Sat 22 October 2016
Equal Opportunities Policy
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Management Committee
Equal Opportunities Policy
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Equal Opportunities Policy

1      The Organization

NAWE's mission is to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of Creative Writing and to support good practice in its teaching at all levels.

As Subject Association, NAWE promotes Creative Writing as both a distinct discipline and an essential element in education generally. Our membership includes those working in Higher Education, the many freelance writers working in schools and community contexts, and the teachers and other professionals who work with them.

2   Statement of Intent

2.1   This statement concerns equal opportunities as they apply to the functioning of NAWE; to existing or future relationships with other organizations or institutions; to people who work or might potentially work for us or with us (whether paid or voluntary); to Management Committee members; and to any services, events or activities which NAWE might directly promote, deliver or participate in.  

2.2   NAWE is committed to the policy and practice of equal opportunity.  We recognize that certain members of the community are faced with discrimination and we are committed to actively opposing any form of discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, colour, creed, politics, class origin, sexuality, disability, age, educational background, language, responsibilities for dependants or marital status.  We recognize the need to allocate resources to combat discrimination of all types. NAWE is committed to ensuring that our services, subscriber opportunities, recruitment and employment procedures, and management and decision making processes are accessible to everyone.

2.3   As an organization that provides information advice and guidance, we are committed to ensuring that our services welcome and encourage participation by all.

2.4   We expect all employees, committee members, and those delivering information advice and guidance or training on our behalf to share the responsibility to challenge behaviour or writing that undermines or discriminates against any person.  Failure to adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy is considered a matter of gross misconduct and will lead to immediate suspension from duties.

2.5   This statement is displayed on our website and included in the information we give to potential employees and contractors.

3   Principles

3.1   Introduction

NAWE is committed to actively promoting equal opportunities in respect of our:
•   Management structure
•   Working practices of the organization
•   Recruitment and employment procedures
•   Provision of information advice and guidance services
•   Publications

3.2   Management structure

3.2.1   NAWE is governed by a Management Committee consisting of representatives from Primary and Secondary education, Further Education, Higher Education, Adult & Continuing Education, and Writing in the Community.  

3.2.2   We will ensure that all Management Committee members are able to play a full part in the decision-making process by employing a range of communication methods including teleconferencing.

3.2.3   All committee members will agree to abide by this Equal Opportunities Policy and will undertake to promote equal opportunities as part of their work.

3.3   Working practices of the organization

3.3.1   Any events and meetings (including committee meetings) instigated by NAWE solely or in partnership shall take place in venues with full disability access, except where all potential participants are known to have no specific access needs.

3.3.2   Events and meetings will be organized with due regard to geographical location, taking into account the likely constituency of participants, the fact that NAWE has a UK remit, and accessibility by public transport.  

3.3.3   At NAWE events and meetings, facilities will be made available to enable all to hear and be heard, regardless of any hearing or speech impairments.  Those running meetings will be sensitive to matters of participation and effective contribution.

3.3.4   NAWE is a virtual organization without a designated meeting space but will ensure that it arranges to meet where the person being met feels comfortable and safe, and the access or means of communication they need are provided.

3.4   Recruitment and Employment Procedures

3.4.1   NAWE seeks to be an equal opportunities employer and will judge applicants only on the ability to perform the tasks specific to the post.

3.4.2   Contracts of employment and contracts for services shall be subject to recruitment and selection conditions based on the equal opportunities practice of Arts Council England. Committee members and staff allocated to recruitment procedures shall be involved in the entire process, from approval of advertising to shortlisting and interviewing.

3.4.3   However, NAWE recognizes that it is sometimes not practicable to operate full recruitment procedures.  NAWE employs writers and trainers for very short, sometimes one-off contracts. For these reasons, NAWE may offer small-scale or short-term contracts (under £5000 in total or three months’ duration) without open recruitment.

3.4.4   NAWE shall operate a monitoring procedure which shall be analysed in isolation to any shortlisting procedure and without prejudice to the selection process.  Candidates for contracts or employment and tenderers for contracts for services shall be informed of this on application and shall have the option not to respond to questions on the monitoring form.  Results of recruitment shall be presented to the steering group annually and it shall take any action necessary.

3.4.5   Employees and contractors shall agree to abide by and promote NAWE’s equal opportunities statement and shall have a duty to report to the Management Committee any instances of discriminatory behaviour perpetrated in the course of NAWE business which could bring NAWE into disrepute.

3.4.6   NAWE will ensure that appropriate grievance procedures are incorporated into all its contracts of employment and contracts for services.

3.5   Provision of information advice and guidance services

3.5.1   In order to ensure that NAWE information advice and guidance services are accessible to all, we will:
•   Take the Disability Discrimination Act Part III into account
•   Ensure that our website is fully BOBBY/WC3 compliant  
•   Provide information advice and guidance in a range of ways (face-to-face, telephone, email, postal)
•   Ensure that all promotional and informational materials are available in a number of different formats
•   Ensure the clear use of language at all times
•   Use premises with full disabled access for face-to-face information advice and guidance sessions
•   Provide signers and interpreters when required
•   Provide creche facilities whenever necessary in line with the current provisions in the Children Act
•   Monitor uptake whenever possible

3.6   Publications

3.6.1   NAWE publications will avoid discriminatory or unnecessarily exclusive language.

3.6.1   NAWE publications will make use of specially adapted media wherever dealings with sensory impaired people are required.

3.6.3   NAWE publications will be made available in a range of formats including large print, Braille and on tape as required.

4   Monitoring and reviewing

4.1   The Executive Director of NAWE will have overall responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy.

4.2   The Management Committee will review the policy annually and make amendments as necessary.