Clean Break Equality and Diversity Policy Executive Summary Clean Break’s Equality and Diversity Policy has been developed by staff with consultation and input from Board members and external advisers, and informed by our work with beneficiaries1. The document is a live and evolving piece of work supported by and implemented through a series of action plans which are drafted annually and monitored at regular intervals. Whilst operating within a legal framework, we strive to go beyond the law with both our policy statements and our good practice in a range of different areas. Clean Break’s mission statement is an important complementary document which should be read alongside the Equality and Diversity Policy. Clean Break’s core values within the mission statement underpin this policy and they are: respect for one another, equality of opportunity, recognising and welcoming diversity, access to theatre, the arts and creativity. 1
Key Policy Areas
1.1 Gender We work with women who have personal experience of the criminal justice system and those at risk of offending as a result of their mental health distress and/or drug/alcohol use. In light of this, we employ only women to deliver our services in accordance with our exemption under the Sex Discrimination Act Section 7(2)(d). We recognise that many women are excluded from areas of society (such as employment, services, education) because of society’s prejudice and discrimination. Women experience additional discrimination on the grounds of their: ‘race’, colour, ethnic or national origins, gender, gender-reassignment, disability, sexuality, age, political beliefs, religious beliefs, trade union membership, economic status or class, offending background, marital status or family circumstances. As a Company, our particular priority is working with women who have experience of the criminal justice system and those at risk of offending as a result of their mental health distress and/or drug/alcohol use. 1.2 Anti-Racism Policy Clean Break operates its anti-racist policy within the framework of the Race Relations Act (1976) and Amendment Act (2000). Clean Break recognises the damaging effects of racism and racial discrimination on the lives of women from Black and minority ethnic communities, particularly within the criminal justice system. We are committed to challenging this and to redressing this in the way we operate and the services we provide. We commit to expanding the employment opportunities of women who come from Black and minority ethnic communities to ensure that we move towards having a culturally diverse team in all areas of the company’s work and at all levels. 1.3 Disability Policy Clean Break welcomes the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, (as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001) and the DDA 2005. We are 1
The term beneficiaries refers to women who participate in the work of the Company, either as students on the on-site programme or in prisons and outreach settings.
strongly committed to meeting our obligations under the Acts. Clean Break recognises the social model of disability, and is committed to working towards removing the barriers where possible to disabled people within the company. Clean Break is committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure equal access for disabled people. Clean Break recognises that many of our beneficiaries experience mental distress. In light of this, we will ensure that particular attention is given to meeting this area of need. Clean Break recognises that there are particular physical and mental health needs resulting from drug and alcohol use that are of considerable relevance to many of our beneficiaries, which are not covered within the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. We are committed to overcoming barriers which these women may face and will give particular attention to meeting this area of need. 1.4 Offending Clean Break was founded by women offenders for women offenders. Our intention is to remain true to the vision and principles of the founders. We aim to ensure that women offenders are actively involved in all aspects of the Company’s work. We recognise the barriers that having a criminal record can present to women offenders in employment. We believe strongly in people’s right not to reveal certain convictions which are “officially spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974. As outlined in our Criminal Records Policy (December 2006), certain posts which involve working with vulnerable adults and children do require applicants to disclose all pending prosecutions and criminal convictions, spent or otherwise. Clean Break is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity for all and, subject to the over-riding consideration of protecting children and vulnerable people, all efforts will be made to prevent unfair discrimination against those with criminal convictions. We are committed to working with employers within the arts sector to challenge prejudice and combat discrimination against offenders. 1.5 Class and economic status Clean Break recognises that discrimination occurs in society on the basis of class and economic status. We are strongly opposed to this and will not tolerate any discrimination on this basis. In particular, we recognise the substantial impact of poverty and lack of educational opportunities on the lives of the women we work with. We aim to ensure that further discrimination does not occur and commit to the provision of free education and complementary targeted support services including financial support. 1.6 Sexuality Clean Break welcomes the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 which outlaw discrimination in employment and vocational training on the grounds of sexual orientation. We are committed to meeting our obligations within these Regulations. We aim to create an environment in which lesbians and bi-sexual women are safe to express their sexual identity alongside heterosexual women without fear of prejudice or intolerance.
1.7 Faith Clean Break recognises that we live in a multi-faith society. We oppose all religious intolerance and welcome the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 which outlaw discrimination in employment and vocational training on the grounds of religion or belief. Clean Break is itself a non-faith based organisation. Our mission is driven by our commitment to social justice and equality, rather than a religious belief. As such we do not promote any particular faith through our work. Board members, staff, freelancers and volunteers are required to adopt a non-faith based approach in the execution of their roles. We respect the right of all Board, staff and beneficiaries to observe their own faith outside of their roles at Clean Break. We will be sensitive to the needs of individuals and be flexible in working arrangements, particularly, for example, around religious holidays. 1.8 Gender Reassignment Clean Break works within the framework of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the 1999 Gender Reassignment Regulations found in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. In line with our mission statement, our women-only policy and our exemption under the SDA (2)(d), Clean Break has a women-only employment and beneficiary policy. 1.9 Age Clean Break welcomes the introduction of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. We are strongly committed to meeting our obligations under the Act. Clean Break recognises that both older and younger people experience discrimination in employment and training based on their age. Clean Break is committed to creating a more diverse work force in relation to age as well as in other areas. 2 Implementing the Policy This Policy is implemented in principle through the actions taken in the accompanying action plans, which address most key areas of our work. These are: Governance, employment and management Education and training Productions and new writing Physical access 2.1 Governance, employment and management The Equality and Diversity Policy forms part of the Contract of Employment for staff and is an integral part of freelance contracts, and volunteer and Board member agreements. Everyone working for Clean Break, in whatever capacity, is required to adhere to the policy and demonstrate an active commitment to equality and diversity. Board of Trustees: Clean Break is committed to ensuring that there is a diversity of women from different backgrounds within Board membership particularly representation and active membership of women with experience of the criminal justice system. Staff and employment: Clean Break is committed to the development and use of employment procedures and practices which provide genuine equality of opportunity for all staff. We operate in accordance with all relevant legislation.
2.2 Education and Training Clean Break is committed to ensuring that: • All education and training provision is consistent with the company’s overall equal opportunities commitment. • The recruitment, enrolment and exclusion procedures for all beneficiaries are transparent and fairly and consistently implemented. • All teaching styles, language and learning materials used by Clean Break staff and tutors will strive to reflect the diversity of learning styles, backgrounds and abilities of the student body • Student support services strive to ensure that all students, regardless of their background or ability, will be offered appropriate, culturally sensitive and relevant support services while studying at Clean Break. 2.3 Production and New Writing Clean Break produces new work that reflects the particular needs and interests of women with experience of the criminal justice system. Clean Break has a further commitment to provide new opportunities for women writers, particularly women with experience of the criminal justice system. We are committed to the Independent Theatre Council’s policy on Integrated Casting for our productions. The Company works in partnership with venues that are committed to equal opportunities.. 2.4 Access and the Building Clean Break endeavours to ensure that all visitors to our premises in Kentish Town find the environment welcoming and accessible: • Clear information is offered to ensure that visitors to the building are aware of the facilities available to them and how they will be assisted within the building. • The Equality and Diversity Policy statement is clearly displayed and diversity is reflected in the selection of posters and literature on display. • All staff will be issued with clear guidelines and training on how they can assist disabled people visiting the building. • The building at Patshull Road is wheelchair accessible. We commit to improving physical access for all disabled people. 3 Monitoring and Review The Equality and Diversity Policy and Code of Practice on Employment will be reviewed annually by the Senior Management Team and the Board. The Equality and Diversity Action Plans will be monitored at regular intervals by the Equality and Diversity Working Group. The full Clean Break Equality and Diversity Policy is available on request from the Company Administrator.
Published on Nov 10, 2011
Clean Break’s mission statement is an important complementary document which should be read alongside the Equality and Diversity Policy. Cle...