1. Introduction and statement of intent

1.1        The University of Glasgow is committed to promoting and implementing equality of opportunity in the learning, teaching, research and working environments.

1.2        The University aims to create a learning and working environment based on fostering good relations between all people, with a shared commitment to promoting respect for all, and challenging and preventing stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and harassment.

1.3        The University is committed to inclusiveness, which “embraces diversity by valuing and respecting the perspectives and contributions of all our colleagues and students” (1), to the benefit of the University community in respect of its learning, teaching, research, management, administration and support service activities.

1.4        The University upholds the principle that, in their areas of expertise, relevant staff of the University shall have freedom within the law to hold and express opinion, to question and test established ideas and received wisdom, and to present controversial or unpopular points of view without placing in jeopardy their employment or any entitlements or privileges they enjoy(2).

(1)Glasgow 2020:  A Global Vision

(2)Ordinance of the University Court of the University of Glasgow No 205 (Employment Matters) 15/12/2010.

2. Scope of the Policy

2.1         This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including:

  • All members of staff(3) holding a contract of employment, and staff from other institutions on placement at, or visiting the University.
  • Individuals with honorary or affiliate status.
  • All students, including visiting and placement students.
  • Visitors, including external persons or agencies using the University’s premises, facilities or services.
  • Contractors working at the University(4).
  • Individuals working or acting on the University’s behalf, including suppliers of goods and services(5).

(3) All staff includes – full time, part time and sessional.

(4) Regulation 9 of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 requires the University to pay due regard to the Equality Duty in relation to procurement.  See also www.gla.ac.uk/services/procurementoffice/informationforsuppliers/

(5) Under the public sector equality duty, the University requires the four student bodies on campus (the SRC, QMU, GUU and GUSA) to have regard to the general duty as a condition of funding.  These bodies may agree to observe this policy or may create equality and diversity policies of their own, to be approved by the University.

3. The Policy

3.1        The University aims to ensure that all members of its community are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

3.2        The University will apply this policy in compliance with and in the spirit of the relevant legislation(6).

3.3        The University will not discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment (7), marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (hereafter referred to as the ‘protected characteristics’) in any decisions concerning student admissions, progression or support provision.

3.4        The University will not discriminate on grounds of any protected characteristic, in decisions concerning staff recruitment and selection, career development, promotion, staff development opportunities, pay and remuneration, or reward and recognition. 

3.5        The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of age(8), disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation, in the provision of facilities or services, or in the exercise of public functions.

3.6        In the provision of residential accommodation, the University will seek to provide an inclusive living and studying environment.   The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.

3.7        Under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to work and study at the University.

Where necessary positive action(9) may be applied.

3.8        The University will carry out monitoring, where practicable, by protected characteristics to ensure that all job applicants, applicants for promotion and applicants for study are being fairly treated, and to support and inform the Equality Impact Assessment process.

3.9        The University will assess the impact of its policies and practices to identify and mitigate any disadvantage to protected characteristic groups(10).

(6) Including:  Human Rights Act 1998, Equality Act 2010, Equality Act (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 and The Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005 – see appendix A. 

(7) A trans person does not have to be under medical supervision to be protected from discrimination and harassment.

(8) Subject to lawful exceptions:  individuals who are under 18 and exceptions listed in the Equality Act 2010 (Age Exceptions) Order 2012.

(9) See Appendix A.

(10) Equality Impact Assessment Policy and Guidance is at www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/equalitydiversity/policy/eias/index.html

4. University Responsibilities

4.1      Overall responsibility for Equality and Diversity lies with the University Court.  The University Principal takes responsibility as overarching Equality Champion, supported by Equality Champions for each of the equality strands(11), drawn from the Senior Management Group.

The University will ensure that:

4.2      Staff and students are made aware of this Equality and Diversity Policy through the University’s web pages, publications, induction and training provision, and through the line management structure, as appropriate.

4.3      Publicity material reflects the diversity of the University’s community.

4.4      Staff, students and visitors are treated fairly, irrespective of their protected characteristics. The University will take prompt action over alleged discrimination, victimisation or harassment.

4.5      Reasonable adjustments are made, as appropriate, to enable disabled staff and students to overcome substantial disadvantage in the working and learning environment, and in the use of recreational facilities provided by the University. 

4.6      Existing procedures for staff and student complaints, grievances and discipline/conduct matters are applied in a just, fair, open and timely manner. 

4.7      Staff involved in staff recruitment, student admissions, selection and promotion panels receive training on equality and diversity matters. 

4.8      External contractors are made aware of their responsibility in relation to equality and diversity and will be required to comply with University policies and regulations.

4.9      Learning and teaching material, where practical, includes positive, diverse, non-stereotypical content.

4.10    Public events are held, wherever possible, in accessible locations, and where accessibility is limited by necessity, this is made clear to potential attendees.

(11) See relevant Appendices for details of the Champions

5. Individual Responsibilities

5.1      All University staff, students, contractors and visitors have a responsibility under the Equality and Diversity Policy.  All individuals are:

5.1.1   Responsible for making themselves aware of the University Equality and Diversity Policy.

5.1.2   Expected to participate in training which supports the implementation of the University’s Equality Policy, as appropriate.

5.1.3   Responsible for their behaviour and expected to treat others with dignity and respect. This includes cases where alleged or proven discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation has occurred.

5.1.4   To support the University’s determination to promote good relations and eliminate discrimination and harassment.    

5.2      Staff responsible for schemes of work, teaching content and resources should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues.

5.3      Staff responsible for dealing with appeals, complaints, grievances, staff discipline and student conduct matters should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues. 

6. Unacceptable Actions and Behaviour

6.1      The Equality and Diversity Policy aims to ensure equality of opportunity and fair treatment for everyone.  It is based on the principle that people have the right to their own beliefs, but not to engage in activities or acts which interfere with the rights or beliefs of others.

6.2      Any attempt to coerce or threaten others to comply with a particular belief system, for example through unauthorised distribution of literature, or through threats or offensive remarks, may result in disciplinary action.

6.3      The University does not tolerate offensive literature (whether disseminated in hard copy or electronically) or graffiti on its premises (subject to limited exceptions pursuant to academic freedom (i.e for use in academically valid research).

6.4      Examples of unacceptable behaviours are contained within the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy, Student Code of Conduct, Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour, and Staff Disciplinary Procedure.  Regulations on acceptable use of IT facilities and guidance on use of email are provided by IT Services, see IT policy and strategy.

7. Concerns and Complaints

7.1      Where staff and students perceive that they have been unfairly treated in respect of a protected characteristic the following protocol applies:

7.1.1   Staff should speak to their Line Manager in the first instance. Further advice can be sought from the Human Resources Department, Equality and Diversity Unit, Trade Union or, in the cases of bullying or harassment, from the Harassment Volunteer Network(13).

7.1.2   Students should speak to their Adviser of Studies in the first instance. Further advice can be sought from the Student Representative Council (SRC) Advice Centre, Equality and Diversity Unit, Senate Office or, in cases of bullying or harassment, from the Harassment Volunteer Network.

7.2      Whilst it is the intention that staff issues be addressed locally, there may occasionally be disagreement. In this event the help of Human Resources or the Senate Office, or of the Equality and Diversity Unit may be sought. The staff member may wish to refer to the Dignity at Work and Study policy in the first instance.  If the matter is not resolved, the member of staff may consider the use of the Grievance procedure (which can include mediation, if appropriate)(14).

7.3      Students may use the University Complaints Procedure contained in the University Calendar(15).

7.4      Members of the public should use the University Complaints Procedure contained in the University Calendar.

7.5      The Students’ Representative Council Advice Centre is a Third Party Reporting Centre for hate crimes.  Staff have been trained to assist a victim or witness in submitting a report to the police and can make such a report on the victim/witness’s behalf.




8. Monitoring and Review

8.1      The Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee (EDSC) and the relevant Equality Working Groups will monitor the implementation and revision of this Policy.

8.2      The University will gather anonymised statistical information on the protected characteristics of staff and students in respect of the following:

  • Staff:  general composition of employees of the University, recruitment and selection, promotion, training and development (including Performance and Development Review outcomes), sickness absence, grievances and disciplinary procedures(16).
  • Students: general composition of the students of the University, admissions, retention, progression, degree classification, complaints, appeals and conduct(17).

8.3      Information collected will be reported to the Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee in the first instance, and will be used to inform future equality and diversity work across the institution.

8.4      This policy shall be reviewed in the event of a change to relevant legislation, and in any event on a biennial basis.

(16) Information gathered by Human Resources Department

(17) Information gathered by Recruitment and International Office, Planning Office, and Senate Office

9. Other relevant University Policies

This Policy forms part of the University’s suite of policies which govern the day-to-day workings of the institution.

9.1      Information on staff-related policies can be found on the University’s Human Resources Department web page:  www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/

9.2      Information on student-related policies can be found on the University’s Senate Office web page: www.gla.ac.uk/services/senateoffice/academic/

9.3      The Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan can be found on the Equality and Diversity Unit webpage:  www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/equalitydiversity/strategy2011-2015/

10. Useful contacts

10.1  Internal

Equality and Diversity Unit  (main office is not on main campus – meetings can be arranged by appointment)

Tel: 0141 330 1887   Email:  equality@gla.ac.uk   Web: www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/equalitydiversity/

Human Resources   (main office is not on main campus – meetings can be arranged by appointment)

Tel: 0141 330 3898   Web: www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources 

Local support is available from College Human Resources Teams: www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/contact/

Employee Assistance Programme - external and independent service for University staff
Access information can be found at www.gla.ac.uk/services/health/

Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service
Southpark House, 64 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow G12 8LB
Tel: 0141 330 3370  
Web: https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/leads/

Respect Advisers Network
Web: www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/equalitydiversity/policy/dignityatwork/ran/

Senate Office
Main Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: 0141 330 6063
Web:  www.gla.ac.uk/services/senateoff 

The Students’ Representative Council   
McIntyre Building, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ 
Tel: 0141 330 5360   Email: enquiries@src.gla.ac.uk    Web: www.glasgowunisrc.org

Trades Unions

University and College Union – Glasgow UCUG Office    68 Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel & Fax: 0141 330 5375   Email: ucug@gla.ac.uk   Web: www.gla.ac.uk/services/organisations/ucug

Unison – University of Glasgow   Unison Office, 68 Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QD
Tel & Fax: 0141 330 5570   Email: guunison@udcf.gla.ac.uk

Unite the Union - Glasgow University Group   
Email: Unite@glasgow.ac.uk

GMB Union
Web: www.gmbscotland.org.uk/


10.2  External

Employee Assistance Programme - external and independent service
Access information can be found at http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/health/

Equality Challenge Unit
Web:  www.ecu.ac.uk

Equality and Human Rights Commission 
151 West George Street
Glasgow G2 2JJ
Tel:  0141 228 5910  (non helpline calls only)
Email:  scotland@equalityhumanrights.com
Web:  www.equalityhumanrights.com

EHRC Codes of Practice and Technical Guidance
Web: www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/equality-act-technical-guidance

Equality Advisory Support Service (formerly EHRC helpline)
Freepost FPN4431
Main Tel:  0808 800 0082
Textphone:  0808 800 0084
Web:  www.equalityadvisoryservice.com


Policy approved by Court on 12 February 2014 and by Senate on 17 April 2014