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BBSRC as an employer

We are committed to creating a culture that values dignity at work, mutual respect and inclusivity, where diversity is embedded in all business activities, unlawful discrimination is eliminated and individuals can achieve their potential.

We have a range of initiatives to ensure our workplace is inclusive for all of our employees; these include unconscious bias, mental health awareness and inclusive leadership coaching.

We aim to attract and retain high quality staff and to increase the representation of those from minority groups throughout our organisation.

Our actions as an employer will create a culture that fosters a dynamic and inclusive work environment. Our expectation is that organisations we work with will also embed equality and inclusion in all aspects of their business and will demonstrate and evidence their commitments to inclusivity.

Flexible working arrangements

We recognise that employees have responsibilities outside of work and that facilitating flexible working arrangements will enable the organisation to ensure employees preserve their work/life balance. Our flexible working arrangements policy includes part-time working, job-sharing, annualised hours, and home working. We also have a career breaks and sabbaticals policy, offer special leave for unforeseen domestic situations, and generous maternity/adoption/maternity support/parental leave arrangements. These are set out in our employment code.

Within BBSRC Office we also have a flexi-time scheme.

Equal pay

We work in partnership with the Trade Union Side to monitor the impact of pay policies and pay decisions to ensure their consistency with equal pay principles. We keep employees informed of pay and reward policy developments and provide guidance to managers and all employees involved in recruitment on pay, reward, benefits and equalities issues.

Equality champions

Equality champions have specific responsibilities for the following protected characteristics:

  • Gender - Karen Lewis, Executive Director, Innovation and Skills, BBSRC
  • Disability and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) - Paul Gemmill, Executive Director, Communications and Information Management, BBSRC.
Equality and inclusion - Executive Group and E&I champions (PDF 20KB)

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Disability Confident Scheme

We are accredited with the Employment Service ‘Disability Confident Scheme’ which identifies employers who are committed to the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people. We use the Disability Confident Scheme when recruiting, ensuring that if a disabled candidate meets the essential criteria then they will be invited to interview. Adjustments are put in place to make sure that a disabled person has, as far as is reasonable, the same access to everything that is involved in getting and doing a job as a non-disabled person, this includes offering flexible working patterns (including changes to start and finish times and adapting break times), working with them to create an action plan to help manage their condition, allowing additional time off for medical appointments, providing specialist equipment to support their disability, etc. Further information about Disability Confident Scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website (see external links).

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter, launched in June 2005, recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) employment in higher education. A number of our strategic institutes have been awarded Athena SWAN status from the Equality Challenge Unit, including silver and bronze awards. Further information about the Athena SWAN Charter can be found on the Equality Challenge Unit website (see external links).


We work with the Change100 programme which aims to change the employment landscape for disabled students and graduates. We support this programme by providing intern placements to a student for a three month period. Following a successful placement in 2015 we will host a further placement this year. Further information about Change100 can be found on the Leonard Cheshire Disability website (see external links).

Equality and Inclusion Impact Assessments

We use Equality and Inclusion Impact Assessments which are evidence based tools enabling us to explore and determine any impact our activities and policies may have. Using Equality and Inclusion Impact Assessments helps to ensure that we understand the potential effects of the policy by assessing the impacts on different groups.

Equality impact assessment guidance and template (PDF 151KB)

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2016 highlights

  • Raising awareness of unconscious bias for all staff
  • Mental health awareness courses
  • Office-based events to promote Time to Talk and Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Stress management training.


Equal opportunities monitoring code of practice (PDF 34KB)

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