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Making fair financial decisions: a briefing note for further and higher education institutions

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)


UK FEI Front.indd Equality and Human Rights Commission Making fair financial decisions A briefing note for Further and Higher Education Institutions 1 The recent economic downturn will have a significant impact on all public authorities. Many will be under continued pressure to deliver public services, while reductions are sought in the overall level of public spending. Since 2009, Further and Higher Education Institutions (FEIs and HEIs) have been subject to significant financial constraints in order to meet the targets set by the government in relation to efficiency savings. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) understands that this has resulted and continues to result in many FEIs and HEIs having to take difficult and often unpopular decisions including budget cuts, reorganisations and relocations, redundancies, and service reductions. The Commission has received an increasing number of reports in recent months regarding the way these decisions are being taken. From the evidence we have received, we are concerned about the approach that some institutions are taking to make those decisions, and the extent to which institutions are demonstrating that they are complying with their public sector equality duties.1 We therefore felt that it was appropriate to remind FEIs and HEIs of their duties to eliminate discrimination and harassment and promote race, gender and disability equality in their activities. The equality duties are legal obligations which should remain a priority, even in times of economic difficulties. The duties are also an invaluable tool that can 1 See public-sector-duties/ for details 2 aid decision-making and help ensure that decisions do not create or perpetuate inequality. In the current economic climate, this means FEIs and HEIs need to be par

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