EQUALITY POLICY

ICE HOCKEY UK – “A SPORT FOR ALL – EQUALITY POLICY
Foreward – by Chair, Ice Hockey UK

Ice Hockey UK is firmly committed to the underlying principles of equality and diversity. Ice Hockey UK believe that every person who wants to take part in the sport should be able to do so, regardless of their age, gender, race, disability, religious belief and sexual orientation.
Ice Hockey UK believes that its members and supporters should be free from any form of discrimination whether verbal, physical or mental. We believe that our members should be able to progress through our sport without encountering unwanted behaviour such as bullying, harassment, intimidation or any other form of abusive treatment.
Ice Hockey UK will strive to ensure that perpetrators of such behaviour will be brought to question and held to account. In supporting this policy we believe that we will make our sport truly diverse and welcoming to all. We would like to assure all our members that we are truly committed to these principles and will strive to uphold this philosophy.

Policy Statement
Ice Hockey UK endorses the principle of sports equality and will strive to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in Ice Hockey, whether as players, coaches, managers, supporters, office-bearers in clubs or those within Ice Hockey UK :
• has a genuine and equal opportunity to participate to the full extent of their own ambitions and abilities, without regard to their age, sex, gender identity, disability, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, religion, race, ethnic origin, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation; and
• can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy their sport without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.
Legal obligations
Ice Hockey UK is committed to avoid and eliminate unfair discrimination of any kind in Ice Hockey, and will under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The organisation takes a zero tolerance approach to harassment. Examples of the relevant legislation and the behaviours in question are given in the Appendix.
Positive action
The principle of Sports Equality goes further than simply complying with legislation. It entails taking positive steps to counteract the effects of physical or cultural barriers – whether real or perceived – that restrict the opportunity for all sections of the community to participate equally and fully.
Ice Hockey UK will therefore seek to institute, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access to Ice Hockey and participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented in the sport or has difficulty accessing it.
Implementation
The following steps will be taken to publicise this policy and promote sports equality in Ice Hockey:-
• A copy of this document will be published on the Ice Hockey UK Website.
• The General Secretary in conjunction with the Chair of Ice Hockey UK will take overall responsibility for ensuring that the policy is observed.
• The Directors will take full account of the policy in arriving at all decisions in relation to activities of Ice Hockey UK.
• Ice Hockey UK will collaborate fully with any surveys or other initiatives designed to assess the level of participation of different sections of the community in Ice Hockey and will take account of the findings in developing measures to promote and enhance sports equality in Ice Hockey.
• Ice Hockey UK will provide access to training for all of its Directors to raise awareness of both collective and individual responsibilities. All Ice Hockey UK accredited and licensed coaches will be equality and diversity trained.
It will be a condition of Ice Hockey UK membership that members:
• formally adopt this policy, or produce their own equality and diversity policy in terms that are consistent with it; and
• take steps to ensure that their Committees, members and volunteers behave in accordance with the policy, including where appropriate taking disciplinary action under the Club’s constitution; and
• ensure that access to membership is open and inclusive
Support such measures and initiatives that Ice Hockey UK may institute or take part in to advance the aims of this policy.
It will be a condition of Ice Hockey UK membership that individual and corporate members
• commit to act in accordance with this policy; and
• support such measures and initiatives that Ice Hockey UK may institute or take part in to advance the aims of this policy.
Responsibility, Monitoring and Evaluation
The Directors will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy.
The Directors will review all Ice Hockey UK activities and initiatives against the aims of the policy on an annual basis, and the Chair will report formally on this issue at a Board Meeting in November of each year.
The Directors or where appropriate a designated project leader, will review any measures or initiatives that Ice Hockey UK may institute or take part in to promote and enhance sports equality in Ice Hockey, and will report their findings formally to the members of Ice Hockey UK.
The Directors will review the policy itself at intervals of no more than three years, (or when necessary due to changes in legislation) and will report with recommendations to the members of Ice Hockey UK..
Complaints and compliance
Ice Hockey UK regards all of the forms of discriminatory behaviour, including (but not limited to) behaviour described in the Appendix as unacceptable, and is concerned to ensure that individuals feel able to raise any bona fide grievance or complaint related to such behaviour without fear of being penalised for doing so.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, member or volunteer who violates the Ice Hockey UK Equality and Diversity Policy.

Any person who believes that he or she has been treated in a way that they consider to be in breach of this policy by a member club, individual member or corporate member of Ice Hockey UK, should first complain to that person or organisation. If this does not resolve the matter, or in the case of allegations of discriminatory behaviour against Ice Hockey UK itself, the person may raise the matter by writing directly to the Chair of Ice Hockey UK. Contact details are available through the website:
www.icehockeyuk.co.uk
Ice Hockey UK will investigate the complaint personally or appoint someone to do so. The investigation will be conducted impartially, confidentially, and without avoidable delay. Any person or organisation against whom a complaint has been made will be informed of what is alleged and given the opportunity to present their side of the matter.
The outcome of the investigation will be notified to the parties in writing and reported to the Ice Hockey UK Board of Directors. If the investigation reveals unacceptable discriminatory behaviour on the part of an individual member, corporate member, or member club the Board of Directors may impose sanctions on that person or organisation in line with Ice Hockey UK’s Constitution. Sanctions may range from a written reminder concerning future conduct up to and including temporary or permanent expulsion from Ice Hockey UK membership. In deciding what sanction is appropriate in a particular case the Board of Directors will consider the severity of the matter and take account of any mitigating circumstances.
Where the violation of the Equality Policy by way of harassment, victimisation or discrimination amount to a criminal offence, the appropriate authority will be informed.
In the event that an individual or organisation associated with Ice Hockey UK is subject to allegations of unlawful discrimination in a court or tribunal, the Ice Hockey UK Board of Directors will co-operate fully with any investigation carried out by the relevant lawful authorities and, subject to the outcome, may consider taking action as above in relation to the matter concerned.
Ice Hockey UK
Board of Directors
January 2014

APPENDIX – Relevant legislation and forms of unacceptable discrimination
Legal rights
Discrimination has been legally defined through a series of legislative acts, including the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act 2006.
In April 2010, the Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent. The Equality Act 2010 is a new law which harmonises where possible, and in some cases extends, protection from discrimination. It applies throughout the UK and came into force in October 2010.
Discrimination refers to unfavourable treatment on the basis of particular characteristics, which are known as the ‘protected characteristics’. Under the Equality Act 2010, the protected characteristics are defined as age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.
Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals are protected from discrimination ‘on grounds of’ a protected characteristic. This means that individuals will be protected if they have a characteristic, are assumed to have it, associate with someone who has it or with someone who is assumed to have it.
Forms of discrimination and discriminatory behaviour include the following:
Direct discrimination
Direct discrimination can be described as less favourable treatment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.
Indirect discrimination
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied to an individual or group that would put persons of a particular characteristic at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons.
Discrimination arising from disability
When a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and this unfavourable treatment cannot be justified, this is unlawful. This type of discrimination only relates to disability.
Harassment
Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or which creates an intimidating or hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.

Victimisation
It is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because he or she has made allegations or brought proceedings under the anti-discrimination legislation, or because they have helped another person to do so. To do so would constitute victimisation.
Bullying
Bullying is defined as a form of personal harassment involving the misuse of power, influence or position to persistently criticise, humiliate or undermine an individual.
The exception to this is pregnancy and maternity, which does not include protection by association or assumption – a woman is only protected from discrimination on grounds of her own pregnancy.