Protected characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) protects people from discrimination related to ‘protected characteristics’. The protected characteristics included in the Act are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race (includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins)
  • Religion or belief (includes lack of religion or belief)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

As set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement, University policies, practices, and procedures specifically extend to cover other characteristics and encompass all gender identities including trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming.

As part of the University’s commitment to equality and diversity within and beyond its community, individual members of our senior management team also act as inclusion champions in relation to each of the protected characteristics.

Report and Support service

If you feel that you are being subjected to harassment or bullying in any form, there is help available to you at the University through our Report and Support service. We have appointed and trained a network of Harassment Support Workers who will listen to you and offer advice and support.

Inclusion Champions

As part of the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion within and beyond its community, individual members of the University Steering Group (USG) act as champions in relation to certain characteristics, whether those be specific protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (EA) or areas where, as a University, we choose to have policies that protect individual characteristics in addition to those prescribed by the EA when and to the extent that this is legally permissible.

Role of the champions

Creating an inclusive environment is central to our institutional mission, values and objectives. We are committed to addressing under-representation where it exists, celebrating the diversity of our students and staff, nurturing communities of belonging in which all are accepted without exception, and promoting inclusion, well-being, resilience and empowerment to enable everyone to reach their full potential. Every member of our community has a part to play, but as senior leaders, members of USG have a particular responsibility to act as inclusive role models and connect their everyday decisions, behaviours and actions with our University values. USG members each have action plans, which set out individual activities and objectives for each academic year.

The role of Inclusion Champions is to:

  1. Increase engagement of USG members with under-represented or marginalised groups of staff and students
  2. Increase understanding at the senior level of the challenges facing staff and students from under-represented or marginalised groups
  3. Support USG members to be active role models for equality, diversity and inclusion within the University community
  4. Support USG members to promote the University’s equality, diversity and inclusion-related priorities within the University community
  5. Increase USG support at equality, diversity and inclusion-related events and activities through attendance, welcoming participants, speaking or engaging in debates/discussions
  6. Contribute towards effective consultation and communication with relevant University communities and committees

Find out more about our University Steering Group

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