09:35, 19 November: UCU's email server currently has a few gremlims. If you need to contact us urgently please ring 020 7756 2500.

Equality advice and guidance

  In this page:


General guidance on equality issues

Guide on intersectionality

This Guide to Intersectionality is written with the aim of raising awareness about what intersectionality is, the impact of intersectionality on equality and work to promote equality. Reference for further information and links for online viewing are provided at the end of the document.

Guide to intersectionality [227kb]  Guide to intersectionality [97kb]

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]
Caring for Carers [945kb]

Please find below the link if you wish to download the individual sub sections.

UCU guidance: caring for the carers

Working parents: an equality guide for branches and reps

UCU has developed a comprehensive toolkit to support members who are considering becoming parents or are parents.  Achieving work and life balance is becoming increasingly difficult as members juggle high workloads, precarious contracts and tight finances. Women are still discriminated against for pregnancy and motherhood. Our survey of members demonstrates this area needs support and advice. This guide will support ALL families in understanding their rights at work.

Working parents - an equality guide for branches and reps [645kb]

Equality Toolkit

This guidance covers UCU equality structures and details how you and your branch can get involved with equality campaigning and organising in a handy guide.

Equality Toolkit [302kb]

Challenging bullying and harassment: an equality resource

Bullying and harassment ranks the third highest hazard in the education sector at 62% as reported in the TUC biennial survey of safety reps 2016.  This branch resource provides branches with tools on challenging bullying and harassment at work.

Challenging bullying and harassment - Equality guide for branches and reps [524kb]   No harassment here poster [125kb]

Click here for further information regarding bullying and stress at work.

Diversity in participation

This document is about sharing good practice and contains ideas for improving involvement. It is important that all members are involved in our campaigns and practices.

Diversity in Participation [248kb]

Key tools for equality negotiations  

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  

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]

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]

Equality duties branch checklist [174kb]

Model intial screening form [202kb]

Pro-forma for impact assessment [33kb]

Sexual orientation equality checklist [209kb]

If you have suffered race discrimination: member guidance [158kb] - 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]

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]

Legislation

Equality Act

2010 Equality Act: UCU briefing [139kb]
2010 Equality Act: UCU briefing [144kb]

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]

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

David's Story - A Disability awareness toolkit

A disability awareness toolkit for branch equality officers.

Disability awareness toolkit [276kb]

Disabled Members' Toolkit - Campaigning for accessible and inclusive workplace

UCU campaigns for a better future for all. UCU has produced this campaigning tool based on the TUC's Manifesto for Disability Equality which sets out policies to achieve real equality for disabled people.

Disabled Members' Toolkit [127kb]

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]

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]

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]
Reasonable adjustments - removing barriers to disabled people at work: UCU guidance [114kb]

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]

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]

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]

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]
Supporting members with mental health conditions and issues: UCU branch toolkit [265kb]

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]
HIV in the workplace - A UCU guide for challenging discrimination and supporting equality, Nov 09 [157kb]


Gender discrimination

Gender based violence

This briefing paper provides a definition of gender based violence and an overview of the legal remedies available. There is also information about recent developments and a list of where to access more information, advice and resources (including UCU's own guidance documents).

Gender based violence [166kb]  |  Gender based violence [93kb]

Model policy for branches on domestic violence

Model domestic violence policy for branches [473kb]
Model domestic violence policy for branches [120kb]

Abortion rights - a trade union issue

This briefing paper gives an overview of the law, describes what UCU is doing and explains how branches and members can get involved.

Abortion Rights [229kb]  |  Abortion rights [89kb]

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

In response to a survey conducted by UCU amongst women members, UCU has developed a guidance for branches and members on how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace and support members who experience it.

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace [242kb]  
Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace [95kb]

Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015

Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015 [229kb]
Shared parental leave guidance spring 2015 [85kb]

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]
Maternity Rights for Fixed Term Contracts and Casually Employed Staff [77kb]

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]


Gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination

Europe and LGBT rights in the UK

This guide looks at the relationship between Europe and UK legislation on LGBT rights. Also covered is that relationships with Europe go beyond EU membership.

Europe and LGBT rights in the UK [106kb]  Europe and LGBT rights in the UK [100kb]

Non binary gender identity guide

Areas that help develop understanding of non-binary gender are explored in this guide. Actions are identified which, when taken, can help further gender identity equality.

Non binary gender identity guide [193kb]  |  Non binary gender identity guide [91kb]

Gender identity

This guide about gender identity equality has been produced to provide an overview of key terms and an update on this fast-developing area of equality. This guide provides a picture of where action and thinking around gender identity equality is in 2017.

Guide to Gender Identity [233kb]   Guide to Gender Identity [107kb]

LGBT+: A Guide to Language in Use

The language we use about people and issues can have a powerful impact.  Language used about sexual orientation and gender identity continues to develop as there has been increased visibility, awareness and discussion in recent years. This guide sets out provide suggestions about current use of language.

LGBT+: A Guide to Language in Use May 2017 [123kb]  LGBT+: A Guide to Language in Use May 2017 [99kb]

LGBT+ monitoring leaflet

Visibility and Voice Progress Equality: a leaflet outlining UCU's position on monitoring gender identity and sexual orientation.

LGBT+ Monitoring Leaflet [85kb]

Pride and Prejudice in Education

This report explores experiences and perceptions of sexual orientation and gender identity among post-school education learners and staff. The report was published February 2016.

Pride and Prejudice full report [1Mb]

Summary report

The summary is designed to enable members to read the findings of the full report more quickly and also contains condensed recommendations:

Summary of Pride and Prejudice in Education report, Oct 16 [263kb]
Summary of Pride and Prejudice report October 2016

Checklist for developing sexual orientation and gender identity equality in post school education

This checklist is drawn from the findings and recommendations in the Pride and Prejudice report and supplements the summarised version. The aim is to support branches in taking action to follow up the report.

Checklist for developing sexual orientation and gender identity equality in post school education [161kb]
Checklist for developing sexual orientation and gender identity equality in post school education [75kb]

Gender identity: awareness and actions for equality

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.

LGBT Equality at Work (Third Edition) provides a context for LGBT equality issues today.

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

UCU is a partner in the joint working group of The Forum and have jointly produced the following guides. The Forum brings together partner organisations to co-ordinate work that advances sexual orientation and gender identity equality in the post-school education sector. The Forum aims to support the work of all learning providers by providing high quality information, advice and guidance.

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

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 internationally, either on a short visit or longer term basis. Sometimes you may not have a choice over where you work. Sometimes this may mean working in a country or environment that is non-LGBT friendly.

Sexual orientation and gender identity equality - International Working [187kb]

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]
LGB equality at work: guidance for UCU members and branches [66kb]


Racism and religious discrimination

Challenging anti-Muslim racism

Anti-Muslim racism is on the rise across both the FE and HE sectors and more widely in communities. This briefing paper provides guidance to members on how best to combat anti-Muslim racism.

Challenging anti-Muslim racism [231kb]  |  Challenging anti-Muslim racism [84kb]

Prevent

A guide for higher education providers in England on how to use equality and human rights law in the context of Prevent. These EHRC guidance can be used in cross reference with the UCU guidance:

Tackling workplace racism

UCU branches have a role in challenging structures and processes within the workplace that disadvantage black workers. This guidance will help UCU branches to be active in identifying and tackling issues that affect black workers in general.

Tackling workplace racism - a UCU bargaining guide for branches, Jul 16 [343kb]
Tackling workplace racism - a UCU bargaining guide for branches, Jul 16 [248kb]

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]

UCU religious attire policy

Religious attire policy: UCU briefing note [18kb]

Guidance to members on points based immigration

Points based immigration: UCU guidance 2013 [170kb]           
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]

UCU anti-semitism leaflet

UCU is committed to combating anti-semitism. It has produced a leaflet which has been revised in January 2015 on the subject for branches to use, which you can download below, or request a hard copy at eqadmin@ucu.org.uk

UCU - challenging anti-semitism leaflet [67kb]

Last updated: 15 November 2018