City of Wolverhampton College Equality and Diversity Strategy

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1 City of Wolverhampton College Equality and Diversity Strategy

2 Equality is defined as challenging discrimination, removing barriers faced by people from different groups, and creating a fairer society where everyone can participate and has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential Diversity is defined as recognising, respecting and valuing the differences that everyone has, as well as leveraging the opportunities that different people bring to the work that we do. Fairness is defined as conforming with rules and standards, the ability to make judgements free from bias, discrimination and dishonesty, and about being just to everyone

3 1.0 Equality and diversity Strategy 1.0 Equality and diversity is integral to our work both as an educator and as an employer. The college will deliver its equality and diversity strategy in practice through continued commitment in ensuring the Equality and Diversity is embedded and sustained in all college activities. 2.0 Our strategy for the next three years is to help us with our objectives as an inclusive, transparent and fair organisation. We aim to promote equality and diversity for all individuals and groups. We recognise that there are groups that face barriers and disadvantage and, to address these challenges, we have focused our equality and diversity strategy to cover all the key six equality strands of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and religion or belief. We will actively challenge discrimination and will ensure that equality and diversity is embedded within all function of the college. 3.0 Equality & diversity priorities We have identified nine equality and diversity priorities for , which will inform our work across the college to deliver against our vision, mission and values. Engage and involve learners, staff, local community and stakeholders in the development and delivery of our service. Actively use data to review policies and procedures and promote inclusion. Upskill staff around how to consider and integrate equality and diversity into their roles and work. Move towards being an inclusive and diverse workforce at all levels. Develop a culture in which diversity is celebrated and actively promoted. Encourage mutual respect for all of our staff and service users. Challenge harassment and discrimination. Make sure our employment policies and practices are fair and transparent. Remain compliant with legislation and our legal obligations.

4 2.0 Background 2.1 The City of Wolverhampton College is committed to ensuring equality and promoting diversity for all who form the college community learners, staff, local community and stakeholders. This includes identifying any barriers that may create disadvantages to certain groups and eliminating discrimination, harassment and promoting equal opportunities. This supports our Vision, Mission and values putting the learner at heart of every decision we make. Our Vision, Mission and Values The Vision for City of Wolverhampton College is World Class: nothing less The Mission of City of Wolverhampton College is to: support the development and regeneration of Wolverhampton and its region by providing education, training and skills development to enhance individual, community and economic prosperity The values of City of Wolverhampton College are: Students at the heart of every decision we make Students and colleagues feel valued and respected Everyone is accountable for their actions We keep a clear vision and move towards it Everyone is empowered to find ways to overcome obstacles

5 2.2 City of Wolverhampton College Strategic Priorities 1. Be an Outstanding College 2. Building the qualifications, skills and employability of young people 3. Supporting the economy of Wolverhampton 4. Enriching the communities of Wolverhampton

6 3.0 Equality Act The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) consolidates and replaces the previous discrimination legislation for England, Scotland and Wales. The Act covers discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. These categories are known in the Act as protected characteristics. 3.2 The Act introduces a new Public Sector Equality Duty, which will require organisations to give due regard to: Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimization Advance equality of opportunity Foster good relations 3.3 The College is responding to the legislation on equality and diversity both as an employer and a public sector service provider. The Equality Act 2010 came in to force on the 1 st October The act replaces the following pieces of equality legislation: Equal Pay act 1970 Sex Discrimination Act 1975 Race Relation Act 1976 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) regulations 2003 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 Employment Equality (Age) regulations 2006 Equality Act 2006,part 2 Equality Act ( Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 Source: EHRC 2011

7 4.0 Implementation of the Equality Act 2010 College will be required to take specific action to ensure it is complying with the key changes in the legislation. Change in definition of direct discrimination Change in definition of specific protected characteristics Extended protection for disabled people Breastfeeding now explicitly protected Protection on grounds of pregnancy and maternity extended to students New limitations on asking health related questions during staff recruitment and selection New protection from third party harassment Removal of secrecy clause in discussing pay

8 4.1 Changes in definition of direct discrimination Key Changes The new definition of direct discrimination extends protection based on association and perception to include: age (note: there are exceptions around direct discrimination and age, see Equality Act 2010) disability gender reassignment sex This is already applicable to race, sexual orientation and religion or belief. This change means that those providing care for someone due to a protected characteristic would be protected because of their association. Actions Ensure carers understand that they may be protected from discrimination due to association Ensure that the protection for carers is reflected in current policies and procedures Use the new definition of discrimination or outline the full extent of what is covered when gathering evidence around staff and student experiences of discrimination (for example, as part of satisfaction surveys)

9 4.2 Change to the definition of specific protected characteristics Key Changes Disability The definition of disability will be extended to cover people who have had a disability in the past. Gender re-assignment The definition of gender re-assignment has been extended to cover people who have proposed, started or completed a process to change their sex but is not under medical supervision. Extended protection for disabled people Key Changes Protection for disabled people has been extended: Indirect discrimination protection will be extended to disability. A new protection for discrimination arising from disability will be introduced.

10 The duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people has been extended to when a disabled person experiences a 'substantial disadvantage'. The previous duty applied when it was 'impossible or unreasonably difficult' for a disabled person to work, study or use a service. Actions Ensure that the extended protection is reflected in college's policies and procedures, particularly those that are applied mandatory across the college. 4.3 Breastfeeding now explicitly protected Key Changes A woman who is breastfeeding is now explicitly protected from unfavourable treatment in the areas of education and provision of services. This covers unfavourable treatment within a period of 26 weeks from when she has given birth. Outside of this 26-week period, a breastfeeding woman may be protected by the sex discrimination provisions.

11 4.4 Protection on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity extended to students Key Changes Protection for women outside of the workplace from discrimination that arises as a result of pregnancy and maternity has been extended to education. Protection on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity is extended to students. A student who is pregnant, or has given birth within the last 26 weeks, is now explicitly protected from unfavourable treatment. Actions Develop policies and procedures to ensure consistent support for students during pregnancy and maternity. Consider the breastfeeding facilities, whether ad hoc or permanent, available for students' use. 4.5 New limitations on asking health related questions during staff recruitment and selection Key Changes The new provisions make it unlawful for an employer to ask about the health of a job applicant: before offering work to an applicant before including an applicant in a pool of short listed candidates from which the employer intends to select a person to offer work to

12 Actions Ensure existing pre-employment health questionnaires and other forms used during the recruitment process are reviewed. Questions relating to health should be removed or revised as appropriate so there is no risk of them forming part of the selection process. Ensure that applicants are still able to request reasonable adjustments during the application and selection process Continue to collect and use data to monitor equality in recruitment and selection 4.6 New protection from third party harassment Key changes The Equality Act 2010 makes the employer liable in the case of harassment of its employees by third parties unless the employer has taken reasonable steps to prevent the third party from doing so. Third parties could include: Students Contractors over whom the institution does not have direct control (for example maintenance contractors) This only applies if the employer knows that the employee has been harassed on at least two previous occasions. The employee does not need to have been harassed by the same person on each occasion.

13 Actions Ensure third parties are aware of college s duty to tackle this form of harassment through: 1. Revising student codes of conduct, student induction and programme handbooks so that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities not to harass others, including staff 2. Revising terms and conditions of contractors to ensure that they make their employees aware that harassment of the institution's staff will not be tolerated 3. Revising information and signage for visitors and for events outlining unacceptable behaviour 4. Include details of third-party harassment when gathering evidence around staff experiences of harassment and discrimination (for example, as part of satisfaction surveys)

14 4.7 Removal of secrecy clause in discussing pay Key changes The Equality Act 2010 introduces protection for people from victimisation by their employer if they discuss their pay with colleagues with a view to establishing differences in pay that may exist because of a protected characteristic. Employers will not be able to enforce any terms of employment or appointment that prevent or restrict discussions relating to pay. Actions Ensure that employees' terms of employment or appointment do not restrict discussions relating to pay 4.8 Update policies and procedures Ensure the key changes are reflected in current policies and procedures. Update references to previous legislation (for example DDA, SENDA, SDA, RRAA, Equality Act 2006) but note that some parts of previous legislation will still be in force. Page 234 of the Equality Act 2010 highlights which areas of previous legislation have been repealed. If referring to external guidance that has not been updated, provide a note that legislation has changed.

15 4.9 Communicate the changes Assess which training sessions and materials need to be reviewed and updated in line with the key changes. Revise the college s statement of commitment to tackle all forms of discrimination to include all protected characteristics and prohibited conduct. Produce a plan for identifying and meeting the information needs of governors, committees, managers, staff and students, trade unions and students' unions in line with the key changes Review present arrangements for informing staff, students and visitors of their equality rights and responsibilities in light of the key changes. Revise relevant college documentation (hard copy or web-based) to ensure that it covers the changes in the legislation.

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