Equality and diversity

We're committed to providing an environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected, and which is free from discrimination, prejudice, intimidation and all forms of harassment including bullying.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with a 'Protected Characteristic'.

Need to speak to someone regarding equality and diversity? Please contact HR on 01225 876338, hrcontact@bathspa.ac.uk. If you're a current staff member you can also visit the intranet for more information.

Protected characteristics

Age

The Equality Act 2010 protects people of all ages. The age specific protections have not yet been fully implemented and age is still the only protected characteristic by which direct or indirect discrimination can be justified.

Disability

A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment and this impairment has a substantial and long term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal daily activities. The Act now includes a new protection from discrimination arising from disability. It states that it is discriminatory to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability, e,g spelling mistakes arising from dyslexia. In addition to this, indirect discrimination now covers disabled people.

The Act applies to a range of people that a condition physical or mental which has a significant and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out ‘normal’ day-to- day activities. This protection also applies to people that have been diagnosed with a progressive illness such as HIV or Cancer.

Gender

Refers to the gender of the individual; man, woman or transgender. This relates to The Universities ongoing commitment to fair treatment between all genders, and that treatment should be based on the individual not the gender of the person.

Gender reassignment

It is recognised that there are differences between assigned gender and gender identity and that this should not be discriminated against in a workplace.
The definition of gender reassignment has been expanded to include people who chose to live as the opposite gender to the gender assigned to them at birth by removing the previously legal requirement for them to undergo medical supervision.

It is the process of transitioning from one gender to another. A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex. The Act no longer requires a person to be under medical supervision to be protected. The Act states that it is discrimination to treat transsexual people less favourably for being absent from work because they propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment, than they would be treated if they were absent because they were ill or injured.

Marriage and civil partnership

Marriage is defined the ‘union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship’. Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. The definition recently changed on 29 March 2014 and now allows same-sex couples to marry in a religious building. This Act protects employees who are married or in a civil partnership against discrimination.

Pregnancy and maternity

A woman is protected against discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity during the period of her pregnancy and any statutory maternity leave to which she is entitled. This includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, which in the employment context refers to maternity leave. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth.

Race

Race refers to a group of individuals who are defined by their race, colour, nationality or ethnic background. The Equality Act 2010 looks at protecting against any form of discrimination/harassment on the grounds of an individual’s race.

Religion or belief

This protected characteristic includes the individual’s philosophical and religious beliefs. For a belief to be included in the definition of religion, it must affect your life choices/the way you live. Also included in characteristic is a lack of belief.

Sexual orientation

This protected characteristic protects individuals who may have different sexual orientation to others. It is usually categorised into the following three areas: homosexual, hetrosexual or bisexual. The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate workers, job seekers and trainees based on their sexual orientation (i.e. limited career progression because the individual is homosexual).

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