Public Sector Equality Duty (Equality Act 2010)
The public sector equality duty (the equality duty) is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. The equality duty was created by the Equality Act 2010 and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. The equality duty came into force in April 2011 and covers age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 puts various requirements on NHS organisations when exercising their functions. The general duty requires NHS organisations to have due regard to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity between different groups
- foster good relations between different groups
The duty of eliminating discrimination also covers marriage and civil partnership.
The specific duties are legal requirements designed to help public bodies meet their general duty. They require the publication of:
- information to demonstrate their compliance with the equality duty, at least annually (starting from 31 January 2012)
- equality objectives, at least every four years (starting from 6 April 2012)
Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS)
YAS is committed to developing an organisational culture that promotes equality and diversity, and to ensuring that future systems are equipped to meet the public sector equality duties. YAS serves a diverse population made up of many different groups and communities. We recognise that some communities suffer from health inequalities and understand that such inequalities have an adverse impact on quality of life.
YAS believes all individuals have the right to quality healthcare which should be accessible and free from unequal treatment or discrimination. We will therefore be working to eliminate such unequal treatment and discrimination where it might exist within the service and to promoting equality of access and opportunity on the basis of the protected characteristics contained in the Equality Act 2010.
YAS continues to work to ensure that its services in the region are delivered in ways that respect the needs of each individual and do not exclude anyone. YAS also aims to have a workforce that reflects the local community to effectively deliver the best possible healthcare.