Inclusion and Diversity Policy

Policy Statement

The English Chamber Orchestra (ECO) welcomes and promotes an inclusive working environment based on the principles of equality, dignity and respect. It is the ECO’s policy that individuals are selected for employment (freelance, salaried or contracted) solely based on their relevant ability and experience. Any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation will not be tolerated.


The Inclusion and Diversity policy applies to

• the English Chamber Orchestra’s workforce of staff and musicians, as well as engaged ‘extra’ players

• the potential workforce of job applicants for staff and musicians

• conductors, soloists and other music practitioners, working with the ECO

• the wider public, as participants, audience members and beneficiaries


The purpose of this policy is to:

• provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time

• not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation

• oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities

• apply inclusive practices and considerations to the development and delivery of artistic programmes and musical community and education projects offered by the ECO to the public

• promote diversity and a supportive and inclusive ECO culture


The ECO’s Inclusion and Diversity policy is to establish inclusive practices throughout its public-facing and internal operations, to contribute to a more diverse orchestra sector and more diverse staff, musicians and governance.

The organisation commits to:

• Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense

• Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.

All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public

• Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the ECO’s work activities.

• Make opportunities for development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised.

• Selections of musicians and non-musicians working with the ECO and appointments, training and other development opportunities within the ECO will be made on the basis of aptitude and ability.

• The ECO will integrate consideration of inclusion and diversity into artistic planning, internal communications and other work planning

• The ECO’s work and performances should be accessible, whether through the geographical breadth of its presence and its reach into communities or the range of orchestral experiences that it offers.

• Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.


The leadership of the ECO has obligations under this policy to adopt inclusive practices and to raise awareness of the case for inclusion and diversity in the orchestral sector, internally and externally.

Staff, musicians and other employees are obliged to comply with the policy.


The ECO will monitor the effectiveness of this policy and it will be reviewed by the management and changes made in the policy or plan as required.