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Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Equality Act 2010 - Our Progress

The Equality Act 2010 replaces previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act.

It simplifies the law, removing inconsistencies and making it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthens the law in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality. 

The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5 April 2011. This Duty applies to all public sector organisations, such as The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, and others who carry out public functions. By fulfilling the requirements of this Duty, we will be able to better understand how different people are affected by their activities. This will help us to ensure we provide policies and services that are appropriate, accessible and meet different people’s needs.

The Equality Duty covers the following protected characteristics:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race (this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality);
  • religion or belief (this includes lack of belief);
  • sex; and
  • sexual orientation.

It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, but only in the respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination.

What does the law require us to do? 

The Equality Duty has three very important aims. It requires us to consciously think about these when making decisions:

  1. We need to consider how we can eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other inappropriate conduct.
  2. We need to recognise how we can advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  3. We need to foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

As a public sector body, Ipswich Hospital will be required to:

  • publish information to show our compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually; and
  • set and public equality objectives, at least every four years.

Implementing the Equality Duty

Related documents and links to further information