Equality duty implementation
On 1 October 2010 the Act came into force, which aimed to streamline and strengthen 40 years of equalities legislation. The Act extended protection to nine protected characteristics, and established the concepts of prohibited conduct and protected acts. The Act comprises of private and public law provisions which intersect and provide specific rights and responsibilities for both individuals and organisations. The University has a number of responsibilities under the Act in its role as an education provider section (91), as an employer sections (39) (40), provider of services sections (29) (31), and as a public body sections (149) (153) and schedule 19 of the Act.
The University in meeting the requirements of the Equality Duty will ensure that equality principles are embedded and strategically aligned to the aims and objectives of the University Strategy (CP). Furthermore performance management of equality would be aligned to the University Corporate Performance Framework. The alignment process involves assessing the relevance of equality to the University Strategy allowing for the identification of the specific objectives and performance indicators which are priority areas for the University. This approach allows the University to ensure that compliance requirements are met and demonstrate how diversity adds value to the core business of the University. Implementation of the Equality Duty can therefore complement successful execution of the University Strategy acting as a key enabler.
The publication of Equality Priorities is a key requirement of the Public Sector Equality Duty. Our Equality Priorities 2014–2020 have been developed in line with the objectives set out in the University Strategy. These equality priorities have been established by evaluating and analysing our current data in relation to protected characteristics, understanding sector-wide issues that are also relevant to us, and by understanding the further work we need to do to develop our systems and processes in order to embed equality and diversity into our planning and performance monitoring processes.
The publication of equality data in order to demonstrate compliance with the Equality Duty is a key requirement under the specific duties. However, equality data can also be seen as key management information to inform the decision-making process. The University will publish equality information with respect to students and staff annually.
Leadership and governance
Sheffield Hallam University's Board of Governors has legal accountability for compliance with the equality and diversity legislation. In considering its own composition, the Board will try to ensure that its membership embraces the widest possible variety of backgrounds, consistent with ensuring that the Board has the skills and experience necessary to carry out its responsibilities.
The Vice Chancellor has ultimate executive responsibility for the effective development and implementation of the University's strategy and policies.
The University Secretary and Registrar provides strategic leadership for equality and diversity and has overall delegated responsibility for co-ordinating the development, implementation and operation of the Equality Priorities 2014–2020.
An Equality and Diversity Board is chaired by the University Secretary and Registrar, has been constituted and responsible for coordinating the annual review of equality and diversity. This cross-institutional group monitors all relevant Equality Act 2010 alignment and implementation plans.
Equality and Diversity Team
The Equality and Diversity Team comprises of an equality and diversity officer and a diversity support officer. The focus of the Equality and Diversity Team is to facilitate the alignment to the University Strategy and ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010.