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Railway Union RFC (Railway) is committed to making Rugby Football accessible and open to everyone who wishes to be involved in the game.  We, as a club, recognise the importance of, and are committed to equity, diversity, equal opportunities, fair treatment and respect to all involved and employed in our club.

We shall achieve this by upholding the principles of equal opportunity in every aspect of the work we do.  We support the development and implementation of practices that do not discriminate.

The Executive Committee of Railway fully supports this policy and is responsible for its implementation and periodic review.  Everyone involved in sport has a personal responsibility to meet its requirements.

Scope of the Policy

Railway recognises its responsibilities in respect of ensuring that its policies and procedures benefit not only its members but also the local community and will ensure that it engages with local partners and organisations.

The Executive Committee is responsible for the implementation and effectiveness of the Policy, but the success of the Policy depends on the commitment of all the members and employees.

The Executive Committee is also responsible for establishing equality indicators and for devising and implementing positive action plans where appropriate.

The purpose of this Policy is to set out our commitment to and further the work with regard to equality, diversity and inclusion. It also outlines our targets setting out the mechanism for implementing monitoring and coordinating progress towards the achievement of our policy objectives.

Policy Objectives

  • To raise awareness of equality through sport.
  • To continually monitor the club’s activities and action plans.
  • To adopt a planned approach to eliminating barriers which discriminate against target groups.
  • To ensure that no one attending the club receives any less favourable treatment than anyone else.
  • To demonstrate good practice, working collaboratively with community partners.
  • To value diversity, commit to equality, provide dignity and respect and sport for all.

Policy Statement

  1. Railway is committed to operating in accordance and within the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000.
  2. It is the aim of Railway through relationships with its members, visitors, employees and associates that everyone will be treated fairly, with respect and on an equal and non-discriminatory basis. We endeavour not to place any individual at a disadvantage by imposing conditions or requirements which cannot be justified.
  3. Railway acknowledges their responsibility for setting standards and values which will apply throughout the Club and at every level of activity
  4. We will ensure that all participants involved in all aspects of Rugby Football or other pastimes or social activity will be given equal opportunity irrespective of age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, ability or disability.
  5. Railway is committed to eliminating discrimination by reason of age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, ability or disability.
  6. Railway will ensure that all members of the community have access to and have the opportunity to take part in, and enjoy, our programme of activities, competitions and events.
  7. Railway will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of any individual, including sexual or racially based harassment or other discriminatory behaviour, whether verbal or physical and will work to ensure such behaviour is met with appropriate action in whatever context it may occur.
  8. The Executive Committee is committed to the immediate investigation of any complaints of discrimination on the above grounds once they are brought to its attention (see Complaints Procedure below).

We will apply the principles of equal opportunity to all areas of our activity namely: Recruitment and Training of Staff, Coaches and Officials, whether employed or Volunteers.

The Executive Committee of Railway believe that equality of equal opportunity and diversity is vital to its success and an essential prerequisite to the achievement of its goals, in the delivery of the best possible facility that is accessible, appropriate and responsive to meeting the diverse needs of individuals and the local community.

Complaints Procedure

In the event that any member, employee or visitor to the Club feels that he/she has suffered discrimination or harassment in any way or that the policies, rules or Code of Conduct have been broken they should follow the procedures below

The Complainant should report the matter in writing to the Honorary Secretary or another member of the Executive Committee of Railway.  The report should include:

  • Details of what is alleged to have occurred.
  • Details of when and where the alleged occurrence took place.
  • Any witness details and copies of witness statements (if any).
  • Names of any others who may have been treated in a similar way (provided that those people consent to their names being disclosed).
  • Details of any previous complaint(s) made about the alleged incident, including the date and to whom such complaint was made.
  • An indication as to the desired outcome.

If the person accused of discriminatory behaviour is an employee, the Executive Committee or representatives of the Executive Committee will regard the incident as a disciplinary issue and will follow the Disciplinary Procedures set out for employees or (if none exists) the statutory procedure.

If the person accused of discriminatory behaviour is a non-employee, the Executive Committee or representatives of the Executive Committee will:

  • Request that both parties to the complaint submit written evidence regarding the alleged incident.
  • May decide (at its discretion) to uphold or dismiss the complaint without holding a hearing.
  • May (at its discretion) hold a hearing (whether or not such a hearing is requested by either party) at which both parties will be entitled to attend and present their case
  • Will have the power to impose any one or more of the following sanctions on any person found to be in breach of any policy.
  • A written warning as to future conduct.
  • Suspension from membership.
  • Removal from membership.
  • Exclude a non-member from the club premises either temporarily or permanently.
  • Turn down a non-members current and/or future membership application.
  • Will provide both parties with written reasons for the decision made.

If the nature of the complaint is with regard to the Executive Committee or other body or group within Railway, the member or visitor has the right to report the discrimination or harassment directly to the Honorary Secretary of the Irish Rugby Football Union.

Terminologies and descriptions

Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourable than another person because of a protected characteristic.  Direct discrimination also includes discrimination because a person is wrongly thought to have a particular characteristic or is treated as if they do.

Indirect discrimination occurs where the effect of certain requirements, provisions or practises imposed by an organisation has an adverse impact disproportionately on one group or other.  Indirect discrimination generally occurs when a rule or condition, which applied equally to everyone, can be met by a considerably smaller proportion of people from a partiuclar group, the rule is to their advantage and it cannot be justified on other grounds.

Discrimination arising from disability occurs when a disabled person is treated unfavourable because of something connected with their disability and this unfavourable treatment cannot be justified.  Treatment can be justified if it can be shown that it is intended to meet a legitimate objective in a fair, balanced and reasonable way.  If this can be shown then the treatment can be lawful.  This form of discrimination can occur only if the Club (or person from the Club) knows or can reasonably be expected to know that the disabled person is disabled.

Harassment can be described as inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments or physical contact, which may cause offence. i.e; mental or physical anxiety or hurt to an individual.  It may be related to gender, gender reassignment, and race, disability, sexuality, age, religion, nationality or any personal characteristic as an individual.

Dignity is about respectful, fair and humane behaviour, something that is reflected in the constitution.  Prejudice is literally pre-judging someone.  it is usually led by negative, irrational feelings, resulting from preconceived attitudes and opinions.

Social Exclusion is when people or areas suffer from one or a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low income, high crime environment or lack of facilities