Appendix C – Equality & Diversity Policy
1.1 The Students’ Union is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone is treated equally and with respect. We commit ourselves to promoting equal opportunities as an employer, a representative and campaigning body, and as a provider of services. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination including harassment and bullying based on one or more of the following grounds; age, ability or disability, ethnic origin, caring or parental responsibilities, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or gender reassignment, HIV status, marital status, nationality, opinions or beliefs on matters such as religion and politics, physical appearance, race, sexual orientation, spent or irrelevant criminal convictions, trade union affiliation, employment status, socio- economic background, medical conditions, full or part time student status, mental health status or any other relevant distinction. This list is not exhaustive but illustrates our commitment in regarding such discrimination as unacceptable.
- General principles
2.1 This policy exists to:
2.1.1 Ensure that the Students’ Union carries out its activities within a framework that respects and promotes equal opportunities alongside legislative requirements.
2.1.2 Ensure that the Students’ Union is proactive in promoting equality of opportunity.
2.1.3 Make explicit the rights and responsibilities of all members.
2.1.4 Commit the Students’ Union to monitoring the implementation of this policy and the evaluation of its effectiveness.
2.2 This policy will be amended as appropriate to meet the demands of future legislation.
2.3 This Union’s policy is guided by all current and relevant legislation.
- Our commitment
3.1 The Students’ Union will work proactively to involve all members in its activities who are typically under-represented or marginalized.
3.2 The Students’ Union is committed to providing a working and learning environment in compliance with all relevant legislation.
3.3 The Students’ Union will work with the University, and other relevant bodies, to promote its Equality and Diversity policy and to ensure that both the Union and University are actively working to comply with policy.
3.4 Any groups or individuals contravening this policy will be subject to disciplinary procedures where patronage and support will be reviewed.
3.5 The Students’ Union will regularly monitor practices to ensure that we meet our commitment to equality and diversity.
3.6 The Students’ Union’s procedures will apply to all aspects of our activity, including advertising, media, and all forms of documentation.
3.7 It will apply to all those involved in the Students’ Union including members, staff, visitors, clients, contractors, consultants, customers, and potential as well as existing employees.
- Implementation and Responsibility
4.1 Overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive.
4.2 All elected officers, members of Union staff, and volunteers are responsible for their own behaviour and should strive to ensure equality and diversity best practice within their remit. They shall be held personally accountable should any complaint arise against them.
4.3 All elected officers, members of Union staff, and volunteers are responsible for ensuring that personal harassment of another member of staff or student does not occur.
4.4 All Students’ Union members are responsible for their own behaviour and should strive to respect and demonstrate equal opportunities principles.
5.1 The Students’ Union understands that the needs of different groups vary and will therefore strive to provide according to need, which in some cases will result in different provisions.
5.2 The Students’ Union recognises the need for liberation groups (BAME, Disabled Students, LGBTQ+, and Women for example) to have a ‘safe space’.
5.3 The Students’ Union is committed to making our service provision accessible to all students.
5.3.1 Where offices are inaccessible, we will endeavour to find alternative spaces for meetings and events in order not to exclude any involved party.
5.3.2 Any alterations to and/or development of the Union buildings shall occur with improving access as a priority.
- Employment and elections
6.1 The Students’ Union commits itself to becoming an equal opportunities employer and democratic body with the aim to eliminate unfair discrimination at each stage of the recruitment/election process and throughout an individual’s period of employment or term of office.
7.1 All Union staff, elected officers, liberation leaders and volunteers will receive equality and diversity training.
7.2 All Union staff and elected officers must be fully aware of the equality and diversity policy and its strategy for implementation.
- Monitoring and Review
8.1 Full-time officers and the Chief Executive will be responsible for monitoring the day-to-day implementation of policy.
8.2 There will be an advisory sub-committee of the Board of Trustees, called the Equality and Diversity Panel which will consist of:
8.2.1 Two (2) Sabbatical Officers.
8.2.2 The Chief Executive.
8.2.3 The Head of Membership Engagement.
8.2.4 Other staff and representatives from the Union’s liberation groups will attend panel meetings by invitation.
8.3 The panel will meet every term to assess and assist with implementation and act as advisors to the annual review.
8.4 The panel will also be responsible for instigating the evaluation of the policy in view of future legislative change.
8.5 The panel shall contact relevant individuals and organisations to ascertain comments on Union policy and practice, as well how Union members and staff from under represented and marginalised groups.
8.5.1 This shall determine how participation in policy making and activities can improve and how Union and Company services can be enhanced.
8.6 The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee will be responsible for organising an annual review of the policy, its implementation, and effect.
8.6.1 The review will report on the development and implementation of the policy as well as create an action plan containing explicit, measurable and achievable objectives and targets.
8.6.2 The annual report will be made public to all staff through department meetings, all students through general meetings (presented by the Chair of the Trustee Board) and Union media outlets, and the University at the review of their own policy.
- Promotion & Publicity
9.1 The Students’ Union will ensure that all members, staff, and volunteers are aware of the Union’s commitment to equality and diversity and that they are expected to promote its objectives.
9.2 This policy shall be made available to all members, staff, clubs, and societies as a requirement that they actively counter prejudice and discrimination and demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity policies and practice.
9.3 Notices stating that the Students’ Union will not tolerate behaviour which contravenes the equality and diversity policy shall be displayed throughout our services.
- Complaints Procedure
10.1 If any (potential or existing) Students’ Union member, employee, or volunteer feels they have not been treated in accordance with this policy, they have the right to make a complaint free of retribution.
10.2 All complaints will be handled with consideration to both sides and with the utmost confidentiality.
10.3 Complaints can be made through the Students’ Union complaints procedure, which can be viewed at ucasu.com.
- Relevant legislation
11.1 This Union’s policy is guided by ‘The Equality Act 2010