Cheshire County FA is responsible for setting the standards and values to apply throughout football at every level in Cheshire. Football is for everyone; it belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, anyone who wants to participate in it.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect and that Cheshire County FA is equally accessible to all. All participants should abide and adhere to this Policy and to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
The FA's commitment is to promote inclusion and to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership, nationality, ethnic minority, religion or belief or disability, pregnancy and maternity and to encourage equal opportunities.
This Policy is fully supported by the Board of Cheshire County FA and the General Manager, who are responsible for the implementation of this policy.
Cheshire County FA will ensure that it treats people fairly and with respect and that it will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in, and enjoy, its activities.
Cheshire County FA will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of a participant, which for the purposes of this Policy and the actions and sanction applicable is regarded as discrimination, whether physical or verbal. Cheshire County FA will work to ensure that such behaviour is met with appropriate action in whatever context it occurs.
Cheshire County FA commits itself to the immediate investigation of any allegation, when it is brought to their attention, of discrimination and where such is found to be the case, Cheshire County FA will require that the practice stop and impose sanctions as appropriate.
Cheshire County FA are committed to inclusion and anti-discrimination and raising awareness and educating, investigating concerns and applying relevant and proportionate sanctions, supporting campaigns, achieving independently verified equality standards, widening diversity and representation and promoting diverse role models are all key.
Complaints and compliance
Cheshire County FA 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 is found, after a full investigation, to have violated the Equality Policy.
Positive Action and Training
Cheshire County FA is committed to equality inclusion and anti-discrimination as part of The Football Association’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Plan. We will commit to a programme of raising awareness and educating, widening diversity and representation and promoting diverse role models, which we believe are all key actions to promote inclusion and eradicate discrimination within football. This Equality Policy will be reviewed and updated, if required, on an annual basis.
Signed – David Edmunds, Cheshire FA Chairman
Date: November 2016
Signed – Steve Stewart, Cheshire FA General Manager
Date: November 2016
APPENDIX – Relevant legislation and forms of unacceptable discrimination
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 (employment only until 2012), disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status (employment only), pregnancy and maternity, race (which includes ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality), 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 can be described as less favourable treatment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.
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 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.
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 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.