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Equality and Diversity Inclusion Policy

  1. Introduction
  2. Equality Statement
  3. Commitment to Equality
  4. Assessing Equality of Opportunity and Fairness
  5. Responsibilities and Commitment
  6. Monitoring
  7. Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment
  8. Supporting Policies / Guidance
  9. Review

1. Introduction

The policy takes into account the updated approach to equality by the UK Government as outlined in the Single Equality Act (2010), as well as the General Duties of the Scottish Public Sector Equality Duty (2011), which requires the University to:

  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

This policy outlines our commitment across all operations of the University with an internal and external focus. Internally we are creating an inclusive working, researching and studying environment where differences are valued and equality of opportunity is advanced. Externally our focus is on continuing to deliver a fair service to our students and visitors by meeting the changing needs of global diverse communities.

2. Equality Statement

The University of St Andrews is fully committed to respect and fair treatment for everyone, eliminating discrimination and actively promoting equality of opportunity and delivering fairness to all.
In addition to being compliant with the equality laws, public duties, and Human Rights Acts (Universal and European), the University also supports diversity and promotes equality of opportunity for all staff, students and visitors regardless of their:

  • Protected Characteristic (Single Equality Act):
    • Age
    • Disability
    • Gender Reassignment
    • Marriage and Civil partnership
    • Pregnancy and Maternity (including Paternity)
    • Race (colour, ethnic or national background)
    • Religion or Belief (including non-belief)
    • Sex/Gender
    • Sexual Orientation
  • Caring responsibilities for a ‘Protected Characteristic’ including dependants
  • Socio-economic background/grouping
  • Union activity
  • Unrelated spent criminal convictions

The Equality & Diversity Inclusion Policy outlines the responsibility for promoting inclusive environments, which are free from discrimination for our national and international staff; students; and anyone associated with the University (e.g. visitors, contractors and service providers).

3. Commitment to Equality

The University aims to ensure that equality is embedded into all its functions, operations and activities. Initiatives to support the embedding process are facilitated by the University’s Equality & Diversity Officer.

4. Assessing the Equality of Opportunity and Fairness

Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are methods of self-assessment or auditing, which result in a detailed indicator of the University’s performance with the Single Equality Act and the Scottish Public Sector Equality Duty. The University is committed to promoting and monitoring fairness and equality of opportunity through the conducting of EIAs.

5. Responsibilities and commitment

Each individual is responsible for their own behaviour and must accept the principle that there is equality of opportunity and fairness for all staff and students and anyone associated with the University (e.g. visitors, contractors and service providers), in all aspects of University life.

Individuals must ensure they do not support unfair behaviour by ignoring what is happening around them and must not incite or collude with unfair or unlawful discrimination.

The law stipulates that, any member of the University community found to be responsible for inciting, perpetrating or colluding with discrimination or harassment may face disciplinary action.

All staff, students and anyone associated with the University, have a responsibility to adhere to this statement and apply it in their day to day work. The specific responsibilities in relation to this statement are as follows:

  1. The University Court, as the employer, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the University fulfils its legal responsibilities for promoting equality and eliminating discrimination, and for making sure that the commitments within this statement are fulfilled.
  2. The Principal’s Office, having the overall leadership for running the University, has the responsibility to ensure that the legal responsibilities for promoting equality and eliminating discrimination, and for making sure that the commitments within this statement are fulfilled across the University.
  3. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for implementation of this statement with respect to staff and also for implementing related policies and procedures. The Director of Human Resources will also ensure that all staff receive appropriate equality and diversity inclusion training.
  4. The Director of Student Services is responsible for implementation of this statement with respect to students and also for implementing related policies and procedures.
  5. Heads of School/Unit have a responsibility to raise the profile of the policy within their Schools/Units and ensure that all staff and students are aware of the commitments within the policy. They also have a responsibility to promote equality of opportunity and to eliminate discrimination within their Schools/Units.
  6. All staff and students have a responsibility to promote equality and to eliminate discrimination on the grounds listed in section 2 and to adhere to the Equality Statement. Any act of discrimination or harassment by a member of staff or a student will be taken very seriously and may result in disciplinary action being taken.

6. Monitoring

Monitoring will be essential to ensure that the University’s Equality Statementis working effectively. In order to achieve this, the University will monitor annually and publish details of:

  • the profile of the staff and student population across the ‘protected characteristics’ (transgender profiles are not published)
  • student applications, offers made, acceptances, assessment results, drop-out rates and awards of degrees
  • recruitment and selection, leavers, promotion, re-grading and participation in training and development activities
  • complaints including harassment and bullying complaints, grievances and disciplinary proceedings for staff and students

The University guarantees that information gathered for the purposes of monitoring will be used only for monitoring and to improve its equality performance and will be held and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).

7. Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment

  1. If a member of staff feels that they have been discriminated against, the complaint should be raised in accordance with the appropriate University Grievance Procedure.
  2. If a student feels that they have been discriminated against, the complaint should be raised in accordance with the University’s Code of Practice on Complaints, Appeals and Discipline.
  3. If a member of staff or student feels that they are being bullied or harassed, the complaint should be raised in accordance with the University’s Harassment and Bullying at Work and Study Policy.

Advice on the use of these procedures can be obtained from Human Resources and Student Services.

8. Supporting Policies & Guidance

The University has a range of policies and guidance that support the underlying principles of this policy. Further information can be obtained from Human Resources and Student Services.

9. Review

A review of the policy will be conducted once the Specific Duties of the Scottish Public Sector Equality Duty (2011) have been confirmed, in addition to the University feedback initiatives such as questionnaires and surveys.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this statement or would like any further information, please contact:

StaffStudents

Sukhi Bains
Equality & Diversity Officer
Human Resources

Email: sb104@st-andrews.ac.uk
Tel: 01334 461649

Ailsa Ritchie
Deputy Director of Student Services


email: ajr7@st-andrews.ac.uk
Tel: 01334 462252

Human Resources
November 2011

Appendices

  1. At a glance summary of how the Equality and Diversity Inclusion Policy impacts people
  2. Glossary of Terms