Policy statement on equality, diversity and inclusion

 The University of Essex fosters good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not, celebrates diversity, challenges inequality and is committed to nurturing an inclusive and diverse community that is open to all who have the potential to benefit from membership of it, and which ensures equality of opportunity for all its members. We expect all our campus communities, employees, workers, contractors, students, invitees and visitors to be treated, and to treat others, with dignity and respect. We have a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment and bullying. Zero tolerance means that (i) we will take action and (ii) the action will be proportionate to the circumstances of the case. 

We are committed to meeting our obligations under the Equality Act 2010, which requires the University show no discrimination as required by law on account of age, disability, gender reassignment*, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. The University will always act lawfully and this may include taking action to support people with particular protected characteristics, including disability and sex. In addition to its obligations under the EA, the University shall adopt policies, practices, and procedures that define expected standards of behaviour and specify any additional characteristics, beyond those required by law, to which protection is provided, for example, in relation to political belief, social background and refugee status. 

*The University’s policies, practices and procedures specifically extend to all gender identities including trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. 

For the purposes of this Policy Statement the term ‘trans’ is an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. The term ‘non-binary’ is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not sit comfortably with ‘woman’ or ‘man’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely 



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