, against fellow members, performers and the public.
● take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow members, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s activities.
● review practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
Ramsgate Operatic Society aims to use venues that are accessible to all for rehearsals, concerts and any other activities or events it undertakes.
Inappropriate, violent or abusive behaviour or otherwise offensive and inflammatory remarks and behaviour are not acceptable. These constitute harassment, and have no place in the Society. Further information on this can be found in the Society’s Code of conduct and Health and Safety Policy, copies of which are available to all members and the public
Sexual harassment in any form may amount to both an internal disciplinary matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, where harassment relates to a protected characteristic, is a criminal offence.
Dealing with Complaints
The Committee will take complaints of discrimination and harassment seriously. If any member, volunteer, musician or supporter feels they have been discriminated against or harassed they should raise it with the Committee who will then investigate the complaint, listening to all parties involved. If the complaint is against a Committee member, that member will not be part of conducting the investigation. If the complaint is against an individual, that individual will have the opportunity to express their point of view in a safe environment and to be accompanied by a friend. The person making the complaint will have the same opportunity. If a complaint is found against Ramsgate Operatic Society, the Committee will work to ensure that such discrimination is not repeated in the future, and must inform the members of how they propose to do this.
Hiring: general practices
Ramsgate Operatic Society aims to promote equality and inclusivity when engaging contractors or service-providers and will ensure that no volunteer, employee or person engaged to provide a service (e.g. freelance) receives less favourable treatment or is disadvantaged by the characteristics set out in the aims of this policy.
The policy will be reviewed every two years by the Committee. Members of Ramsgate Operatic Society will be informed of any changes to the policy and will be invited to comment.