Assessment criteria covered by this article
CARE CERTIFICATE – STANDARD 4: EQUALITY & DIVERSITY
- 4.1 Understand the importance of equality and inclusion
- 4.1a Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion, discrimination
- 4.1b Describe ways in which discrimination may deliberately or inadvertently occur in the work setting
- 4.1c Explain how practices that support equality and inclusion reduce the likelihood of discrimination
- 4.2 Work in an inclusive way
- 4.2a Identify which legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to their own role
- 4.2b Demonstrate interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
- 4.2c Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that encourages positive change
- 4.3 Access information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 4.3a Identify a range of sources of information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 4.3b Describe how and when to access information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 4.3c Explain who to ask for advice and support about equality and inclusion
LEVEL 2 DIPLOMA IN CARE – EQUALITY & INCLUSION IN CARE SETTINGS
- 1 Understand the importance of equality and inclusion
- 1.1 Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion, discrimination
- 1.2 Describe ways in which discrimination may deliberately or inadvertently occur in the work setting
- 1.3 Explain how practices that support equality and inclusion reduce the likelihood of discrimination
- 2 Be able to work in an inclusive way
- 2.1 Identify which legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to own role
- 2.2 Show interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
- 2.3 Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that encourages change
- 3 Know how to access information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 3.1 Identify a range of sources of information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 3.2 Describe how to access information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
- 3.3 Identify when to access information, advice and support about diversity, equality and inclusion
LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA IN ADULT CARE – PROMOTE EQUALITY & INCLUSION IN CARE SETTINGS
- 1 Understand the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion
- 1.1 Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion, discrimination
- 1.2 Describe the effects of discrimination
- 1.3 Explain how inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity
- 2 Be able to work in an inclusive way
- 2.1 Explain how legislation, policy and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to own work role
- 2.2 Work with individuals in a way that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
- 3 Be able to promote diversity, equality and inclusion
- 3.1 Model inclusive practice
- 3.2 Support others to promote equality and rights
- 3.3 Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes change
- What is meant by equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination?
- Ways in which discrimination can occur in the workplace
- Effects of discrimination
- How practices that support equality and inclusion reduce the likelihood of discrimination
- How inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity
- Legislation & codes of practice
- Work with individuals in a way that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
- Model inclusive practice
- How to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes positive change
- Support others to promote equality and rights
- Sources of further information
On this page, we will explore the meanings behind the terms equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination and look at how discrimination can occur in the workplace and its effects.
We will also examine the legislation that underpins equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK and best practices in our day-to-day role.
Finally, we will look at how to obtain further information relating to this topic.
What is meant by equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination?
Equality is the act of treating everybody fairly. This does not mean that everyone should be treated the same but that we should ensure that each individual gets the same opportunities. For example, an employee with restricted mobility may be provided with a parking space close to the entrance of the employer’s office. Although they are not being treated the same as other employees, their restricted mobility is considered and accommodated so that they are treated fairly.
Diversity refers to celebrating the differences between one another and the unique perspectives each of us can bring to the table. It is about acknowledging that we are all different and that our differences should be recognised and valued.
Inclusion is about ensuring that everybody has the same opportunities to participate. For some individuals, this may mean taking extra steps to ensure that they can be involved in an activity.
Discrimination refers to attitudes and behaviours that mistreat individuals based on one of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 (see below).
Ways in which discrimination can occur in the workplace
Discrimination can be both deliberate and inadvertent.
Deliberate discrimination is intentional and can take many forms, such as:
- Making jokes about an individual’s sexuality
- Bullying an individual because of ignorance of their perceived religion
- Sexual harassment to a member of the opposite sex
Discrimination can also be inadvertent/unintentional, which means the individual is unaware that they are being discriminatory. Examples include:
- Assuming an individual with brown skin cannot speak English
- Introducing a new workplace policy that says all employees must work on a Saturday, without realising that this is a holy day for one of the employees
- Holding a meeting on the second floor that is inaccessible to an individual with restricted mobility
Effects of discrimination
Discrimination has several negative effects on the individuals discriminated against, their family and friends and others, including the perpetrator.
Individuals who experience discrimination may feel angry, upset or sad that it has happened to them. Their family and friends can have the same feelings. This can lead to mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety as well as a lack of motivation and a decrease in performance at work. If an individual has been discriminatory unintentionally, they may feel embarrassed or guilty.
In extreme cases, discrimination can lead to individuals being harassed, threatened and even harmed. Perpetrators of discrimination, both individuals and organisations, may face litigation or criminal proceedings.
How practices that support equality and inclusion reduce the likelihood of discrimination
By working in a way that supports equality and inclusion, the likelihood of discrimination can be reduced because groups and individuals will have a better understanding of which behaviours and attitudes are acceptable within the workplace and within society as a whole.
Guided by policies and having undertaken relevant training, employees will know how they can promote equality and inclusion. This foundation of knowledge can also help individuals to question their own prejudices and continuously improve their practice. It also means that they will know how they can challenge discrimination in a positive way. Being able to challenge discrimination safely and knowing that there is support available means that discrimination is less likely to be ignored or tolerated and actions can be taken to stamp it out.
How inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity
Inclusive practice is an approach that helps to ensure that nobody is left out or excluded from a group or activity.
By practicing inclusive attitudes and behaviours, you can prevent people from being unable to participate because of one of their protected characteristics, which ensures equality. For example, suppose you are running a cooking workshop and the day’s lesson is to cook homemade sausages. In that case, individuals that do not eat pork as part of their religion or culture may be unable to participate in the lesson. To be inclusive, you might provide them with different ingredients or cook something else entirely.
Similarly, promoting inclusion allows individuals to share their unique perspectives and experiences, supporting diversity. Continuing with the example above, learning about an individual’s dietary differences could result in the individual sharing a dish from their own culture with the group instead.
Legislation & codes of practice
As well as being written into organisational policies and procedures, equality, diversity, and inclusion are enshrined in UK law and professional codes of practice. Therefore, we must have a good understanding of these policies, so that we do not break the law or breach professional conduct.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 brought together several pieces of legislation relating to equality that had been created over the years under one parliamentary act. Previously, there were different acts for disability discrimination, race discrimination, gender discrimination etc. The Equality Act 2010 ensured consistency in UK law across all types of discrimination by identifying nine ‘protected characteristics‘ that it is unlawful to discriminate against:
- Gender reassignment
- Religion (including having no religion)
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Pregnancy or maternity
The Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out a number of freedoms or liberties that all individuals can expect. It is the Uk’s implementation of the following rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR):
- Right to life
- Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
- Freedom from slavery and forced labour
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to a fair trial
- No punishment without law
- Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence
- Freedom of thought, belief and religion
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of assembly and association
- Right to marry and start a family
- Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
- Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
- Right to education
- Right to participate in free elections
- Abolition of the death penalty
As care workers, we must ensure that the way we work does not impinge on an individual’s fundamental human rights.
The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England
By working as a professional carer, we implicitly agree to the adhere to the attitudes and behaviours set out in the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England.
Section 7 of the code states that we must “Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion“, which includes:
respect the individuality and diversity of the people who use health and care services, their carers
and your colleagues.
not discriminate or condone discrimination against people who use health and care services, their
carers or your colleagues.
promote equal opportunities and inclusion for the people who use health and care services and their
report any concerns regarding equality, diversity and inclusion to a senior member of staff as soon– Code of Conduct
Work with individuals in a way that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
By understanding the benefits, importance, and legal and professional requirements of working in a way that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion, we should be able to demonstrate that our practices respect the unique beliefs, culture, values and preferences of individuals.
For example, we may support individuals to access community religious facilities, such as churches or mosques, or ensure that their meal plan consists of traditional cultural dishes that they are fond of.
Model inclusive practice
Role-modeling is a way of acting or behaving that demonstrates best practices so that others are able to observe how things should be done and integrate the principles into their own work. It also shows others that we ‘practice what we preach’ and have a thorough understanding of our role and responsibilities.
There are several ways that we may model inclusive practice in our day-to-day work, including:
- Encouraging individuals that appear to be withdrawn to participate in activities
- Ensuring individuals are involved in all meetings and conversations that relate to them
- Asking individuals to share their views and opinions
- Ensuring activities are accessible to all
How to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes positive change
As we discussed earlier, it is crucial that there are policies and procedures in place and support available that facilitates and encourages individuals to challenge discrimination. Everyone should feel that they are able to safely and comfortably raise concerns relating to equality, diversity and inclusion, without reprisals for speaking up. This ensures that discrimination can be handled swiftly and appropriately and that a service can continuously improve over time.
Very often, concerns about discrimination can be raised directly with the perpetrator – it may be that they were unaware that their actions or behaviours were discriminatory and so it provides them with an opportunity to question their own prejudices and make changes to their practice going forward.
For more serious cases of discrimination, or if an individual is unwilling or unable to change their attitudes or behaviours following a discussion, it may be necessary to take a more formal approach. This may involve reporting discrimination to your manager, who will be able to investigate and address it according to workplace policies and procedures.
A workplace culture that stands up against discrimination and is willing to continuously learn and improve will decrease the likelihood of discrimination occurring as time goes on.
Support others to promote equality and rights
Care workers in a senior or management role may need to support others to promote equality and rights within their organisation. ‘Others’ could include service users, their family/friends and co-workers. Ways in which we may support others to promote equality and rights include:
- Role-modeling (see above)
- Providing information, advice and guidance
- Coaching and mentoring
- Explaining organisational policies and procedures
- Arranging training
- Discussions during team meetings or supervision
Sources of further information
If you want to find out more about equality, diversity, and inclusion, it is useful to know where you can go to find out more information. Some of the sources you may use are provided below:
- Your manager or senior colleagues
- Organisational policies and procedures
- The Equality & Human Rights Commission – the government agency responsible for promoting and upholding equality and human rights ideals
- Charities/Not-for-profits related to equality or protected characteristics
- Own research