The Be Happy Yoga Project
Equality and Diversity Policy
The Be Happy Yoga Project is committed to encouraging equality and diversity and eliminating unlawful discrimination among our service users.
We will ensure that these commitments, reinforced by our values, are embedded in our day-to-day working practices with our service users and any volunteers.
Aims and Objectives
The purpose of the Equality and Diversity Policy is to:
- Ensure compliance with legislation on discrimination and equality including Equality Act 2010 and other relevant legislation currently in force.
- Acknowledge and respect people’s psychological and physical differences, as relevant to the practice of yoga.
- Continue refining our product and services in order to make them more accessible.
- Create environments free from harassment and unlawful discrimination.
- Maximise the use of resources in the best interests of service users and the general public.
- Confront and challenge unlawful discrimination where and whenever it arises in relation to the organisation’s work.
- Ensure there is clear commitment from both partners to accept and implement this policy in their work for the organisation.
- Ensure, through positive action and so far as is practicable, that the organisation premises and services are accessible to all people.
- We will not tolerate unlawful discrimination on grounds of gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion, age, disability, HIV positivity, political beliefs, and spent criminal convictions. See protected characteristics below covered by the 2010 Equality Act.
||Age refers to a person being of a certain age (such as 65 years old) or belonging to a particular age group (such as 40 – 45 year olds).|
||A disabled person refers to a person who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.|
||Gender reassignment is the process of transitioning from one gender to another.|
||Marriage is defined as a ‘union between two partners’. Both heterosexual and same sex couples can get married. Currently, same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. The law is changing and hetersexual couples will also be able to have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’.|
||Pregnancy is the condition of expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In a non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth. It includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.|
||Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origins.|
||Religion refers to a person’s faith. Belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.|
||Sex refers to a person’s sex – man or woman|
||Sexual orientation is defined under the Act as a person’s sexual attraction towards either their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.|
We will demonstrate our commitment by:
- endeavouring to offer our services to communities who are underserved by existing yoga services.
- treating our customers, colleagues and partner organisations fairly and with respect.
- promoting an environment free from discrimination, bullying and harassment, and tackling behaviour which breaches this.
- building in legislative requirements and best practice to all our service delivery and procedures, and supporting these with appropriate training and guidance.
Refusal of service
We will only refuse to provide services to people:
- who we consider would be better served by other providers
- we believe should not, for health reasons, currently practise yoga at all
- when availability is an issue.
For example, we do not consider that we have sufficient training and experience to address the needs of people with certain more severe medical conditions. This includes, but is not limited to people who have experienced head or spinal injuries, have advanced vascular dementia or who are undergoing drug withdrawal. Where there is any doubt about a person’s fitness to practice yoga, we will ask the potential student to request their doctor confirms in writing that yoga is suitable for them. Pregnant women are welcome to join our classes, however, they will be advised that we do not have specialist training in this area and referred to a specialist pregnancy yoga teacher, if desired. Whenever we do refuse our services to someone, we will endeavour to inform them:
- when they can consider practising yoga again, or
- who else can provide them with appropriate services.
The Be Happy Yoga Project will regularly review the implementation of its Equality and Diversity Policy and strategy as the effectiveness of the policy’s aims and objectives can only be judged by how the policy operates in practice. Where evidence is found of ineffectiveness, immediate remedial action will be taken to ensure implementation.
Incidents of harassment by one service user to another will be dealt with immediately as they arise. The service user will initially be asked to refrain from such behaviour and will be asked to leave the class should it persist.
Services users are regularly invited to provide feedback either in person or in writing. Should we receive a complaint about one of the teachers, we will investigate the veracity of the claim. If it is determined that there has been a breach of this policy the teacher will be counselled on their actions and appropriate action will be taken, where necessary.
The Be Happy Yoga Project will formally review the implementation of its Equality and Diversity Policy annually. Where evidence is found of ineffectiveness, immediate remedial action will be taken to ensure implementation.
Signed: Danielle Texeira
Signed: Michael Texeira
Review Date: 05/01/2019