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UCU Post-’92 staff conference The public sector duties in higher education Nicola Dandridge Equality Challenge Unit 23 November 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "UCU Post-’92 staff conference The public sector duties in higher education Nicola Dandridge Equality Challenge Unit 23 November 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 UCU Post-’92 staff conference The public sector duties in higher education Nicola Dandridge Equality Challenge Unit 23 November 2007

2 The public sector duties in higher education Public sector duties Inequalities in higher education The changing context oEqualities Review oEHRC and human rights oSingle Equality Act oEurope Taking forward the public sector duties Equality Challenge Unit

3 The public sector duties – the context Individual rights in relation to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief (since 2003), and age (since 2006) For HEIs extend to staff and students Individual rights

4 The public sector duties Race : public authorities must “have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good race relations in carrying out their functions” Disability : also includes the need to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people, and to encourage their participation in public life

5 Gender Public authorities must “have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women” Specific duties require consideration of the need to include objectives to address the causes of any gender pay gap

6 The higher education context Unequal representation : issues of equality Subject segregation, impact on and of RAE Declaration of disability (2%) Long hours culture and flexible working Pay gap (14%) Lack of data (sexual orientation)

7 Final Report of the Equalities Review 2007 Prioritise disadvantage Disadvantage in employment: oMothers of disabled children face the worst disadvantage oLone parent/partnered parent with children under 11 oPartnered mother with children over 11 oPakistani and Bangladeshi women oDisabled people oWomen Intersections

8 Equality and Human Rights Commission – October 2007 Mission statement:‘The Equality and Human Rights Commission champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.’ Chair,Trevor Phillips : “The [race] duty has resulted in an approach that places more importance on strict compliance with processes than on delivering real outcomes.”

9 Proposed Single Equality Act Single Equality Bill, due November 2008 Discrimination Law Review oHarmonisation of legislation oEmphasis on social cohesion and relations between groups oNew single public sector duty (but will it extend to all 6 equality groups?)

10 Proposed single equality duty The proposed single duty will: i.Address disadvantage for protected groups ii.Promote respect for the equal worth of different groups and foster good relations within and between groups iii.Meet different needs of different groups while promoting shared values iv.Promote equal participation

11 European approach Equality a clearly articulated priority But also : “As the German constitutional court recognised with regard to the display of the crucifix in school, the aim in balancing such complex competing rights is to achieve ‘practical concordancy’… In effect, what the Directive can provide is consistency in terms of clear procedural safeguards…” European Commission : Religion and Belief Discrimination in Employment, 2007

12 Public sector duties – unresolved issues Single equality commission but no single equality law Logic and justice of 3 public sector duties, but 6 equality strands Relationship between equality and human rights Enforceable through EHRC Role of intersections

13 Using the public sector duties Three public sector duties are mandatory Extension of the public sector approach to all 6 equality groups Development of single equality schemes Identification of priorities, by reference to disadvantage? Relevance : ocampus relations oequal pay ofreedom of speech

14 Equality Challenge Unit Established in 2001 to promote equality for staff in HE Extended in 2006 to include students Funded by the 4 UK funding Councils, UUK and GuildHE 14 staff, based in London Strategy programme

15 Equality data and the evidence base Supporting compliance (eg equality duties; Age Regulations) Working with institutional functions Projects addressing disability disclosure; single equality schemes; “Promoting Good Campus Relations”; flexible working; Athena Swan Currently developing 2008 programme

16 7th Floor Queens House 55/56 Lincoln's Inn Fields London WC2A 3LJ Tel: Fax:


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