Equal Opportunities

Equal Opportunities

Policy Statement

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society was formed to extend the range, quality and accessibility of artistic, cultural and educational activities in the town of Bungay and the surrounding communities. At all levels of activity the organisation will adhere to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunity in the recruitment, management, employment practices and provision of services to all board members, staff, volunteers, artists and audiences. No individual or sector will be discriminated against on the basis of the nine protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010 of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships and pregnancy and maternity.

The Society will implement a programme of positive action which will make our policy fully effective by ensuring that everyone who works with or for the Society or for whom we deliver our programme is treated equally on the basis of the above nine protected characteristics. This statement shall apply to all the contents of this policy.

Code of Practice

The purpose of the Code of Practice is to translate Bungay Arts & Theatre Society’s commitment to Equal Opportunities into procedures that will ensure adherence to these principles in every sphere of our activities.

1 – Recruitment

1a – Job Description

1a.1 All current and future posts should have job descriptions in a standard format, to include the following headings: job title, responsible to/for; external contracts; purpose of the post; duties/responsibilities; additional responsibilities.

1a.2 All job descriptions must state “The duties must at all times be carried out with due regard to Bungay Arts and Theatre Society’s Equal Opportunities Policy”.

1a.3 Before advertising any post, a decision should be taken as to whether any form of positive action is appropriate, for example the targeting of certain sections of the community.

1b – Person Specification

1b.1 The person specification is the key document in the selection process and must be derived from the job description.

1b.2 Each listed requirement in the person specification must be justified in terms of the duties/responsibilities contained within the job description. The Board will monitor selection criteria to ensure that discriminatory criteria are avoided.

1b.3 All requirements must be listed as either essential or desirable. Selection must proceed on the basis of the essential requirements. The sole purpose of the desirable requirements is to reduce to a manageable size the number of candidates meeting the essential criteria.

1b.4 Person specification should include a commitment to Equal Opportunities as an essential requirement.

1b.5 The wording used in person specifications should be non-discriminatory and as specific and skills orientated as possible.

1c – Advertising

1c.1 All advertising must reflect the duties and requirements outlined in the job description and person specification.

1c.2 Advertisements should state that the job is open to the possibility of job-share, unless it has previously been decided otherwise.

1c.3 All advertising must include the statement “Bungay Arts & Theatre Society is committed to a policy of Equal Opportunities”.

1c.4 Detail on all job vacancies must be sent to Disability Employment Advisers at Jobcentre in the region who can then inform and advise people with disabilities who are registered at Jobcentres about possible application. The Board will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the working environment does not prevent disabled people from taking up post for which they are qualified.

1d – Shortlisting

1d.1 The shortlisting criteria should adhere to the details set out in the job description and person specification, must be applied consistently and the process must be based solely on the information given in the application.

1d.2 The shortlisting panel must shortlist on the basis of essential requirement. Only if there is an unmanageable number of shortlisted candidates will desirable requirements be taken into account.

1d.3 Reasons for rejecting or shortlisting candidates should be recorded.

1d.4 Candidates who are not shortlisted should be informed promptly in writing.

1e – Interviews

1e.1 Interviews should be conducted by a selection panel chosen for this particular purpose and should normally include at least one person who has been involved in the shortlisting.

1e.2 The selection panel should meet in advance of the interview to prepare and agree questions to be asked of the candidates and to ensure that similar questions and the same range of topics will be covered for each candidate.

1e.3 The substance of the questions asked should not vary when delivered to all candidates, being aware of the nine protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010 of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships and pregnancy and maternity. Candidates should not be asked questions about their personal circumstances or family commitments.

1e.4 Where a job involves unsocial or irregular hours or travel, the full facts should be presented in the job information before the interview. The selection panel should establish by a simple question whether or not each candidate has fully understood the requirements of the job.

1e.5 Assumptions must not be made about what a disabled candidate can or cannot do. The interview must concentrate on the person’s abilities and interviewers must emphasize that the candidates disability will not affect the consideration they receive. At the end of the interview, interviewers may ask for factual information about the nature of the candidate’s disability. Further advice should be sought from the Disability Employment Adviser as to the nature of the disability and of the availability of aids to employment or adaptation of buildings before a decision is taken.

1e.6 If any informal interviews take place, they should be clearly defined as part of the selection process and should be carried out on the same basis for all candidates.

1e.7 Discussion on the merits of individual candidates will take place only when all the interviews have been completed.

1e.8 The Chair of the selection panel should record the reasons for the selection of the successful candidate and the non-selection of the other candidates.

2 – Artistic Policy

2.1 The Society will seek to work with as wide a range of artists as possible, and all artists, performers and workshop leaders will be engaged solely on the basis of their quality or work and communication skills.

2.2 The Society will ensure that all programme material will adhere to our policy of non-discrimination and that no material will portray any group in society in a negative or stereotypical way.

2.3 Artists will be recruited who can demonstrate that they will empower and encourage self-determination when working with people with disabilities.

3 – Access for people with disabilities

3a – Venues

3a.1 The Society is committed to ensuring that any premises it acquires will conform to the highest standards of accessibility so that the sensory and/or physical disabilities of artists and audience will not be a bar to full involvement.

3a.2 When the Society uses other premises it will use wherever possible existing venues with the widest possible access provision.

3b – Publicity

3b.1 Where possible publicity for the Society’s events will be directed at disability groups and special schools in addition to using traditional advertising methods to ensure that people with disabilities are aware of the group’s activities.

3b.2 Advice will be sought from disability arts organisations to ensure that programming reflects the needs of people with disabilities.

3b.3 All publicity for events will contain details of disability access provision.

3b.4 Where people with disabilities need to be accompanied, or need to purchase a more expensive seat as a result of their disability, concessions will be available and will be published on all promotional material.

4 – Training

All Board members, paid staff and volunteers will receive regular training in anti-discriminatory practices to raise awareness about valuing difference, avoiding direct or indirect discrimination, implementing a policy of active assistance to people with disabilities, and to ensure that all programming reflects the needs of our community.

5 – Monitoring

The Society’s Board members will have responsibility for implementing the Equal Opportunities Policy and will assess and review the effectiveness on an annual basis.

Bungay Arts & Theatre Society T/A The Fisher Theatre – Version 1.0 – Dated 30th June 2021