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Equality Policy

Reading Football Club is committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of equality, and aims to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in the club upholds the same values.

The aim of Reading Football Club's Equality Policy is to promote our own equality objectives and in doing so, help to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. Everyone who wishes to be involved in the club should abide by and adhere to this Policy and to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Reading Football Club's commitment is to promote inclusion and to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex (gender), sexual orientation, and to encourage equal opportunities. These are known as 'protected characteristics' under the Equality Act 2010.

This Policy is fully supported by the Board of Reading Football Club, and Nigel Howe, the CEO, is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Reading Football Club will ensure that it treats everyone 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 activi ties. Every staff member, Board member, official, fan and visiting team can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to work and watch football in an environment without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.

Complaints and compliance
Reading Football Club regards all 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. Any person who believes that he or she has been treated in a way that they consider to be a breach of this policy by a player, matchday fan, staff, Board member or other person engaged with the Club's activities should in the first instance, complain to that person. If this does not resolve the matter, or in case of allegations of discriminatory behaviour against the Club itself, the person may raise the matter by writing directly to the following Club representatives:
Ken Bull: Lead Officer for Equality - 0118 907 2255 / kbull@readingfc.co.uk
Jackie Evans: Senior Manager for Equality - 0118 968 1401 / jevans@readingfc.co.uk

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, volunteer, spectator or fan who is found, after a full investigation, to have violated the Equality Policy.

Positive Action and Training
Reading Football Club is committed to equality, inclusion and anti-discrimination as part of The Football League's Code of Practice. Reading Football Club will commit to a programme of raising awareness and educating, investigating concerns, and applying relevant and proportionate sanctions, campaigning, 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.


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 the 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
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
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.

Victimisation
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
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.