Sexual Orientation Policy
Swansea University values all its staff and students equally, regardless of their sexual orientation. The University aims to create an environment in which all staff and students, whatever their sexuality, feel equally welcome and valued, and in which homophobic behaviour is not tolerated.
It recognises the extent of heterosexist assumptions in society, and the existence of homophobia and biphobia and through the implementation of the relevant policies and procedures seeks to ensure that;
a) Recruitment, progression and promotion are based entirely on relevant criteria, which do not include sexual orientation.
b) Everyone is treated with equal dignity and fairness regardless of their sexual orientation.
c) Homophobic and biphobic abuse, harassment or bullying (e. g. name-calling/derogatory jokes, unacceptable or unwanted behaviour, intrusive questions) is a serious disciplinary offence, and will be dealt with under the appropriate procedure.
d) Homophobic and biphobic propaganda, in the forms of written materials, graffiti, songs or speeches will not be tolerated. The University undertakes to remove any such propaganda whenever it appears on the premises and to take action against those responsible. Working within an educational environment there may be occasions where academic staff will need to discuss with students, material that is deeply offensive. In this instance, the University recognises that there are legitimate educational needs to display and discuss such matters.
e) The University will provide a supportive environment for staff or students who wish it to be known that they are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB). However, it is the right of the individuals to choose whether they wish to be open about their sexuality in the University. To 'out' someone, whether staff or student, without their permission is a form of harassment, and will be treated as such.
f) Assumptions will not be made that partners of staff and students are of the opposite sex. Whenever possible, workplace benefits will apply equally to same-sex partners.
g) The University welcomes and where appropriate will provide appropriate facilities for LGB student and staff groups (e.g. meeting facilities etc.)
h) LGB issues will be included in equality training, internal attitudinal surveys, monitoring of complaints of harassment etc.
i) The University recognises that LGB staff and students come from diverse backgrounds, and will strive to ensure that they do not face discrimination either on the grounds of their sexual orientation or with regard to other aspects of their identity (e. g. race, age, religion, disability).
The following policies support the University’s commitment to value all staff and students equally, regardless of their sexual orientation:
- Equal Opportunities Code of Practice
- Guidelines for Recruitment and Selection
- Dignity at Work and Study Policy
- Disciplinary and Grievance Policies
- Strategic Equality Plan
(Please note that the Equality Challenge Unit have produced detailed guidance entitled “Employing People in Higher Education: Sexual Orientation”. This guidance can be downloaded from the ECU website www.ecu.ac.uk under Publications.)