The Equality Act was introduced to make UK organisations (especially public authorities such as Universities) more transparent as well as try to harmonise the various current equality strands into one single piece of legislation.
The Act proposed a general public equality duty on public authorities. Universities, as well as the funding councils, are subject to this duty. It replaced the three existing duties (relating to race, gender, disability) with a single duty covering the protected characteristics of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.
The duty requires HEIs to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation.
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between persons who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
Equality Objectives and Action Plan
The Equality Objective and Action Plan 2020-2024 (EOAP) builds on the work undertaken since the last EOAP 2015-2019. The new equality action plan will help us to further progress our work towards equality and diversity.