1. Policy Statement

1.1 The University is committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of equality and diversity in employment in which staff are treated fairly and equitably with regard to their personal characteristics including the nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.

1.2 The principles of equality and diversity are at the heart of University life and are supported by policies, procedures, information, training, and guidance. Equality of opportunity and inclusivity is fundamental to the vision and values of the University Strategy 2020-2030. Fostering respectful and inclusive behaviours is central to the Community without Limits framework.

2. Aims

2.1 The aims of this policy are to ensure that throughout their employment all employees of the University are treated fairly and with dignity and respect, and to signpost to the main university policies and procedures relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.

2.2 This policy operates in accordance with the recruitment policy, general recruitment guidance, specific recruitment guidance on equality and diversity, the University's Dignity at Work and Study policy, and a wide range of other University policies and procedures listed elsewhere in this document.

2.3The University will ensure that its policies, procedures and practices comply with current legislation.

3. Responsibility

3.1 All members of staff are responsible for supporting the aims and spirit of the policy. For details of specific responsibilities in relation to equality and diversity see section 9 of this policy.

3.2 Our legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, including the Public Sector Equality Duty, are outlined on our Legal Responsibilities web page.

4. Our commitment to Equality and Diversity

4.1 The University of York Strategy 2020-2030 "A University for Public Good" outlines our overall commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

4.2 We undertake a range of activities to meet our legal obligations as defined by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty outlined on our Legal Responsibilities web page, including, but not limited to, the initiatives described in this policy and associated Examples of EDI Practice (see Annex).

4.3 We provide mandatory equality and diversity training for all staff that covers our obligations under the Equality Act 2010, including the Public Sector Equality Duty.

4.4 Staff who are involved in recruitment and selection are required to undertake training in recruitment and selection, which includes demonstrating they have completed the unconscious bias in recruitment, and introduction to equality, diversity and inclusion training modules.

4.5 We produce guidance for staff and students on a range of EDI issues and protected characteristics to embed inclusive practices.

4.6 We collect confidential equality monitoring data for staff (which staff can update themselves online at any time), and publish that anonymised data, along with anonymised student data and our Gender Pay Gap report, on our Equality Data web page. Equality monitoring data helps us to understand our staff community and monitor our recruitment and retention characteristics.

4.7 When considering changes to policies and procedures, the University takes appropriate steps to consider any potential impact on particular groups of staff and/or students, undertaking Equality Impact Assessments where appropriate.

5. Equality Areas: protected characteristics

5.1 There are 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, which are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief and non-belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

5.2 The Equality and Diversity Office produces a range of guidance on various equality and diversity topics, including general guidance and guidance relating to specific equality characteristics.

5.3 Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion web pages outline our commitment to valuing and celebrating diversity, and to advancing equality and inclusive practice in all our activities.

5.4 Examples of specific activities, resources and guidance are provided in the Annex to this policy, titled "Examples of EDI Practice.""

6. Harassment and Bullying

6.1 The University aims to provide a stimulating and supportive environment for working and learning which will enable staff and students to fulfil their potential. All members of the University community have an important role to play in creating an environment where harassment, bullying, and hate incidents are tackled and eliminated.

6.2 Our Dignity at Work and Study policyand web pages explain our commitment to tackling harassment and bullying in all its forms, outline what is meant by harassment, bullying, and hate incidents, and explain what actions staff and students can take if they have concerns.

6.3 Other relevant guidance and information can be found in the Annex to this document, Examples of EDI Practice.

6.4 Report and Support is an online tool to enable staff and students to report harassment, bullying, hate incidents, and other forms of misconduct enacted by either staff or students.

7. Implementation and Monitoring

7.1 We monitor and reinforce staff completion of mandatory equality and diversity training.

7.2 The effectiveness of this Policy will be monitored by measuring progress towards achieving equality objectives as set out in the University's equality schemes and the consideration of relevant monitoring data.

7.3 An annual report will be presented to the Equality and Diversity Committee (EDIC). This report will incorporate:

  1. the annual report from the Equality & Diversity Office
  2. a report on progress from other key areas of the University

8. Complaints

8.1 Staff who have concerns about behaviours that they feel may constitute harassment, bullying or hate incidents should follow the procedures outlined in section 6 of this policy.

8.2 Staff who feel they have not been treated equitably or have been discriminated against should raise their concerns with their line manager in the first instance.

The line manager should seek advice from the HR Department in order to resolve the complaint. If the complaint is against their line manager, staff should raise it with their Head of Department. If this does not resolve the matter, the member of staff may make a complaint in accordance with the Grievance Procedure - the first step of which is to establish whether the complaint may be resolved informally.

8.3 No member of staff will be victimised for bringing a complaint under this policy. However, where a complaint is made maliciously and/or is based on knowingly false information, the complainant may be subject to the Disciplinary Procedure.

9. Specific roles and responsibilities

The following groups and post holders have responsibility for various aspects of the Equality and Diversity in Employment Policy:

  1. The Vice Chancellor has responsibility for creating a culture that supports equality and diversity.
  2. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) is responsible for formulating, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the University's equality and diversity policies and procedures, including this policy and the Dignity at Work and Study policy.
  3. Our Staff Equality Networks contribute to the development of equality and diversity policies and guidance through their membership of EDIC.
  4. EDIC is a sub-committee of the University Executive Board, which in turn reports to the University Council. Council is responsible for monitoring the work of its Committees and Boards to ensure that the University's goal of ensuring equality of opportunity in employment is achieved.
  5. The University Policy Special Interest Group is responsible for all matters relating to overseeing the policies relating to the employment of staff.
  6. Trade Unions contribute to the maintenance and development of equality and diversity policies and procedures, resolution of collective issues through the University's Employee Relations Structure, and advise and/or represent individual members.
  7. The Human Resources Department is responsible for maintaining effective employee relations including via collective agreements with the Trade Unions.
  8. The Equality & Diversity Office provides information, guidance, and advice on equality and diversity issues.
  9. Heads of Faculties, Departments, Schools, Centres, Institutes and Units are responsible for implementing the Equality and Diversity in Employment Policy in relation to the staff of their department.
  10. The Director of Human Resources has delegated responsibility for coordinating the day to day operation of the Equality and Diversity in Employment Policy for staff.

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  • Last reviewed and updated: 1 June 2024