Equal Opportunities Policy


1.1 South Shields Golf Club (SSGC) is committed to the principles of equality and
diversity throughout its workforce, throughout its membership base and customers.
1.2 SSGC considers that everyone should play their part in making golf inclusive and
aims to ensure that all people, irrespective of their background, ability or Protected
Characteristics, have a genuine and equal opportunity to work at the club, become
a member or participate in club life.
1.3 SSGC will embed these values within all areas of its work.
1.4 SSGC will not disadvantage any individual, whether they are participants,
contractors, players, parents, coaches, officials, and volunteers by imposing any
conditions or requirements which cannot be justified in the provision of its services.
1.5 SSGC is also committed to supporting the rights and interests of those who it
employs. Details of its commitment to equality matters relating to its staff are set
out in the Employee Handbook.
1.6 This policy will be reviewed at least every 3 years by the Committee, any
amendments shall be effective from the date stated.

2.1 The purpose of this Policy is to:
2.1.1 Outline the obligations of those upon whom this Policy is binding.
2.1.2 Promote fairness, equality, diversity and respect for everyone working,
volunteering, or participating in the sport of golf, or otherwise using the
services at SSGC.

3.1 SSGC is committed to complying with all relevant legislation enacted or amended
from time to time which underpins the principles of equality, diversity, and
inclusivity, including but not limited to:
 The Equality Act 2010.
 The Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
 The Employment Act 2002.
 The Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations
 The Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations
20002; and
 The Human Rights Act 1998.

This Policy shall apply to, and be binding upon SSGC, its board of directors, staff,
volunteers, contractors, squad players, agents, and representatives working or acting for
or on behalf of SSGC.

5.1 SSGC will:
5.1.2 Encourage the involvement of all people regardless of background, ability, or any
Protected Characteristic, in golf;
5.1.3 Ensure that all competitions, events and activities administered by SSGC are
carried out in a fair and equitable way (except where specific situations and
conditions prevent this, and except where Positive Action is necessary);
5.1.4 Monitor and review all SSGC policies and procedures to ensure that they comply
with the requirements of this Policy;
5.1.5 Monitor the diversity of its members, participants, players and volunteers in order
to better understand the diversity that currently exists within SSGC. All such
monitoring of personal data shall be undertaken in compliance with England Golf’s
Data Protection Policy and the Data Protection Act 2018.
5.1.6 Provide appropriate training and support to all staff, contractors, officials and
volunteers to raise awareness of both the collective and individual responsibilities
imposed by this Policy and the Key Concepts outlined in Paragraph 6 of this Policy.
5.1.7 Publish this Policy on its website.

6.1 Direct and indirect discrimination is outlined in Appendix One;
6.2 Harassment is outlined in Appendix Two;
6.3 Victimisation is outlined in Appendix Three;

7.1 SSGC takes seriously all claims of inappropriate behaviour, bullying, harassment,
victimisation and/or discrimination, whether direct or indirect, by a contractor,
player, parent, coach, official or volunteer who works for, on behalf of, or
represents SSGC.
7.2 Alleged breaches of this Policy shall be dealt with using the Club’s complaints,
disciplinary or staff grievance procedure as appropriate.

The Equality Act 2010 and Discrimination
Every individual and organisation to whom this Policy applies must not act in a way which
is directly or indirectly discriminatory and must make reasonable adjustments to avoid
discriminating against anyone with a Protected Characteristic. Failure to do so will be
considered a breach of this Policy, and may be a breach of the Equality Act 2010,
The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly against
individuals or groups with certain “Protected Characteristics”. The “Protected
Characteristics” are listed in section 4 of the Act:
 Age;
 Disability;
 Gender Reassignment;
 Marriage and Civil Partnership;
 Pregnancy and Maternity;
 Race;
 Religion or Belief;
 Sex;
 Sexual Orientation.

Direct Discrimination
Direct Discrimination is defined at section 13(1) of the Equality Act 2010: “A person (A)
discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less
favourably than A treats or would treat others.”

For example, if an action or decision is taken by a club which treats females less favourably
than males, this would be considered direct discrimination on the grounds of sex, which is
a protected characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination
Indirect Discrimination is defined at section 19(1) of the Equality Act 2010: “A person (A)
discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which
is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B’s.”

Indirect discrimination occurs where less favourable treatment is not necessarily the main
effect or objective of an action or decision.

Since the nature of indirect discrimination is that the discriminatory effect an unexpected
or unforeseen effect of a good faith decision, complaints of indirect discrimination should
therefore be considered carefully and objectively, and not dismissed out of hand purely
because the effect was not an expected or intentional one.

If, for example, a golf club introduces a rule that club competitions can only be played on
Saturdays, this rule would prevent members with certain religious beliefs from taking part
in the competition. Although it may not have been the intention of the golf club, the effect

of the rule is the less favourable treatment of members on the grounds of religion or belief,
which is a protected characteristic. This is indirect discrimination.

Actions and Intentions
An action or decision will still be considered discriminatory even if the less favourable
treatment is unintentional. It may not always be obvious to the perpetrator that their
actions are discriminatory. Indirect discrimination is often unintentional, but it is not a
defence to an allegation of discrimination to say that the perpetrator did not mean to
discriminate against a person or group. Discrimination can arise out of actions and
decisions, but can also arise out of omissions and failure to take actions or decisions.

Reasonable Adjustments

Everybody to whom this Policy applies is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to
avoid discriminating against any individual or group with a Protected Characteristic.
The duty is to make reasonable adjustments. It is not unreasonable for adjustments to
cost time, money, or other resources. However, an adjustment may not be reasonable if
the cost is disproportionately high, or making the adjustment would be unfeasible.

Positive Action

It can be lawful to make decisions that discriminate on the basis of a Protected
Characteristic in very limited and exceptional circumstances, if the discrimination is a
‘Positive Action’ taken in order to address an underrepresented group or Protected
Characteristic. Positive Actions must be reasonable, justifiable, and clearly linked to a
legitimate aim.

In a golfing context, some examples of unlawful discrimination might include:
 Not allowing the use of golf buggies, as this increases the cost of maintaining the
 Restricting the number of tee times available to women during peak hours at a
golf course;
 Not allowing competitions to be played on alternate days to accommodate for
certain religious beliefs.

Harassment is defined in section 26(1) of the Equality Act 2010. Harassment occurs where
a person engages in unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic (outlined in
the Equality Act 2010), which has the purpose of either:
 Violating the other person’s dignity; or
 Creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment
for the other person.
In determining whether conduct amounts to harassment, regard is had to:
 The perception of the victim;
 Whether it is reasonable for the conduct to have the perceived effect; and
 The Wider circumstances of the matter.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment occurs where a person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual
nature, and the conduct has the purpose or effects outlined above.
One Off Incidents
A single, isolated, or one-off incident can still amount to harassment. The key
consideration is the purpose or effect of the conduct.
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Harassment can still occur even if it not based on a Protected Characteristic. The Protection
from Harassment Act 1997 made it a civil, and sometimes a criminal, offence to carry out
a course of conduct that amounts to harassment.

In a golfing context, some examples of unlawful harassment might include:
 Employees making unwanted or inappropriate contact with colleagues at a golf club
or facility;
 Targeting disabled golfers using buggies and demanding to see proof of a disability;
 Disproportionate and public criticism or sanctioning of an individual’s behaviour by
an organisation for irrelevant or personal reasons.

Victimisation is defined in section 27(1) of the Equality Act 2010.
Victimisation occurs where a person suffers a detriment because they do a protected act,
or are believed to have done a protected act.

Protected Act
A protected act includes bringing legal proceedings or making a complaint under the
Equality Act 2010 in relation to discrimination, harassment, bullying, or any other issue
related to equality, diversity or Protected Characteristics.

A detriment can be any less favourable treatment, including direct acts such as
suspensions, fines, sanctions, and verbal and physical aggression.
It is not necessary to show that somebody is being treated less favourably than somebody
else who did not do a protected act, only that they have been subject to a detriment
because of a protected act.

In a golfing context, some examples of unlawful victimisation include:
 Initiating disciplinary proceedings against a person as a result of making a
protected act;
 Ignoring a person’s valid input into the management of a club or county after that
person has made a protected act;
De-selecting a player from a squad or team as a result of that person doing a
protected act


Version: First Review Approval date: 26/03/2021
Approved by: SSGC Board Next Review by date: 1/03/2024

South Shields Golf Club