The Equality Act 2010
was introduced to simplify and harmonise the rights of people from marginalised groups. The Act replaced a complicated structure of equity legislation, for example, the Disability Discrimination Act and Race Relations Amendment Act.
The Equality Act provides a framework for creating a more inclusive and fairer environment for the Trust's patients, staff, and anyone else that comes into contact with the Trust's services. Whilst there are obligations to not unfairly discriminate against a person or group from marginalised groups, there is also an active duty to take steps to promote better relations and participation of different groups.
Within the Act, there is a recognition that marginalised groups have been historically disadvantaged by discrimination, harassment, and victimisation. These behaviours and outcomes are deemed unlawful by the Act. The marginalised groups that the Act protects are known as protected characteristics: