The Trust is committed to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for all service users, visitors and carers we serve, as well as the talented and diverse workforce we employ. We recognise that the population we serve and our workforce is diverse and is becoming even more so. For this reason, we have a moral and ethical, as well as a legal duty, to treat everyone fairly and without discrimination. Tackling inequality and removing barriers in respect of equality, diversity and human rights (Human Rights Act 1998) through employment and the services provided is a key strategic focus for the Trust.
The Equality Act (2010) places an Equality Duty on public bodies, including NHS bodies such as the Trust which encourages us to engage with the diverse communities affected by our activities to ensure that policies and services are appropriate and accessible to all.
The Equality Act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are: Age; Disability; Gender Reassignment; Marriage and Civil Partnership; Pregnancy and Maternity; Race; Religion or Belief; Sex and Sexual Orientation.
The general equality duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Public organisations including NHS Trusts are subject to the general duty and must have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct which is unlawful under the Act 2010
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristics and those who do not; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The specific duties help public bodies to deliver the public sector equality duty, by requiring public bodies to be transparent about how they are responding to the Equality Duty – requiring them to:
- publish relevant, proportionate information showing compliance with the Equality Duty
- publish information about decision-making and the equality data which underpins those decisions
- be accountable to their service users and communities.
- give the public the information they need to hold public bodies to account for their performance on equality
How can this be achieved?
The three processes supporting the equality agenda are:
- Equality Impact Analysis - we are required to analyse the effect of any policy, practice, functions, business case, project or service change. This is what is known as an ‘Equality Analysis’ or what used to be referred to as ‘Equality Impact Assessment’. The Equality Act 2010 removed the requirement to follow a prescriptive ‘Equality Impact Assessment’, but not the requirement to demonstrate equality compliance. Nationally the NHS has promoted the development of appropriate local Equality Analysis tools, which are both transparent and simple to use. For more information please read the Equality Analysis Toolkit
- Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) – Collection, collation and analysis of equality data, functions and information - Annual PSED Report 31st January annually and publication of equality data on website.
- *Equality Delivery System (EDS2) – public engagement and involvement process leading to the setting and implementation of equality objectives over a four-year period published 6th April annually.
The Trust Equality information reports can be found at the links below:
Further information about the Equality Act 2010 & Human Rights Act 1998 can be found via the links below:
Equality Act 2010 Summary Easy Read document: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85012/easy-read.pdf
Human Rights Act 1998: www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act