- This Equality and Diversity Policy (“this Policy”) supports the University’s commitment to eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity and equality of opportunity in its practices, policies and procedures. It sets out provisions encompassing all areas of equality and diversity across the University and provides for the coordination and implementation of the University’s strategic objectives in this area as set out in its Strategic Plan as amended from time to time. The University will continue to develop other policies to support this Policy and specific areas of equality and diversity, as 3
- This Policy was developed by the Equality and Diversity Committee in consultation with the University’s main stakeholders, including the University and College Lecturers’ Union (UCU) and the GMB Union. This Policy will be reviewed by the said Committee on a regular basis and in any event, at least every three
- General Commitment
- The University is committed to providing a culture and environment in which its students, staff and others referenced at Section 3.2 below, are treated fairly and are not discriminated against without lawful cause, on the basis of race, religion or belief (including caste); gender (including gender reassignment); marital/civil partnership status; sex; sexual orientation; disability; age; parental, pregnancy or maternity status; social or economic group (referred to as “protected characteristics” in this Policy).
- This Policy prohibits victimisation and harassment related to any of the protected characteristics. Discrimination, harassment and victimisation are defined in Appendix B to this
- The University will comply with current and future anti-discrimination legislation as well as associated codes of practice or guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and other relevant bodies. This Policy will be amended as appropriate to meet the requirements of any future
- Wherever reasonably practicable the University will provide support, facilities and equipment, to allow for the equal access by all staff, students and applicants to its employment, education and other
The University has a number of policies, procedures and guidance that support this Policy including; Disability Policy, Dignity and Respect Policy, Flexible Working Policy, Transgender Guidance, family friendly policies (Parental Leave and Time Off for Dependents, Maternity Leave and Pay , Adoption Leave and Pay, Shared Parental Leave).
3. Application of Policy
- This Policy applies to all students of the University and to all staff working at all levels and grades within the University, including directors, consultants, volunteers, interns, agency staff and others including all contractors working at the University (collectively referred to as staff in this Policy).
- The principles of non-discrimination apply to the way in which the University treats applicants, visitors, clients, customers, and suppliers. They also apply to former staff members and former students, where the alleged unlawful discrimination or other behaviour prohibited under this Policy arises out of and is closely connected to a former staff member’s or former student’s previous relationship with the
- All staff and students have a duty to act in accordance with this Policy and to treat each other with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff or the student body, regardless of their status. (Also note the University’s Dignity & Respect Policy).
- This Policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and may be amended at any
- The University, its staff and its students are all responsible for promoting and maintaining equality and diversity across the University and in all of its
The University strives to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups; and
- foster good relations between people from different
- The University
The University’s governing body, Council, has overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with the requirements of anti-discrimination legislation and in particular with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) and the general duty under the Act.
Council has delegated responsibility to the Vice-Chancellor for the implementation and operation of this Policy.
- The Vice-Chancellor
The Vice-Chancellor shall ensure that the University takes necessary steps to ensure its compliance with the general duty, anti-discrimination legislation generally, and codes of practice. Such steps will include:
- removing or minimising disadvantages which could be suffered by staff, students and others on the basis of any of the protected characteristics;
- meeting the needs of persons who share a relevant protected
characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it;
- encouraging persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in activities within the University in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low;
- making all staff and students aware of this Policy and responsibilities under this Policy;
- providing equality training appropriate to needs and areas of responsibility;
- ensuring that this Policy is effectively monitored;
- ensuring that all individuals and companies who act on the University’s behalf (including agents and contractors) are informed of this Policy and enjoined to comply with it when conducting business on the University’s behalf;
- providing staff and students with an opportunity to raise and address diversity and equal opportunity issues;
- endeavouring to reflect its commitment to equality and diversity in its marketing and communication activities;
- ensuring that its practices, policies and procedures do not amount to discrimination, harassment or victimisation as defined in Appendix B of this Policy.
- Staff and Students
Staff and students are expected to support this Policy and to ensure that their behaviour and/or actions do not contravene its provisions.
In particular, staff and students are expected to ensure that the written and spoken language they use (including language used in teaching materials), does not cause unreasonable offence to others. Inappropriate terms or references relating to race, sex, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or any other protected characteristics should not be used.
Any behavior or act that amounts to bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation of individuals will not be tolerated.
Behaviour or actions that are contrary to the provisions of this Policy are grounds for discipline in accordance with staff or student regulations and may lead to dismissal or expulsion from the University.
- The Equality and Diversity Committee
The Equality and Diversity Committee is charged with the responsibility of developing the University’s action plans in relation to diversity and equality matters. The Equality and Diversity Committee is a formal committee of Senate and reports at least annually to Senate and to Council.
- The University as an Employer
- Equal treatment
The University aims to ensure that all applicants and all members of its staff are treated equally and fairly and do not suffer discrimination because of any of the protected characteristics.
- Recruitment and selection
The University recognises the benefits of a diverse workforce and will take steps to ensure that its employment practices are lawful and in keeping with good practice; that employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit; selection criteria and processes are fair and are not discriminatory on any of the protected grounds.
The University will take appropriate steps:
- to review its job selection criteria regularly to ensure that they are relevant to the job and are not disproportionate;
- to ensure that short listing of applicants is done by more than one person wherever possible;
- to use wording in job advertisements that will encourage individuals with a particular protected characteristic to apply;
- to advertise vacancies to a diverse labour market; and where relevant, advertise them to particular groups that have been identified as disadvantaged or under-represented within the University; and
- not to ask applicants about their health or disability before a job offer is made - the limited instances in which such questions may be asked, subject always to the approval of the Human Resources department, are set out below4.
The University will ensure that any recruitment agency it engages is aware of the University’s requirement not to discriminate.
4 Applicants should only be asked about their health or disability before a job offer is made in limited cases and only with the prior approval of the Human Resources Department. These cases include:
Where it is necessary to establish whether an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to reasonable adjustments).
- To establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or
- Where positive action is necessary to recruit a disabled
- In order to obtain information for monitoring purposes (which will not form part of the decision- making process).
Questions about past or current pregnancy or future intentions related to pregnancy, or questions about matters related to the protected characteristics should not be asked without the prior approval of Human Resources. In all cases Human Resources will consider whether such issues are relevant and may lawfully be taken into account in the circumstances.
- Conditions of Service
The University’s terms and conditions of service and policies and procedures will not discriminate against any member of staff on the basis of any of the protected characteristics.
- Career Development
The University will promote and develop its staff on the basis of merit and without reference to any of the protected characteristics. Positive action measures may however be taken where lawful and in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination legislation in order to encourage members of under- represented groups to apply for job/promotion opportunities.
All employees will have access to training and other career development opportunities which are appropriate to their experience and abilities and commensurate with available resources.
Positive action measures may however be taken where lawful, and in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination legislation, to provide special training and support for members of groups which are under- represented within the University’s workforce and to encourage such groups to take up training and career opportunities.
Staff training needs will be identified through regular staff appraisals and any other requirements set out by Senate.
- Termination of Employment
The University will ensure that redundancy criteria and procedures are fair and objective and are not directly or indirectly discriminatory.
The University will ensure that disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination, whether they result in disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.
- The University as an Education Provider
- Recruitment, Admissions and Selection
All applicants will be given equal consideration during the selection process and will not be discriminated against on the basis of any of the protected characteristics.
All selection processes will be based solely on the applicant’s suitability to the course requirements. Candidate selection will be carried out thoroughly and objectively, and entry qualifications for courses will only include those that are necessary and justifiable.
Recruitment practices will not exclude appropriately qualified applicants and efforts will be made to assess the equivalency of qualifications.
The declaration of a disability on the application form will not automatically mean that support can be provided; however, the University will endeavour to
provide the same experience for all students and declaration of a disability at the earliest opportunity will assist the University in determining what reasonable adjustments can be offered to support study at the University.
Applicants who declare disabilities will be advised, at the earliest opportunity after the University is made aware of the disability, of any reasonable adjustments that can be made for them if they study at the University of Roehampton.
- Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The University seeks to ensure that its teaching, learning and assessment strategies and practices support the academic and personal development of all students and take the needs of its diverse student body into account.
All students will be treated equally when considered by the Programme Exam Board and the University’s Awards & Progression Board for progression and assessment purposes.
- Widening Participation
The University is committed to widening participation and will engage in a range of activities aimed at encouraging application to the University from under- represented groups.
- Partnerships and Collaborative activities and/or Institutions
The University will expect its collaborative partners to follow the same principles and procedures as apply at the University unless there is a clear and agreed reason why this cannot be the case.
- Procurement and Service Provision
- The University recognises that by integrating equality and diversity into its procurement practices, it can further its equality objectives. Consequently, when selecting and evaluating contractors and suppliers, it will consider the extent to which they comply with anti-discrimination legislation including the Equality Act 2010 and its related codes of practice. Confirmation of compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will also be
- Contractors or suppliers that are unable to demonstrate compliance with relevant legislation and codes of practice will not be considered for the award of contracts to provide goods or services to the
- The University’s terms and conditions for the supply of goods and services will require contractors and suppliers to comply with equality and diversity legislation and with this Policy. Non-compliance with or breach of these requirements will give rise to a right of termination of contract by the
- Where appropriate, the University shall monitor and review on a regular basis the extent of contractors’ and suppliers’ compliance with legislation, codes of practice and with this
- Complaints of discrimination
- If a student or member of staff considers that he or she is suffering from unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation because he or she has one or more of the protected characteristics, he or she may make a complaint which will be dealt with as set out in 8.2
- The University will treat all complaints of breaches of this policy seriously and will take appropriate action where necessary. Complaints may be brought by members of staff, students or other third parties and will be investigated in accordance with the University’s grievance, disciplinary and/or complaints procedures. The complainant will be informed of the outcome of the University’s
- Monitoring and Review
- This Policy will be monitored and reviewed by the Equality and Diversity Committee on a regular basis to judge its effectiveness and to determine whether the University is meeting the requirements of legislation and the University’s equality
- The University will monitor and record as appropriate (but without requiring individuals to provide information should they not wish to do so):
- data relating to protected characteristics provided by staff and students
- data relating to protected characteristics provided by job applicants, short-listed applicants and successful applicants for jobs;
- the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination made by staff, students and other third
- any disciplinary action taken against members of
- Information obtained will be used to review whether the University is working within its commitments to equality and the progress that it is making in helping the University to achieve its equality and diversity objectives. The University will implement any changes that are
- Advice and Support
Advice and support relating to discrimination, harassment and bullying will be available for both staff and students. Sources of staff advice and support will include Human Resources and Working Relationship Advisers. Sources of student advice and support will include the Chaplaincy, Student Welfare Officers and such other student support officers as may be specified under the Dignity and Respect Policy from time to time.
- Publication of Policy
This Policy is available on the University’s website.
Alternative formats of this Policy can be provided on request.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE
University Secretary (Chair)
A Deputy Provost nominated by the Deputy Provosts
Chaplaincy representative (nominated by the Chaplains)
Director of Department of Student Wellbeing (or nominee)
Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer nominated by RSU President
Head of Disability Services
A student nominated by the RSU President
Head of Wellbeing
Chair of Athena Swan
Academic Registrar (or nominee)
Trades Unions representatives: GMB nominee and UCU nominee
Director of Estates & Campus Services (or nominee)
Secretary: Secretariat Officer
Director of Human Resources (or nominee/s)
Terms of Reference
- To develop the University Strategy in relation to diversity and equal opportunities
- To ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place with respect to the University’s obligations under diversity and equality
- To provide guidance and leadership on improving equality of opportunity and fostering good relations across the
- To monitor the implementation and effectiveness of policy and procedures relating to diversity and equal opportunities, and to recommend changes where appropriate particularly in respect of:
- staff recruitment, development, management and promotion;
- student recruitment, admissions and retention and,
- the pattern of teaching and learning, and assessment and
- To review, at least annually, the profile of Roehampton staff and
- To report annually to Senate and Council on the fulfilment if the University’s statutory obligations in respect of equality and
- To establish working groups as
- To undertake any other functions that may be assigned to the Committee by Senate.
The Committee shall meet at least three times per annum.
The Committee will be serviced via the University Secretariat.