The Equality Act
The Equality Act protects identified groups from discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Disability is one of the protected characteristics identified in the Act.
The Equality Act means that the University must:
- take account of disabled people’s needs;
- not discriminate against disabled people by treating them less favourably than other people;
- make reasonable adjustments, both anticipatory and individual; and
- promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and others.
It is permissible to treat disabled people ‘more favourably’ than others, where to do so would not breach a competence standard.
Full information about the Equality Act can be found on Government webpages.
Guidance on the application of the Equality Act for Further and Higher Education providers is available on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act (2018)
The GDPR and Data Protection Act includes new and strengthened requirements for how we protect people’s data. There has to be a lawful basis for processing an individual’s data, and when personal data is collected a privacy notice needs to be provided to explain how it will be stored and processed. In addition to keeping accurate records that are safe and secure, retention schedules should be in place for different types of data.
Full information about how the University complies with the legislation is available from the GDPR and the University webpage.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), enacted under the Equality Act 2010 requires public organisations to consider the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people across nine ‘protected’ characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief,
- sexual orientation
Marriage and civil partnership are also protected characteristics under the Equality Act but it is not covered by the public sector equality duty. When any decisions are made by public organisations about how they provide their services and implement policies, they must consider how these decisions will impact on this duty.
More detailed information about PSED is available from the Equality and Human Right Commission.
Access and Participations Plans
The University has an Access and Participation Plan which is approved by the Office for Students. The plan sets out the University’s approach to improving access to the University for under-represented groups and those with protected characteristics, including for disabled people. Full text of the 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan and the 2020-2021 to 2024-2025 Plan.