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Discrimination & equality

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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.

Diversity equality heads graphic

Cheryl Samuels and Dean Royles argue that equality, diversity and inclusion in the NHS are part of a wider social movement for change, in which line managers, leaders and trade union reps have a crucial role to play.

15 December 2021 | By Cheryl Samuels & Dean Royles
Analysis & opinion
BLSM logo no strap

Last year, we talked to black NHS managers from around the country about the Black Lives Matter movement, racism in the UK and tackling inequality in the NHS. After a tumultuous year, how do they feel now? And what progress do they think we’ve made?

10 December 2021 | By Craig Ryan
Summit 2021 equality panel thumbnail

MiP Summit 2021: Anton Emmanuel, Lucille Thirlby, Chris Creegan and Helen Carr discuss MiP’s new guide to equality and diversity and the action managers can take to create inclusive workplaces in the NHS.

12 November 2021 | By Alison Moore

MiP's guide to managing equality and diversity, Creating an Inclusive Workplace is launched at today's MiP Summit. Find out more and download your copy here.

09 November 2021 | By MiP
Scene from Pride Festival 2019 Unsplash

Previewing MiP's webinar in September, we speak to UNISON’s Carola Towle and MiP national committee member Anthony Nicholls about tackling descrimination and creating LGBT+ inclusive workplaces.

20 August 2021 | By Alison Moore
Jon Restell portrait 2021

England’s uplifting performance at Euro 2020 shows how a culture of openness, honesty and shared purpose can deliver rich results. As managers, we can all learn from the team building skills of Gareth Southgate and his backroom staff.

02 August 2021 | By Jon Restell
Leading Edge

Homeworking during the pandemic has been a mixed blessing for many women managers. MiP's International Women's Day webinar examined how we can shape the future of flexible working, so it works for women as well as their employers.

23 March 2021 | By Alison Moore
MiP at work
Karen Bonner, Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust

05 November 2020 | By Craig Ryan
The panel discussing the 'new normal' (clockwise from top left): Habib Naqvi, Jon Restell, Rebecca Smith; Christine McAnea and David Cain.
NHS bodies are now being asked to collaborate rather than compete. But top-down direction cannot foster genuine cooperation, West Yorkshire ICS chief Rob Webster tells MiP. Only through partnerships can health and care staff address the huge challenges they face.
21st Apr 2022
By Matt Ross
MiP campaigns on equalities issues in health and care, and is closely involved in policy development with NHS and union bodies
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