Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force across Great Britain on 5 April 2011. It means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.

It also requires that public bodies have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination
  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.The Equality Duty applies across Great Britain to the public bodies listed in Schedule 19 (as amended), and to any other organisation when it is carrying out a public function. 

Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 came into force on 10 September 2011. The specific duties require public bodies to publish relevant, proportionate information that shows compliance with the Equality Duty, and to set equality objectives.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a mandatory framework which requires NHS employers to demonstrate progress against nine workforce equality indicators.

Four of the indicators relate specifically to workforce data. Four are based on data from the national NHS Staff Survey questions, and one considers black, Asian and minority ethnic representation at Board level. The WRES aims to highlight differences between the experience and treatment of different ethnic groups with a view to closing the experience gap in those metrics.

NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) was introduced into the NHS in 2019. It was developed after a number of key reports, such as Making a Difference: Diversity and Inclusion in the NHS by Michael West, which noted that levels of reported discrimination are higher against people with disabilities than any other of the protected characteristics groups.

Like the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), WDES is mandated through the NHS Standard Contract, and will be part of future Care Quality Commission inspections under the 'well-led' theme.  It is also referenced in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The WDES has ten specific metrics that will enable our trust to compare the experiences of disabled, and non-disabled staff, and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working at our trust. 

We are required to report on progress against the WDES metrics on an annual basis, which will allow year on year comparisons, highlighting areas of improvement, and areas where further work is needed.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting (GPG)

In 2018 the government made gender pay gap (GPG) reporting mandatory by amending the Equalities Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, so that all public sector employers with more than 250 employees, are required annually to measure and publish their gender pay gap prominently on the government website and their own.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for monitoring how public bodies are complying with the GPG reporting requirements and can take enforcement action if needed.