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Equality in employment

Sheffield Hallam University equality and diversity statement is:

Our aim is to maintain a diverse workforce who work together in an environment that values difference and ensures individual talents are fully utilised to achieve the University’s goals.

We aim to create a welcoming working environment in which

  • people can achieve their potential and perform well
  • there is no bullying, harassment or discrimination
  • there is equality of opportunity
  • all decisions are based on merit

We will do this by

  • providing support, information, training and guidance for all staff
  • taking appropriate actions to redress any gender, racial or other imbalances in the workforce
  • dealing with issues of harassment and bullying promptly
  • developing effective processes for monitoring and reviewing equality data
  • ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and that they take action to challenge inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour.

Application of the Equality Statement

We ensure people are familiar with equality and diversity requirements through a mandatory online diversity module which has been available since 2005 and is an accessible, clear module for all employees. It aims to ensure people are familiar with equality legislation, understand the broader issues regarding equality and diversity and their rights and responsibilities as University employees.

The University is proud to be signed up to the government scheme.  The symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to employers who have made commitments to employ, keep and develop the abilities of disabled staff.  This is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that the University still meets the criteria and commitments of the scheme.   The University has developed disability guidance for both managers and employees.

The University continually reviews its recruitment and selection practices.  This identifies and ensures consistent best practice so that we do not discriminate whilst carrying out recruitment and aims to encourage applications from all groups. Revisions to training for recruiting managers have led to increased emphasis on UKBA regulations and what this means.

All employees are able to remain in post after the age of 65 following the abolition of the Default Retirement Age, and our internal processes reflect this.

Managers assess the impact of processes and policies in relation to their consequences for equality through equality analysis. In developing employment policies, Sheffield Hallam University managers consult with a management consultative body, the University's information and consultation committee and an employment policy development group. Once approved, new or changing employment policies are communicated, as appropriate, via internal newsletters, core and executive briefings, workshops and the HR web pages.

Related policies and procedures

Flexible Working Policy

The university introduced the Right to Request Flexible Working (Parents and Carers) Policy to provide parents and carers with the opportunity to balance work and family life, whilst being compatible with and beneficial to, business efficiency. The University recognises the advantages of a balanced approach to work and family life. Managers are therefore encouraged to view a request for flexible working under this policy in a positive manner and endeavour to accommodate a request for flexible working wherever this is feasible.

University job vacancies are offered on a job-share basis unless it is determined by a robust business case that this would not be appropriate for a specific post. Flexible working schemes include job-sharing, flexitime and flexible working hours for certain roles.

Harassment Policy and Procedures (soon to be named 'Dignity at Work')

The University is committed to providing a working environment for all its employees that is free of harassment, bullying and victimisation, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Sheffield Hallam University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all employees and students. Harassment or bullying in any form will not be tolerated. The University has an employee support helpline to help those who feel they are being harassed or bullied. Employees are encouraged to discuss workplace issues with their manager and have access to HR colleagues, trade union representatives, mediation and the University counselling service.

Mediation is offered as an early intervention which allows people to explore resolution options before invoking formal Problem Resolution methods. It enables employees to discuss issues together with the aid of a facilitator to agree a way forward by working collaboratively on the workplace issue and giving the individuals ownership of their situation.

Maternity/Parental/Adoption/Paternity Leave policies

The University is committed to the provision of maternity, adoption and paternity leave and offers additional provision beyond statutory rights.

In addition the University allows 'time off for dependents', together with the option of taking unpaid leave at a manager's discretion. ‘Keep in Touch’ days and meetings are promoted widely across the University to ensure those on maternity/ adoption/ paternity leave do not lose touch with the Institution and/ or developments in their area of work.

In addition the University offers a childcare voucher scheme.

Training and development

We ensure all external providers provide equality and diversity statements to demonstrate their commitment.  We monitor dates, times and locations of learning and development events to ensure they are inclusive and offer materials in different formats if required. All our courses reflect, or are compliant with, the Equality Act. Courses such as management development, appraisal, coaching, and assertiveness have an underpinning commitment to equality and diversity and this approach is embedded in the training.

The University aims to support people throughout their career through induction, individual personal and career development, annual appraisals and management and leadership development. In addition to our standard development programme we offer bespoke development to support managers and teams address a range of themes and issues such as support for organisation restructures, team development and coaching. University training courses and people development opportunities are advertised regularly through the scrolling news service on the staff intranet and in newsletters that go to all employees.

Work-life balance

Sheffield Hallam University brings together its employee wellbeing policies and practices through a wellbeing intranet site.  Practical options to support staff having a good work-life balance include access to

  • SHU Wellness - this service includes annual health and fitness screening, workshops and short courses, advice on exercise, nutrition, relaxation and general quality of life issues.
  • discounted membership at Sheffield Hallam University gyms and fitness studios
  • a clinic run by University physiotherapists
  • the Westfield Health Scheme
  • the Universities and Colleges Personal Healthcare Scheme
  • occupational health service
  • services provided by counselling and the multi faith chaplaincy
  • development programmes for managers and employees

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