Diversity, Inclusion, Equality Policy

INTRODUCTION  The Nene Valley Circuit is  fully committed  to  the promotion of equality of opportunity, valuing and embracing diversity and ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach in all fields of  its activity. The Circuit adheres  to The Equality  Act  2010 which  recognises  the  following  specific  protected  characteristics:  gender,  gender  reassignment,  race,  disability,  age,  religion  or  belief,  sexual  orientation,  marriage  &  civil  partnership  and  pregnancy & maternity.   Equality, diversity and inclusion is central to the mission of the Methodist Church
SCOPE  In accordance with the Circuit’s commitment to issues  relating to equality,  diversity and inclusion all its lay employees and ministers, as well as volunteers, consultants,  suppliers, contractors and agency workers, have a duty to act in accordance with this Policy,  creating an environment free from discrimination.
AIM  The aim of  this policy is  to provide a  framework of equality, diversity and inclusion in  the Circuit’s values:  
To  ensure  equality,  diversity  and  inclusion  are  fully  reflected  in  its  employment  practices and procedures.  
To  ensure  that  it  is  compliant  with  the  statutory  employment  duties  under  the  Equality Act 2010.   To ensure employment policies and procedures are monitored and reviewed so that  they do not operate against its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.  
To  ensure  it  attracts  and  retains  a  diverse  workforce  through  appropriate  recruitment and selection methods except in a matter of: 
  1. Occupational  Requirement  ‐  in  the  light  of  the  Methodist  Church’s  Christian  purpose and ethos it  reserves  the  right  to exercise legal exemptions  under  the  Equality Act 2010 where it is declared that a Christian faith is integral to the work  and  requires  membership  of  the  Methodist  Church  or  another  recognised  church; 
  2. Offending background ‐ in any case where the criminal record history relates to  the requirements of the post.  The Methodist Church | Appendix 2 |
Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Policy |March 2017 DEFINITIONS
The Nene Valley Circuit is fully committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity, valuing and embracing diversity and ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach in all fields of its activity. The Circuit adheres to The Equality Act 2010 which recognises the following specific protected characteristics: gender, gender reassignment, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnership and pregnancy & maternity. 
Equality, diversity and inclusion is central to the mission of the Methodist Church.
In accordance with the Circuit’s commitment to issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion all its lay employees and ministers, as well as volunteers, consultants, suppliers, contractors and agency workers, have a duty to act in accordance with this Policy, creating an environment free from discrimination.
The aim of this policy is to provide a framework of equality, diversity and inclusion in the Circuit’s values:
• To ensure equality, diversity and inclusion are fully reflected in its employment practices and procedures.
• To ensure that it is compliant with the statutory employment duties under the Equality Act 2010.
• To ensure employment policies and procedures are monitored and reviewed so that they do not operate against its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
• To ensure it attracts and retains a diverse workforce through appropriate recruitment and selection methods except in a matter of:
1. Occupational Requirement - in the light of the Methodist Church’s Christian purpose and ethos it reserves the right to exercise legal exemptions under the Equality Act 2010 where it is declared that a Christian faith is integral to the work and requires membership of the Methodist Church or another recognised church; 
2. Offending background - in any case where the criminal record history relates to the requirements of the post.
1. Discrimination:
(a) 'Direct Discrimination' is where a person is treated less favourably than another not on the merits of the case but on grounds of a protected characteristic.
(b) ‘Discrimination by association’ occurs where a person is directly discriminated against by association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
(c)  ‘Discrimination by perception’ is where a person is directly discriminated against based on a perception that the person has a particular protected characteristic even if the person does not actually possess that protected characteristic.
(d) 'Indirect Discrimination' occurs when a provision, practice or a criterion that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic. Although equally applicable to all possible applicants, this may nevertheless be discriminatory because:
(i) The number of persons of the same personal status who can comply with the requirement is considerably smaller than the number who cannot; and 
(ii) The requirement cannot be shown to be justifiable.
2. ‘Harassment’ is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the effect of violating an individual’s dignity. There are three types:
(a) Harassment related to a protected characteristic
(b) Sexual harassment
(c) Less favourable treatment of a worker because they submit to or reject sexual harassment or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment 
3. ‘Victimisation’ occurs when an individual is treated badly or has suffered a detriment because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance.
All employees and ministers are responsible for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and conducting themselves in accordance with this policy.  Particular responsibility lies with the Line Manager and senior officers within the employing body.
 The Circuit Superintendent within the employing body will:
• Ensure that its commitment is communicated to all employees and ministers fairly and responsibly including potential employees and ministers, users of its services, and all those working for, or on behalf of, or providing a service to the   District/Circuit/Church including consultants, volunteers, interns, agency workers and those on work experience placements.
• Lead by example, encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion internally and externally. 
• Be responsible for creating a climate where the differences that individuals bring are valued. 
• Embed equality, diversity and inclusion in decision making processes. 
Line Managers / Supervisors will:
• Foster good relations between all employees and ministers, service users/providers.
• Ensure that their direct reports attend equality, diversity and inclusion workshops periodically.
• Be responsible for the selection, management and promotion of employees and ministers and be given information and / or training to enable them to minimise the risk of discrimination.
All employees and ministers will:
• Ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is taken into account in undertaking their work to serve the Circuit. 
• Be aware of their responsibilities and report inappropriate behaviour/s and raise any incident/s that breach this policy and procedure with their line manager.
• Familiarise themselves with this policy and procedure, ensuring that their practices are consistent with its contents.
• Undertake equality, diversity & inclusion training.
The principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded within the Circuit’s recruitment and selection procedures.
If any employee or minister believes that he/she has been subject to discrimination under this Policy, then he/she is encouraged to raise the matter with his/her line manager or supervisor or Superintendent Minister.
Allegations regarding potential breaches of this Policy will be treated in the strictest confidence and investigated in accordance with the Grievance procedure.  Employees or ministers who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result.  False allegations which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under the Disciplinary procedure.
Any employee who is found to have committed an act of discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action.  Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal.  The Circuit takes a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.
For ministers serving within the Circuit
The Complaints and Discipline process as set out in Part 11 of Standing Orders applies to all ministers.  
Date last modified 29 March 2017


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