Unit name: Equality and inclusion in care settings
Learning outcome: 2. Be able to work in an inclusive way
Assessment criteria: 2.1 Identify which legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to own role
In the UK, all individuals have certain rights and responsibilities in relation to equality, diversity and discrimination. All organisations must comply with relevant legislation and codes of practice. This page will discuss which legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to health and social care workers in the UK.
The Equality Act 2010 and its subsequent amendments are the key legislation that applies to equality, diversity and discrimination in the UK. It protects individuals from being discriminated against because of their age, disability, gender reassignment or marriage and civil partnership status as well as any other characteristic relating to race including colour, nationality (including citizenship) ethnic origin or national origins.
The Human Rights Act 1998 is also relevant legislation for health and social care workers. It sets out several freedoms or liberties that apply to all citizens. These include the right to life, liberty and security of a person as well as freedom from torture or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is also relevant legislation to health and social care professionals because it restricts how data relating to any particular person can be used without their consent (although exemptions apply). This can be applicable to equality and diversity because it helps to ensure confidentiality and restricts how data can be used when it relates to an individual’s protected characteristics, for example, gender or disability.
The Code of Conduct for Adult Care Workers also provides relevant guidance on how to deal with equality issues.
In addition, there are other areas such as equality law which may be applicable depending upon roles within NHS organisations but these will depend upon individual circumstances so would not necessarily always apply to all staff members across England only those with specific responsibilities under their job description.