Students Staff
University of Essex

December 18, 2019

Alcohol Awareness

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: — Victoria Beckwith @ 4:25 pm

Alcohol is a big part of UK culture, and features in many of our lives. For some of us, we use it for celebration, for comfort, to socialise, to wind down, or to cope.

We must be mindful that alcohol, whilst a part of many of our lives, can cause harm if misused, including mental health problems, liver disease, one of seven forms of cancer and economic difficulties.

We are committed to creating an enabling environment at the University, in which all our members can thrive, and it is important that you take care of yourselves and look after your physical and emotional wellbeing.

We are encouraging you to raise awareness of your own use of alcohol, and have provided Drinkaware scratch cards in main staff areas and receptions.

Please take and complete these cards, and if you have any worries or concerns about your use of alcohol, then there are services and support you can access, including:

Please contact Occupational Health if you have further questions about the support available.

You can also download the free Dry January app, which will help you to meet your goals, whether you want to take on Dry January, cut down your drinking, or go totally alcohol-free. You can use this app at any time to understand your drinking patterns.





December 12, 2019

Update on national strike negotiations

Filed under: Advice & Support — Mohammed Alam @ 5:35 pm

UCEA the Universities and Colleges Employers Association has announced that it will meet with UCU next week.

The meeting, which will take place on 17 December, will allow UCEA and UCU, the universities and colleges union, to discuss modifications to sector-level work regarding pay and working conditions.

Constructive dialogue on this particular part of the dispute is expected to continue into the New Year and UCEA say they are aiming to arrive at some modifications to sector-level work on the three elements of casual employment, workload and gender pay gaps/ethnicity pay as quickly as possible.

However, UCEA has re iterated that that is has no mandate across the collective employers to revisit the final pay offer.

For more information about this latest development, UCEA has issued a news release on its website.

December 9, 2019

Disability History Month: Friday 22 November – Sunday 22 December

Filed under: Equality and Diversity,Inclusion — Tags: , — Victoria Beckwith @ 12:51 pm

It’s UK Disability History Month (UKDHM), and the focus for this year is Leadership, Resistance and Culture.

Throughout the month, UKDHM will examine how the leaders of the Disabled People’s Movement managed to change the way society viewed disability, from that of it being a personal burden to a human rights issue.

Our commitment to putting people at the centre of all we do reflects this, and our aim is to create a truly disability-inclusive environment through visible leadership, working with disabled staff and students to identify and remove the barriers they face and benchmarking our progress through engagement with external schemes.

We have a disability Inclusion Champion; Bryn Morris, Registrar and Secretary, carries out this role and provides leadership in this area. We have set up a small, informal working group of people who either have a disability or want to help create a disability-inclusive environment. Our Essex Access Forum, who are a discussion forum and consultation body working to support excellence in all aspects of physical and intellectual access at Essex, is represented on this group.

We have also signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme,which helps organisations to think differently about disability in relation to employment, retention, training and career development.

It aims to:

  • challenge attitudes towards disability
  • increase understanding of disability
  • remove barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in employment
  • ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations

In addition we recently successfully renewed our Mindful Employer Charter, which demonstrates our commitment to creating an enabling environment for all of our members, and that as an employer we are positive about mental health.

We recognise that:

  • people who have mental health issues may have experienced discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures – this may discourage them from seeking employment
  • whilst some people will acknowledge their experience of mental health issues in a frank and open way, others fear that stigma will jeopardise their chances of getting a job
  • given appropriate support, the vast majority of people who have experienced mental ill health continue to work successfully as do many with ongoing issues.

If you are a recruiting manager, you should be aware of the responsibilities you have when recruiting applicants who have a disability. Please read our Recruiting applicants with a disability guidance and if you have any questions please get in touch with your HR contact.

Our occupational health services are available to provide support with any work issues relating to a disability. If you feel that you require OH services, please speak to your Line manager or your Employee Relations Advisor who will complete a referral form with you.

Occupational Health does not accept self-referrals to its service but you can send any questions you have to

If you are interested in getting involved in access, disability and inclusion issues, you may join the Essex Access Forum.