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Work for us

6 June 2024

The University and College Union (UCU) is the largest trade union and professional association for lecturers, learning support staff, academic related staff, trainers, researchers and managers working in further & higher education in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our 110,000 members are employed mainly in colleges, universities and in adult, prison and land-based education. We also have members in the private sector, for example in private training agencies and language schools, as well as members working on a freelance basis. Students training to teach in post-school education also belong to UCU.

Current vacancies

Head of Equality and Policy

Reference number:HE1
Salary:£86,000 p.a. including London Allowance
Hours: 35 hours per week
Contract: Permanent, full-time
Location: London NW1
Closing date: 21 June at 10.00am

About the role

UCU is seeking a Head of Equality and Policy to lead the Equality and Policy Department, ensuring its strategic and operational aims and objectives are met. As a Senior Management Team member, reporting to the General Secretary, you will be based in our Head Office, in London NW1. Your main duties will be:

  • managing and overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Equality and Policy Department and managing a team of employees
  • taking lead responsibility for the development and implementation of UCU's strategies and policies in relation to both equality and post-16 education
  • responsibility for the production of specialist support and advice on equality and education policy issues to national, regional and branch officials as well as various lay member committees
  • representing UCU externally on policy and equality issues
  • supporting FE and HE staff, as appropriate, in negotiations with national and local employees on specific equality policies and procedures
  • undertaking media work, including writing, advising and liaising with reporters, in accordance with the union's media protocol.

The role would suit someone with experience of a similar working environment and/or understanding of working for a trade union or other not-for-profit organisation. With a deep understanding of, and commitment to, equality and diversity issues and how they affect different sections of UCU's membership, the successful candidate will also have a knowledge of anti-discrimination legislation, best practice and current trends. Additional requirements of the role:

  • significant experience of successfully leading, managing and developing a team of employees
  • knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of bargaining, campaigning and organising
  • familiarity with current issues and political trends in post-16 education
  • strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels.

To apply, please download an application pack below or email quoting job reference HE1:

Application pack: Head of Equality and Policy [294kb]

Closing date for applications: 21 June 2024 at 10.00am

Interview date: 23 July 2024

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Returning your application

Please note that applicants should apply using the application form and CVs will not be considered. Completed application forms must be received by us by 10am on the closing date. Late applications will not be considered. Applications to be emailed to

We are happy to accept applications in alternative formats from applicants who, for reasons of disability, may find it difficult to fill in our standard form. Please contact the People and Development Team by e-mail at or telephone 020 7756 2558 for further details.

Diversity & inclusion monitoring

We need your support to make sure our employees come from a variety of backgrounds, so we especially welcome applications from disadvantaged communities. Even if you are not selected, it would be really helpful if you could complete the diversity & inclusion data when you apply for this role, because we can make sure we are encouraging a diverse mixture of candidates to apply. Thank you very much.

Equal opportunities

UCU is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

Benefits of working for the University and College Union

Benefits to support your well-being:

  • generous holiday entitlement of 35 days' annual leave plus 8 bank holidays, and 8 closure days with a pro-rata entitlement for part time staff
  • disability leave arrangements
  • special leave arrangements
  • a range of family friendly policies and procedures with enhanced maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental leave schemes
  • an Employee Assistance Programme that provides access to 24-hour confidential counselling
  • access to advice and face-to-face intervention from a senior chartered physiotherapist through the award-winning Physiotherapy Advice Line service
  • flexitime scheme available by agreement where employees can vary their start and finish times or lunch breaks within the set parameters of the work-life balance policy.

Benefits to support you financially:

  • all employees are contractually enrolled into the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) where currently the employee contribution is approximately 6.1% of salary and the employer contribution is approximately 14.5% of salary
  • we will pay 50% of the net cost of childcare provision for children. The scheme is currently available to employees up to and including Grade G
  • interest free season ticket loans to cover the cost of a second-class season ticket between home and the office
  • UCU will assist with the cost of an eyesight test and the purchase of a basic pair of glasses, where these are required for DSE use.

Benefits to support your training and development:

  • training and developmental support
  • access to over 300 eLearning modules through UCU's online training room.
Last updated: 20 June 2024