Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Policy Statement

The CEDU3A is a learning co-operative and membership charity which enables members in their third age to share educational, creative and leisure activities. Members of each U3A draw upon their knowledge, skills and experience to teach and learn from each other (peer to peer learning). CEDU3A recognises that some people are particularly likely to experience discrimination and harassment and are committed to making sure that the U3A is as inclusive and welcoming as possible.

Aims of the policy

This policy has been drawn up to comply with the Equality Act 2010. The Act stipulates that organisations cannot treat someone unfairly on the basis of what it calls protected characteristics, which are:
  ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race;
  age;
  disability;
  religion or belief (including the absence of belief);
  marital or civil partnership status;
  sexual orientation;
  pregnancy;
  gender reassignment;
  political belief;
 
CEDU3A will strive to ensure that members do not experience discrimination on the basis of their protected characteristics. This will include, wherever possible, ensuring equal access to groups and ensuring appropriate behaviour between members and by CE&D U3A Executive Members and group leaders. The Equality Act highlights that organisations need to consider what ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made in order to accommodate those who may have particular needs. CEDU3A Executive Officers will review the reasonable adjustments needed for all members and individual members with particular needs on an ongoing basis. Where necessary, the Officers will seek guidance and additional support from the U3APlus sub-committee and/or National Office.

Practical approaches to inclusion

CEDU3A will make sure all new members are aware of our policies and procedures in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion and accessibility as well as the Code of Conduct for Members. CEDU3A will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible and take practical steps to try to ensure a wide range of people can participate in our activities and meetings. This may include:
  Consideration given to the time of day of meetings and their location
  Consideration of venues for meetings including:
– Access for wheelchair users;
– Access to PA system and a hearing loop;
– Parking and disabled parking;
– Disabled toilet facilities.
  Publicity
– Using a variety of methods and platforms to communicate externally and raise the profile of the U3A;
– Making communications available to those who don’t have access to the internet;
– Using a range of images that reflect the local community.
  Recruiting new members
– Doing outreach sessions and contacting agencies working with community groups who may be harder to reach;
– Encouraging members who are representative of the groups who are underrepresented within the U3A, i.e. men or younger members to assist with the recruitment process;
– Managing growth so that we ensure that new members can be accommodated.
  Monitoring
– CEDU3A will monitor member numbers i.e. the numbers of members who join, rejoin and leave each year in order to identify any trends in membership;
– CEDU3A Executive Officers will review the diversity of the membership on an ongoing basis and will seek to ensure that the U3A remains attractive and accessible to all.
  Tasks and roles
– Encourage more members to take on roles such as leading groups to ensure they get their voices heard;
– CEDU3A will wherever possible ensure that both new and existing members can access the members meetings and groups that they would like to join and consider what reasonable adjustments may be needed to ensure this;
– The Groups Coordinator will ensure that new Group leaders are made aware of issues in relation to accessibility and what steps they may need to take in meeting access requirements. Each group will be reviewed on an individual basis as certain groups may require a certain level of fitness or mobility and members need to be made aware of this in advance;
– CEDU3A will offer induction and training around equality, diversity and inclusion to Executive Members and Group leaders on an ongoing basis.

Code of Conduct

CEDU3A has a Code of Conduct for Members, based on policy advice to Conveners of Interest Groups, under which members should abide by the U3A’s policies and procedures as well as treating each other with dignity and respect. This would include not acting in a way that would be deemed discriminatory or offensive. Any breach or suspected breach of this code of conduct by a member or Trustee shall be dealt with under the agreed complaints procedure subject to any advice from the National U3A.

Dealing with discrimination and harassment

If any member of CEDU3A feels they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory behaviour or harassment, this should be reported to the Chair or the Secretary of the Executive Committee. Where the CEDU3A Executive becomes aware of any discriminatory practice or harassment, the Executive Officers will seek to address this through consultation with all parties concerned and decide in line with the constitution and the agreed complaints procedure, as to what steps will be taken to address the issue.

Definitions

  Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, when or whom they were born, or because of other characteristics. Promoting equality is about behaving in a way that tackles inequalities, aiming to ensure that all members are treated fairly, and do not experience discrimination.
  Promoting diversity is about recognising that everyone is different and creating an environment that values members and ensuring that the U3A Movement is as accessible as possible to different groups within the community.
  Inclusion is about positively striving to meet the needs of different people and taking practical steps to ensure members feel respected.
  Direct Discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably because of their ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race, age, disability, religion or belief (including the absence of belief), marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender reassignment, political belief
  Indirect Discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement is applied equally to all groups of people but has a disproportionately adverse effect on one particular group.
  Harassment is unwanted conduct related to ‘protected characteristics’ that has the purpose or effect of violating a members dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment is also unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has that same purpose or effect.
  Victimisation occurs when a member is treated less favourably than others in the same circumstances because he or she has made a complaint or an allegation of discrimination, harassment or bullying or given information regarding such a complaint or allegation.

Based on the National U3A Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Sample U3A-KMS-POL-001, this policy was adopted on 4 September 2020.
Review date: 4 September 2023