Administrative Head of Unit Responsibilities for UBC Equity-related Policies

Policy SC7: Discrimination

  • To prevent discrimination and harassment as defined and interpreted by the B.C. Human Rights Code.
  • To provide procedures for handling complaints, remedying situations, and imposing discipline when discrimination and harassment occur.
  • Prohibited grounds for discrimination:
    1. age;
    2. marital status;
    3. race;
    4. ancestry;
    5. physical and/or mental disability;
    6. gender identity;
    7. gender expression;
    8. religion;
    9. colour;
    10. place of origin;
    11. sexual orientation;
    12. family status;
    13. political belief;1
    14. unrelated criminal conviction;2 and
    15. sex.3


  • imposes burdens, obligations, or disadvantages or limits access to opportunities, benefits and advantages;
  • occurs when there is no bona fide and reasonable justification;
  • includes and is related to one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination;
  • can intentional or unintentional treatment;
  • may be a single act or a pattern of actions;
  • may be interpersonal or systemic.

Human rights (or “Code”) harassment is a comment or conduct that:

  • one knows or ought reasonably to know is unwelcome;
  • creates a negative impact for the recipient, acting reasonably; and
  • is related to one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination;
  • harassment can be intentional or unintentional, and may involve individuals or groups;
  • it can occur during one serious incident or a series of single incidents.

AHUs bear a primary responsibility for:

  • creating and maintaining a study and work environment free from discrimination and harassment; and
  • addressing concerns of discrimination and harassment, whether or not they are in receipt of specific complaints.

Therefore, AHUs are advised to:

  • Consult with the Equity and Inclusion Office for information, advice, support and assistance.
  • In consultation with the human right team at the EIO, take timely and appropriate action to informally address incidents of discrimination and harassment brought to their attention or personally observed;
  • File any administrative carriage of any formal complaints under Policy SC7 with the Investigations Office. AHUs are notified of a complaint; of the decision of the director of investigations to proceed (or not) with a complaint; and to receive the Investigation Report and determine any discipline or remedies to resolve the complaint.
  • Ensure their interactions and practices, and those of other faculty, staff and students in their units, comply with human rights standards.
  • Identify and remove barriers to the full and free participation of members of the UBC community in university life for reasons relating to one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.


UBC Respectful Environment Statement

  • To foster “a climate in which the human dignity of each individual is valued, and the diverse perspectives, ideas and experiences of all members of the community are able to flourish”;
  • To provide procedures for addressing personal harassment concerns.

Personal Harassment is:

  • objectionable/unwanted behavior;
  • occurs without reasonable justification;
  • creates a hostile or intimidating environment;
  • intentional or unintentional; and
  • usually repeated acts.

Personal Harassment does not include reasonable managerial direction or reasonable performance management.

  • Primary responsibility with those in supervisory or leadership roles;
  • Students should contact their professor, department head or Dean’s office, VP Students’ office;


Policy HR10: Employment Equity

  • To regard individual merit as the prime criterion for the treatment of present faculty and staff and for the employment of new faculty and staff.
  • To remove any discriminatory barriers to the development of employees’ career abilities, aspirations, and potential.
  • To increase the range of job applicants to reflect the diversity of the pool of potential candidates with appropriate qualifications.
  • To build a workforce that is representative of the pool of potential candidates with appropriate qualifications, including women, native people, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities.

Equity seeking groups may include women, Aboriginal and First Nations persons, , persons with disabilities, and individuals who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or two-spirited.

It is the responsibility of the University, acting through administrative heads of unit to:

  • ensure faculty and staff receive equitable treatment in hiring, training, and promotion procedures;
  • ensure hiring committees are well-versed in their responsibilities under the Employment Equity Plan;
  • encourage all new staff and faculty to complete the Employment Equity Census;
  • identify and address barriers to full and active participation in the workforce; and
  • institute policies and practices to ensure representation of the workforce reflects representation in the local and national workforce.



1 Only applies to UBC staff and faculty.
2 Only applies to UBC staff and faculty.
3 Includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, pregnancy, breastfeeding.