Preamble

St. Angela’s College is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and students irrespective of sex, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin, membership of the travelling community or perceived political belief or affiliation and this commitment is reflected in - “Equality in the Workplace” and “Equality in Student Life”

Introduction

The College is committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a policy of equal opportunity for staff, students and prospective staff and students and is prepared to undertake positive action to increase the participation of under-represented groups.

The College will develop policies, procedures and practices that will comply with the Universities Act 1997, Equality Employment Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000.

The College is committed to eradicating unfair and discriminatory practices, direct and indirect, however and whenever they occur.

The College will ensure that concepts of diversity and equality of opportunity are enshrined in its values and objectives.

Equality of Opportunity in the Workplace
Aims and Objectives

The aim of the policy is to promote equality of opportunity for its entire staff and operate on the basis of abilities, merits, qualifications and the potential of the individual.

The College will seek to ensure that, through its recruitment and selection procedures, it provides equality in opportunities for employment so that the workforce reflects the diversity of the community it serves.

The College is committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all staff in career development, training, promotion and re-grading.

The College will monitor and review employment policies and practices to ensure that they do not, directly or indirectly, discriminate unfairly against individual members of staff or particular groups of staff

Responsibility

The equality sub committee of the College Partnership will have direct responsibility for the development and implementation of “Equality in the Workplace”.

The Governing Authority is responsible for formulating, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the College’s equal opportunities policy and to ensure that the College’s goal of equal opportunities in employment is achieved. Authority for co-ordinating the day to day operation of “Equality in the Workplace” policy for staff, development, maintenance and monitoring of support procedures has been delegated to the Equality and Family Life Group.

Heads of Departments/Units are responsible for implementing the “Equality in the Workplace” policy in relation to the staff of their department and to support the aims of this policy.

Implementation

Implementing equal opportunities for staff is a continuing process that needs to be kept under constant review. The process involves devising codes of practice; establishing procedures; describing good practice within the College; setting goals to ensure that the momentum of implementation is maintained.

The College will consult with staff and trade unions representing staff, where appropriate and practicable, on issues relating to equal opportunities policies.

The College seeks to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, staff and applicants for employment are informed of this policy and as appropriate, any associated procedures and action programmes. A copy of this policy will be included in the “Personnel Policies and Procedures” manual, and attention drawn to it at induction courses for new staff.

The College will seek to provide appropriate equal opportunities training for all staff and members of committees. Initially, the focus of training and development programmes will be aimed at heads of departments, senior staff, line managers and supervisors who have a particular responsibility for implementing equality.

The Equality subcommittee will evaluate the progress of this policy including ‘inter alia’ maintaining statistical data supplied by the Personnel Office on applicants for posts in the College, promotions, access to training, career development and grading. The committee will also set achievable goals which will be constantly reviewed.

The Equality subcommittee will present an annual report to the Board of Governors, which will include statistical data demonstrating the effectiveness of these policies.

Policies

The College is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity in its employment practices and the following are specifically designed policies and procedures that foster the commitment:

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and Selection policies and procedures ensure that the best candidate for the job will be selected. Commitment to this principle of appointment on merit will assist the continuing development of the College and guarantee equality of opportunity.

The Equality subcommittee will monitor gender composition of all selection boards. 

Employment of People with Disabilities

The College is committed to a policy of diversity and supports the employment of people with disabilities in the workforce. Employment of People with Disabilities should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Harassment and Sexual Harassment

The College is committed to the principle that every staff member is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and sexual harassment. Harassment and Sexual Harassment policy should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Special Leave/Career Breaks/Job Share

To assist in the promotion of equality of opportunity and family-friendly policies, the College will actively support special leave/career breaks/job share. Special Leave/Career Breaks and Job Share Schemes should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Anti-Bullying

The College encourages the promotion of a working, learning and social environment where all staff work positively and harmoniously together. The College is committed to ensuring that the work environment should give all employees the freedom to do their work without having to suffer bullying or intimidation from eads of Department/Unit, manager, supervisor, colleague or group of colleagues, student or group of students. Anti-Bullying Policy should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Resources

The Equality subcommittee will advise the Governing Authority of the resource required for the implementation of the College’s Policy on Equality in the Workplace and if and when necessary also advise the Governing Authority where the absence of resources is inhibiting the full implementation of the equality policy.

The subcommittee will carry out a review of this policy and shall advise the Governing Authority of recommended revisions, in line with best practice and the legal provisions then current.

Equality in Student Life
Aims and Objectives

The College recognises and implements the philosophy that equality of treatment in the educational environment is a fundamental right. To bring this about, the College pledges to use its best endeavours to devise and implement procedures which will ensure that no student or potential student will receive less favourable treatment than any other because of age (subject to College regulations in regard to matriculation and minimum age of entry), ethnic origin, gender, marital status, family status, disability, nationality, political belief, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, social class and membership of the traveller community.

The College is committed to providing appropriate facilities and services to enable all students to participate fully as students of the College. The provisions in this policy are without prejudice to the right of the College to adopt positive measures to promote equality opportunities with respect to students as it deems appropriate.

Provisions

The College shall publicise the details of this policy to all students and staff to advise them appropriately of their rights and responsibilities. These details will be accompanied by an
Appendix listing the names and contact details of persons and organisations that may be relevant to equality in student life. College is committed to providing training on equality issues to staff to ensure a climate of equality with respect to students. College will implicitly highlight equality in all its training programmes for staff and members of committees. In particular training courses involving, for example, Selection and Recruitment, Induction, Supervisory and Management, and Training and Development will explicitly include modules on equal opportunities.

Both formal and informal guidance and advice to students shall be given in such a way, and in such language, that it includes and represents equally any category of student or potential student

Selection for all courses and programmes will be on genuine course-related criteria.

Specifically, advertising and administrative procedures will indicate an intention not to discriminate on any grounds. Where possible, interview boards will reflect a reasonable gender balance. Interviews will be conducted according to guidelines designed to avoid unfair discrimination. Assumptions about domestic roles or responsibilities will not influence selection decisions.

As stated in section 2.1, students and potential students with recognised disadvantages or disability (c.f. College Disability Statement) may be given special consideration. Information about such considerations will be made available to all potential applicants.

Complaints and Appeals

Any student, or course applicant, who believes that he/she has been unequally treated has the right to complain regarding the alleged discrimination. Unless there is clear and unambiguous reason to do otherwise, College will not penalise any student or applicant who uses the complaints procedure and nothing of the complainant's activities in this regard will be placed on his/her personal record.

System for Dealing with Complaints:

The complainant may bring his/her complaint directly to the Student Services Co-ordinator. Alternatively the complainant may bring their complaint either directly or through a member of the College staff or the Students Union to the attention of any of the following:

  • The Registrar
  • The Student Union President or a Member of the Student Union Executive

who will, without delay, activate the process of investigation. The outcome of the investigation will be reported to the complainant and to any persons directly named in the complaint. Where the findings involve action for redress, and where this in turn involves a recommendation for discipline of a student or staff member, the matter will be referred to the appropriate disciplinary body.

The right exists for the complainant to appeal the outcome of any investigation to the President of the College.

All investigations shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of natural justice. All parties shall have the right to present their side of the case and be represented by a person of their choice.

Each year the Registrar will report, as appropriate, to the Equality Subcommittee on complaints relating to Equality in Student Life, maintaining necessary confidentiality.

The College will furnish, to all incoming students, information on College policy and procedures with respect to Harassment including Sexual Harassment and Bullying.

Similarly, this College policy document on Equality in Student Life will be furnished to all incoming students and will be available on the College website, within the Student Union Handbook, within the College Staff Book, from the Students Union, and from the College Library.