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Equality & Diversity


Public Equality Duties

The Equality Act 2010 broadens the Public Equality Duties to cover all protected groups (except Marriage and Civil Partnership). Section 149 requires public bodies like the University to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act.
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
  3. Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

In addition to the general duties, specific duties were passed by Parliament in 2011. These require the University to publish evidence of how it has complied with the general duties and to publish Equality Objectives.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced guidance on the new Public Equality Duties. These relate to:

  1. The essential guide to the public sector equality duty
  2. Meeting the equality duty in policy and decision-making


Protected characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 replaced the previous equalities legislation that evolved over the preceding 45 years. It replaced nine statutes (including The Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Acts 1975 and 2000, the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005) and over 100 other pieces of legislation.

The protected characteristics under Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 are:


Religion or Belief

An employer's guide to religion or belief in the workplace.


Bullying and harassment

The University is committed to protecting the dignity of all its staff, students and visitors.

Bullying, harassment and discrimination of a transitioning individual may involve verbal or physical abuse. This could include inappropriate use of

  • Language.

  • References to sexual orientation or sexuality.

  • Continuing to refer to the person's previous gender.

Within the University support for dealing with Transphobic Bullying and Harassment is available through the Dignity@Work contacts (for members of staff), the Mediation Service and through the HR Schools Team (for staff).


Key Principles of Equalities Law

This section explains some of the principal concepts underpinning UK equalities law.  Click on the links to find out more.


Sources of information and guidance

Managers and Administrators have a particular responsibility for supporting staff who decide to go through gender reassignment and for dealing with any issues which may arise from this. However, it is recognised that support may be needed from others to do this effectively. Additional sources of information and guidance can be found below.

There are a number of external organisations that provide information, support and guidance on gender reassignment and transgender issues for employers and individuals: