Equal Opportunities Policy

Artswork is committed to the belief that all people are of equal value in a diverse society and that diverse views, skills and attributes should be recognised and celebrated within our work. Artswork aims to be inclusive and accessible to all by offering an equally high quality of experience, regardless of different needs and this informs our policies, procedures and practices as an organisation. This document sits alongside our Equalities Action Plan.

Purpose

Equal opportunities, inclusion and diversity have always been central to our work. Profound engagement, achieved through the creation of partnership programmes working with arts and cultural practice specifically to meet the needs of young people, is central to our values and ethos as an organisation. Artswork aims to engage our partners with our broader equality and diversity priorities in the delivery of our primary mission.

Scope

This Policy is shaped by the protected characteristics outlined by the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion & belief, sexual orientation) and as well as social and economic status which we recognise is a barrier to arts engagement, particularly for children & young people. It responds to the Equality Duty 2011 and underpins how Artswork promotes, delivers, monitors and evaluates its services to ensure equality of opportunity, the prevention of unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and the fostering of good relations between people with diverse backgrounds, views and characteristics. Specifically, in our work for and with children & young people, we aim to remove barriers to arts engagement and support participation in creative activities for those groups whose current levels of participation is disproportionately low. 

Artswork considers it a fundamental responsibility to exercise equality of opportunity in all areas of its activities including:

  • employment practice
  • organisational structure
  • customer care
  • audience development, programming and public engagement
  • marketing and publicity (including publications)

 

Context

This policy is supported and upheld by the following Artswork policies and action plans and the charity’s aims and objectives as an organisation:

  •  Equalities Action Plan
  • Communications Policy
  • Complaints Policy
  • Online and Social Media Guidelines
  • Procurement Policy
  • Recruitment Policy
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
  • Grievance Procedure

 

Responsibilities

Overall and final responsibility for the Equal Opportunities Policy and equalities practices is that of Artswork’s Chief Executive and Board of Trustees.

Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring this Policy is put into practice is delegated to the Head of Finance & Operations.

Equal Opportunities are the responsibility of all employees and volunteers. This means each individual team member should:

  • develop an understanding of Artswork’s Equalities Policy and Action Plan
  • take responsibility to embed the Equalities Action Plan in their own work
  • report any concerns or training needs to the Head of Finance & Operations and Chief Executive

Artswork will monitor and review its Equal Opportunities Policy and Equalities Action Plan annually

Artswork will allocate resources to ensure all employees and volunteers are given guidance and training to ensure they are able to embed a commitment to Equal Opportunities in their working practices

Artswork will enforce the Policy through disciplinary and grievance procedures where necessary

Promoting and embedding the Policy in our work

All employees and volunteers will:

  • receive training on the Policy and Action Plan as part of their induction
  • attend a 1 day Implementing Diversity and Equality Course
  • participate in discussions during team meetings
  • participate in annual action planning to update progress against/ set new targets
  • participate in discussions during their twice-yearly performance reviews
  • undertake EduCare Equality and Diversity Level 2 certification (Apprenticeship team)
  • undertake annual Equality and Diversity refresher training (Apprenticeship team)
  • undertake CPD during team meetings to strengthen how we promote and discuss Equality and Diversity with learners (Apprenticeship team)

Artswork’s Activities 

1. Recruitment Practice

Artswork is an Equal Opportunities Employer; no job applicant or employee shall receive less favourable or more favourable treatment on the grounds of age, care of dependants, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion & belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background & status.

Artswork will recruit, build and maintain a skilled, diverse and dynamic workforce by:

  • ensuring job descriptions and advertisements are written in clear, plain English
  • enabling job applications to be submitted in a variety of formats
  • advertising all permanent roles through a broad range of networks and media including those that broaden the diversity of applicants
  • ensuring all candidates undergo the same interview procedure with additional / different methods and provision made to support accessibility for individual candidates
  • selecting interview questions that do not discriminate directly or indirectly and include 1 question about Equal Opportunities knowledge and experience for all roles
  • ensuring the Head of Operations (HR) participates in all interviews
  • reviewing selection criteria and procedures to ensure that individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their merits and abilities
  • monitoring applicants’ key demographic information using Artswork’s Equal Opportunities Monitoring form which is separated from the application on receipt and stored securely and confidentially
  • contributing key demographic data to stakeholders to assess how we are progressing against sector benchmarks
  • providing equal opportunities to receive training and career development opportunities and apply for promotion
  • having a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment and communication channels that allow breaches and complaints to be investigated swiftly

Artswork will make all reasonable adjustments to meet the access and support needs of employees within the terms and conditions of their employment.

 

2. Organisational Structure

Equality of opportunity relates to all aspects and areas of Artswork’s programmes and activities and as such should be reflected in the structure of the organisation. Artswork is committed to achieving representation and participation by a diverse group of individuals in its Board of Trustees, advisory groups, committees or steering groups as well as within paid and voluntary appointments by: 

  • developing a dialogue and exchange with the arts community and other social, business, cultural and educational organisations
  • consulting and developing networks with specialist organisations representing people currently disenfranchised from either participation in or access to the arts
  • monitoring the membership of the Board of Trustees and advisory groups
  • strengthening the diversity of the Board of Trustees and advisory groups by broadening our recruitment channels

 

3. Customer Care

Artswork will ensure that its programmes, training and events are fully accessible and make adjustments to ensure an equality of experience for those with different needs and requirements by: 

  • undertaking a regular audit of training and event environments to ensure ongoing suitability and accessibility
  • briefing trainers and speakers as to the needs and requirements of participants
  • anticipating and responding to specific needs and requirements including the provision of alternative training spaces, hand-outs and training materials in a variety of formats, enabling additional support for attendees where appropriate
  • reviewing provision in response to feedback from our audiences and customers
  • improving the accessibility of our website

Artswork will use different channels for customer feedback about our services and equality issues and deal with all issues promptly and sensitively.

 

 4. Audience Development, Programming and Public Engagement

Artswork’s external work includes its role working across the arts and education sectors as the South East Bridge organisation, as a training and CPD provider for arts and cultural professionals and as a work-based learning provider for apprentices. It will determine the content and range of programmes it delivers based on:

  • research, consultation, data collection and analysis of participation levels of children & young people in arts and culture
  • data collection and analysis of apprenticeship programme participants against local area demographics
  • developing a dialogue and exchange with a wide range of partners and organisations
  • developing training, CPD and activities that respond to identified need including SEND
  • monitoring participation in Artswork’s programme and activities
  • sharing case studies that illustrate diversity and/or increased inclusion and access within our programmes
  • reviewing the accessibility, reach and inclusion levels of our programmes and in response to feedback from our audiences and customers

We implement this Policy when delivering training and apprenticeships by:

  • ensuring training delivery staff are trained and confident in discussing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity
  • ensuring training delivery staff are aware of the needs and preferences of learners and can differentiate their training style, approach and resources accordingly
  • encouraging dialogue between staff and with learners about current equality and diversity issues
  • providing participants and apprentices with equality and diversity training including arranging guest speakers from diverse-led companies in our sector
  • monitoring how training delivery staff engage learners in equality and diversity issues
  • tracking and developing learners understanding of the legal, moral and social issues in this area
  • reviewing training provision to ensure it is in line with best practice

 

5. Marketing and Publicity (including publications)

Artswork will ensure its online and print marketing, publicity and communications are accessible, diverse in representation and responsive to feedback from our audiences and customers by:

  • ensuring that text and images on all materials and online reflects our commitment to equal opportunities, does not contain negative or discriminatory images, and includes diverse representation and inclusive imagery
  • ensuring all Artswork’s websites are accessible across platforms
  • allocating additional resources to ensure that alternative formats of material and presentation can be provided e.g. translations, audio recordings, transcripts, signing, alternative print formats
  • targeted communication with diverse and hard-to-reach groups through establishing partnerships and networks with relevant communities and organisations
  • sharing best equalities practice within case studies
  • undertaking consultations and surveys with existing and new groups
  • working with other organisations concerned with the promotion of the arts to groups and individuals with specific access or participation needs
  • monitoring the use of Artswork’s website and social media to assess reach
  • regularly review accessibility and reach of our communications and methodologies and in response to feedback from our audiences and customers

 Discrimination

Artswork expects its employees and contractors to work together to ensure discrimination in our business and practices does not occur. This includes:

Direct Discrimination – where an individual is treated less favourably because of an actual or perceived protected characteristic or because they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination – where a rule, policy or procedure limits an opportunity for everyone with a protected characteristic or means they are disadvantaged.

Harassment – unwanted conduct or behaviour that an individual finds offensive and has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or creating a degrading, humiliating, hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. The conduct is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 when it is connected with an actual or perceived protected characteristic. Other forms of harassment are also unlawful under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Victimisation – negative and unfair treatment directed towards an individual because they have made or are believed to have made or might make a legitimate complaint under the Equality Act 2010.

 

Legal Framework

Artswork’s Equal Opportunities Policy is informed by relevant and current legislation including the:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • Equality Duty 2011
  • Asylum and Immigration Act 1996
  • Immigration Act 2016
  • Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
  • Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
  • Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

 

Policy last reviewed: January 2019

Next review date: January 2020

Policy Owner: Jane Bryant, Chief Executive, Artswork

 

 

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