Integrated Equality Policy
Approved by Council on 13 July 2009 and published in the Gazette on 15 October 2009, amendments approved by Council on the 6 September 2010
The University's aims
1. The University of Oxford aims to provide an inclusive environment which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected to assist them in reaching their full potential. The University will work to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest potential and ability from applying to Oxford, either as staff or students.
The University's commitment
2. No prospective or actual student or member of staff will be
treated less favourably than any other, whether before, during or after
study or employment at the University of Oxford on one or more of the
grounds (subject to any legal constraints and in relation to the
protected characteristics laid out in the Equality Act 2010): age;
colour; disability; ethnic origin; gender reassignment; marital or civil
partnership status; nationality; national origin; parental status;
pregnancy or childbirth; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual
orientation; or length or type of contract (e.g. part-time or
fixed-term). The University has approved separate policies for
Equality Policy) disability
Equality Policy), and gender (Gender Equality
Policy) to meet the specific obligations of the Race Relations
(Amendment) Act, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality
2006. These are currently under review in light of the Equality Act 2010.
3. With regard to staff, this policy applies (but is not limited) to advertising of jobs and recruitment and selection, to training and development, to opportunities for promotion, to conditions of service, benefits, facilities and pay, to health and safety, to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures, and to termination of employment.
4. With regard to students, this policy applies (but is not limited) to admissions, to teaching, learning and research provision, to scholarships, grants and other awards under the University’s control, to student support, to university accommodation and other facilities, to health and safety, to personal conduct, and to student complaints and disciplinary procedures.
5. In order to realise its commitment, the University will:
- promote the aims of this policy, including the provisions for prevention of less favourable treatment laid out in paragraph 2;
- promote equality and good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it;
- be proactive in eliminating discrimination, including harassment and bullying, through training and the production and dissemination of codes of practice and guidance;
- have regard to its obligations under relevant legislation, including the requirement to carry out impact assessments in certain areas, and ensure that its policies, codes of practice and guidance mirror the same, and reflect the provisions of new legislation;
- whilst acknowledging that they are not legally binding, have regard to any Codes of Practice issued or adopted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission;
- make this policy, as well as all codes of practice and guidance available to all staff and students; and
- regularly review the terms of this policy and all associated codes of practice and guidance.
Council and its major committees
6. It is the responsibility of Council and its major committees to provide mechanisms through which the University's strategic objectives for equality and diversity can be delivered and also to work in partnership with colleges to agree a fair and equitable division of responsibility under current and future equality legislation.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equality)
7. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Personnel and Equality) is appointed by Council to provide leadership in all matters relating to Equality and Diversity and to oversee the development of equality policy frameworks and their application in the University, working as appropriate with those colleagues and bodies, including those committees with responsibility for student matters, that have specific mandates.
The Equality and Diversity Unit
8. The Equality and Diversity Unit has the responsibility of considering all existing and emerging equality legislation with a view to identifying relevant issues, which are then translated into key university policies for approval by relevant bodies. The Unit provides information and guidance to divisions, departments and faculties to enable them to discharge their responsibilities and to support senior members of the University in showing leadership on equality and diversity issues. The Unit facilitates central consultation with specific groups of staff and students. The Unit provides monitoring of key strategic issues and also drafts publications for approval by the relevant bodies as appropriate. The Unit also provides support services to staff and students with regard to harassment issues, childcare, and disabilities and specific access needs.
Divisions, Departments & Faculties
9. Heads of Divisions, Departments and Chairs of Faculty Boards, of both academic and administrative departments, are responsible for the day-to-day implementation and delivery of the University’s strategic objectives for equality and diversityin that division, department or faculty in accordance with the guidance attached to this policy.
The University Estates Directorate
10. The University Estates Directorate has primary responsibility for facilitating the accessibility of the University’s buildings for disabled users, in collaboration with the Head of the Department or Faculty concerned.
All staff and students
11. This policy applies to all members of the university community, both students and staff, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time, or on fixed-term contracts, to job applicants, to student applicants, current and former students, to associate members, and to visitors to the University.
12. These members of the university community have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with respect at all times and not to discriminate against or harass other students or members of staff, whether junior or senior to them.
13. The University expects all its staff and students to take personal responsibility for familiarising themselves with this policy and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times to respect equality of opportunity for all staff, students, applicants and visitors. The University regards any breach of this policy by any employee(s) or student(s) as a serious matter to be dealt with through its agreed procedures and which may result in disciplinary action.
14. Any prospective or current student or member of staff who has a complaint concerning a breach of this policy may bring such a complaint to the University. Information and guidance on complaints procedures is available at the end of this document.
15. Council will review the integrated policy on a three year cycle, in tandem with the policies on race, disability and gender equality, the first such review to take place in Hilary Term 2012.
Details of policies, information and advice on:
Information and guidance on complaints procedures.
Equality & Diversity