The University has a strong and long-standing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and to promoting a positive culture which celebrates difference, challenges prejudice and ensures fairness.
Students and staff are our greatest assets and all members of the University community should expect to be able to excel and be respected and valued for their unique perspectives and contributions.
Equality and diversity
The University is committed to delivering equality of opportunity to all employees, regardless of their gender or other protected characteristics. We are committed to addressing the gender pay gap that exists at the University, currently in favour of male employees. Our overall median and mean pay gaps are 16.6 per cent and 13.7 per cent. The mean and median salaries for men and women in grades 1 to 9 are relatively similar. However, a gender pay gap exists within the highest pay band of grade 10. Because a greater proportion of men are employed in the higher grades, and a greater proportion of women in the lower grades, this has a major influence on the University’s overall pay gap.
A variety of approaches have been implemented, revised appointment and promotion policies, including strategies to increase understanding of the promotion process, continue to increase the proportion of women at grade 10. We have seen a decrease in the pay gap at grade 10 from 2015 figures of 11.3 per cent and 9.3 per cent (mean and median) to 7.1 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively thanks to actions taken. Pay equality is reviewed in our biennial Equal Pay Audit and Equal Pay Statement, which was last conducted in 2017.
Disability and inclusion
At the end of July 2018, 3.4 per cent of staff declared they have a disability. The University aims to create an environment that gives all staff the opportunity to fully participate in University life, and we remain committed to a policy of equal opportunities for disabled staff and students.
Last year, the Disability Review report and recommendations was published after engagement with disabled students and staff, with input from the Student Disability Service, Academic Staff, Coordinators of Adjustments and other key stakeholders. Over the last year, the University has been focused on delivering on the review focus areas, the implementation of adjustments for disabled students and accessibility of the estate.
University extends living wage pledge
The University has stepped up its commitment to paying a living wage, stemming from its recent accreditation as a Living Wage employer.
The University is to extend the benefit to regular contractors as well as its employees. The award was approved by the Poverty Alliance, which delivers the Living Wage accreditation scheme in Scotland, in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate, independently calculated each year according to the costs of living. At £8.75 per hour, it is significantly higher than the statutory minimum wage for over 25s of £7.50 per hour. The University has paid its eligible staff the Living Wage rate since 2012. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.
Accreditation means that the Living Wage will extend to contractors working regularly on University premises. Contractors will be moved on to the Living Wage when agreements are retendered or renewed. Apprentices are not included in the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation requirements, in recognition of their additional training costs.