Equality duty implementation

Equality duty implementation

On 1 October 2010 the Equality 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.

Under the Equality Act 2010 Equality Duty, the University has obligations, as both an employer and an education provider, to have due regard for the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Act defines universities as public authorities, meaning we must:

The University is also subject to other legislation e.g. freedom of speech and human rights, as well as professional, statutory and regulatory frameworks which require us to ensure and progress aspects of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion.

In meeting the requirements of the Equality Duty the University will ensure that equality principles are embedded and strategically aligned to the aims and objectives of the University Strategy.

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's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion provides strategic leadership for equity, equality, diversity and inclusion and has overall delegated responsibility for co-ordinating the development, implementation and operation of the University's equality objectives.

An Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) Committee, chaired by the Vice Chancellor, has oversight of the University's progress against its EEDI vision, aims and equality objectives. This cross-institutional group monitors all relevant Equality Act 2010 alignment and action plans. The Committee reports to the University's Executive Board.

Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) Team

The EEDI Team team has strategic oversight of the University's inclusion agenda and the development of a culture of inclusion. The team is responsible for ensuring high-performing EEDI services are in place for both staff and students, to deliver the University’s operational priorities and strategic aims..