More research, this time into clubs approach to social media, not so much for themselves but for their members. Was always going to be a ‘interesting one’ as clubs really don’t have any direct say into how their members use their personal social media accounts, yet at the same time clubs want to become more diverse, inclusive and open and as members make up such a significant part of the club, the ‘image’ they portray goes along way (or not) to achieving these objectives.
A general impression I picked up was that this was another one of those issues that clubs knew they should address, weren’t really sure how to address, and were happy to have an umbrella type policy: don’t post anything discriminatory. Diving a little deeper it was clear that neither clubs or members really knew what this meant.
Everyone had a view, but not a full picture, so have added some information below.
One thing that social media does is present an impression of ourselves, but very often we have no indication of what that impresion is! Use of language, humour, lifestyle may well attract supportive likes and comments, but they may also put many off even approaching us and that becomes a key issue as it doesn’t provide the opportunity to engage in a discussion.
Very few clubs had a plan to encourage members to use specific hashtags, which is actually a very good way of both providing some consistency of message and educating members and showing readers of the type of club the members belong to: and yes we do have a service which would help you with your social media strategy.
What I have found ‘helps’ is to picture social media as if it were your clubhouse! If someone walked in with a view to joining would they be impressed, made to feel welcome, happy to engage. Maybe if they only saw members and players with drink in hand, engaged in trading insults and abusive language, and all of the same demographic they would get a different impression than the one you thought you were portraying?
Your rights under the Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
The information on the your rights pages is here to help you understand if you have been treated unlawfully.
Who is protected by the Equality Act?
Everyone in Britain is protected. This is because the Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics that we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
There are some important differences depending on which protected characteristic you have.
Situations in which you are protected from discrimination
Under the Equality Act you are protected from discrimination:
- when you are in the workplace
- when you use public services like healthcare (for example, visiting your doctor or local hospital) or education (for example, at your school or college)
- when you use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods (like shops, restaurants, and cinemas)
- when you use transport
- when you join a club or association (for example, your local cricket club)
- when you have contact with public bodies like your local council or government departments
How can you be discriminated against?
This means treating one person worse than another person because of a protected characteristic. For example, a promotion comes up at work. The employer believes that people’s memories get worse as they get older so doesn’t tell one of his older employees about it, because he thinks the employee wouldn’t be able to do the job.
This can happen when an organisation puts a rule or a policy or a way of doing things in place which has a worse impact on someone with a protected characteristic than someone without one. For example a local authority is planning to redevelop some of its housing. It decides to hold consultation events in the evening. Many of the female residents complain that they cannot attend these meetings because of childcare responsibilities.
This means people cannot treat you in a way that violates your dignity, or creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. For example a man with Down’s syndrome is visiting a pub with friends. The bar staff make derogatory and offensive comments about him, which upset and offend him.
This means people cannot treat you unfairly if you are taking action under the Equality Act (like making a complaint of discrimination), or if you are supporting someone else who is doing so. For example, an employee makes a complaint of sexual harassment at work and is dismissed as a consequence.