Public Sector Equality Duty

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Cyber-security incident delays publication of Public Sector Equality Duty reports for university and academic partners

By 30 April 2021, relevant Scottish listed Public Bodies are required to publish equality information under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (as amended). This includes reports about how equality has been made integral to their work (Mainstreaming Report) and on progress to achieve their equality outcomes. They are also required to publish a set of  Equality Outcomes, an Equal Pay Statement, Annual Employee Equality Data, and information about Gender Pay Gaps. This includes the University of the Highlands and Islands, and 10 Academic Partners, including Argyll College UHI. More information about the requirements of the Scottish specific equality duties can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Publication of these reports has been unavoidably delayed for reasons outlined below: we continue to keep the Equality and Human Rights Commission informed and will publish the required information and reports here as soon as possible.

Cyber incident: March 2021

In March 2021, the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership experienced a cyber incident that caused some disruption to our systems and networks.  Our IT team and data security colleagues are working together with external experts and Police Scotland to investigate the full scope of the incident. While we are making good progress restoring our systems, we do not have full access to the information required to publish the Public Sector Equality Duty reports across our university partnership.

This means we cannot finalise our full suite of reports for these to pass through our committee structure before the deadline. This is key to the success of our strategy at a time of significant strategic and operational change: as we share operations, a consensus is required from all Academic Partners.

Progress and planned activity

We want to ensure the opportunity to demonstrate our extensive progress from 2017-21, and the full scope of our ambition for 2021-25.  It is important that this is cohesive and accessible, to ensure we meet the needs of all readers, and fully evidence the range of our activities, which are thorough and at a key point in their development.

UHI’s published report will focus on progress from 2017-21, and planned activity from 2021-25.  It covers 7 key areas of activity across all protected characteristics, as below.  The university will collaboratively develop actions from these areas with academic partners, each of whom will also report on local activities and planned work, 2021-25.

 

Outcome Area

1

Increasing cross partnership activities and collaboration

2

Inclusive infrastructure: Leadership, Governance and Management

3

Increase stakeholder engagement and community partnership

4

Better understanding our staff and students: data and disclosure

5

Increasing student support, representation, wellbeing and voice

6

Inclusive Processes: Diversifying and developing our staff

7

Inclusive Communications: digital accessibility, Gaelic, BSL and culture

 

We anticipate that the University of the Highlands and Islands and all applicable academic partner colleges will publish our full suite of reports on or before Friday 18 June 2021. This reflects the length of time we were delayed by the cyber incident.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact UHI’s Acting Director of Corporate Governance Roger Sendall, who will signpost you as appropriate.


Argyll College UHI