Equality Policy

Equality Policy (Reviewed August 2023)

Vale of Leithen FC is committed to remove and eliminate any direct or indirect discrimination of any form or kind within the club’s structures, and will under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The organisation takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying.

Vale of Leithen FC committee is publicly accountable for Equality and will receive regular updates on Vale of Leithen FC activities and the implementation of the Equality Policy from a member of the committee. It is the role of the club committee to address any actual or potential breaches of the policy.

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly Conduct means;

(i) Conduct which stirs up or sustains, or is likely or designed to stir up or sustain, hatred or ill will against or towards a group or persons based on their membership or presumed membership of a group defined by reference to a Category or against an individual who is or is presumed to be of the following categories: 

– Gender, colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin

– Membership or presumed membership, of a religious group or of a social or cultural group with perceived religious affiliation

– Sexual orientation

– Transgender identity 

– Disability

by the person or persons engaged in the Conduct to be a member of such group.

(ii) Using threatening, abusive or insulting words or conduct

(iii) Displaying any writing or other thing which is threatening, abusive or insulting, or

(iv) Using words or conduct or displaying wiring or other thing which indicates support for, or affiliation to, or celebration of, or opposition to an organisation or group proscribed in terms of the Terrorism Act 2000, and any successive or replacement legislation thereto:


Any Person committing Disorderly conduct and/or any person who assists another or others to commit Disorderly conduct, may be subject to any, or a combination of the following;

  • Refusal of entry to the stadium
  • Removal from the stadium
  • Suspension from attending matches of Club Name
  • Indefinite ban from attending matches of Club Name
  • Be the subject of a report to Police Scotland and/or any prosecuting authorities which may result in possible criminal proceedings

1. Policy Statement

Vale of Leithen FC  endorses the principle of Equality and is committed to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved with Vale of Leithen FC , regardless of their role, current or potential:

  • have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate to the full extent of their own ambitions and abilities, regardless of their age, sex, gender identity, disability, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, religion, race, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation; and 
  • can be assured of an environment in which their rights and dignity and individual worth are respected and valued, and in particular that they are able to be involved and participate without the threat of discrimination, intimidation, victimisation, bullying, harassment or abuse.

2. Policy Objectives

This Policy has the following objectives:

  • To promote fair and equitable treatment for everyone involved with Vale of Leithen FC, in whatever capacity.
  • To ensure that no one working for, wishing to work for or working on behalf of Vale of Leithen FC receives less favourable treatment on the grounds set out in 1.
  • To adopt a planned approach (strategically and operationally) to eliminating perceived barriers which discriminate against or exclude particular groups.
  • To give clear guidance and communication to all individuals who, either administer an area of Vale of Leithen FC or work for Vale of Leithen FC on its commitment to Equality.
  • To ensure that the content of policies, procedures, competitions, regulations (where applicable) and assessments provides equal opportunity for all except where specific situations or conditions properly or reasonably prevent this.
  • To adopt systems and procedures which ensure all materials prepared, produced or distributed on behalf of Vale of Leithen FC and all relevant public statements made on behalf of Vale of Leithen FC reflect its commitment to equality and inclusion.

3. Scope

3.1          This Policy applies to all current and potential employees (temporary), workers, Directors, Co-optees, consultants, agents, sub-contractors, volunteers, and any other person providing services on behalf of Vale of Leithen FC (“associated persons”).

3.2          The Policy extends to all activities of Vale of Leithen FC.

4. Policy Overview

4.1       Vale of Leithen FC is committed to remove and eliminate any direct or indirect discrimination of any form or kind within Vale of Leithen FC structures, and will under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The organisation takes a zero tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying. Examples of the relevant legislation and the behaviours in question are given in Appendix A.

5. Positive Action

5.1       The principle of Equality goes further than simply complying with legislation. It entails taking positive steps to counteract the effects of barriers – whether real or perceived – that restrict the opportunity for all to participate equally and fully.

5.2       Vale of Leithen FC will therefore seek to institute, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access Vale of Leithen FC and participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented or has difficulty accessing it.

5.3       Vale of Leithen FC will furthermore seek to apply employment practices in general, and recruitment and selection practices more specifically, which encourage and support people with protected characteristics to gain access to work or training.

6. Reasonable adjustments

6.1       Vale of Leithen FC recognises that it is has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons.

6.2       The duty to make reasonable adjustments may include the removal, adaptation or alteration of physical features, if these make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to carry out their role. It may also include making changes to working arrangements.

6.3       Vale of Leithen FC will consider all requests for adjustments and where possible will accommodate any reasonable requests. Where appropriate, advice may be sought from specialist agencies.

7. Implementation

7.1       To achieve these objectives, Vale of Leithen FC is committed to promote and advance equal opportunity through Vale of Leithen FC structures which will cover all areas of our organisation.  The Vice Chairman is ultimately responsible for implementing the Policy.

7.2       The following steps will be taken to publicise this policy and promote Equality within Vale of Leithen FC:

  • A copy of this Policy will be published on Vale of Leithen FC website.
    • The Board will take full account of the Policy in arriving at all decisions in relation to activities of Vale of Leithen FC.
    • Vale of Leithen FC will collaborate fully with any practical surveys or other initiatives designed to assess the level of participation of different sections of the community in football and will take account of the findings in developing measures to promote and enhance Equality.
    • Vale of Leithen FC will provide access to training for all of its Board Members and staff to raise awareness of both collective and individual responsibilities.  

8. Responsibilities

8.1       The Board will review all Vale of Leithen FC activities and initiatives against the aims of the policy on an annual basis, and will report on developments and highlights.

8.2       The Board, or where appropriate a designated project leader, will review any measures or initiatives that Vale of Leithen FC may institute or take part in to promote and enhance equal. 

9. Disciplinary Process

  9.1        Vale of Leithen FC reserves the right to audit compliance with the policy from time to time. If you are an employee, a worker or casual staff and misconduct is discovered as a result of any investigation under this policy the Vale of Leithen FC disciplinary procedures will be used in additional to any appropriate external measures. Disciplinary action kay ultimately lead to dismissal.

Appendix A – Legal Notes

Discrimination has been legally defined through a series of legislative acts, including the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act 2006.  In April 2010, the Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent. The Equality Act 2010 is a new law which harmonises where possible, and in some cases extends, protection from discrimination. It applies throughout the UK and came into force in October 2010.

Discrimination refers to unfavourable treatment on the basis of particular characteristics, which are known as the ‘protected characteristics’. Under the Equality Act 2010, the protected characteristics are defined as age (employment only until 2012), disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status (employment only), pregnancy and maternity, race (which includes ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality), religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.

Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals are protected from discrimination ‘on grounds of’ a protected characteristic[1]. This means that individuals will be protected if they have a characteristic, are assumed to have it, associate with someone who has it or with someone who is assumed to have it.

Forms of discrimination and discriminatory behaviour include the following:

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination can be described as less favourable treatment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied to an individual or group that would put persons of a particular characteristic at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons.

Discrimination arising from disability

When a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and this unfavourable treatment cannot be justified, this is unlawful. This type of discrimination only relates to disability.


Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or which creates an intimidating or hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.


It is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because he or she has made allegations or brought proceedings under the anti-discrimination legislation, or because they have helped another person to do so. To do so could constitute victimisation.

[1]  The exception to this is pregnancy and maternity, which does not include protection by association or assumption – a woman is only protected from discrimination on grounds of her own pregnancy.


Bullying is defined as a form of personal harassment involving the misuse of power, influence or position to persistently criticise, humiliate or undermine an individual.