There are nine protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act 2010.
The legislation on age discrimination can be found in the Equality Act 2010. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have created a guide for employers as well as guidance for employees.
This is when you are treated differently because of your age in one of the situations that are covered by the Equality Act. The Equality Act has some exceptions. For example, students are not protected from age discrimination at school. The treatment could be a one-off action or as a result of a rule or policy based on age. It doesn’t have to be intentional to be unlawful.
Age Positive, based in the Department for Work and Pensions, is responsible for strategy and policies to support people making decisions about working and retirement. The Age Positive campaign promotes the benefits of employing a mixed-age workforce that includes older and younger people. The Equality Challenge Unit have produced a guide for universities on being positive about age at work.
We respect the dignity and individual autonomy of disabled people and their right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and sees respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of the recognition of human diversity.
We are committed to giving high priority to the recognition of disability equality; promoting disability equality principles and practices internally as well as to external partners and the local community; recognising and valuing positively the disabled community and their culture.
Our aim is to provide fair treatment in work, study, recreation and leisure for male and female staff, students and visitors.
We encourage the diversity of our staff and students and aim to create an environment of respect and dignity where we provide staff and students with the opportunity to realise their full potential.
We work within the legal framework to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of both women and men, whether as employees, students, visitors or users of our services. We will do this through our fair policies, practices and procedures. We also provide relevant training to staff and students.
The law applies in employment, education, training and the provision of services. This includes the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, (either because of the person's sex or harassment of a sexual nature).
Both sexes suffer from the effects of gender stereotyping and we believe that fair treatment should be based on the need of the employee, student or visitor and not on the gender of the person.
The term "sex" is used to describe biological differences between women and men. The term "gender" refers to the wider social roles and relationships which structure men's and women's lives.
Marriage and Civil Partnerships
Protection afforded in the Equality Act to marriage and civil partnership only protects people who are married or in a civil partnership from discrimination. It does not protect people who are single, divorced, widowed or have dissolved their civil partnerships.
The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership. In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. Marriage can either be between a man and a woman, or between partners of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners of the same sex.
Pregnancy and Maternity
Expecting and new mothers working at the University of Bath
The Human Resources website contains information about being pregnant whilst at work. There is also advice about your workstation and other working arrangements you will need to consider.
A dedicated welfare room for use of expectant and nursing mothers is available in Wessex House. This room contains a bed to aid relaxation, a chair and a fridge for milk to be expressed.
Further information can be obtained from the University Health, Safety and Environment Service
Useful Human Resources links:
There are changing facilities for babies located in specific dedicated areas across campus, mainly alongside toilet facilities.
Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of race.
The definition of race includes:
- ethnic origins
- national origins
- Protection on the grounds of nationality is subject to compliance with immigration rules.
We are an affiliated member of Bath and North East Somerset Racial Equality Council and work closely with them on race equality matters. Bath and North East Somerset Racial Equality Council is working towards the elimination of racial discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity for all. They are based in Green Park at South Vaults, Bath BA1 1JB, Bath and are staffed by paid workers and volunteers. Please contact them if you would like to become a volunteer or want to learn more about their organisation.
Religion and belief
Religion or belief is defined as being any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. This does not include any philosophical or political belief unless it is similar to religious belief.
It is unlawful on the grounds of religion or belief to:
- Discriminate directly against anyone. That is, to treat them less favourably than others because of their religion or belief.
- Discriminate indirectly against anyone. That is, to apply a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people of a particular religion or belief without a good reason.
- Subject anyone to harassment. Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
- Victimise someone because they have made a complaint or allegation or have given evidence against someone else in relation to a complaint of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.
- Discriminate against someone based on the assumption that they have a particular religion or belief.
- Discriminate against someone in some circumstances after the working relationship has ended.
The law also protects people who are being discriminated against because of the religion or belief of the people with whom they associate, for example, their family or friends.
Exceptions may be made in very limited circumstances if there are legal reasons for this.
Muslim prayer room
The University is pleased to make available for any Muslim members of its community (staff, students or visitors) the following facilities:
- A Muslim prayer room (available 24/7) on the University campus, with washing facilities in Norwood House, level 4.1. You can access the room by going to the reception in the Library (open 24/7) for the door code.
- A large room is available every week for a two hour period for Friday prayers. You will need to contact the University Islamic Society for the location because it can vary through the year. The University Islamic Society (SU) can be contacted by email email@example.com
You may encounter requests from staff or students in connection with time off work or study for prayer, dress or religious/activities holidays. In such circumstances, please contact the Human Resources department or Students' Union for further assistance.
Sexual orientation is a term used to describe a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to other people. It can also mean a person's sense of identity and membership in a community based on their sexual orientation. It is usually described in terms of categories, or as a spectrum ranging from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex, to exclusive attraction to the same sex.
Sexual orientation is defined as:
- Orientation towards persons of the same sex
- Orientation towards persons of the opposite sex
- Orientations towards persons of the same sex and opposite sex
It is unlawful because of someones sexual orientation to: - Discriminate directly against anyone- that is to treat them less favourably than others because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation - Discriminate indirectly against anyone- that is, to apply a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages an individual because of their sexual orientation without a good reason - Subject someone to harassment. Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them - Victimise someone because they have made a complaint or allegation or have given evidence against someone else in relation to a complaint of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation - Discriminate against someone, in certain circumstances, after the working relationship has ended.
Exceptions may be made in very limited circumstances if there is a legal reason for this.
Transgender people are one of nine protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010, and it is also included in the Public Sector Equality Duty. The definition of transgender/gender reassignment within the act gives protection from discrimination to a person who has proposed, started or completed a process to change their sex.
The act offers more far-reaching protection from discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment than ever before as it protects:
- trans people who are not under medical supervision
- people who experience discrimination because they are perceived to be trans
- people from discrimination by association because of gender reassignment. For example, it would protect the parents of a trans person from being discriminated against because their child is transitioning.
It is good practice for universities to ensure all managers, human resources and student services staff understand the law and its implications, and are familiar with gender identity issues.
'Trans' - a definition
An inclusive term for those who identify themselves as transgender, transsexual or transvestite. The term 'trans' can be used without offence but should only be used as an adjective, for example 'a trans student'.
The information on this roadmap has been compiled by students, for students, and is intended purely as a reference point for those with gender identity-related questions.
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