We are committed to diversity and equality and aim to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate discrimination.
We are the first organisation in the UK to be certified by the International Disability Management Standards Council for its support for employees with disabilities.
In October 2010, Equality Act 2010 (the Act) came into force. The Act harmonises and replaces previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and ensures consistency in what we need to do to create fair and inclusive environment for our patients and staff.
The Equality Act 2010 covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation – age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity – these are now called “protected characteristics”. The Act also extends some protections to groups not previously covered, and strengthens particular aspects of equality law.
The “Protected Characteristics” are listed as follows:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
The Act extends some protections to characteristics that were not previously covered, and also strengthens particular aspects of equality law. As a result, we have reviewed and updated some of our policies and practices.
Section 149 of the Act is called the public sector Equality Duty (PSED). It has three aims to have a due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
In addition to this, PSED requires public bodies to publish proportionate equality information about their staff and service users affected by their decisions and policies.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recently published a revised guidance on what this information may include. This can be related to:
- the protected characteristics of staff and service users
- evidence used to inform policy development and decision-making such as local or national research on equality issues.
- both quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (descriptive) information. Qualitative information may focus more on factors which are more difficult to measure or represent in quantitative terms.