Equality Data: Frequently Asked Questions

Your equality data can be updated by logging onto MyJob through MUSE and selecting the 'My Equality' link on the homepage. 

What is monitoring?

Monitoring is the collection of statistical data to measure performance and improvement. It can be done through a variety of routes, and is a way of measuring change and identifying issues that affect staff. The University uses equality data from myJob, University events and from staff networks to monitor the impact of equality actions and initiatives on the workforce.

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Why monitor?

Monitoring is useful for a number of reasons, as it:

  • Allows us to build up a fuller picture of our staff profile in terms of equality data. This helps us to consider areas of under-representation and develop actions to address this (e.g. by targeting different search engines with job adverts);
  • Enables positive action interventions and, by compiling trend data, helps inform future planning and policies (e.g. this has helped with the development of Futures Mentoring);
  • Helps us to focus on actions to promote positive relations between different equality groups;
  • Helps us assess the impact of proposed policies and initiatives on different equality groups;
  • Helps us meet our legal obligations: it is compulsory for the University to meet the reporting requirements of organisations such as HESA - Higher Education Statistics Agency. Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), the University is required to gather staff data across all protected characteristics.

We all want to work in an environment where difference is valued and respected. It only takes 5 minutes to update your equality data, and this contributes to a valuable data set that we can use to help create a fully inclusive environment.

Effective monitoring and use of the data also signals to staff and potential job applicants that the University is committed to equality and to supporting a diverse workforce, and contributes to the raising of our profile as an inclusive University.

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How do I update my equality data?

Equality data can be updated via the 'My Equality data' link on the front page of MyJob.

  • Log in to MUSE via the link at the top of the University webpages, using your regular University username and password
  • Click on the My Services tab, then click on myJob/myTeam/e-Recruitment
  • Under “Personal Profile”, click My Equality Data

Here you will find the list of areas to select the relevant option. Make sure you click save at the bottom left.

For further information on the using MyJob, or if you are having any problems, please see the MyJob webpages.

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How is the information stored?

Your data will be handled with the utmost confidentiality. The University has an Information Security Policy and we believe our systems are secure. All the information disclosed by staff is stored on the uBASE system, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and can only be accessed by yourself or selected/trained staff within Human Resources.

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What about data protection and privacy issues?

The University takes the security and integrity of all the personal data it holds very seriously. Staff are trained in Data Protection and we believe our systems are secure.

The handling of your personal data is controlled by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and associated legislation. GDPR requires us to comply with a number of principles regarding privacy and disclosure when handling equality data (i.e. 'special categories of data'), including ensuring such data are processed, stored and used for limited purposes, and always in accordance with Article 9 of the GDPR. The GDPR includes measures to ensure that information is processed fairly and seeks to protect individuals' rights to confidentiality.

All equality data disclosed to the University is only used for statistical analysis, whereby it is anonymised and individual names are excluded. The information is then collated to avoid being linked to any individual as this could put your privacy at risk.

The University is bound to comply with Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) obligations and a number of public sector equality duties including monitoring of staff by recruitment and selection and progression. All information submitted to HESA is used in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You can read more about how the University handles your personal data here.

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Who has access to this information?

There are very strict laws to ensure the University protects your details and deals with it responsibly. Only selected / trained staff within Human Resources, who are aware of the confidentiality issues and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will have access to the data you disclose.

Any personal equality information given to the University will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and will only be used for the purposes stated (e.g. statistical analysis). When compiling statistical analysis, individual names are excluded and the information collated so as not to put privacy at risk.

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What are the opportunities for disclosure?

Whilst disclosure is voluntary, we strongly encourage staff to update their personal data in myJob. However there are numerous other ways in which you can disclose.

1. Discussions with your line manager

Neither your line manager or HR will be made aware of your disclosure data if you update this on myJob. Therefore, if you were to disclose a disability, it cannot prompt discussions about what workplace support and reasonable adjustments can be put in place to enable you to continue doing your job.

Even if you do not require any reasonable adjustments at this time, it is useful to raise it with your manager, to open up a channel for ongoing dialogue and communication, so if any support is needed in the future, you can work positively together on this. Opportunities for disclosure include:

  • SRDS
  • promotion or progression
  • sickness absence interview
  • disability leave request
  • request for flexible leave
  • request for reasonable adjustments

Following disclosure to your line manager, updating this information on myJob will help with the overall University disclosure data. Your line manager cannot do this on your behalf.

2. During the recruitment and selection process, e.g. via:

  • job application
  • interview

3. Through wider University processes, e.g:

  • Fire evacuation plans - to identify those who may require a personal emergency evacuation plan
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Why monitor Age?

Under statutory obligations, the University has a specific duty to monitor age. As with all equality monitoring, reviewing data by age enables the University to gain an overview of our workforce profile by age, identify potential groups and consider specific support that staff may require at different stages of the employment life cycle (for example, take-up of training and development, flexible working opportunities).

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Why monitor Disability?

Under statutory obligations, the University has a specific duty to monitor disability. This also enables us to gain an overview of our workforce profile, benchmark the University against local and national statistics, and identify any potential areas for improvement.

Disclosing a disability to your line manager will prompt a discussion about what workplace support and reasonable adjustments can be put in place to enable you to continue doing your job. Even if you do not require any reasonable adjustments at this time, it is useful to raise it with your manager, to open up a channel for ongoing dialogue and communication, so if any support is needed in the future, you can work positively together on this.

Following disclosure to your line manager, updating this information on myJob will help with the overall University disclosure data. Your line manager cannot do this on your behalf.

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person is considered to have a disability 'if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’:

  • ‘substantial’ is more than minor or trivial, e.g. it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed;
  • ‘long-term’ means 12 months or more, e.g. a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection
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Why monitor Ethnicity?

Under statutory obligations, the University has a specific duty to monitor ethnicity. This also enables us to gain an overview of our workforce profile, benchmark our self against local and national statistics and identify any potential areas for improvement.

Through analysis of disclosed data on ethnicity, we have identified a similar pattern in progression for BAME academics as exists for female academics. This data has helped us consider actions to address this, such as setting up a BAME staff network, and mentoring for BAME academics.

The University, when analysing ethnicity data, will often group the data into broader categories, such as 'Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff', to ensure sample sizes are large enough to be significant and also to avoid identifying individual staff members in reports.

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Why monitor Sex?

Under statutory obligations, the University has a specific duty to monitor sex. This also enables us to gain an overview of our workforce profile, benchmark our self against local and national statistics and identify any potential areas for improvement.

This information will also help us in developing targeted initiatives, for example, The Athena SWAN charter.

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Why monitor other areas?

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), the University is required to gather staff data across all Protected Characteristics, as defined by the Equality Act, which includes gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion and belief, and sexual orientation. It is important for us to have a full picture of workforce data across the equality characteristics to help inform policy and decision-making. Such data will also assist, for example, when planning the provision of services to meet the diverse requirements of staff; in establishing spaces for prayer or contemplation; or to further develop our LGBT+ initiatives (e.g. the University is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and has an LGBT+ Staff Network).

The University also requests and stores information about staff in relation to other areas, such as part-time or full-time status, fixed-term or permanent contract status, or early career researcher status. These data are also useful to help the University explore whether patterns of potential disadvantage or discrimination may exist.

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Further Information

For further information about how we handle your personal information, please read the University's updated policies and procedures.

If you have any further comments or queries, please email hrequality@sheffield.ac.uk

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