Equality and Diversity

Edge Hill University’s vision is to ‘provide an environment where everyone feels able to participate, contribute, enjoy and influence their experience; and where inclusive practices underpin everything we do. Respect for and celebration of individual diversity will shape institutional strategy, direction and behaviour.

equality and diversity

Age Equality

Since October 2005, discrimination on the grounds of age has been unlawful in recruitment and employment. Examples of discrimination can include asking job applicants for their date of birth, or asking for five years’ relevant experience when two or three years’ experience would be adequate for the job. Setting upper or lower age limits is in most cases illegal. If you feel that age may be an issue for you, try looking at organisations who are members of the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) which promotes age diversity.

Disability Equality

The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing. It also covers impairments such as dyslexia, epilepsy, cancer and HIV. It prohibits all employers except the armed forces from treating people with disabilities less favourably than anyone else.

Employers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, e.g. modification to equipment or the work environment, flexible working hours, or giving more time to complete a recruitment test. Some government funding is available to employers to pay for alterations to the workplace and equipment to enable a disabled person to be employed. Additionally, some employers are keen to employ disabled people. Look out for the Jobcentre Plus ‘two tick’ Disability Symbol on job adverts and those employers who are members of the Business Disability Forum 

Some employers e.g. the BBC and the Civil Service run schemes to increase entry by disabled graduates.

EmployAbility work with disabled university students and graduates to ease the transition from education into employment. They offer free support, advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process and into employment.

Time to Change – aim to empower people with mental health problems to feel confident talking about the issue without facing discrimination.Additionally, they want the three quarters of the population who know someone with a mental health problem to talk about it too.

Useful information can be found via Targetjobs


Race Equality

The Equality Act 2010  defines ‘race’ as including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins. It is unlawful for a person to discriminate on racial grounds against another person. However, research shows that inequalities exist in terms of recruitment and pay, for example, people with African or Asian sounding surnames, may need to send about twice as many applications as those with a traditionally English sounding name to get an interview.

The public sector is generally supportive of equality and diversity and some employers specifically support race equality schemes e.g. Race for Opportunity, The Windsor Fellowship and the Civil Service

Some employment agencies also specialise in supporting racial equality e.g. Ethnic Jobsite and Asian Jobsite.

Useful information can be found via Targetjobs

Religion and Belief Equality

The Equality Act 2010 states that you have the right to hold your own religious beliefs or other philosophical beliefs similar to a religion. You also have the right to have no religion or belief. It is unlawful for someone to discriminate against you because of your religion or belief (or because you have no religion or belief).

Employers are required to adopt appropriate practices to ensure fairness to all individuals. These cover:

  • dress code
  • breaks (some religions/beliefs require people to pray several times a day)
  • leave and religious holidays and fasts
  • social interaction (some people may need to avoid eye contact or handshakes).

Useful information is available via Targetjobs

Sexual Orientation Equality

According to the The Equality Act 2010 ‘Sexual orientation’ means a person’s sexual orientation towards:

  • persons of the same sex (i.e. the person is a gay man or a lesbian)
  • persons of the opposite sex (i.e. the person is heterosexual) or
  • persons of either sex i.e. (the person is bisexual).

Sexual orientation relates to how people feel as well as their actions. It is illegal to teat someone less favourably due to their sexual orientation, their perceived sexual orientation, or the sexual orientation of those they associate with. Gender reassignment is unrelated to sexual orientation and is covered separately by the Equality Act.

Useful information can be found via Targetjobs

Sources of support:
Starting Out Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Recruitment Guide

Gender Equality

Under The Equality Act 2010 women and men, including transsexual people, have the right not to be discriminated against at work because of their sex. The act also covers areas such as equal pay, flexible working, and family friendly practice, e.g. the parents of children under five have the right to ask for flexible working.

Information is available via Targetjobs

Gender Re-assignment

The Act states that people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex, have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. Under the Act gender reassignment is a personal process, that is, moving away from one’s birth sex to the preferred gender, rather than a medical process.

Sources of support:
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Transgender Jobs in England

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