Equality and Inclusion
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. The Equality Act brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. Combined, they make up an Act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.
The Equality Acts 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is set out in section 149 of the Act. In summary, those subject to the general equality duty must have due regard (consideration) to the three aims of the general equality duty:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Advance equality of opportunity between different groups.
- Foster good relations between different groups.
Due regard requires the CCG to give consideration in a way that is proportionate to the issue at hand, to the nine protected characteristics when carrying out day to day functions and activities as defined in law through the Brown Principles.
The Equality Act 2010 includes Specific Duties Regulations 2011 which require the CCG to publish annually on how it is meeting the PSED and, every 4 years, produce Equality Objectives.
The Equality Act (2010) focuses on nine protected groups or characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Within the CCG we consider a wider range of characteristics and other vulnerable groups, such as carers and health inequalities associated with social deprivation.
Meeting Statutory Human Right Requirements
The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out a range of rights which have implications for the way the CCG buys services and manages their workforce. In practice this means that we must:
- Act compatibly with the rights contained in the Human Rights Act in everything we do.
- Recognise that anyone who is a ‘victim’ under the Human Rights Act can bring a claim against the CCG (in a UK court, tribunal, hearing or complaints procedure).
- Wherever possible, existing laws that the CCG as a public body deals with, must be interpreted and applied in a way that fits with the rights in the Human Rights Act 1998.
Click the link for more information on Understanding Human Rights.
Equality Delivery System
The main purpose of the Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) is to help local NHS organisations, in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. It is aligned to NHS England’s commitment to an inclusive NHS that is fair and accessible to all.
The four EDS2 goals are:
1. Better health outcomes for all
2. Improved patient access and experience
3. Empowered, engaged and included staff
4. Inclusive leadership at all levels
The new NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG will be working in the coming months to bring together the commitments and learning from each of the five separate previous CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney, to establish and produce our EDS2 and embed an aligned equality and inclusion agenda for the new organisation. The EDS2 will be published when available and reviewed in line with national guidance.
More information is available:
Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES)
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have two roles in relation to the WRES: as commissioners of NHS services and as employers. CCGs are required to give assurance to NHS England that their providers are implementing and using the WRES.
CCGs should commit to the principles of the WRES and apply as much of it as possible to their own workforce
- To produce action plans to close any gaps in workplace experience between white and black and ethnic minority (BME) staff.
- To improve BME representation at senior and Board level of the organisation where the representation does not reflect the population it serves.
In this way, CCGs can demonstrate good leadership, identify concerns within their workforces and set an example for their providers.
The WRES applies to NHS providers, independent sector providers and voluntary sector providers. All providers of NHS services (other than primary care) are required to address the issue of workforce race inequality by implementing and using the WRES.
Key to the CCG achieving our equality objectives is our relationships and the support we provide to NHS and other key providers. In our supporting role, the CCG works collaboratively with providers to establish shared understandings and expectations, to be innovative while performing efficiently and effectively within an environment of economic restraint.
Key Providers Equality and Inclusion Webpages:
Modern Day Slavery Act
The Modern Slavery Act came onto the statute in March 2015. The main thrust of the Act focuses on illegal activity in the UK; however, the legislation also looks at the potential for slavery down the supply chain outside of the UK. The Act has direct implications for businesses operating in any sector in the UK.
Businesses operating above the turnover threshold of £36 million are required to produce a ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement,’ outlining what steps they have taken in their supply chain and own business to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place.
Who does the Act apply to?
a) A body corporate (wherever incorporated) which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom, or
b) A partnership (wherever formed) which carries on a business, or part of a business in any part of the United Kingdom.
The aim of this measure is to encourage businesses to do the right thing and to drive transparency as companies’ statements are published, scrutinised and compared.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Equality Analysis
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are one tool for examining the main functions and policies of an organisation to see whether they have the potential to affect people differently. Their purpose is to identify and address existing or potential inequalities, resulting from policy and practice development. Ideally, EIAs should cover all the strands of diversity and will help NHS organisations get a better understanding of their functions and the way decisions are made, by:
- considering the current situation
- deciding the aims and intended outcomes of a function or policy
- considering what evidence there is to support the decision and identifying any gaps
- ensuring it is an informed decision
What is equality analysis?
CCGs are responsible for making a wide range of decisions, from the contents of overarching policies and budget setting to day-to-day decisions that affect specific individuals.
Equality analysis is a way of considering the effect on different groups protected from discrimination by the Equality Act, such as people of different ages. There are two reasons for this:
- To consider if there are any unintended consequences for some groups.
- To consider if the policy will be fully effective for all target groups.
It involves using equality information, and the results of engagement with protected groups and others, to understand the actual effect or the potential effect of the CCGs functions, policies, or decisions. It can help to identify practical steps to tackle any negative effects or discrimination, to advance equality, and to foster good relations.
The CCG uses an EIA template to assess and record its equality analysis for each project or area of work. The template also includes a list of the protected characteristics from the Equality Act and prompts to assess if other health inequalities might be present due to e.g. low income or access to services in rural areas.