Equality advice and guidance

  In this page:


General guidance on equality issues

New tools for equality negotiations    New

This guide brings together key tools you can use for progressing all equality negotiations: the moral case; the business case; the legal case; the public sector equality duty; monitoring; chartermarks; equal pay audits; and national equality agreements:  General tools for equality

Devolved Nations - Equality differences briefing   New

This briefing outlines some of the different legislation and approach to equalities in the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Devolved nations - equality differences briefing [154kb]      Devolved nations - Equality difference briefing. May 16 [128kb]

  New   Caring for Carers

A new guide aimed at giving support to an estimated 315,000 working age Carers in the UK.  'Caring for Carers: a UCU guide for members and reps', gives an overview of the issues facing working Carers, their rights and how branches can offer support to members who may have difficulty in managing their Caring responsibilities with work responsibilities.

Caring for Carers [943kb]


Public sector equality duties toolkit

The public sector equality duty came into force on 5 April 2011 and is supported by specific duties. These came into force in England on 10 September 2011. Please consult these toolkits for advice on the law, and how your institution should be responding.

UCU Equality Duty Toolkit [161kb] (opens in a new window)

Equality duties branch checklist [174kb] (opens in a new window)

Model intial screening form [202kb] (opens in a new window)

Pro-forma for impact assessment [33kb] (opens in a new window)

Sexual orientation equality checklist [209kb] (opens in a new window)

If you have suffered race discrimination: member guidance [158kb] (opens in a new window) - a short leaflet which can given to any member who feels that they have experienced racial discrimination at work

Sample letter requesting copy of race equality policy [25kb] (opens in a new window)


Other guidance

Public Sector Equality Duty in Wales [473kb]

TUC Equality Duty Toolkit

The Public Sector Equality Duty in Northern Ireland [38kb]

Equality Challenge Unit resources and guides to conducting EIAs

Further education

FE Joint Agreement on Guidance on Equality in Employment [520kb] (opens in a new window)


Legislation

Equality Act

2010 Equality Act: UCU briefing [139kb] (opens in a new window)
2010 Equality Act: UCU briefing [144kb] (opens in a new window)

Equality Act 2010 - Public Sector Equality Duties: briefing [55kb]
Equality Act 2010 - Public Sector Equality Duties: briefing [33kb]

The TUC has also produced a briefing which is available for download here (pdf) or a Word version is available here: TUC Equality Act 2010 briefing [249kb] (opens in a new window)


Bullying and harassment

Bullying and harassment toolkit - toolkit for UCU branch/LA officers
 
What to do if you are being bullied or harassed - advice for UCU members
Word version [163kb]  |  PDF file [22kb]

What to do if you witness bullying or harassment - advice for UCU members
Word version [157kb]  |  PDF file [18kb]

Guidance for those accused of bullying or harassment - advice for UCU members
Word version [160kb]  |  PDF file [23kb]

Dignity at work: good practice guide for HE institutions on dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace, ECU, UCU and UNISON, Jan 07 [594kb]


Age discrimination

UCU supports the current legal position of there being no default retirement age. Since October 2011 it has not been legal for employers to enforce retirement at a certain age, subject to justification for locally setting such an age related condition (see below). The default retirement age before October 2011 was 65. There were many complaints from UCU members who prior to October 2011 had retirement enforced before they wanted to leave employment.

UCU supports the TUC position that everyone should have the right to retire with dignity and a decent pension.

The change in legislation about retirement has engaged a cultural change in the way career lives can be considered. From a 'countdown culture' or lineal pattern to a more cyclical pattern where people may consider, for example, more flexible working patterns suitable at different points in the lives. UCU is committed to understanding the impact of  flexible working as part of our work on  social sustainability at work which continues. In 2010 we were part of a project with two other European countries: Quality in academia and life: A joint strategy to improve work-life balance by GEW, UCU and SULF [1Mb]

For further information please contact Seth Atkin.

See the Equality Challenge Unit website for more information including some significant legal cases.

Occupational and state pensions still have an age entitlement, check your pension scheme for their age related terms and conditions.

Justification

There is provision for locally established retirement age if it can be justified. Grounds for justification are based on the functioning of the business in relation to the impact on individuals. The grounds for justification have been tested in various court cases which can be used to support cases. For up to date information on justification please refer to this age discrimination website. It is possible to find other age related cases navigating from this page.


Disability discrimination

New Shared space   

This briefing looks at the issues that disabled, young and older people have in using shared space.

Shared space [244kb]  |  Shared space [95kb]

New Performance management and sickness absence for disabled workers   

This briefing for branches is about sickness absence and performance management of disabled workers. The briefing outlines main issues facing disabled workers.

Disabled workers, sickness absence and performance management [233kb]   Disabled workers, sickness absence and performance management [116kb]

Enabling not Disabling

This briefing is designed as a guide to UCU branches and local associations on the rights of UCU's disabled members. This guide was updated in November 2015 and includes legislation from Equality Act 2010:

'Enabling not disabling', UCU, Nov 15 [372kb]    

Supporting members with mental health conditions and issues: UCU branch toolkit [265kb] (opens in a new window)

New guidebook on the social model of disability

The TUC has published a new guidebook on the social model of disability to help unions and their members improve equality for disabled people within unions and in the workplace. You can download the 13 page guide here (pdf).

In addition, Peter Purton, Equality Rights Policy Officer at the TUC has written a blog summarising the reasons for using the social model of disability. You can read his blog here.

Guidance on reasonable adjustments   

UCU has produced guidance for members on reasonable adjustments. This was developed with the UCU disabled members' standing committee, and provides information, examples and resources on your right to reasonable adjustments and how to negotiate for them in your branch. You can download the guidance below.

Reasonable adjustments - removing barriers to disabled people at work: UCU guidance [126kb] (opens in a new window)
Reasonable adjustments - removing barriers to disabled people at work: UCU guidance [114kb] (opens in a new window)

Disclosing a disability

This guide outlines some of the advantages that disclosure can trigger when related to current equality and employment law, when you are obliged to disclose a disability and when you are not, and some of the wider issues around creating a culture and a working environment where people feel able to disclose.

Disclosing a disability: UCU guidance [360kb] (opens in a new window)

Disability Leave

UCU briefing on disability leave. Institutions should have a separate policy for disability leave, and this brief guide provides some useful definitions, guidance and links around what disability leave is and how it differs to regular sick leave.

Disability leave 2016 [115kb] | Disability leave 2016 [247kb]

One in Four - a briefing on mental health at work

UCU has produced a briefing on mental health at work entitled One in Four, reflecting the one in four people who will experience some kind of mental health condition in the course of a year. It is intended to assist branches in supporting members who may need mental health support and seeks to offer practical advice and guidance for branch representatives, including health and safety representatives.

Individuals needing mental health support will face their own unique challenges and many may need little or no changes to their working environment. However, understanding their needs and being able to advise and support members is paramount to ensuring that the stigma, stereotypes and discrimination associated with mental health are addressed.

You can download the briefing here, or contact the Equality department for a hard copy at equality@ucu.org.uk: One in Four - a UCU briefing on mental health at work, Jun 11 [103kb] (opens in a new window)

Supporting members with mental health conditions and issues

UCU has published guidance for reps in representing members in cases involving mental health conditions and issues. You can download the guide below, or contact eqadmin@ucu.org.uk for a hard copy.

Supporting members with mental health conditions and issues: UCU branch toolkit [265kb] (opens in a new window)

Supporting members with equality issues - a briefing paper for all branches and caseworkers prepared by the UCU Disabled Members' Standing Committee and the Working Group for Mental Health.

Supporting members with equality issues: a briefing paper for all branches and caseworkers, Apr 14 [90kb] (opens in a new window) Supporting members with mental health conditions and issues: UCU branch toolkit [265kb] (opens in a new window)

Briefing on OCD for reps

UCU has produced guidance for branches on OCD. You can download the guidance below.

Briefing on OCD for reps [232kb]   Briefing on OCD for reps [138kb]

TUC guide on sickness benefit and disability discrimination

TUC guide on sickness absence and disability discrimination [780kb]

Comprehensive guide to tackling disability discrimination at work

This guide has been updated to include the changes brought about by the Equality Act 2010 and the new Public Sector Equality Duties.

TUC Guide: Disability and Work (pdf)

This resource presents current information about HIV and AIDS. The resource gives advice to UCU branches about how to ensure supportive conditions in the workplace for people living and working with HIV.

HIV in the workplace - A UCU guide for challenging discrimination and supporting equality, Nov 09 [55kb] (opens in a new window)

HIV in the workplace - A UCU guide for challenging discrimination and supporting equality, Nov 09 [157kb] (opens in a new window)


Gender discrimination

Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015

Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015 [229kb] (opens in a new window)

Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015 [85kb] (opens in a new window)

Maternity rights for fixed-term contracts and casually employed staff

This guide briefly outlines maternity rights on fixed-term and casual contracts.

Maternity Rights for Fixed Term Contracts and Casually Employed Staff [204kb] (opens in a new window)

Maternity Rights for Fixed Term Contracts and Casually Employed Staff [77kb] (opens in a new window)

Joint HE gender pay working group: report and UCU commentary, Dec 15 (pdf)

Action against violence against women: UCU branch guidance, Jun 14 [388kb] (opens in a new window)

Action Against Violence Against Women June 2014

This guidance is for UCU branch officers supporting members experiencing violence at home and in the workplace

Action Against Violence Against Women [388kb]

Equality Challenge Unit resources and guides to conducting EIAs


Homophobia and transphobia

Gender identity: awareness and actions for equality      New

The purpose of this guide is to raise awareness about gender identity, including gender reassignment, and to identify actions that employers can take to promote and advance gender identity equality.

Gender Identity: Awareness and Actions for Equality [179kb]    Gender Identity: Awareness and Actions for Equality [59kb]

TUC guidance: LGBT equality at work

The position of lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people in Britain has been transformed beyond recognition in the course of a single generation. However, the problems that remain are substantial and trade unions, which have played a major part in winning the improvements gained in recent years, still have work to do.

LGBT Equality at Work (Third Edition) provides a context for LGBT equality issues today with sections covering:

  • Using the right language
  • The Law and LGB and T people
  • Workplace issues and good practice
  • Trans workplace issues
  • Monitoring: why and how
  • Challenging prejudice, promoting equality
  • Resources: help and advice

View and download: LGBT Equality at Work, Third Edition, 2013

Information about the Forum for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality can be found at the forum website here: http://sgforum.org.uk 

LGBT members' international experiences

UCU would like to collect feedback from our LGBT members about their experiences whilst working abroad for their institution.

LGBT workers have a right to expect to be protected from discrimination under the terms of the Equality Act and their institution's equality policy. However, during the course of working for your college or university it is possible that you may find yourself working abroad, either on a short visit or longer term basis. Sometimes you may not have a choice over where you end up. Sometimes this will mean working in a country or environment that is non-LGBT friendly.

Trans guidance

The Forum for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Post-School Education has published guidance on trans equality in post-school education. You can download it below.

Trans equality in post-school education [765kb] (opens in a new window) LGB equality at work: guidance for UCU members and branches [66kb] (opens in a new window)


Racism and religious discrimination

Black members' survival guide

UCU has published the Black Members' Survival Guide. It provides vital information, advice and support for black members to defend their rights at work, progress in their careers and combat discrimination and racism in the workplace. It contains information on union structures, what to do if you are being discriminated against, the law, as well as guidance on applying for jobs and promotion and progression.

You can download the pamphlet below, or contact eqadmin@ucu.org.uk for a hard copy.

Survival: a guide for black workers & higher in further education [1Mb] (opens in a new window)

UCU religious attire policy

Religious attire policy: UCU briefing note [18kb] (opens in a new window)

UK Uncapped - points based immigration guidance

UK Uncapped is a broad, trade union-based campaign against the temporary migration cap that the government has created, and against the effects of the cap and the points-based immigration system on the area of education, business, workers' rights, human rights and economic growth. Visit the site to learn more and lend your support.

http://www.ukuncapped.org/

Guidance to members on points based immigration

Points based immigration: UCU guidance 2013 [170kb] (opens in a new window)            Points based immigration: UCU guidance 2013 [184kb]

UCU report - the impact of points based immigration

This report was commissioned by the UCU's Equality Committee in the context of the union's campaign against the points-based immigration system and immigration cap. It is part of UCU's commitment to a working and teaching environment free of discriminations, open to all and encouraging mutual understanding and discovery.
Impact of points based immigration: UCU report, May 12 [773kb] (opens in a new window)

Last updated: 25 May 2016