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 RVC implemented its first Single Equality Scheme in 2010/11 as a mechanism to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion were at the heart of all RVC activities.
The Equality Action Plan builds on the work undertaken since 2010/11 and replaces our single scheme which will help us to further our commitment to equality and diversity through the development of a key equality objectives (covering the period 2015 to 2019). The objectives listed have been developed by using local drivers, evidence from base data collection and analysis and information attained from staff and students through the 2014 'Equality at RVC' survey.
Progress against the objectives will be managed by the Equality and Diversity Committee (EDC) and reported to the College Executive Committee (CEC) on an annual basis through the annual Equal Opportunities Monitoring report, with a review of the objectives at two year point to ensure they are still for purpose.