Equality and Diversity
Loughborough University recognises that people are our success, and our reputation is dependent on the commitment and excellence of our staff. The values and principles, which influence the way we deliver our goals, is set out in our University Strategy, “Towards 2016”. This states that we will:
- Value all our staff and students.
- Embed a commitment to equality and diversity and value the positive aspects of our differences.
- Value diversity and recognise that differences in styles, perspectives, values and beliefs are an asset to the University.
- Ensure that access to the opportunities offered to staff and students is fair and equitable.
- Recognise that the most effective team is one in which the different skills, knowledge and experiences of each member contribute to the delivery of a shared goal.
Loughborough University is committed to achieving equality for all those who learn and work here and wishes to develop a demonstrably fair and supportive environment, which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity (transsexuality), marital or civil partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, age, social class or offending background.
Staff in Human Resources play a critical role in developing, maintaining and supporting equality and diversity in employment. All staff have a legal and personal responsibility to uphold the University’s equality policies.
Equality of opportunity is embedded in the recruitment and selection of staff, training, promotion, performance and development management, induction, probation, and communication and elsewhere. We endeavour to treat people fairly on the basis of individual need and to build a workforce which is diverse.
The Equality and Diversity Sub Committee reports to the Human Resources Committee, which in turn reports to the University's Senate and Council. Council is chaired by the Senior Pro-Chancellor.
A variety of training courses, some mandatory, on equality and diversity are organised through Staff Development.
Loughborough University is committed to achieving equality for all those who learn and work here and wishes to develop a demonstrably fair and supportive environment which provides equality of opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity (transsexual), marital or civil partnership status, disability, including mental health difficulties, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, social class or offending background. We are proud of our diverse community and wish to encourage and celebrate its full contribution to a University life where all colleagues are treated equally and with respect.
The ideal of equality of opportunity is built into the framework of Loughborough University. Its Charter declares:
"No religious, racial or political test shall be imposed by the University on any person in order to entitle him or her to be admitted as a Member of the University or to hold office therein or to graduate thereat or to hold advantage or privilege thereof.
Men and women shall be equally eligible for any office or appointment in the University and for membership of any of its constituent bodies and all Degrees and courses of study in the University shall be open to all men and women alike." Loughborough University Charter, paragraphs 21 and 22.
This means that the University is committed to actively opposing all forms of discrimination faced by Black and minority ethnic groups, women, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered people, members of religious groups, younger and older people, people with disabilities and those with an offending background. Opposition to many forms of discrimination is informed by legislation. However, the University also seeks to assist and offer opportunities to groups and individuals who experience disadvantage and discrimination on grounds which are not currently covered by the law. In this way, the University acknowledges the role of higher education in furthering widespread equality of opportunity and breaking down social exclusion.
The University has agreed this Code and other codes of practice which examine in more detail, areas where equality of opportunity is vital (see list of codes at the end of this leaflet). Discrete equal opportunity codes are helpful in developing an understanding of particular issues, but the University recognises that equality of opportunity can only be achieved if these codes inform all aspects of University life. This Code, therefore, must be adopted by the University and by all University staff, students, visitors and contractors who are jointly responsible for helping to ensure that individuals do not suffer discrimination and that equality of opportunity is promoted. It applies to the activities pursued in all University working, studying and living environments. If, however, discrimination does occur individuals are encouraged to report it to the Equality and Diversity Adviser and are supported in doing so by the University.
Reasons for this Policy
The University celebrates and values diversity but also recognises that various forms of discrimination exist which equal opportunities initiatives help to overcome. The University also recognises that equal opportunities initiatives positively affect both educational and employment experiences. A working, studying and living environment which is free from discrimination encourages effective performance and creativity, whereas discrimination can instead cause underachievement. By encouraging effectiveness in work and study, equality of opportunity is strongly linked with high quality performance which is essential for individual success and the development of the University. Additionally, there are a number of pieces of legislation which prohibit discrimination in employment and study, including the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equal Pay Act 1970.
Equality of opportunity is understood to offer fair, equal and respectful treatment to all individuals. On the other hand, the University understands discrimination to be unequal or differential treatment which leads to one person being treated more or less favourably than others are, or would be, treated in the same or similar circumstances on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, disability, religious or political beliefs, age, sexual orientation or offending background. Discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is deliberate. Discrimination is indirect when an unnecessary requirement, condition or practice is imposed, preferred or desired, intentionally or otherwise, which excludes a disproportionately high number of people from a particular group. The University will not tolerate any form of discrimination, such as that which may be faced by Black and minority ethnic groups, women, lesbians, gay men, members of religious groups, older people, people with disabilities and those with an offending background. The University recognises that some people belong to more than one of these groups.
Complaints about discrimination against either staff or students are taken very seriously and could provide grounds for disciplinary action that may lead to dismissal or expulsion from the University. Furthermore, individuals may be subject to prosecution.
Complaints about discrimination in employment including staff should be made, if possible, to your line manager, Head of Department or to the Equality and Diversity Adviser. The complaint will be dealt with through the grievance procedures set out in the appropriate Conditions of Service. If appropriate, the complaint may be made to the University’s Harassment Panel. The Panel consists of academic and non-academic staff from across the University who are available to talk to staff, or students, in confidence. They offer support, advice and assistance in seeking a satisfactory solution to the issues raised. The Panel are willing to discuss any incidents or problems, no matter how serious or trivial they may seem. (Contact details are listed under Sources of Help at the end of this leaflet).
Complaints about discrimination involving students should be made to the relevant Head of Department, Warden or the Equality and Diversity Adviser. The complaint will be dealt with by the Head of Department or Warden who will also ensure that the Chief Operating Officer is informed. The Head of Department or Chief Operating Officer will initiate disciplinary action against students in accordance with the procedures set out in Ordinance XV11. These procedures include referral to a Student Disciplinary Panel, which may impose a range of penalties, including termination of studies at the University.
Complaints about discrimination involving contractors and visitors should be made to the relevant Head of Department or the Equality and Diversity Adviser.
You may also wish to contact the relevant national body mandated to investigate discrimination, such as the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission or the Equal Opportunities Commission. Contacts for these organisations and other sources of help are listed at the end of this leaflet.
Complaints about discrimination will be monitored on an annual basis. The monitoring process will report to the Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee and statistical information about complaints of discrimination within the University will be produced by the Equality and Diversity Adviser. Names of individuals concerned with incidents will not be published.
Equal opportunity initiatives will also be monitored and this information will be reported to the Equal Opportunities Sub-Committee.
The co-operation of all University staff, students, contractors and visitors is essential to ensure the success of this Code. The implementation of this Code takes place at various levels. At an institutional level, the University and the Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee are responsible. All University staff, students, visitors and contractors are also responsible for helping to ensure that individuals do not suffer discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity. Staff with responsibility for teaching, support and welfare of students and those who manage others have additional responsibilities to ensure that this Code is actively pursued.
The University is committed to opposing discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity and is involved in training programmes to heighten awareness and encourage good practice. Further information about equal opportunities, their impact, strategies for preventing discrimination, including training or publications available, is available from the Equal Opportunities Adviser or Officer.
Do you know what an Equality Impact Assessment is?
Have you been tasked with completing one?
Are you developing a new strategy/project/policy/service or revising an existing strategy/project/policy/service?
Are you organising an office/building move for your staff/service?
An equality impact assessment is simply a risk management tool to ensure legal compliance with our equality duties and ensure best management practice.
It is a project planning aide that helps us in ensuring that we have transparent and fit for purpose policies and consultation and communication plans and can help us evidence that we are not discriminating against anyone, that we are providing equal opportunities to all and that we are promoting good relations between all. It is like a checklist that helps us consider the impact on all our stakeholders, be they staff, students, visitors, partners etc. and supports us in thinking about being inclusive and accessible to all and in creatively making reasonable adjustments.
(Good practice is if a few of you get together to fill this form in. Best practice is when you involve all stakeholders right from the beginning in helping conduct the EIA. Of course, resources and timing may not allow you to do this.)
Download the form below if you need any support in completing the EIA please contact A.P.Akram@lboro.ac.uk (Telephone: 01509 222389).
Please note that there is now an online form available with helpful guidance notes to assist you in completing the EIA. There will also be EIA training/briefing sessions running throughout 2011 and an online training course EIA Online Training.