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Equalitylink July 2017



Welcome July 2017

Equalitylink is Equality Challenge Unit’s monthly round-up of equality and diversity news, resources and a summary of ECU’s work with the sector.

Equality update

Pensions: landmark case on same-sex partner entitlements

Employers may now need to consider the whole of an employee’s period of pensionable service when calculating benefits for their same-sex civil partners and spouses.

Previously some pension schemes have been permitted under an Equality Act exemption to limit benefits paid to surviving same-sex civil partners/spouses, to those earned after 5 December 2005 only (the date of the introduction of civil partnerships).

That exemption has now been ruled incompatible with the principle of non-discrimination against same-sex partners under EU law, in a landmark Supreme Court ruling. David Walker, who brought the case supported by Liberty, hailed the move as a ‘victory for basic fairness and decency.’

University staff with responsibility for pensions are advised to check to see if their scheme(s) are making use of the exemption (some may not) and to seek further guidance in light of the ruling. The government has stated that it will ‘review…the implications of this judgement and will respond in due course.’

What are the barriers to engagement with Parliament?

Are you an academic researcher? Could you help the UK Parliament understand the barriers academics face when engaging with Parliament particularly those academics from underrepresented backgrounds?

Please complete this short survey now. The survey closes on Friday 18 August 2017.

The results from this survey will lead to activities focused on meeting some of the barriers identified and supporting a wider range of academics to engage with the business of Parliament.

Our work

ECU’s Athena SWAN looks to India

Read our latest press release on the ECU website.

New publications and guidance from ECU

We have just published two new publications.

ECU members and colleagues based at institutions we are funded to support can download both publications from the ECU website now.

The case for intersectionality in the Teaching Excellence Framework

New article on Wonkhe quotes ECU.

Get involved

Call for case studies on intersectionality equality and diversity work

We have extended the deadline for intersectionality case studies, from the sector, to inform a new piece of ECU guidance.

The call is open to universities and research institutes across all four nations of the UK, and colleges in Scotland. The new submission deadline is Monday 14 August at 5pm.

Full details and a submission form are available on the ECU website.

Achieving race equality in higher education

Our next two day programme of race equality training for equality and diversity practitioners and institutional leads on race equality became fully booked within only a few days. We are currently operating a waiting list on a first come first served basis.

Due to this high level of interest our training and learning team will likely run another programme in 2018.

Our training and learning team also offer bespoke training on race equality and have a number of programmes available for different audiences. Contact Clare Pavitt and Tinu Cornish for further details about our bespoke packages.

Resources and support

Looking for a new job in the sector?

We are advertising a number of equality and diversity jobs on our website.

If you would like to advertise your vacancy on our website contact ECU’s Communications Officer Lauren Sandhu.

Exploring equality and diversity using REF2014 environment statements

New report out from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

An evidence-based approach to D&I

New article written by Doyin Atewologun, Rob Briner and Tinu Cornish.


ECU annual conference 2017

ECU’s conference theme for 2017 is inclusivity, intersectionality, action: moving forward the equality agenda in higher education.

It will be held on Tuesday 7 November and Wednesday 8 November 2017 in Birmingham.

Register to attend now.

We also have some great opportunities for organisations to showcase their work to attendees. Further information about the sponsorship options available can be found on our website.

Diversity in governance launch event

Wednesday 13 September 2017 1pm – 4.30pm in Glasgow

ECU is hosting a series of training days and events for higher education institutions and college governing bodies and related staff. This training programme will run in 2017/18, building on ECU’s previous research and publications.

Register to attend the launch event now.

European University Association (EUA) focus group

Universities’ strategies and practices towards diversity and inclusiveness – Friday 24 November 2017, Lille

Full details are available on the EUA website but please note that the focus group is open to EUA members only.

If you would like to be featured in the next issue of Equalitylink, please email details to Lauren Sandhu, Communications Officer.