A lot of legislation has been passed to help make sure people are treated fairly. The Equality Act 2010 is aimed at making the equality laws clearer and stronger. The Equality Act brought together 9 big equality laws and about 100 smaller laws which makes it easier for the UHB, staff, patients and the public to understand what they must do.
The Equality Act requires the UHB, as a public sector organisation, to have a Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) and set of Equality Objectives to demonstrate and ensure that it does not discriminate against any ‘protected characteristic’ group or person when taking decisions that affect them.
The protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 are:
Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) of the Equality Act, the UHB is required to undertake an equality impact assessment (EQIA) to demonstrate and ensure that it does not discriminate against any protected characteristic group or person when taking decisions that affect them. The EQIA requires consideration of how the policy, change or proposal may affect protected characteristic groups or persons in different ways. Potential negative impacts that are disregarded or ignored could mean unlawful discrimination. There is also a duty to actively promote positive impacts that advance equality of opportunity.
For guidance and support when completing an equality impact assessment, please refer to the EQIA toolkit.
Other key pieces of Equality legislation include: