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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.

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.
Chair of the North East London Integrated Care System Marie Gabriel

Black Lives Still Matter: Marie Gabriel, chair of the North East London Integrated Care System.

30 October 2020 | By Marie Gabriel
NHS England & NHS Improvement community care improvement adviser Yvonne Richards

Black Lives Still Matter: Yvonne Richards, community care improvement adviser, NHS England & NHS Improvement

30 October 2020 | By Yvonne Richards
Research Fellow at Middlesex University Business School Roger Kline

The NHS can’t afford unfair recruitment and promotion processes that discriminate against BAME people. We need a new evidence-based approach that focuses on leadership, accountability and removing bias from the system.

28 October 2020 | By Roger Kline
Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive Patricia Miller

Black Lives Still Matter: Patricia Miller, chief executive, Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust. Interview by Mercedes Broadbent

26 October 2020 | By Patricia Miller
Sheffield’s director of public health has become a local celebrity in a city whose innovative response to the pandemic has attracted national attention. Greg Fell talks about prevention, funding and finding the sweet spot between national and local leadership.
9th Aug 2021
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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