Unacceptable Behaviour Policy

Durham Women FC – Unacceptable Behaviour Policy


  1. Purpose
      Durham Women FC (Club) is committed to promoting and maintaining an environment in which all Players are treated fairly, with dignity and respect and where there is no Unacceptable Behaviour (as defined in this Policy). The purpose of this Unacceptable Behaviour Policy (Policy) is to establish guidelines as to what constitutes Unacceptable Behaviour and to set out a framework for Players to raise a complaint about any Unacceptable Behaviour they may witness or experience from any other Players or Club Staff.
    1. The Club takes a strict approach to any breach of this Policy. Any incident of Unacceptable Behaviour will not be tolerated by the Club.
  1. This Policy is non-contractual and does not form part of a Player’s terms and conditions of employment. It may be varied, withdrawn or amended at any time.
  • Scope
    • For the purposes of this Policy:
      • Club Staff shall mean any individual employed by, or who provides consultancy services to, the Club; and
      • Player shall mean any player that is registered to play for the Club, either under a written contract of employment with the Club or otherwise.
  1. Other unlawful conduct based on a Protected Characteristic – Direct discrimination
    1. Direct discrimination is treating someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic. This can also include ‘associative discrimination’ where a person is treated less favourably because of their association with a person who has a Protected Characteristic.
    1. Direct discrimination can also include ‘perception discrimination’ where a person is treated less favourably because of a mistaken belief that they have a Protected Characteristic.
    1. Examples of direct discrimination can include treating someone less favourably because:
      1. their parents are a gay or lesbian couple;
      1. they have young children and it is feared that they might be unreliable;
      1. they are Muslim and it is feared that person will not “fit in” with an existing team; or
      1. they are a lesbian, or it is assumed that they are a lesbian.
    1. Other unlawful conduct based on a Protected Characteristic – Indirect discrimination
      1. Indirect discrimination is having in place a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular Protected Characteristic more than others, and is not justified.
      1. Examples of indirect discrimination can include:
        1. requiring everyone’s attendance at a weekly event that those who are Jewish may not be able to attend; or
        1. imposing a language requirement where it is not relevant to the particular task. 
  • Raising a Complaint
    • If a Player believes they have witnessed or experienced Unacceptable Behaviour, the Player may, in the first instance, seek to resolve the matter informally. If the matter is unable to be resolved informally or the Player does not wish to do so, the Player shall  refer to the formal grievance procedure set out in the Player’s employment contract; or, if there is no such procedure, follow the process set out below:
      • The Player shall notify the Manager, General Manager or the Head of Women’s Football of the Club in the first instance, who may require the Player to put their complaint in writing.
      • A reasonable investigation will take place.
      • The Manager, General Manager or the Head of the Women’s Football of the Club will notify the Player in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
      • If the grievance is not determined to the Player’s satisfaction, the Player may, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the outcome of the investigation, give written notice to the General Manager or Head of Women’s Football of the Club that the Player wishes for the matter to be considered by the Board of the Club (or any duly authorised sub-committee thereof).
      • The matter shall then be dealt with at the next convenient meeting of that body and in any event within fourteen (14) days of notice being received by the General Manager or the Head of Women’s Football of the Club.
      • If the Player is not satisfied with the decision of the Club’s board of directors (or any duly authorised sub-committee thereof) the Player may within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the decision appeal that decision to the Executive Operational Committee of the Barclays Women’s Super League (“WSL”) and the Barclays Women’s Championship (“WC”) who shall either determine the matter itself or refer it to an independent tribunal appointed by Sport Resolutions UK for determination in accordance with the procedure set out in Rule 3.10 of the Competition Rules governing the WSL and the WC (the “Competition Rules”) regarding appeals (notwithstanding the fact that there is no right of appeal in respect of decisions made under this policy in the Competition Rules). In this regard, references in Rule 3.10 to “a right of appeal prescribed in these Rules” shall instead be read as “a right of appeal in respect of the ‘Unacceptable Behaviour Towards Players Policy’. Where the matter is referred to an independent tribunal, there shall be an appeal fee of £2,500 (exclusive of VAT), which may be subject to increase.[1]
  1. During any investigation into a complaint, or following its determination, the Club may decide that it is appropriate to engage in a formal disciplinary procedure against the individual that is the subject of the complaint.
    1. Non-compliance with any investigation into a complaint and/or disciplinary process will be deemed to be a breach of this Policy which will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
  1. The Club will not tolerate any form of retaliation against, or victimisation of, any person involved in the raising of a complaint. Such retaliation or victimisation will constitute Unacceptable Behaviour. If a Player believes they have been victimised or suffered from any retaliation, the Player should raise this through the formal grievance procedure.
    1. False accusations of Unacceptable Behaviour can have a serious effect on innocent people. If an investigation shows that a false accusation has been made knowingly, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
  2. Confidentiality and Record Keeping 

Confidentiality is an important part of the procedures provided under this Policy. Where practicable, details of the investigation and relevant persons will remain confidential and only be disclosed accordin

[1] The figure of £2,500 is calculated on the basis of: (i) £1,500 inclusive of reading (1/2 day), sitting (1 day) and drafting a decision (1/2 day) (with additional time charged at £750 per day); plus (ii) £1,000 in respect of up to 12 hours of administrative support provided by Sport Resolutions (additional time charged at £95 per hour). All figures are exclusive of any applicable VAT.