Equality Data collection FAQs

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 (https://selfservice.mais.leeds.ac.uk). 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.

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.

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.

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’.

Do I have to tell you my equality information?

No, you do not need to share any of your equality data if you do not wish to. 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 for each question, 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: https://equality.leeds.ac.uk/equality-data/staff-data/.

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.

Further information can be found here: https://equality.leeds.ac.uk/equality-data/data-monitoring-why-is-it-important/

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 an additional response option 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 here: https://dataprotection.leeds.ac.uk/individual-rights/

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: https://equality.leeds.ac.uk/equality-data/staff-data/ and through HESA webpages: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/staff/working-in-he.

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 computer access, how can I share my equality data?

If you do not have computer access 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.


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.