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Equality Policy

Edinburgh Kayak Club endorses the principle of sports equality and will strive to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in Edinburgh Kayak Club activities and events:

• 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, nationality, colour, 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

Edinburgh Kayak Club is committed to avoid and eliminate unfair discrimination of any kind in paddlesports, 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.


The following steps will be taken to publicise this policy and promote sports equality in paddlesports:

• A copy of this document will be published on the Edinburgh Kayak Club website.

• The Committee will take overall responsibility for ensuring that the policy is observed.

• The Committee will take full account of the policy in arriving at all decisions in relation to activities of Edinburgh Kayak Club.

• Edinburgh Kayak Club will collaborate with any surveys or other initiatives designed to assess the level of participation of different sections of the community in canoeing and will take account of the findings in developing measures to promote and enhance sports equality in paddlesports.

Responsibility, Monitoring and Evaluation

It will be a condition of Edinburgh Kayak Club membership that individual members commit to act in accordance with this policy.

The committee will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy. The committee or designated committee member 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 AGM.

Complaints and compliance

Edinburgh Kayak Club 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, member, volunteer or employee who violates the Edinburgh Kayak Club Equality Policy.

Any person who believes that he or she has been treated in a way that they consider to be in breach of the Edinburgh Kayak Club Equality Policy should first raised this with the person concerned. If this does not resolve the matter, or in the case of allegations of discriminatory behaviour against the Edinburgh Kayak Club itself, the person may raise the matter via the SCA Grievance Handling Procedures available on the SCA website. Where the violation of the Edinburgh Kayak Club Equality Policy by way of harassment, victimisation or discrimination amount to a criminal offence, the appropriate authority will be informed.

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 (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 (1). 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 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.

(1) 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.

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