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Sports Charter

The UK Government, together with major sporting bodies, launched a Sports Charter calling for anyone and everyone with an interest or involvement in sport to unite in a common cause to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport. Sport matters at our University and we believe that we should all be able to enjoy sport if we choose to, whether we play, coach or support.

At an event held at our Bognor Regis Campus on 1 May 2014, Professor Clive Behagg, Vice-Chancellor, led representative students, staff and Governors in the signing of the Sports Charter for the University and the Students’ Union to demonstrate our joint commitment to send out a clear message that homophobia and transphobia is not acceptable within the University, or anywhere else. We require all students, staff and anyone else connected with the University and its activities to adhere to the principles of the Sports Charter, which states:

Tackling Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport - The Charter for Action:

1.   We believe that everyone should be able to participate in and enjoy sport –whoever they are and whatever their background.

2.   We believe that sport is about fairness and equality, respect and dignity. Sport teaches individuals how to strive and succeed, how to cope with success and disappointment, and    brings people together with a common goal.

3.   We are committed to making these values a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We will work together, and individually, to rid sport of homophobia and transphobia.

4.   We will make sport a welcome place for everyone – for those participating in sport, those attending sporting events and for those working or volunteering in sports at any level. We will work with all these groups to ensure they have a voice, and to challenge unacceptable behaviour.

Stonewall Diversity Champion

The University is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, working to share and develop best practice amongst members to help deliver lesbian, gay and bisexual inclusive workplaces.

'I welcome the opportunity to work with Stonewall in support of diversity. I want the University to be an inclusive community of learning where staff and students can be proud of their own identity and work in an atmosphere of mutual respect.' Professor Clive Behagg, Vice-Chancellor

Positive About Disabled People

The symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to employers in England, Scotland and Wales who have made commitments to employ, keep and develop the abilities of disabled staff.  In using this symbol it means that we are positive about employing disabled people and will be keen to know about an individual’s abilities.

There are five commitments to being awarded the symbol that the University has committed to regarding recruitment, training, retention, consultation and disability awareness:

  • To interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities
  • To discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their abilities
  • To make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment
  • To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work
  • To review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans.

Further details of the Guaranteed Interview Scheme can be found on our HR webpages.

If you are interested in finding out more, or have any questions or comments on the reports above, please contact Suzanne Jones (HR/Equality and Diversity Officer) on +44 (0)1243 816118 or

Mindful Employer

The University has signed up to the MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health. This initiative is run by Workways, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust and supports people with a mental health condition to find or remain in employment. It is recommended as good practice by the UK government and other national organisations.

  • The Charter is not an accreditation or a set of quality standards nor a policy or target; it is a tangible display of our commitment to improving the working lives of our staff.
  • MINDFUL EMPLOYER say ‘The Charter is completely voluntary and is about working towards the principles of it not the immediate fulfilment of them – signing up is a step along a journey not the end of it’.
  • This initiative is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and ‘making it healthier to talk about mental health’ as well as providing us with support in recruiting and retaining valued and talented members of staff. We will be working with MINDFUL EMPLOYER to enhance the good practices we already have in place to ensure our staff and job applicants who declare mental health issues receive the right level of support.
  • MINDFUL EMPLOYER have found that for many people mental ill health remains an area of fear and stigma. By signing up to the Charter and being a MINDFUL EMPLOYER, the University seeks to further demonstrate our commitment to enabling the disclosure and discussion of mental ill health to take place here without fear of rejection or prejudice.
  • In addition to the MINDFUL EMPLOYER resources, there are several areas of support available to staff and students:
  1. Student Support and Wellbeing have a dedicated Mental Health Adviser, Simon Peers, who offers expert support and advice for all registered students experiencing mental health and wellbeing problems such as stress, trouble sleeping, low mood or difficulty coping, and diagnosed conditions. Full details can be found on our Mental Health pages.
  2. We also offer a confidential Counselling Service to students – further information can be found on our Counselling pages.
  3. Full details of the confidential Counselling Service provided for staff can be found in the Employee Handbook (under Employee Support/Counselling) on the HR tab on Portia.
  4. The Staff Development Programme offers training and development activities relating to mental and emotional health issues to all

Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health

As an employer we recognise that:

  • People who have mental health issues may have experienced discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures. This may discourage them from seeking employment.
  • Whilst some people will acknowledge their experience of mental health issues in a frank and open way, others fear that stigma will jeopardise their chances of getting a job.
  • Given appropriate support, the vast majority of people who have experienced mental ill health continue to work successfully as do many with ongoing issues.

As an employer we aim to:

  • Show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature.
  • Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health issues and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills.
  • Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.
  • Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health problem will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health issues.
  • Ensure all line managers have information and training about managing mental health in the workplace.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

HR Excellence in Research (awarded to the University in 2013): ‘A UK-wide process, incorporating the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B11: Research Degrees and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, enables institutions to gain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award, acknowledging alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment’.