Protected Characteristics

What are Protected Characteristics?

'Protected characteristic' is the term from the Equality Act 2010 for nine characteristics protected by law.

The nine protected characteristics are:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender Reassignment
  4. Marriage and Civil Partnership (Staff only)
  5. Pregnancy and Maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion and Belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual Orientation

Swansea University is committed to ensuring equal opportunity for all and that all staff and students, regardless of their protected characteristics are able to achieve their full potential.

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, the University has produced staff and student objectives for each protected characteristic, that forms its equality policy, known as the Strategic Equality Plan.  

Protected Characteristics

Age

Swansea University is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is supportive of all individuals, regardless of their age, in order for our staff and students to achieve their full potential.
The University has Strategic Equality Plan that contains a Policy on Age Discrimination.

Age Policy and Retirement

Swansea University values all its staff and students equally, regardless of their age.  The University aims to create an environment in which all staff and students, whatever their age, feel equally welcome and valued, and in which ageist behaviour is not tolerated. 

The Equal Opportunities Annual Report includes a summary of the work undertaken and progress made with regards to age equality.  This information also includes detailed staff and student statistics.  By using this information, positive action age equality targets are set and are monitored annually. 

Disability

Swansea University is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is supportive of all individuals, regardless of any disability, in order for all our staff and students to achieve their full potential.

The University recognises that disability is an issue for the whole of the University and that identifying and addressing issues will mean including those working at all levels of the University.

 

The Equal Opportunities Annual Report includes a summary of the work undertaken and progress made with regards to disability equality.  This information also includes detailed staff and student statistics.  By using this information, positive action disability equality targets are set and are monitored annually. 

Read Disability Mythbuster 2014 , a document produced by the Western Bay Community Cohesion Programme.

Darllen Disability Mythbuster 2014 (Cymraeg) , dogfen a gynhyrchwyd gan y Rhaglen Cydlyniant Cymunedol Bae Orllewin.

 

Gender Reassignment

Gender reassignment is if you change your sex, for example from being a woman to a man, or a man to a woman. You are also protected by the Equality Act 2010 if you are thinking about changing. Sexual orientation is whether you are straight (heterosexual), a gay man, a lesbian woman, bisexual, or other orientation. Straight (heterosexual) is being attracted to people of the opposite sex (e.g. a man attracted to a woman and a woman attracted to a man), a gay man is attracted to other men, a lesbian woman is attracted to other women and bisexual people are attracted to both men and women. 

The University aims to create an environment in which all staff and students, whatever their sexual orientation or gender assignment, feel equally welcomed and valued, and in which homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour is not tolerated. The University aims to provide a working and learning environment which is free from unfair discrimination and will enable all staff and students to fulfil their potential. 

The University’s Sexual Orientation Policy, along with the Strategic Equality Plan aims to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and fairness regardless of their gender assignment. 

The University has an established Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Staff Network, with more information available here: LGBT+ Staff Network.

In order to support our trans staff and students, we subscribe to Equality Challenge Unit's guidance on trans people in higher education.  ECU's publication on transitioning is viewable here:  Supporting a student or member of staff who is transitioning (PDF)

Pregnancy and Maternity

The University aims to create an environment in which all pregnant staff and students feel equally welcomed and valued, and in which negative behaviour is not tolerated. This should also encompass those about to take, on or returning from maternity leave.

The University’s Family Friendly and Carers' Policies can be found here: Family Friendly Policy

Protected Characteristics continued

Race

Swansea University is committed to promoting race equality, seeking to eliminate racial discrimination and promoting good relations between people of different racial groups. The University aims to promote race equality whereby all staff and students from every racial group are encouraged, supported and enabled to achieve their full potential in their chosen fields.

 

The Equal Opportunities Annual Report includes a summary of the work undertaken and progress made with regards to race equality.  This information also includes detailed staff and student statistics.  By using this information, positive action race equality targets are set and are monitored annually. 

VHS Project ‌: Helping and providing better support to tackle, challenge and report hate crime / incidents and discrimination on basis of disability, race and religion so that people feel safe in their respective communities. Provided by the Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council.

Religion and Belief

As part of Swansea University’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity, we aim to operate in an environment where the religious and non religious beliefs of all individuals are respected to enable all individuals to achieve their full potential. 

 

Student Services have a faith website that can be viewed here.

The Chaplaincy at Swansea University is provided by a team of 6 chaplains from local churches who work together to support and develop the spiritual life of the University community, regardless of race, status or faith.  The Reverend Nigel John is the full-time University Chaplain, supported by 5 colleagues who work at the University on a part-time basis.  The Chaplains are available to you throughout your time in Swansea, and are pleased to welcome you whether you belong to any faith or none, to offer counsel, support and friendship.  The Chaplaincy can be found on the ground floor of Fulton House and during term time is open every day. 

The Mosque at Swansea University can be found on the east side of the Library and Information Centre.  The University Mosque is an integral part of the lives of most Muslim students on campus.  It has all the facilities you would expect to find in any modern well-equipped mosque.  There are separate prayer and washing facilities for men and women, a meeting room and a dedicated Islamic library.  The mosque is managed and run by the University’s Students’ Union Islamic Society (ISOC).

 

Other Faiths
The following people would be happy to help you make contact with your faith community in Swansea.

Hindu
Prof. Gyan N Pande    G.N.Pande@swansea.ac.uk    01792 (60)5253    www.tridev.org

Jewish
John Minkes               J.P.Minkes@swansea.ac.uk    01792 (60)5768
Mrs Norma Glass                                                     01792 (20)6404

Spiritualist
Liz Stratton                 E.Stratton@swansea.ac.uk    01792 (60)6613

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Dawn Morgan              H.D.Morgan@swansea.ac.uk  01792 (60)6875

For faiths not listed above, please contact the University Chaplaincy for further information.


VHS Project ‌: Helping and providing better support to tackle, challenge and report hate crime / incidents and discrimination on basis of disability, race and religion so that people feel safe in their respective communities. Provided by the Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council.

 


The Equality and Human Rights Commission have produced a guidance booklet on gender segregation at University events and meetings.This can be read online here.

 

 

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is whether you are straight (heterosexual), a gay man, a lesbian woman, bisexual, or other orientation. Straight (heterosexual) is being attracted to people of the opposite sex (e.g. a man attracted to a woman and a woman attracted to a man), a gay man is attracted to other men, a lesbian woman is attracted to other women and bisexual people are attracted to both men and women. Gender reassignment is if you change your sex, for example from being a woman to a man, or a man to a woman. You are also protected by the Equality Act 2010 if you are thinking about changing.

The University aims to create an environment in which all staff and students, whatever their sexual orientation or gender assignment, feel equally welcomed and valued, and in which homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour is not tolerated. 

The University’s Sexual Orientation Policy, along with the Strategic Equality Plan aims to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and fairness regardless of their sexual orientation. 

 


The University has an established LGBT+ Staff Network, which holds social events, networking, workshops, talks, and space for advice/support.  More information about the Network can be found on their webpage.

 


 

The University works extensively with Stonewall, taking part in the Workplace Equality Index, the Stonewall Universities Guide (also known as Gay By Degree), and the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme.  More information can be found here.

Sex

Swansea University is committed to promoting sex equality, and welcomes the introduction of the Strategic Equality Plan and is committed to supporting its aspirations and principles, which is key in ensuring that all individuals are able to achieve their full potential.

The University has the responsibility to demonstrate that they treat women and men equally in policy making, services, education and employment recognizes that it has a major role to play in eliminating discrimination and harassment on the grounds of gender and promoting equality of opportunity which is wholly compatible with, and contributes to the achievement of its mission. 

 

The Equal Opportunities Annual Report includes a summary of the work undertaken and progress made with regards to sex equality.  This information also includes detailed staff and student statistics.  By using this information, positive action sex equality targets are set and are monitored annually. 

For more information about Athena SWAN, please visit: Athena SWAN at Swansea University.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Marriage and Civil Partnership is highlighted as an employment only characteristic as per the Equality Act 2010, and so only affects staff working at the University. The University values all of its staff regardless of their marital/ civil partnership status.

The University aims to create an environment in which all married and civil partnered staff feel equally welcomed and valued, and in which negative behaviour is not tolerated.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership objective highlighted in the Strategic Equality Plan are:

Staff
To establish:

  1. A comprehensive method of staff data collection for the purpose of monitoring and analysis

Progress against this objective is monitored by the