Discrimination & equality
Everyone should be treated with respect and receive fair treatment at work but too often, we can experience discrimination and prejudice.
By law, you must not be discriminated against based on age, sex, disability. race, religion and belief, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, or gender reassignment. These are the 'protected characteristics' under the Equality Act 2010 in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland does not have a single equality act but its laws give similar protections.
Your employer has many other duties enshrined in law, including the Public Sector Equality Duty (England, Scotland and Wales) and Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act in Northern Ireland.
Advice and support
If you feel you are being treated differently due to one or more of the protected characteristics, it's important to contact your national officer for early advice. They can advise you about your rights under internal policies and procedures and make sure that time limits for the Employment Tribunal claims are taken into account. Although not all cases will end up at an Employment Tribunal, the time limit for lodgingclaims is three months less one day from the act of discrimination.
Your national officer can help you with key early steps such as collecting and saving evidence, securing witnesses and dealing with this stressful situation through internal procedures with your help from your union. The impact of being discriminated against is incredibly hard to deal with alone, so talking to your national officer at the earliest opportunity will help you to prepare your case and give you that much-needed support.
Exploring the issues
MiP regularly publishes articles on diversity and equality issues – you can read the latest ones below. These are designed to raise public awareness of the issues around equalities in health and social care delivery, both for staff and patients; to illustrate and explore the kinds of problems that staff can face, providing guidance on how to react; and to push policymakers and employers towards reforms that will help tackle the problem.
We also play an active role in forums and organisations that work to improve the quality of advice and information on equalities issues – including the NHS Leadership Academy and the Health & Social Care BME Network. You can read more about our committment to equality and diversity, and our campaigning and policy-making work on our Equality and Diversity page. If you'd like to get involved in our work on equality, please contact MiP head office.