The objective of Bifröst University’s equality plan is to ensure gender equality between employees within the University, including with respect to salaries and other terms of employment, participation in administration, facilities and opportunities for study. The central objective of the Equality Plan is to prevent discrimination based on sex, gender, disability, age, religion, beliefs, racial or ethnic origin or sexual orientation. The University makes reasonable adjustments to accommodate the different needs of students and employees.
Bifröst University has prepared a dedicated response plan on sexual and gendered harassment and violence, which shall be treated as part of the University’s Equality Plan. This response plan provides for a special council tasked with handling complaints, and it is possible to register complaints on the University’s website. A prevention plan is likewise in place, which deals with measures to decrease the likelihood that situations involving sexual and gendered harassment and violence will arise.
Bifröst University has formulated a specific wage policy, outlining among other things the University’s pay structure. This policy is likewise its equal wage policy and thus also forms part of the University’s Equality Plan.
With this in mind, the University has adopted the following plan.
Wages and other terms of employment
The hiring process within the University shall reflect the will of the University to ensure gender equality within all operating units and departments. If two or more applicants are judged to be equally qualified for a position, the position shall be awarded to a person of the gender that represents the minority in the field of work in question within the University.
When positions are advertised, it shall be specifically stated that the hiring process takes into account the University’s Equality Plan. It shall be stipulated in advertisements that positions are open to all, irrespective of sex and gender, with an encouragement to those who form a minority within the University to apply if there is reason to do so.
In appointing members of evaluation committees for qualifications assessment, care shall be taken to ensure diversity regarding sex and gender.
In allocation of tasks or decisions on work situations, immediate supervisors shall take care that discrimination does not occur, cf. the objective of the Equality Plan.
Care shall be taken to avoid discrimination in determining wages for employees, cf. the objectives of the Equality Plan. Employees shall always enjoy equal remuneration and the same employment terms for work of equal value.
Employment contracts shall not require confidentiality regarding wage terms.
The University shall provide for employees’ need to harmonise their work and family life, among other things by providing additional days off during the Christmas and Easter holidays that do not count as vacation time. Immediate supervisors shall furthermore show consideration for employees’ needs through flexibility concerning remote work and videoconferencing.
In making allocations from the Bifröst University Education Fund for continuing education, course participation and conference travel and from the Bifröst University Research Fund for research funding, the boards managing these funds shall take care to ensure that they serve all staff members, irrespective of their personal situation or position.
Bifröst University shall obtain equal pay certification, in accordance with current legislation. The Equal Rights Committee shall oversee this work. After receiving equal pay certification for the first time in 2020, the University shall maintain its certification as stipulated in Act No. 10/2008 on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. Through active maintenance of equal pay certification, compliance with the legislation shall be ensured in determining wages.
Participation in administration
In making appointments to boards, councils and committees of the University, every attempt will be made to maintain a balanced gender ratio.
When requests are made of the University for nominations to boards, councils and committees, emphasis shall be placed on diversity in nominations, and the gender ratio shall be taken into account whenever possible.
In May of each year, the Equal Rights Committee shall collect data on the gender ratio of boards, committees and councils for the preceding academic year.
Facilities and opportunities for study
Advertising and promotional work shall aim at attracting persons of all genders equally to study at the University.
Departments, under the leadership of department heads, shall strive to develop a working atmosphere for learning and teaching that gives equal weight to all genders. The same applies to managers of support services and other operating units of the University.
University rules and their interpretation shall allow for flexibility with respect to studies and examinations for reasons of pregnancy and childbirth.
University rules, their interpretation, the organisation of study programmes and course offerings shall furthermore take differing needs into account, cf. the objective of the Equality Plan.
In regular review of study programmes under the University’s quality policy, department heads shall furthermore examine whether gender discrimination occurs in teaching or course materials and whether the provisions of Act No. 10/2008 on equality education are followed.
Implementation and responsibility
A special equal rights committee shall monitor the realisation of the Equality Plan and shall account for its activities by the end of February of each year in a report to the Rector and the University Council. The committee’s report shall be prepared concurrently with regular review on the part of administration for equal pay certification. The Equal Rights Committee is elected by the University Council on the basis of nominations and shall consist of three members: one staff representative, one student representative and a chair, who is nominated by the Rector.
Implementation of individual components of the Equality Plan is the responsibility of the Rector, unless otherwise stipulated.
The Equality Plan shall be reviewed by the Equal Rights Committee, following discussion in the University Council, no later than three years after its entry into force.
This Equality Plan is an updated version of the Equality Plan that took effect on 1 August 2019.
Reviewed at a meeting of the Equal Rights Committee, 31 August 2020
Reviewed at a meeting of the University Council, 1 September 2020
Effective from 1 August 2020
Approved by the Rector, 8 September 2020
This is a translation of the document Jafnréttisáætlun. In the event of any discrepancies between the translation and the original text, the original shall take precedence.