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Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity Policy

Equality and Diversity Policy

Introduction

The University recognises that equality of opportunity and valuing diversity are vital to its success. We believe that our purpose, aims and values, as set out in our University Strategy, will be best achieved if we recruit students and staff at all levels of responsibility from the national, regional and international communities that we serve and which influence our University.

We are fully committed to elimination of discrimination. Through promoting an environment in which individuals can utilise their skills and talents to the full without fear of prejudice and harassment we aim to make full use of the talents and resources of everyone within our University community.

Scope

This policy applies to all colleagues who work at the University on a paid or voluntary basis, all students, external examiners, consultants, all visitors or contractors who visit our premises.

It covers equality and diversity in relation to:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and/or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Aim

The University aims to demonstrate its commitment to equality and diversity and promote equality of opportunity for all by:

  • Developing and publishing diversity objectives
  • Complying with legal obligations
  • Mainstreaming equality and diversity in to the University’s planning round for all departments and colleges
  • Promoting awareness and understanding of equality and diversity matters among staff and students
  • Involving staff and students in respect of changes which may affect their employment or study
  • Encouraging suppliers and partners to follow similar good practice
  • Promotion of equality and diversity through internal and external communications
  • Ensuring that existing staff and students, as well as applicants to work or study, are treated fairly and judged solely on merit and by reference to their skills and abilities
  • Ensuring the University estate is, as far as reasonably possible, accessible to all
  • Providing training and briefings for staff at all levels
  • Developing mechanisms for implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review of equality related policies
  • Taking positive action to redress any gender, racial or other imbalance
  • Ensuring staff and students are provided with appropriate mechanisms to discuss equality and diversity issues and raise any concerns
  • Dealing with potential acts of discrimination appropriately under relevant University policy
  • Consulting with staff, students unions etc. through existing mechanisms on equality and diversity issues

Responsibilities

  • University Council through the Vice-Chancellor has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that University Equality and Diversity Policy is fully implemented. The Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, supported by the Associate Provost, is responsible for leading the implementation of the University’s strategy in relation to equality and diversity for both staff and students.
  • The Director of Human Resources, has a specific and delegated responsibility for the effective development and implementation of equal opportunities in employment. The Academic Registrar, has a specific and delegated responsibility for the effective development and implementation of equal opportunities for the student body. The Equality and Diversity Manager is responsible for the co-ordination of the Equality and Diversity work.
  • The Director of Human Resources has responsibility for the formulation of policies and procedures in relation to staff to support the University's overall strategy and for overseeing their implementation. The Academic Registrar has responsibility for the formulation of policies and procedures in relation to students to support the University's overall strategy and for overseeing their implementation. The University's Equality and Diversity Advisory Group is responsible for co-ordinating and reviewing the University's Equality and Diversity Policy in addition to promoting greater awareness of equal opportunities and diversity within the University in its broadest sense. Equality and Diversity.
  • Heads of Departments, Heads of Houses, other Heads of Sections and Chairs of Appointing Committees have a duty to ensure that the University's equal opportunities policies in respect of employment are implemented within their sphere of activities and responsibility, and to nominate a staff member to have local responsibility for co-ordinating Equality and Diversity work.
  • Education Committee has a duty to ensure that the University's equal opportunities policies in relation to student matters are implemented.
  • Recognised Trade Unions have a formal responsibility to actively promote diversity.
  • All members of staff have a responsibility to adhere to this policy at all times in the course of their day to day activities. Staff have a personal responsibility to attend designated training sessions to keep abreast of equality legislation. Behaviour or actions contrary to this policy will be considered serious disciplinary matters and may, in some cases, lead to dismissal.
  • All members of the University community, external examiners, consultants, contractors and visitors to our premises have a responsibility to adhere to this policy at all times in the course of their day to day activities,

Implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy

We will ensure that all staff, students and as far as practicable, others associated with the University are informed of the policies and their responsibilities with respect to implementation. The means of doing so include:

  • Nomination of a person by each department/section/college who will be responsible for promotion of Equality and Diversity.
  • The production and distribution of information to all members of the University to raise awareness of specific equality legislation issues.
  • A designated website for Equality and Diversity.
  • Equality and Diversity awareness training to all employees via a cascade of information within every department and section. The training programme to be monitored to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Appropriate training provided for those persons responsible for the implementation of the policy, including University Council members.
  • Specific training provided for those responsible for recruitment, selection, promotion, probation, appraisal. A list of approved selection interviewers for staff and students developed.

Training

All staff are required to attend equality and diversity training appropriate to their role. Information on training will be made available on the Equality and Diversity area of the website.

We aim to assess the impact of our Equality and Diversity Policy by monitoring as follows:

  • The Human Resources Department will collect and analyse monitoring data on staff with regard to recruitment, training, promotion and re-grading, complaints etc. and report this information annually to the Equality and Diversity Advisory Group
  • The Academic Office will collect and analyse monitoring data with regard to recruitment and completion and report this information annually to the Equality and Diversity Advisory Group and Learning and Teaching Committee.

Complaints Procedures related to Equality and Diversity

All members of our University community who believe they have been discriminated against have the right to make a complaint. Normally the matter should first be raised informally in the first instance with their immediate supervisor, College Principal, Chair of Board of Studies or Head of Section using the following procedure, as appropriate:

Any member of staff may seek assistance from their trade union or the Human Resources office and students may seek advice from DSU.

If the complaint is not resolved individuals should make a formal complaint following the appropriate procedure.

Making a complaint does not prejudice an individual's right to make use of other procedures, including the Respect at work and study or Grievance procedures

We aim to protect anyone who makes a complaint, or who acts as a witness, under these procedures from victimisation.

Members of the public should address complaints to the University service in question in the first instance.

Consultation and Review

We will consult widely with the University's Equality and Diversity Advisory Group, Diversity Network, Trade Unions, Durham Students Union and other stakeholders on a regular basis.

The University's policy on Equality and Equality and Diversity, will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to reflect good practice and current legislation.