Equality Data collection FAQs

Contents of this page 

Updating your details
How do I update my equality data?
What if my equality data change?
What happens when I update my equality data?

Information collected
What are equality data?
How are the available questions and categories selected?
Why do the available categories for gender differ from those listed by HESA?
Do I have to tell you my equality information?
Can I disclose information for some characteristics but not others?
How do I complete the tick boxes under ‘Caring Responsibilities’?

Reasons for data collection
Why is the University collecting equality data?
Why are staff being asked to update their information now?

How your information will be used
How will my information be stored?
Who can view the information I disclose?
How will my information be reported (for example, to HESA)?
Will my information be helpful to the University?

Alternative formats
I do not have access to Self Service, how can I share my equality data?

Updating your details:

How do I update my equality data?

Updating your equality data should take no more than five minutes. Please log into Employee Self Service. Your ‘Equality Data’ can be found by clicking on ‘Personal Information’, then ‘Personal Profile’. You can amend your equality data by clicking on the pencil/edit icon on the right of the screen. Make sure you save any changes. A guide with screenshots can be found here.

Note: The Self Service website is only directly accessible when on a campus-based PC connected to the University network. If you are off-campus or using the University’s wireless access (Eduroam) you will need to firstly log in to Desktop Anywhere and use the Google Chrome web browser within that to access the site. If you do not have access to Employee Self Service (ESS), an equality monitoring form can be requested from the Equality Policy Unit, please email equality@leeds.ac.uk or call ext. 36973.

What if my equality data change?

If your equality data change, for example if you become a carer, you can return to the equality data tab in your Self Service area to update the relevant information. You can update or check your details as often as you like. If you provided your equality information using a paper/digital form, a new form can be requested from the Equality Policy Unit by emailing equality@leeds.ac.uk or calling ext. 36973.

What happens when I update my equality data?

Once you save any changes, this information is stored securely against your staff record. No notifications are sent, to yourself or any other member of University staff, but your updated information will be available for future aggregated reporting, where no individuals can be identified.
Please note, no action will be taken as a consequence of updating your equality data. If you require any action such as a reasonable adjustment for a disability, or for any other details such as your name to be changed, please speak with your line manager or HR.

Information collected:

What are equality data?

Equality data include your protected characteristics such as your gender, your ethnicity, and your religion or belief, if any. For each characteristic we’ll provide a list of categories and would like you to select the one with which you identify.

How are the available questions and categories selected?

The University is required to meet the reporting requirements of organisations such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). We must return annually information including the characteristics of our staff and student population, which is required for monitoring equality of opportunity and determining sector-level inequalities as covered by the Equality Act 2010. The questions and available response categories are aligned with HESA to enable the University to report this information, at an aggregated rather than individual level, and consequently compare our staff and student population with other institutions in the sector. Please note, most questions have a response option of ‘Prefer not to answer’.

Why do the available categories for gender differ from those listed by HESA?

As mentioned above, the University is required to meet the reporting requirements of organisations such as HESA. For gender, HESA use three categories; Male, Female, Other. There is no category of ‘I prefer not to answer’. However, for internal reporting at the University, we have introduced two additional categories – Non-binary and Gender fluid. However, for reporting to HESA, responses of Other, Non-binary and Gender fluid will be combined and reported as Other.

Please note, this question relates to gender rather than sex. Sex is recorded against your staff record in the ‘Personal Data’ tab, and cannot be edited through ESS. In UK law, sex is understood as binary. Further information can be found in our Guidance to Support Trans Staff and Students.

Do I have to tell you my equality information?

No, you do not need to disclose your equality data if you do not wish to, most questions have a response option of ‘Prefer not to answer’. However, if you do we can use our staff diversity profile to develop more inclusive services and provision, and to target our activities where any under-representation or inequalities are found. If you still do not wish to, we would be grateful if you could log into Self Service and select ‘Prefer not to answer’ as the response where possible, so we know this is your preference.

Can I disclose information for some characteristics but not others?

Yes, of course. Feel free to disclose the characteristics you wish, but if there is some information you would rather not disclose, just select ‘Prefer not to answer’ as the response to that particular question.

How do I complete the tick boxes under ‘Caring Responsibilities’?

If you answered yes to having caring responsibilities, this question asks who these caring responsibilities relate to. Please select all options that apply. You may select more than one response, for example if you care for an older adult who also has a disability. If you have declared that you do not have caring responsibilities, please leave this question blank.

Reasons for data collection:

Why is the University collecting equality data?

The Equality Act 2010 requires all public authorities to adhere to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which includes gathering staff data across all protected characteristics. Examples of how this information is reported can be found here .

At University level, this information is collected to better understand the profile and diversity of our staff. In addition to helping us to determine our equality and inclusion (E&I) priorities, these data will enable us to undertake meaningful sector comparisons. It will also help to ensure that our policy, support and guidance framework is fit for purpose and reflects the needs of our staff community as well as help to more accurately calculate any pay gaps.

Please note, no action will be taken as a consequence of updating your equality data. If you require any action such as a reasonable adjustment for a disability, or for any other details such as your name to be changed, please speak with your line manager or HR.

Why are staff being asked to update their information now?

We have introduced new questions, and some new categories for existing questions, to align with HESA categories and to provide additional response options for colleagues. These include the introduction of a question relating to marriage and civil partnership, plus additional response categories for the question about gender. More generally, our current dataset has some incomplete information, and more complete information will help us to advance our equality and inclusion work.

How your information will be used:

How will my information be stored?

The University takes its responsibility for data security extremely seriously. Your information will be securely stored and only accessible by a small number of colleagues in HR who are trained to analyse or report this confidential information. We adhere to both the GDPR and Equality Act 2010. Further information can be found on the University’s Data Protection webpage.

Who can view the information I disclose?

Your equality data can only be accessed by a small number of colleagues within HR, who are trained to analyse or report this information. Please note that the information you disclose will be used for data purposes only. If you have any information you would like to share or discuss with certain colleagues, for example, you may wish to have a conversation with your line manager about a reasonable adjustment for a disability, this will need to be disclosed separately.

How will my information be reported (for example, to HESA)?

Data will only be reported at aggregated level, meaning that no individual(s) can be identified. Examples of how these data will be reported can be found on our webpages and through HESA webpages.

Will my information be helpful to the University?

Yes, definitely. We have already used equality data from staff to make positive changes at the University. These include the introduction of staff networks such as the Leeds11 (BME) staff network and the LGBT+ staff network, as well as changes to how vacancies are advertised following the identification of underrepresented groups of staff. In addition, on-site changes have been made such as the increase in gender neutral toilets, and Bright Beginnings support including on University open days. This information has also shaped policy and guidance and led to the creation of family friendly policies, guidance to support trans staff and students, and additional leave categories such as leave associated with caring responsibilities.

Alternative formats:

I do not have access to Self Service, how can I share my equality data?

If you do not have access to Self Service or would like to disclose this information using an alternative format, please contact the Equality Policy Unit by emailing equality@leeds.ac.uk or calling ex.36973 and we’ll be happy to discuss. Alternatively, if you are able to download this form, please complete your details and email to equality@leeds.ac.uk, or print and send to: Equality Data, Human Resources, 11.11 EC Stoner, University of Leeds

If you have any further questions, please contact the Equality Policy Unit by emailing equality@leeds.ac.uk or calling ex.36973 and we will happily assist.