UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Understanding your key tools for negotiating equality

The moral case

There is a strong moral case for organisations to have good equality and diversity practices. An inclusive organisation where everyone is treated with dignity and respect would be a workplace with less conflict and injustice. It could create shared values and a commitment to the workplace and colleagues.

Our members take pride in their work and contributing to the education and knowledge of students, colleagues and the wider world. Society cannot improve while people are treated unfairly because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, or because they are disabled. Excellence in equality matters gives organisations the means to meet and exceed equality commitments and establish a workplace and educational environment which is accessible to all.

The business case

There is also the business case for equality.

  • An organisation is more likely to attract people from a wider pool of talent if it is explicit in its commitment to diversity and is demonstrating this through how it operates.
  • Staff are more likely to perform well, feel motivated and committed and therefore be retained if they feel valued and respected in their working environment.
  • Similarly, people are more likely to use the services provided by an organisation if they believe that they will be treated equally. Students from equality groups will appreciate the visibility of themselves amongst staff.
  • Good equality and diversity practice avoids wasting resources by providing services that people do not want or need or are inappropriate.
  • Our sectors are increasingly awarding contracts to private companies and third sector organisations to deliver services. Their procurement teams should require good diversity and equality practice in the organisation they commission.

The legal case

It is unlawful for organisations to discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation in employment and training and in the provision of goods, facilities and services, except in very limited circumstances. It makes sense therefore for organisations to implement best practice to ensure that they are compliant with existing legislation. The costs associated with bad practice on equality far outweigh the costs of implementing good practice.

Last updated: 16 May 2016