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Your Needs

what you needWe recognise that everyone has different needs and circumstances. Read more about the policies, services and resources for your individual needs.

Protected characteristics

We aim to anticipate and respond positively to your needs and circumstances which are ‘protected’ by the Equality Act which covers England, Scotland and Wales and Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act alongside other relevant equality legislation.

Protected characteristics include:

The legislation also offers protection to people with regard to:

Socio-economic background

Caring and dependancy

The OU's equality and diversity principles also support staff in relation to:


Trades Union membership

Obtaining support

For students

We provide information for students about study support and further information is provided to registered students in the ‘Help centre’ available from Student Home.  Students wishing to discuss their needs should contact their Student Support Team. 

For staff

Resources are available for OU staff via the University's intranet.  Staff should discuss their needs with their line manager so appropriate support measures can be put in place.

As part of its wellbeing programme the University offers all staff access to a free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This service is inclusive of counselling around any of the protected characteristics listed above.

If you would like to speak to someone regarding any form of discrimination or bullying and harassment either for yourself or on behalf of someone else, you can speak to:

  • the person about the behaviour and ask for it to stop
  • your line manager or more senior manager
  • your People Services Business Partner (via the People Hub)
  • the Equality Diversitiy and Inclusion team at
  • your Trades Union representative.

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