There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female: for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. [Gal 3:28]. St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church is therefore committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity, embracing diversity and ensuring an inclusive approach in all fields of its activity. St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church adheres to The Equality Act 2010 which recognises the following specific protected characteristics: gender, gender reassignment, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnership and pregnancy & maternity.
All members of the congregation, lay employees and ministers of St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church, including volunteers, consultants, suppliers, contractors and agency workers and hirers of the Church and/or Shirley House have a duty to act in accordance with this Policy, creating an environment free from discrimination. In addition, all members of the Ecumenical Church Council must complete the Methodist Learning Network’s ‘Unconscious Bias’ training.
This policy provides a framework for equality, diversity and inclusion in St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church:
- To ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are fully reflected in all of its practices and procedures.
- To ensure that it complies with all relevant duties under the Equality Act 2010.
- To ensure that all policies and procedures are monitored and reviewed so that they do not contravene this Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
- To ensure that St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church attracts and retains a diverse workforce through appropriate recruitment and selection methods except in a matter of:
- Occupational Requirement - where it reserves the right to exercise legal exemptions under the Equality Act 2010 where it is declared that a Christian faith is integral to the work and requires membership of the Methodist Church, Anglican Church or another church recognised by Churches Together in England;
- Offending background - in any case where the criminal record history relates to the requirements of the post.
(a) 'Direct Discrimination' is where a person is treated less favourably than another not on the merits of the case but on grounds of a protected characteristic.
(b) ‘Discrimination by association’ occurs where a person is directly discriminated against by association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
(c) ‘Discrimination by perception’ is where a person is directly discriminated against based on a perception that the person has a particular protected characteristic even if the person does not actually possess that protected characteristic.
(d) 'Indirect Discrimination' occurs when a provision, practice or a criterion applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic. Although equally applicable to all possible applicants, this may nevertheless be discriminatory because:
(i) The number of persons of the same personal status who can comply with the requirement is considerably smaller than the number who cannot; and
(ii) The requirement cannot be shown to be justifiable.
- ‘Harassment’ is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the effect of violating an individual’s dignity. There are three types:
- Harassment related to a protected characteristic
- Sexual harassment
- Less favourable treatment of a person because they submit to or reject sexual harassment or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment
- ‘Victimisation’ occurs when an individual is treated badly or has suffered a detriment because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance.
Roles and Responsibilities
- All lay employees, volunteers and ministers are responsible for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and conducting themselves in accordance with this policy; this includes bringing appropriate sensitivity to the language used in prayer and/or preaching. Particular responsibility lies with the members of the Ecumenical Church Council (ECC).
The ECC will:
- Ensure that its commitment is communicated to all. Lead by example, encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion internally and externally.
- Be responsible for creating a climate where the differences that individuals bring are valued.
- Embed equality, diversity and inclusion in decision making processes.
The following section relates to lay employment and voluntary work at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church:
Line Managers / Supervisors will:
- Foster good relations between all employees, volunteers and ministers
,and service users/providers.
- Ensure that the employees or volunteers for whom they are responsible attend equality, diversity and inclusion workshops when required.
All employees and volunteers will:
- Ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is taken into account in undertaking their work to serve St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church.
- Be aware of their responsibilities and report inappropriate behaviour/s and raise any incident/s that breach this policy and procedure with their line manager or the ECC.
- Familiarise themselves with this policy and procedure, ensuring that their practices are consistent with its contents.
- Undertake equality, diversity & inclusion training when required.
Recruitment and Selection
The principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded within St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church’s recruitment and selection procedures.
Breaches of this Policy
If any employees or volunteers believe themselves to have been subject to discrimination as defined in this Policy, then they are encouraged to raise the matter with their line manager, the Minister or the ECC.
Allegations regarding potential breaches of this Policy will be treated in the strictest confidence and investigated in accordance with the Grievance procedure. Employees or volunteers who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under the Disciplinary procedure.
Any employee who is found to have committed an act of discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action. Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church takes a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.
For ministers serving at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church
The Complaints and Discipline process as set out in Part 11 of Standing Orders in Volume 2 of The Constitutional Practice and Discipline of the Methodist Church applies to all ministers.