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Equality & Diversity Policy


These Procedures have been adopted by the Board of Oldham Athletic AFC and apply to the Football Club, Academy and Trust.

Statement of Policy

Oldham Athletic AFC Football Club (“the Club”) recognizes that we live in a society where discrimination still operates to the disadvantage of many groups in society. 

The Club is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality, inclusion and diversity in all of its practices and activities.  We aim establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based on the values of fairness, dignity and respect and strongly advocate the Kick it Out Campaign.

This Policy builds on the foundation of equality and anti-discrimination legislation and strives not only to comply with legal requirements, but to use these to ensure that the Club endeavours to exemplify best practice. 

The Club’s values, People, Pride and Professionalism, underpin this Policy and are integral to Oldham Athletic being a Club of choice for our staff and supporters.   

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Inclusion and Diversity Policies of the Club. 


The aim of this Policy is to build a Club within the local, national and footballing communities which is an ambassador for equal opportunities. This will be achieved by:

  • Making the best use of the range of talent and experience available within the workforce and potential workforce;
  • Supporting all individuals regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief; 
  • Educating staff and other stakeholders on the importance of equal opportunities, inclusion and respect for diversity in society;
  • Ensuring non discriminatory practices are in place throughout the Club and sanctions are in place for any such breaches whether by staff, visitor, fan or any other stakeholder;
  • Building a culture that encourages tolerance and dialogue;
  • Fulfilling our legal, social and moral obligations and encouraging others to do so;
  • Incorporating specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing this Policy;
  • Ensuring adequate resources are made available to fulfill the objectives of this Policy; and,
  • Working with all stakeholders of the Club to ensure equal opportunities, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of our culture. 

The Club values equality we are greatly enhanced by the different range of backgrounds, experiences, views, beliefs and cultures represented within our staff. 

We embrace equality in all of our activities and acknowledge that variety and difference are intrinsic to the success and future development of our Club. 


We expect all staff, contractors and agents to act in accordance with this Policy behaving with dignity, courtesy and respect at all times. 

Legislative Framework

This Policy is underpinned by legislation, which places individual responsibilities on staff/service users/visitors as well as the Club including but not limited to:

  • The Equality Act 2010

We expect our staff and stakeholders to be aware that under the above legislation it is unlawful to: 

  • Discriminate directly against anyone and treat him/her less favorably than others because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (perception discrimination), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (discrimination by association);
  • Discriminate indirectly against anyone by applying a criterion, provision or practice which particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic;
  • Subject someone to harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic (pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership are excluded);
  • Victimise someone because s/he has made, or intends to make, a complaint or allegation or has given or intends to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination;
  • Discriminate against someone in certain circumstances because of a protected characteristic after the working relationship has ended. 

We expect our staff and stakeholders to understand the protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • ethniicity
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

The Club requires all staff and stakeholders to act in a manner that promotes legal compliance with the above principles.

Key Definitions

The Key Definitions our Stakeholders must understand to fulfill this policy are as follows:

Equal Opportunities  

A principle that emphasizes that opportunities in employment, education and other areas are available to all. Equal Opportunities makes it illegal to discriminate against people because of a protected characteristic they have.

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than another because of a protected characteristic they have.   

Discrimination by Association 

This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.  

Perception Discrimination

This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possesses a protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess the protected characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied universally, but its effect disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.  


Harassment is uninvited and unwanted behavior related to a protected characteristic and makes a person feel intimidated or humiliated.  


Victimisation is where someone is treated less favorably because they have made a complaint about discrimination or harassment or have given evidence relating to a complaint.

It is an expectation that all staff and stakeholders will have a general awareness of these definitions and be encouraged to think before they act in any situation to ensure they promote the aims of this Policy at all times. 

Key Responsibilities

The Club has a legal responsibility for demonstrating that it treats all groups of people fairly in its practices. This includes promoting good relationships and ensuring equality of opportunity.  

To achieve this, the Club will:  

  • Gather information on the profile of our staff and our employment practices, such as recruitment; 
  • Consult staff and other experts about how our services and employment practices could be improved;
  • Assess the impact of current and proposed employment policies, practices and services; and,
  • Identify priorities and set equality objectives.

The Directing Board will monitor progress and support the implementation of action plans.

This will enable the Club to achieve its aim of a healthy work-life balance for all employees, improve retention and prevent under-utilisation of some staff. 

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the tone of this Policy together with the Culture of the Club and strategies for continual improvement. 

The Managing Director

The Managing Director is ultimately accountable for ensuring that all business and employment practices are compliant with Diversity and Equality legislation and promote equality of opportunity. 


Managers will ensure that all members of staff within the Club receive the appropriate diversity and equality training; they will investigate all matters of alleged discrimination, harassment and inappropriate behavior promptly and thoroughly.

Managers will ensure that selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes, staff development opportunities and disciplinary and grievance processes are fairly and consistently applied to all staff.

Managers will ensure that diversity and equality issues are considered as part of the Club planning processes. 


Legal responsibilities also extend to staff, and the Club therefore expects all staff, contractors and agents to act in accordance with this Policy when delivering the Club’s objectives.  

Staff are expected to treat colleagues and every service user fairly and with respect.  

All staff should deliver their work to the highest standard and that means adapting as much as possible to the specific needs of each individual service user and working in a supportive way with colleagues. 

Every member of staff is an essential member of a team and should feel able to develop their skills and play their part fully in the Club.

Staff should actively encourage non-discriminatory practices and challenge any incidences of behavior that fail to comply with this policy.

All staff should undertake appropriate diversity and equality training. 

Human Resources

The Human Resources Department will ensure the incorporation of this policy’s principles into all other Club policies and procedures; provide appropriate diversity and equality awareness training for all staff; support managers in implementing the policy and ensure that recruitment advertising, selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes and disciplinary grievance processes are fair and transparent and are consistently applied.

Conduct and general standards of behaviour

Good Behaviours

All staff, contractors, agents and visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and considerate manner at all times. Oldham Athletic Football Club expects this to include:

  • Making everyone feel welcome and part of the Club;
  • Treat everyone equally;
  • Ensuring anyone an individual has cause to come into contact with feels secure and knows their contributions are valued;
  • Appreciating, respecting, valuing and accepting the differences seen in others;
  • Taking responsibility for your own actions;
  • Enabling individuals to fulfil their goals and aspirations within the Club;
  • Providing help and support to peers and customers when they need it;
  • Identifying when individuals may not be willing to ask for help and proactively supporting them to develop a fully inclusive culture;
  • Proactively identifying and removing barriers to inclusion; and,
  • Ensuring services are freely available to all.

Bad Behaviours

All staff, contractors, agents and visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and considerate manner at all times. Oldham Athletic Football Club will not tolerate behaviour such as:

  • making threats
  • physical violence
  • shouting
  • swearing at others
  • persistent rudeness
  • isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with certain people
  • telling offensive jokes or name calling
  • displaying offensive material such as pornography or sexist / racist cartoons, or the distribution of such material via email / text message or any other format.
  • any other forms of harassment or victimisation

The items on the above list of unacceptable behaviours are considered to be disciplinary offences within the Club and can lead to action being taken.

We do encourage staff to resolve misunderstandings and problems informally wherever possible, depending on the circumstances; however, whether dealt with informally or formally, it is important for staff who may have caused offence to understand that it is no defence to say that they did not intend to do so, or to blame individuals for being over sensitive. It is the impact of the behaviour, rather than the intent, that counts, and that should shape the solution found both to the immediate problem and to preventing further similar problems in the future.


The Club will treat seriously all complaints of behaviour contrary to the culture of the Club or ethos of this Policy and will take action where appropriate.

All staff who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment has the right to seek redress.   

Staff may seek advice from their line manager, Human Resources or Trade Union representative.

Complaints should be submitted in accordance with the Club’s Grievance Procedure.  

Verbal or physical abuse by anybody will not be tolerated. The Club may discipline staffs who are found to be abusive with sanctions leading up to and including dismissal.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the organisation’s grievance, complaints or disciplinary procedure, as appropriate and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in line with these procedures.

We will also monitor the number and outcomes of complaints of discrimination made by staff, volunteers, clients and other third parties.

General Club Practices

Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment advertising will encourage applications from all sectors of the community reflecting the Club’s commitment to diversity and equality.

Recruitment advertising will appear in publications appropriate to the audience capable of producing the best candidates; 

Job descriptions, person specifications and recruitment advertisements will be written on the basis of the essential and justifiable requirements of the position;

Short listing, appointment and rejection decisions will be transparent and justifiable and will be supported by written comments.

Grading & Promotion

All grading and promotions criteria and procedures will be free from prejudice and must be applied equitably and consistently.

Staff Development

All staff will have equal access to induction, personal and career development opportunities and facilities.

Performance Management

Probation and performance management procedures will be clear and transparent and will be applied fairly across all staff.

Discipline & Grievance

Disciplinary and grievance procedures will be applied fairly and transparently for all staff; 

Allegations of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behavior will be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedures for staff. 


Diversity and Equality awareness raising training will be available for all staff.   


This policy will normally be available on the Club’s intranet. It will also be available, if requested, in different formats (eg. large print, audio cassette, in Braille). This policy will be included in staff induction. 


Statistics will be gathered to monitor equality across all aspects the Club’s processes and will be used to inform future practice. 


Any information disclosed to the Club in relation to diversity and equality issues will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with legislative requirements. 

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure it remains in line with legislation and the Club’s principles.

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