Diversity & Equality
1. Policy Objectives
1.1. The Amateur Swimming Association (Swim England) Limited and its subsidiaries are fully committed to the principles and practice of equality of opportunity in all its functions: as an employer, membership organisation, awarding body, in its training and development of teachers and coaches; involvement with officials and administrators; as an advisor to swimming pool designers and operators and as a facilitator of the aquatic disciplines by all its members. It is responsible for ensuring that no job applicant, employee, volunteer, member, service user or person within its jurisdiction (together “Stakeholders”) are unlawfully discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (together the “Protected Characteristics under the Equality Act 2010”) or any other irrelevant characteristic.
1.2. The Swim England considers the aquatic disciplines to provide “sport for all”. They can and should be made accessible to everyone, to the greatest extent possible.
1.3. Within the organisation, Swim England aims to build a culture that values meritocracy, openness, fairness, respect and transparency. This is in keeping with the corporate values of respect and belief, commitment and support, innovation and drive, openness and trust.
1.4. To that end, all employees, volunteers, clients, members, suppliers and contractors whether permanent or temporary are responsible for the promotion and advancement of this Equality Policy. Swim England will also encourage partner organisations to adopt and demonstrate their commitment to the principles and practice of equality as set out in this Equality Policy.
2. Purpose of the Policy
2.1. Swim England recognises that individuals (and/or certain groups in our society who share one or more Protected Characteristics) may not have been able to participate equally and fully in sports related activities in the past. This Policy has been produced to try to prevent and address any unlawful discrimination or other unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, against Stakeholders that may preclude them from participating fully in swimming’s related activities.
2.2. Swim England recognises the diversity of provision that is required in order to ensure that all people regardless of their Protected Characteristics or social or economic background can access swimming and develop at a level that is appropriate to them.
2.3. Swim England recognises the need to provide different and diverse opportunities as a means of creating entitlement and access.
2.4. In addition Swim England recognises that we live in a diverse society and will endeavour to ensure that all Stakeholders are given the same opportunities regardless of their protected characteristics and or socio-economic backgrounds.
2.5. Internally, Swim England is fully committed to the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination and values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. This Policy has been produced to try to prevent and address any unlawful discrimination or other unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, against the workforce. Swim England shall also promote dignity in the workplace through its Commitment to Dignity in the Workplace statement, which forms a related but separate policy of Swim England. Other related but separate HR policies shall also be implemented and/or maintained to further the objectives of Equality and Diversity generally.
3. Legal Requirements
3.1. Swim England is required by law not to unlawfully discriminate against its Stakeholders and recognises its legal obligations under, and will abide by the requirements of, the Equality Act 2010, and any equivalent legislation (as amended) in any UK jurisdiction, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man and any later amendments to such legislation or subsequent equality related legislation that may be relevant to Swim England.
3.2. Swim England will seek advice each time this Policy is reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect the current legal framework and good practice.
3.3. Swim England recognises the following as being unacceptable: “Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation”
3.4. Unlawful discrimination which can take the following forms:
3.4.1 Direct Discrimination: treating someone less favourably than you would treat others because of a Protected Characteristic.
3.4.2 Indirect Discrimination: applying a provision, criterion or practice which, on the face of it, applies equally to all but which, in practice can disadvantage
individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic. Such requirements or conditions are lawful only if they can be objectively justified.
3.4.3 Harassment: engaging in unwanted conduct relating to a relevant Protected Characteristic or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature where the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient, or any other individual affected by such conduct. Swim England is committed to ensuring that its Stakeholders are able to conduct their activities
free from harassment.
3.4.4 Bullying: the misuse of power or position to criticise persistently or to humiliate and undermine an individual’s confidence.
3.4.5 Victimisation: subjecting someone to a detriment because he or she has in good faith taken action under the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation)
by bringing proceedings, giving evidence or information in relation to proceedings, making an allegation that a person has contravened the Equality Act 2010 (or equivalent legislation) or doing any other thing for the purpose of or in connection with the Equality Act 2010 (or any equivalent legislation).
3.5. Swim England regards discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation, as described above, as serious misconduct. All complaints will be taken seriously and
appropriate measures including disciplinary action may be brought against any Stakeholder who unlawfully discriminates against, harasses, bullies or victimises any
3.6. When any decision is made about an individual, the only personal characteristics that may be taken into account are those that are consistent with any relevant legislation and are relevant to the substance of the decision being made.
3.7. Swim England recognises that it has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons.
3.8. The duty to make reasonable adjustments includes the removal, adaptation or alteration of physical features, if the physical features make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of services. In addition, when acting as a service provider, Swim England has an obligation to think ahead and address any barriers that may impede disabled people from accessing its service.
3.9. Swim England will consider all requests for adjustments and where possible will accommodate reasonable requests and will work with disabled Stakeholders to implement any adjustments that will enable them to participate more fully.
3.10. Swim England considers that the aquatic disciplines are gender affected sports under the Equality Act 2010 and refers any transgender athletes to its policy relating to participation by transgender persons.
4. Responsibility, implementation and communication
4.1. The following responsibilities will apply:
4.1.1. The Swim England Board is responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is implemented, followed, and reviewed when appropriate. The Swim England Board is also responsible for ensuring that this Equality Policy is enforced and any breaches are dealt with appropriately. The Chief Executive Officer has the overall responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy.
4.1.2. A Swim England Board member will be appointed by the Board in consultation with the Chief Executive as the “Equality Champion” and will
ensure that equality is included as an agenda item at Board meetings when appropriate and that the Board takes equality issues into consideration when making decisions.
4.1.3. A member of staff will be designated by the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Equality Champion, as an officer with responsibility for equality and
who shall be known for the purposes of this Policy as “Equality Officer”. The Equality Officer shall work in conjunction with the Equality Champion, and will have the overall day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of this Equality Policy and for achieving any equality related actions resulting from it.
An internal cross-departmental equality and diversity group will be created to provide additional support, which shall be chaired by the Equality Officer.
4.1.4. Objectives relating to fair and inclusive practices will be included in all employees’ performance indicators and will form an integral part of
performance reviews throughout the year. Individual work programmes for Swim England staff will be amended to include equality-related tasks where appropriate.
4.2 This Equality Policy will be implemented as follows:
4.2.1 Swim England will establish an Equality Action Plan which shall include a review of its policies and practices on an ongoing basis, to ensure continuing compliance with relevant legislation, demographics and internal business requirements and where possible good practice;
4.2.2. Swim England will develop and cascade a diversity vision statement;
4.2.3. Swim England will develop and cascade a Commitment to Dignity in the Workplace statement; Swim England will develop and cascade other applicable policies, procedures and statements required to further this Equality Policy and the objectives of equality and diversity generally; Swim England will also maintain, develop and cascade as appropriate current related policies (including by way of example those listed in the annex to this Policy).
4.2.4. All job packs sent out by Swim England will contain a policy statement similar to the following:
” Swim England is committed to providing equal opportunities for all and is committed to following best practice in the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults. For further information please consult www.swimming.org”
4.2.5. No applicant for any post (including job applicants, consultant advisers and suppliers) will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of the job or which constitute unlawful discrimination;
4.2.6. Terms and Conditions of service will be regularly reviewed from an equality and diversity perspective;
4.2.7 Consultants and advisers (and where appropriate suppliers) to Swim England will be required to abide by this Equality Policy and it will be referred to in any service level agreements or contracts issued by Swim England;
4.2.8 Swim England Volunteer Policy shall include reference to the Equality Policy and a copy of this Equality Policy shall be provided volunteers;
4.2.9 Swim England will join appropriate organisations in order to network, promote and exchange best practice Swim England will produce a Best Practice equality policy for all affiliated clubs to adopt, and will remind clubs of their ongoing obligations under the law and under its affiliation to Swim England.
4.3 This Equality Policy will be communicated in the following ways:
4.3.1. Policy will be included in any employee handbook (or equivalent paper or electronic document). Reference will be made to this Equality Policy in any code of conduct. This Equality Policy is for guidance only and will not form part of any contract of employment with any employees of Swim England;
4.3.2. The Policy will be highlighted in all staff and volunteer inductions;
4.3.3. A copy of this Equality Policy will be publicly available on Swim England’s website and copies in other formats will also be available from Swim England’s Head Office.
4.3.4. A copy of this Policy will be contained in the Swim England Handbook, where possible;
4.3.5. Swim England will promote and deliver continuing Equality and Respect professional development for all employees to support equal opportunities within the organisation;
4.3.6. Swim England will produce, maintain and monitor an Equality Action Plan to ensure the objectives of this Equality Policy are consistently delivered throughout all areas of the organisation; and Swim England recognises that, in some cases, to further the principle of equality, an unequal distribution of resources may be required. If appropriate and proportionate, and to the extent that is lawful, Swim England will consider positive action or may introduce special measures to assist any group with a Protected Characteristic which is currently underrepresented within any group of Stakeholders.
4.3.7. Swim England will reference and include a copy of this Policy as part of its contractual agreements with consultants and other service-providers.
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
5.1 This Equality Policy will remain in force until it is amended, replaced or withdrawn. A review of this Equality Policy will take place as and when required, but not less than once every three years.
5.2 The Equality Action Plan, created to ensure the objectives of this Equality Policy are delivered, will be reviewed by the Equality Champion regularly. Progress relating to the Policy will be recorded annually and a full report will be presented to the Board to debate progress and review the policy status. This shall include statistical and, if appropriate qualitative, information will be collected. Once approved by the Swim England Board, a report will be published internally and externally (with due regard to the sensitivity of the information), to show the impact of this Equality Policy and progress towards achieving the Equality Action Plan.
6 Complaints Procedures
6.1 To safeguard individual rights under this Equality Policy, any Stakeholder who believes they have suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of this Equality Policy may raise the matter through the appropriate procedure. In the event that it is a complaint regarding this Policy or another policy of Swim England, the complaint shall be directed to the Board unless otherwise prescribed in that policy.
6.2 Where assistance is needed in identifying the appropriate procedure, the Equality Officer may assist in the first instance (without comment on the merits of the complaint).
6.3 Appropriate action may be taken against any Swim England Stakeholder who is found to have violated this Equality Policy.