Equality - History Race Relations Act 1965 Race Relations Act 1968 Race Relations Act 1976 The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (the Macpherson Report) Equality Act 2006 Equality Act 2010
Equality – History The Journey to Race Equality, 2004, Audit Commission Report, found that ‘People from black and minority ethnic communities still experience multiple inequalities and discrimination’ and that ‘Local agencies are on a journey to race equality and some are doing better than others’. Recommendations included: Delivering race equality benefits the whole community Local agencies need a clear vision of race equality, based on a good understanding of local issues and a clear description of how outcomes for black and minority ethnic communities will improve The barriers and assumptions that prevent progress can contribute to institutional racism Delivering race equality requires significant change. The factors that will help local agencies to make progress along the journey include leadership at all levels, mature dialogue with all parts of the community, and regularly evaluating and engaging partners Delivering race equality is a long-term programme.
Equality Act - 2010 Characteristics 1) age 2) disability; 3) gender reassignment 4) marriage and civil partnership 5) pregnancy and maternity 6) race 7) religion or belief 8) sex (gender) 9) sexual orientation.
Equality Act 2010 Forms of Discrimination Direct discrimination Indirect discrimination Harassment Victimisation
Direct Discrimination Direct discrimination is defined as unlawful in the same areas specified in the Equality Act 2010 (i.e. services and public functions, premises, work, education and associations). Less favourable treatment could be anything from not gaining employment to receiving poorer services. It did not matter what motivated the treatment.
Indirect Discrimination Indirect discrimination means applying a criterion, provision or practice which was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, disadvantaged people of a particular age, gender, race, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation and disadvantaged a particular individual from a protected group.
Harassment Harassment is unwanted conduct – on or because of a protected ground - that violated a person’s dignity or created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment having regard to all the circumstances and the perception of the victim – this definition applies to all strands and protected groups. The effect of the behaviour is important – not the motivation of the person being complained about, or their intention.
Victimisation Victimisation is prohibited under The Equality Act 2010. The victimisation provisions are designed to ensure that individuals who allege discrimination are not too afraid to make a legal complaint and/or frightened into withdrawing a complaint. An individual (e.g. a worker or service-user) need not have a particular protected characteristic in order to be protected against victimisation under the Act; to be unlawful, victimisation must be linked to a ‘protected act’.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to— (a)eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; (b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; (c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
Who has to do the PSED Public authorities, eg Local authorities, health authorities, police, transport, Education Any organisation that is responsible for a public function, only to public not private functions EHRC is responsible for enforcement
Specific Duties Key points Publication of information –No later than 31 st January 2011 –Then every year after –Information must be related to persons who share a protected characteristic for employees and those affected by their policy and practice –Does not apply to public authorities with less that 150 employees
Specific Duties Equality Objectives –One or more objectives –Published no later than 6 th April 2012 –Subsequently every four years –Specific & measurable Manner of publication –Information must be accessible to the general public –Information may be published within another document
Internal Checks Circumstances where discrimination may occur? What can you do to mitigate against this Reporting procedures – what do you have? Tracking reports and any changes as a result Review policies and procedures in light of the Act For example equality & diversity policy, bullying & harassment policy, grievance policy, disciplinary policy, complaints policy, code of conduct, governing documents
Future work What would you use the Equality Act 2010 for, re issues? What further support might you need in the future? Rahana Mohammed Rahana@rota.org.uk www.rota.org.uk