Last updated: 28 January 2021
Appendix 1 – Definitions of discrimination
The University of Gloucestershire is committed to being a community in which equality of opportunity is a reality for all applicants, students; staff, full and part time, prospective staff and the governing body. It is developing an inclusive culture, free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
This policy applies to all staff, job applicants, applicants, students and the governing body. Contractors and suppliers undertaking work on behalf of the University, individuals with honorary status are also required to act in accordance with this policy.
The key purpose of this policy is to clearly set out the University’s commitment to equality and diversity, and how it aims to achieve these commitments in line with its values and strategic goals.
This policy is set within the following legislation:
A set of definitions used in this policy, associated with the legislation is set out in Appendix 1.
The University is committed to advancing equality and valuing diversity in all of its practices. It is developing a culture that actively respects and values differences, recognising that staff and students from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences bring valuable insight to the
University; that actively combats prejudice, discrimination and harassment by raising awareness and challenging attitudes. It continues to create fair and open policies and processes that encourage and facilitate staff and students to develop and progress, achieving their true potential.
In line with the Equality Act 2010, it will not discriminate unlawfully on the basis of sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, age, disability, marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief, race and sexual orientation. These are referred to as the nine protected characteristics. Beyond the legislation, the University also recognises gender identity and socio economic background.
The University will, in carrying out its activities, have due regard to:
a) Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
b) Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
c) Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The University endorses the legal right of academic freedom as set out in the 1988 Education Reform Act, “to question and test received wisdom and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or the privileges they may have”. However, academic freedom is never unlimited. The general
laws of society, including those concerning obscenity, pornography and libel apply to academic discourse and publication.
To achieve the commitments set out in this policy, the University has put in place a governance framework, a set of Equality Objectives and an Equality Action Plan that will be monitored on an annual basis. The following actions are included within the Plan:
The Vice Chancellor is responsible for the review and implementation of this policy. In doing so the Vice Chancellor entrusts the Pro Vice Chancellor and the Equality and Diversity Committee to advise and make recommendations on matters relating to the advancement and monitoring
of equality and diversity, ensuring compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and good practice.
Those with line management responsibility are responsible for:
Members of staff are responsible for:
Students are responsible for;
This policy is available to all employees and students and members of the public via the University’s website, and it is included as part of the induction for new staff. It is referenced in the University’s on-line Equality and Diversity training module, mandatory for all new staff, and
located on the University’s HR Infonet site. It is also communicated at Faculty, School and Departmental team meetings.
It is referenced in the Student Charter and is located online with the student related policies and procedures. The policy will be made accessible to contractors, suppliers and agency staff, who will be expected to comply with it.
The University will take seriously any breach of this policy. All instances will be investigated and, where appropriate, may be considered under the relevant disciplinary policy and procedure for staff and students.
Staff who believe there has been a breach of this policy should raise their concern through the line management structure appropriate to them, where it can be explored. Alternatively they may prefer to get advice from a Dignity Adviser or their Trade Union Representative.
Students who believe there has been a breach of this policy can get advice from a Dignity Adviser, their local Helpzone or the Students’ Union. Alternatively they can raise a concern through “Students Complaints”.
Less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic.
Applying a provision, criterion or practice equally to everyone within the relevant group including a particular member of staff;
the provision, criterion or practice puts, or would put, people who share that protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with people who do not have that characteristic;
the provision, criterion or practice puts, or would put, the employee at a disadvantage; and
the employer cannot show that the provision, criterion or practice is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Treating a person less favourably than someone else because of their association with a person who has a protected characteristic.
Treating a person less favourably because you think they have a protected characteristic
Treating a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected to their disability unless it is objectively justified.
3 types of harassment are identified within the Act:
Treating a person badly or victimising them because they have complained about discrimination, helped someone else complain or have done anything to uphold their own or someone else’s equality law rights.
People can be victims of prejudice and hate which impact on their daily lives. Many of these incidents go unreported. Due to the damaging effect on their lives, it is important that all such incidents are reported.
A hate incident is “any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate”. A hate crime is any such incident which constitutes a criminal offence. (Taken from Gloucestershire Police).
Such incidents are targeted at individuals or groups on the basis of their perceived or real ‘difference’ and vulnerability, because of their: disability, gender-identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.
They can happen anywhere: in the street, in the vicinity of the victim’s home, on public transport, social venues, fast-food outlets or against religious buildings. For more information and to report an incident visit the Gloucestershire police website.