The Equality Act 2010 and National Directives

The Trust's work on inclusion is guided by legislation and NHS reporting requirements. This section will highlight the relevant legislation, requirements, and overall obligations of the Trust.

The Equality Act 2010

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:


This can be a person of a particular age (e.g., 18) or within a range of ages (e.g. 45-65)


A person will typically meet the criteria of disability if they have a physical or mental long-term health condition that substantially impacts their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

Gender Reassignment

The process of transitioning from one sex into another – this term is now outdated and may be substituted with the term 'gender identity' or refer to the transgender or trans.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

This relates to those in a legally recognised marriage or civil partnership relationship.

Pregnancy and Maternity

Pregnancy relates to the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity relates to the period after birth. Maternity usually refers to maternity leave in employment or 26 weeks after giving birth in a non-work context.


Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), and ethnic or national origins.

Religion or Belief

Religion refers to any religion, including a lack of religion. Belief refers to any religious or philosophical belief, including a lack of belief.


Refers to biological sex, being either a man or woman.

Sexual Orientation

Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.

Last updated06 Mar 2024
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