SAR Constitution – Pashto VIEW

SAR Equal Opportunities – Pashto VIEW

Article 1

The name of the Association shall be The Society of Afghan Residents in the U.K.

Article 2 - Status of the Society

The Society will be an organisation for both Afghan men and women with equal rights and opportunities and no kind of discrimination.

Article 3 - Objects

To promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of Afghan refugees in the U.K. including the relief of poverty, the advancement of education and provision of facilities for recreation and leisure time occupation in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the conditions of life of the said persons.

In furtherance of the said objects but not further or otherwise the Society shall have power:

(i)To provide the Afghan Community with information, guidance and assistance relating to housing, education, welfare and cultural activities.

(ii)To provide al kinds of assistance relating to health, immigration status and legal problems.

(iii)To work for equal opportunities for Afghans in British Society by means of creating and maintaining working relationships with national, local governmental and voluntary agencies.

(iv)To form and consolidate close relations between the Society and other Associations in the U.K. and abroad.

(v)To employ and pay any persons (not being committee members) to carry on the work of the Society.

(vi)To acquire property and premises and subject to any legal consents dispose of such property and premises.

(vii)To invite and receive financial contributions from any persons provided that the Society shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for the objects of the Society.

Article 4 - Principles of Operation

The Society and its member shall observe the following principles in working towards the attainment of their common objectives:

(a)The Society shall maintain complete independence in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its functions.

(b)The Society is founded on the principle that all its members are equal with equal rights in all matter relating to the administration and operation of the Society.

(c)The Society shall not interfere in the personal affairs of its members or any organisations they may belong to.

Article 5 - Membership

(a)Full membership of the Society shall be open to all of full age (18 and over) interested in furthering the work of the Society.

(b)Application for membership shall be made to the Executive Committee which shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to reject an application for membership or terminate an existing membership provided that the individuals concerned shall have the right to be heard before a final decision is made.

(c)All members shall have voting rights and be eligible for election to the Executive Committee.

Article 6 - Duties of Members

Members shall at all times agree to the objectives and observe the rules of the Society and any regulations made thereunder.

Article 7 - The Annual General Meeting

(a)The highest organ of authority of the Society shall be the Annual General Meeting. the Annual General Meeting shall be convened by the Chair of the Executive Committee and clear notice of at least 30 days given to the members. The Annual General meeting shall be convened at a convenient time and date decided by the Executive Committee once in every year.

(b) The Annual General Meeting shall:

(I)Adopt the Annual Report of the Society.

(ii)Approve the Financial Report.

(iii)Take any decision by simple majority.

Article 8 - Organisational Structure

(a)The main organs of the Society of Afghan Residents in the U.K. are the High Council, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat.

(b)The High Council consists of all members of the Society and is the highest authority in the Society. The High council meets once a year. Extraordinary meetings can be held at the request of the Executive Committee or if proposed by one third of the High Council members present at a meeting.

(c)The High Council has the authority to determine the Societies general and financial policy and approve the budget.

(d)The High Council shall appoint a supervisory board to audit the Society’s annual financial statements. No member of the Executive Committee can be appointed to the supervisory board.

(e)The Chair of the High Council shall be appointed on the basis of a majority vote at every regular meeting. The Director of the Secretariat will also function as General Secretary on the Executive Committee and Secretary to the High Council.

(f)The Executive Committee shall consist of seven members, appointed by the High Council. Their term of office will be three years, renewal of which is permitted. In the event of an increase in the number of the Society’s members, the number serving on the Executive Committee may be increased up to a maximum of eleven members. This decision of the Executive committee should be ratified by the High Council.

(g)The Executive committee shall meet at the Society’s headquarters once every month. Extraordinary meetings may be called at the request of the Chair of the Executive Committee. If necessary, one members can represent another at an Executive Committee meeting.

(h)At its first meeting the Executive Committee will elect a chair by majority vote and will formulate a set of internal regulations for the purpose of co-ordinating its activities.

(i)The Executive Committee may delegate the responsibility of implementing certain specific duties of the Society to one of its members provided that all acts of the member or member thus delegated to reported back the committee as soon as possible.

(j)The Executive Committee shall formulate the Society’s policy guidelines and prepare the budget. After obtaining the approval of the High Council these will then be implemented.

(k)The Secretariat shall be accountable to the Executive Committee for all its activities.

(l)The quorum for meetings of each of the Society’s Committees shall be two-thirds of the members of the said committee. For the Annual General Meeting and any other meetings of the High Council the quorum shall be twenty five persons. In the event of a meeting not achieving a quorum the proceedings of that meeting will be declared invalid and of no effect.

(m)The Executive Committee shall consist of :

 

One Chair

One Vice-Chair

One General Secretary

One Secretary

One Treasurer

One Joint Treasurer

One Publicity Secretary

The Above seven Committee Member may be supplemented by up to our other Committee members without portfolio. In addition, a President, who will not be a member of the Executive Committee, may be elected by the High Council on whatever terms the High Council may decide.

(n)The elected Chair shall preside at the Annual General meeting (A.G.M.). In the absence of the Chair the Vice-Chair shall perform any or all of the Chair’s functions.

(o)The General Secretary shall call the Executive Committee meetings and keep the proceedings of all such meetings and also be responsible for all the correspondence of the Society. In the absence of the General Secretary the Secretary will perform the functions of the General Secretary.

(p)The elected Treasurer shall collect all subscriptions, donations and grants due to the Society, keep the accounts and present the annual accounts at the Annual General Meeting.

Article 9 - Funds

(a)The funds of the Society shall be under the control of the Executive Committee who shall delegate their management to the Treasurer subject to any direction from time to time given by the Executive Committee.

(b)All the funds and properties of the society shall be used for the furtherance of the objects of the Society.

(c)The financial year shall be from 31st March to 30th March each year.

(d)To open a bank account for the funds of the Society the two authorised signatories shall be the Chair and Treasurer. In the absence of the Chair or Treasurer, either the vice-Chair or General Secretary may sign in place of the Chair or Treasurer. The Treasurer shall maintain a petty cash of £20 only for the day to day running of the Society’s business.

Article 10 - Trust Property

The title to all real or personal property which may be acquired by or on behalf of the Society shall be vested in a corporation lawfully entitled to act as Custodian Trustee or in not less than two or more than three individual persons (not being members of the Executive Committee).

Article 11 - Alteration to the Constitution

Any alteration of this constitution shall receive the assent of not less than two thirds of the full membership of the Society for the time being whether individual or representative present and voting at a meeting specially called for the purpose provided that notice of any such alteration shall have been received by the General Secretary in writing not less than 21 clear days before the meeting at which the alteration is to be proposed. At least 14 days clear notice in writing of such meeting, setting forth the terms of the alteration, shall be sent by the General Secretary to each member of the Society. No alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Society to cease to be a charity at law.

Article 12 - Dissolution

If the Executive Committee by a simple majority decide at any time that on the grounds of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Society, it shall call a meeting of all members of the Society who have the power to vote, of which meeting not less than 21 day notice ( stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed thereat) shall be given. If such decision shall be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at such meeting the Executive Committee shall have power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of the Society. Anyassets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Society as the Executive Committee with the approval of the Charity Commissioners may determine.

SAR Equal Opportunities Statement

SAR recognises that in our Society groups of individuals have been and continue to be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, nationality, marital status, employment status, class, disability, sexuality, age, religious beliefs and political persuasion. As a first step SAR will aim to ensure equal opportunities for all staff and prospective staff by ending theses forms of discrimination.

SAR is committed to developing non-discriminatory recruitment and employment practices.

As an agency established to assist refugees who are frequently the victims of discrimination. SAR is committed to ensuring that its won structure and practices do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.

SAR accepts that a passive policy of non-discrimination will not in itself constitute an adequate Equal Opportunities Policy. SAR is therefore committed to active policies which seek to ensure that refugees are able to participate fully in its work and programme at all levels.

SAR is committed to developing non-discriminatory practices in the control, administration and allocation of services and resources over which it has control. It will work to encourage maximum participation in the decision making process from refugees and members of other disadvantaged groups.

SAR recognises that training and support must be provided to enable refugees to participate fully in the development and implementation of its policies and programmes.

SAR recognises that an Equal Opportunities Policy cannot take the form of a single policy decision which is implemented from a specific date. The detailed practices involved and even areas of policy will continue to evolve and develop over a lengthy period. As policies are developed and monitored, it may be necessary to effect changes in long established structures and practices which will not be capable of achievement overnight. SAR will review progress, the changes and procedures introduced and all other aspects of its Equal Opportunities Policy.

The prime function of the EOC will be to monitor SAR’s Equal Opportunities Policy, dvise on the progress of implementation and make recommendations for changes in those aspects of SAR’s employment policies which it deems necessary in pursuance of equal opportunities.

Specifically, the EOC will be responsible for the following:

(a)Reviewing current recruitment, selection and appointments procedures on the basis of the responses received to advertisement in terms of sex, refugee status, ethnic origin, employment status and disablement’s. This will involve examinations, on a job by job basis of:

advertisement and the publications used for advertising

composition of shortlist and interview panels

success rate of internal and external candidates

any complaints received from candidates

(b)Reviewing the existing composition of the SAR workforce in terms of sex, refugee status, ethnic origin and registered disabled staff. This will initially involve an examination of:

all terms (including the CP programme)

temporary and permanent staff, part – time and full- time staff.

(c)Reviewing the provision of a programme of training for staff which will:

explain SAR’s Equal Opportunities Policy to staff

enable staff to participate fully in selection procedure

assist staff to maximise their employment potential.

SAR accepts that as an organisation its is primarily and ultimately responsible for ensuring the implementation of the EOP through its management structures. This does not absolve employees within SAR from their individual responsibilities under the policy or under relevant legislation. It will be a disciplinary offence for members of staff to hinder or obstruct implementation of the EOP. SAR will make any necessary changes to the existing procedures to accomplish this.

SAR is committed to becoming an equal opportunities employer. It intends to ensure that no prospective or actual employee is discriminated against on any of the grounds above mentioned, or it disadvantaged by any condition or requirement which is not demonstrably justifiable.

Strict confidentiality will be maintained at all stages of the recruitment procedure.

The EOC will have the opportunity to comment on and review existing disciplinary and grievance procedures, and make appropriate recommendations to the PAG. This will also apply to maternity agreements, redundancy agreements, pension agreements, grading procedures and other conditions of service.

For the time being, complaints on such matters as harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace should be pursued using existing procedures, although the EOC will review any complaints received.

The EOC can be expected to submit further policy recommendations on such matters as:

improving access to SAR offices for physically disabled people, clients, and employees.

more flexible hours of working

retirement age

encouragement for the formation of mutual support groups for workers such as black workers, women’s groups, etc.

holiday entitlements with special reference to unpaid leave sabbaticals

use of non-discriminatory language in SAR documents and in daily use with SAR

special religious/cultural leave

induction training

SAR accepts that for the full implementation of its EOP, a full programme of training for staff is necessary, to help raise staff awareness of all the relevant issues, to allow them to participate fully in selection procedures, and to assist them to maximise their employment potential and ability to participate in the decision-making process of SAR.

Maximum priority will be given to ensuring that a suitable cross-section of employees have participated in courses on selection and recruitment techniques as this is central to the EOP.

A training programme will be established so that all members of staff can become familiar with the EOP and can play a full part in countering the effects of discrimination such as racism or sexism with SAR. The emphasis of the programme must be on the specific training needs of individuals and teams or projects within SAR. The EOC will be fully involved in this training programme.

SAR believes that full monitoring of all aspects of its EOP is necessary for its effective implementation. As a first stage of this process, SAR is committed to monitoring recruitment and selection procedures and the distribution of it s existing work existing workforce.

Given SAR’s position as a publicly formed body with effective control over the allocation of substantial resources, monitoring of the EOP will also need to examine whether the recommendations of the EOP are reflected in the distribution of these resources to different groups.

It is recognised that this will be a complex and possible controversial exercise. The following areas will be among those which may be requiring examination:

the mechanism by which decisions concerning the allocation of resources are made, and opportunities for participation by groups affected.

access to the various services provided by SAR to individual refugees, e.g.. housing, advice, education, training, information, etc.

whether resources are being unfairly allocated or used within broad groupings, e.g.. insufficient access for whom, or for certain ethnic sub-groups within wider communities or perhaps disproportionate emphasis on meeting the needs of relatively privileged groups within communities.

take-up of publications/information leaflets in two languages: Pushto and Dari.

SAR believes that despite the sensitive nature of these questions, its accountability as an organisation committed to equal opportunities demands their consideration. Priority will be given to increasing the effectiveness of wide participation in decisions concerning the allocation of resources and services.