u-student’s vision is to be recognised as innovative, accessible, inspirational and outward looking, with international reach. We recognise the diverse nature of our students and staff community. We recognise the diverse nature of our partnership with our students and staff through a proactive approach to equality and diversity, embracing a culture of mutual respect.
This Single Equality Policy brings together previous policies on Disability, Gender and Race and supersedes them with one approach. Our proactive approach towards promoting and delivering our equality principles across our business practices creates a good place to work and encourages continuous improvement.
Our Approach to Equality and Diversity
u-student celebrates the diversity of all students and staff. We are a multicultural community that values and promotes equality and diversity. We do not tolerate discriminatory practices of any kind. In line with our strategic aims, we work to continue to deliver a positive environment for the conduct of all our activities, where all members of our community treat one another with mutual respect and dignity.
Through our policies and practices we work to ensure that all students and staff are welcome in our community and do not face discrimination with regard to any aspect of their identity.
Equality: Removing barriers to provide an equal opportunity; monitoring progress; acting consistently in line with legislation. Diversity: Recognising individual dignity; welcoming and responding to differences; encouraging a supportive culture based on respect.
The introduction of the Equality Act harmonises previous legislation and provides consistency in terms of what we need to do to deliver a fair working environment. The Act extends some protections to characteristics that were not previously covered and strengthens aspects of equality law. We intend to build on the requirements of UK employment and to remain at the forefront of good equality and diversity practice.
The Equality Act 2010 – the context
To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
To advance equality of opportunity between people who do and do not share a protected characteristic
To foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share a protected characteristic
Direct Discrimination; can occur when a person is treated less favourably than other people on the grounds of an aspect of their identity.
Indirect Discrimination; can occur where the effect of certain requirements, conditions or practices imposed by a process has an adverse impact disproportionately on one group or other.
Age is one example where people can be adversely affected by being treated or being perceived as being too young or too old for an opportunity. The Equality Act streamlines and harmonises aspects of equality law, and will cover us all at some point in our lives. The Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of “protected characteristics”.
We work to develop all staff, young and old and recognise that age demography and legislative change will herald greater workplace flexibility. We will consider how developments on age can impact positively on our existing approach to work-life balance.
Our code of practice on employing disabled people sets out how we aim to put our commitments into practice and to raise awareness. We also aim to provide support to staff that may experience stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
Disability Services provides advice, information and guidance to disabled students; students with mental illness or mental health difficulties; and students with a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. We will continue to work with disabled students and staff in order to address any barriers to achievement.
We encourage an environment in which women can achieve in all areas and at all levels of our business, and one in which men can also work flexibly across our activities.
The Equality Act provides protection for transsexual people – individuals who propose to, start or have completed a process to change their gender. u-student recognises that there can be differences between physical sex and gender identity and will not discriminate against people on the grounds of transvestism, transsexualism, intersex conditions or any process of gender reassignment. u-student will both respect the confidentiality of trans students and staff, and provide a supportive environment for students and staff who wish their trans status to be known. These commitments are made within a wider context of seeking to ensure that our environment and written materials reflect the full diversity of our students and staff.
Marriage and Civil Partnership
Same sex partners who enter into civil partnership have the same rights as different sex partners who enter into marriage. People who are married or in a civil partnership are protected from employment discrimination under the Equality Act. These provisions are in place across a range of policies and procedures at u-student, including special leave and pension arrangements.
Pregnancy and Maternity
Under the Equality Act an organisation cannot discriminate on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity.
The diverse profile and culture of the u-student community has an enriching impact on our city, with staff overwhelmingly feeling that this has a positive impact.
Religion or Belief
Our Policy on Religion and Belief encourages an environment where cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs are mutually understood and respected. It is based on the principle that all members of our community have the right to their own belief system, and no right to force this on others.
Putting the Equality Policy into Practice
u-student endeavour to enhance the student and staff experience by:
Working Towards a Fair and Inclusive Community
Gathering, Analysing and Monitoring our Staff and Student Profile
Ensuring accessibility of buildings, facilities and media
Providing strategies to prevent discrimination, harassment or victimisation
Increasing the successful inclusion of students from all equality strands and thereby enhancing their student experience
Increasing the successful inclusion of staff from all equality strands
Equipping staff with appropriate skills and knowledge
Promoting our Equality and Diversity Values and the Single Equality Policy
Ensuring implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Single Equality Policy
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