We understand that equality, diversity and inclusion are linked but distinct issues that may need tackling in different ways.
‘Equality’ means that everybody has the same opportunities and is treated with the same respect.
‘Diversity’ is concerned with representation and valuing individuals for the different perspectives they have to offer.
‘Inclusion’ means ensuring that everybody has a voice and a means to participate, which may involve making reasonable adjustments to our usual processes.
Equality, diversity and inclusion are all important issues to the HCPC. This is something we aim to reflect throughout our policies and in our practice as a regulator and employer.
Under the Equality Act 2010, we have a legal duty as a public body to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate unlawful discrimination and foster good relations between key equality strands. These include age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity.
Delivering against our Public Sector Equality Duty, means we must look for ways to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people with a protected characteristic and those without – both within the HCPC and in how we regulate. We do this through our key regulatory functions.
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) comprises general duties which state we must have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristics and those who do not
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
The Equality Act does not apply in Northern Ireland. But similar equalities legislation applies, which we support through our regulatory activities.
We are determined to go above and beyond our legal obligations. We recognise that bullying, discrimination, bias and inequity are experienced not only by those with protected characteristics set out in legislation and we wish to do all that we can to make the most of our role and influence to support our stakeholders in this regard too.