Equal Opportunities Employment Policy


Scottish Rugby considers all forms of discrimination to be unacceptable in the workplace and recognises the value and importance of promoting equal employment opportunities for its current and future staff.   We aim to be an inclusive organisation where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and where diversity is valued.

Scottish Rugby is committed to providing equal opportunities throughout employment.   In doing this, we are committed to adopting equitable employment practices and terms and conditions which are based on the merits, ability and potential of individuals and to avoiding any conditions or requirements that cannot be justified by the needs of the job.

This policy applies to all Scottish Rugby staff, and in the case of recruitment and references, prospective and former staff.   We will ensure that all employees are made aware of the provisions of this policy and that they adhere to the principles of the policy. Any member of Scottish Rugby staff found to have breached the principles of this policy may be subject to a disciplinary investigation and possible subsequent disciplinary action.  

In addition, we will undertake various specific actions in support of our equal opportunities commitments (e.g. recruitment monitoring, Equality training, making reasonable adjustments for disability reasons) as required.

Equality Act 2010

Scottish Rugby will ensure that, in supporting an equal opportunities approach to employment, we will adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and any other relevant legislation.  The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to consolidate and harmonise a variety of existing pieces of discrimination and harassment legislation (e.g. the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005).  The nine protected characteristics in UK discrimination law are:

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


We recognise that this anti-discrimination legislation provides a statutory framework for the enforcement of equal rights.   In addition, we will strive to address all forms of discrimination, whether unlawful or not.

Types of discrimination

Discrimination can be both intentional and unintentional and can take many forms, including:

·         Direct discrimination

·         Harassment

·         Discrimination by association

·         Third party harassment

·         Perception discrimination

·         Victimisation

·         Indirect discrimination


Some of these are covered specifically in other Scottish Rugby policy documents.   This policy should therefore be read in conjunction with all other relevant policies, depending on the circumstances (e.g. Dignity at Work Policy, Recruitment and Selection Policy, Disability Policy etc).

Further details about either the protected characteristics or the types of discrimination are available from the HR Team.

Commitment to fair employment practices

Scottish Rugby is committed to providing equal opportunities throughout employment, including recruitment and selection, promotion of staff, pay and benefits, performance management, learning and development opportunities, discipline and grievance, and selection for redundancy.   Many of these aspects of employment are covered in other Scottish Rugby employee policies, and these should be referred to for further specific details.

Scottish Rugby will take all reasonable steps to recruit, employ and promote employees solely on the basis of ability, skill and qualification, without regard to any of the protected characteristics referred to above.   No employment decisions will be taken by Scottish Rugby which cannot be objectively justified in the particular circumstances.


If you think that you have been unlawfully discriminated against, you should speak to your Line Manager in the first instance, who will hopefully be able to resolve the complaint informally between the various parties involved.  If an informal approach is unsuccessful, or inappropriate, you should make your compliant using the Scottish Rugby Grievance Policy and Procedures.  If your complaint of discrimination involves bullying and harassment, you should follow the procedures set down in the Dignity at Work Policy. 

Monitoring and Communication

Scottish Rugby will ensure that this policy and the associated practices remain effective by communicating it to our employees and job applicants and by generally raising awareness of the importance of equal opportunities and our “zero tolerance” of discriminatory practices.   We will also ensure that we provide appropriate guidance and training so that staff understand the principles and spirit of our commitment to equality in employment.   We will approach all aspects of employment in a fair, open and transparent way.

Scottish Rugby will ensure that all aspects of the policy are kept under review in order to ensure its continuing effectiveness and on-going compliance with all relevant legislation and good employment practice.   From time to time, we will also review our selection criteria for recruitment, training and promotion to ensure they do not constitute, or could lead to, unlawful discrimination.



As an employee of Scottish Rugby, you have moral and legal responsibilities to assist us in preventing discrimination at work by supporting this policy and associated policies/procedures.   In particular, you should:

·         ensure that you understand the Scottish Rugby Equal Opportunities Employment Policy

·         treat others with respect and dignity at all times, including colleagues and external clients/partners

·         co-operate with any Scottish Rugby measures introduced to ensure equality of opportunity (e.g. attending Equality training)

·         not participate in or instigate discriminatory practices yourself, or induce others to do so

·         actively discourage discriminatory practices, and report any issues or unacceptable practices to your Line Manager or a member of the HR Team


Directors and Managers

As a Director or Manager, you share the responsibilities noted above, but have additional responsibilities to prevent discrimination in the workplace.   These include:

·         taking responsibility for ensuring that this policy is upheld across Scottish Rugby

·         championing equality in the workplace and leading your team(s) by good example

·         knowing whether or not unacceptable behaviour is taking place in your particular areas of responsibility and taking preventative measures to ensure it does not occur

·         responding promptly, fairly and in accordance with this policy, and Scottish Rugby’s Discipline and Grievance Policies and Procedures if you become aware of any discriminatory or inequitable behaviour or practices

·         treating all complaints seriously; the failure of a Director and Manager to carry out his or her duties in respect of equal opportunities could lead to disciplinary action being taken against him or her.

Other Workers  

Other persons working for, or on behalf of Scottish Rugby, are expected to be aware of and comply with this policy.   It should be noted, however,  that the Grievance Procedure referred to in this policy only applies to employees of Scottish Rugby.   If an agency worker, contractor or consultant feels they have been discriminated against they should talk to their employing agency or company, as appropriate.   We would also encourage them to speak with a member of the Scottish Rugby HR Team, if they feel comfortable doing so.


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