Equality Policy

1.   Statement of Intent

1.1   Houston Unite FC is committed to ensuring that football is open to all and that barriers, whether real or perceived, are removed particularly in relation to those groups currently under represented who traditionally may not have seen football as their sport of choice.

1.2   Houston United FC recognises the importance of affording equity to all members, volunteers and present and potential employees involved in football. We are determined to ensure that every person regardless of disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, (together the ‘Protected Characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010) has a genuine opportunity to participate to their full potential at all levels and in all roles within the sport. We will operate our business in line with the principles of the Equality Act 2010 in affording equitable opportunities to everyone involved in football in our area.

1.3   To this end, Houston United FC aims to prevent any discrimination, either direct or indirect and ensure that, in its relations with its members, current and potential employees, clients and customers, no condition or requirement is imposed which cannot be justified.

1.4   Direct Discrimination is defined as treating a person less favourably than you would treat others because of a Protected Characteristic.

1.5   Indirect Discrimination occurs when a requirement or condition is applied which, whether intentional or not, adversely affects a larger proportion of people of one protected characteristic than another and cannot be justified on grounds other than those relating to a protected characteristic.


2.   Purpose

2.1   This policy sets out the specific objectives and actions that Houston United FC will take to achieve these objectives.


3.   Legislative Framework

3.1   In implementing this policy, the Scottish F.A. will comply with its statutory obligations under the terms of all relevant Scottish, UK and European legislation (Appendix 1).


4.   Objectives
4.1   Our Equity policy has the following objectives:

  • To ensure that everyone who participates in football, in whatever capacity, receives fair and equitable treatment
  • To adopt a planned approach to eliminating perceived barriers which discriminate against or exclude particular groups
  • To ensure that no one working for, wishing to work for or working on behalf of the Houston United FC receives less favourable treatment on the grounds set out in the Statement of Intent and that written Policies and Procedures underpin our Equity Policy
  • To give clear guidance and communication to all individuals either governing or working for Houston United FC on its commitment to Equity
  • To ensure that the content of policies, procedures, competitions, regulations (where applicable) and assessments provides equity 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 the Club and all relevant public statements made on our behalf reflect our commitment to equity and inclusion.


5.  Implementation

5.1   To achieve these objectives, Houston United FC will adhere to the Scottish F.A. Action Plan to promote equity aligned to the strategy “Scotland United – A 20-20 Vision”.

5.2   The roles and responsibilities for adoption of this plan will fall to every member of the Club.
The Committee of the Club will ensure that equity is applied to all functions of the Club, including football activities, policies and procedures, that all staff receive appropriate training, and that the policy is adopted and applied consistently across the Club.

The Chairman of the Club will be responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures are available to all employees / Volunteers and that proper guidance and support is available to any manager or employee involved in any instance of alleged discrimination.


6. Monitoring and Evaluation

6.1   The Club Secretary will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy, and for providing information to the Committee members about the policy and its implementation and impact.


7.   Compliance

7.1   In accordance with the principals laid out in this policy, the Club will investigate any reports of alleged breaches of our Equity Policy and take appropriate disciplinary action based on the outcome of the investigation. Any complaint or grievance will be dealt with via the appropriate policy or procedure.

Appendix 1
The main legislation which underpins this policy is The Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 has been introduced to consolidate and harmonise a variety of existing pieces of discrimination and harassment legislation. These include Acts and Regulations such as:
1. The Equal Pay Act 1970
2. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended in 1986 and 1999)
3. The Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended in 2000)
4. The Disability Discrimination Act (as amended in 2005)
5. The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
6. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
7. The Gender Recognition Act 2004
8. The Civil Partnership Act 2004
9. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
10. The Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

The nine protected characteristics in UK discrimination law are now:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Religion or belief
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sex
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity