Clearing 2021

Protected characteristics

There are nine protected characteristics which are covered in the Equality Act 2010. Discrimination against these is unlawful:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment* (defined as ‘if a 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 by changing the physiological or other attributes of sex')
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief (religion is defined as ‘any religion, including a lack of religion’, belief is defined as ‘a religious or philosophical belief, including a lack of belief’)
  • sex
  • sexual orientation (defined as person’s sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex or persons of either sex. This means the Act protects bi, gay, heterosexual and lesbian people)

* The University’s policies go beyond the requirements of legislation and protect a broader group of people than those covered by the term ‘gender reassignment’. Our policies cover all trans people, including those with non-binary gender identities.

To support our value 'commitment to inclusivity', we extend protection from discrimination beyond our legal obligations to cover other forms of difference such as socio-economic background, political beliefs and affiliations, family circumstances, appearance, personal interests.

The University has Codes of Practice (.docx) for each of these characteristics. The codes aim to help managers deal with diversity within their teams, and to inform staff and students of their rights and the responsibilities of the University, under the Equality Act 2010.

The Codes of Practice are currently under review.

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 the University Steering Group (USG) act as champions in relation to the protected characteristics below.

We extend protection from discrimination beyond our legal obligations to cover other forms of difference such as socio-economic background, political beliefs and affiliations, family circumstances, appearance, personal interests.

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, resilienceand 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, judgements, behaviours and actions with our values.USG members each have action plans, which set out individual activities and objectives and aim 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. Ensure continued compliance with equalities legislation

Find out more about our University Steering Group

Contact us
Contact us
Organisational Development
Telephone: 01206 873506