Equality and Diversity Policy

The aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect and ensure members, non-members and visiting teams are not denied access to The Northern because of a discriminatory reason. The Northern is opposed to all forms of discrimination and will ensure that its employees, members, volunteers, players, officials, and visitors are not discriminated against on the basis of any of the following:

  • race, colour, ethnic group or national origin
  • gender or marital status
  • disability
  • sexuality or sexual orientation
  • age
  • employment status
  • actual/suspected HIV/AIDS
  • religion and faith
  • unrelated criminal offences/ex-offenders (subject to any legal or public interest constraints)
  • responsibilities for children or dependents

An explanation of the different types of discrimination can be found in the LTA / Tennis Foundation Equality and Diversity Policy – www.lta.org.uk/equality.

This policy is fully supported by the Executive Committee of The Northern and its employees who are responsible for the implementation and review of this policy.

Therefore we will adhere to the following:

  1. Take responsibility for setting and upholding standards and values that apply throughout the club at every level, so activities can be enjoyed by everyone who wants to participate.
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to eliminating discrimination by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, ability or disability and to encourage equal opportunities and an inclusive welcoming environment.
  3. Ensure that employees, members, non-members and visiting teams are treated fairly and with respect and ensure that all members of the community regardless of their ability have access to and opportunities to take part in, and enjoy its programmes of activities, competitions and events.
  4. Oppose all forms of harassment, bullying or abuse towards an individual or group whether it is physical, verbal or online that is based on any of the characteristics listed above or for any other reason. Any incidents of this or a similar nature will be treated seriously and subjected to the appropriate disciplinary process (as set out in the Club Rules)
  5. Ensure there is an immediate investigation of any complaints of discrimination on the above grounds, once they are brought to the attention of the Executive Committee. Complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the club’s complaints policy, as set out in the Rules.
  6. Promote a culture that encourages the learning and development of coaches and volunteers in order to achieve greater diversity and inclusion within tennis and squash. As a minimum the Director of Tennis and at least two volunteers will undertake the LTA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training.
  7. Support, promote and enforce the LTA/Tennis Foundation Fair Play values within all tennis activities and environments.
  8. Be committed to and deliver a policy of fair and equitable treatment for all members and employees and require all members, employees and volunteers to abide by and adhere to these policies and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as well as any amendments to this Act or any new equality legislation.
  9. Be committed and take action to create an inclusive environment that is welcoming and seeks to improve representation across all groups and participation at all levels within tennis.

Lodging a Complaint
In the event that any employee, member, volunteer, visitor or visiting team feels that he, she or they have suffered discrimination or harassment in any way or that the equity and diversity policy, rules or code of conduct concerning equity and diversity have been broken they should follow the procedures below.

1. The complainant should report the matter in writing to the Welfare Officer or the Chief Executive.
The report should include:

  1. details of what occurred;
  2. details of when and where the occurrence took place;
  3. any witness details and copies of any witness statements;
  4. names of any others who have been treated in a similar way (provided that those people consent to their names being disclosed);
  5. details of any former complaints made about the incident, including the date and to whom such complaint was made; and
  6. an indication as to the desired outcome.

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

3. If the person accused of discriminatory behaviour is a non-employee, the Chief Executive or representatives of the Executive Committee:
3.1 will request that both parties to the complaint submit written evidence regarding the incident(s);
3.2 may decide (at its sole discretion) after reviewing the complaint and supporting evidence to uphold or dismiss the complaint without holding a hearing;
3.3 may (at its sole 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;
3.4 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, (including the Equality Policy):

  1. warn as to future conduct;
  2. suspend from membership;
  3. remove from membership;
  4. exclude a non-member from the facility, either temporarily or permanently; and
  5. turn down a non-member’s current and/or future membership applications.

3.5 will provide both parties with written reasons for its decision to uphold or dismiss the complaint within one (1) calendar month of such decision being made.
3.6 Either party may appeal a decision to the LTA (including a decision not to hold a hearing) by writing to the LTA within 3 months of the the Club’s decision being notified to that party.

4. If the nature of the complaint is with regard to the Chief Executive or Executive Committee member or other body or group at the Club, the member/visitor has the right to report the discrimination or harassment directly to the LTA.