A description of the legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination
In my work role I support vulnerable individuals, some of whom are unable to complain when things are not right. It is part of my job role to be aware and uphold their human rights by ensuring others do not discriminating against or disadvantaging them in any way. I would do by reporting any issues to the person in charge so they could be dealt with immediately.
The following are legislations and codes relating to equality, diversity and discrimination:
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society.
The act replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act to make the law simpler and to remove inconsistencies. This makes the law easier for people to understand and comply with. The act also strengthened protection in some situations. The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment.
They protected characteristics are:
•marriage and civil partnership,
•pregnancy and maternity,
•religion or belief,
The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person. The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations (such as private clubs).
This law replaces:
a)The Sex Discrimination Act 1975,
b)Equal Pay Act 1976,
c)The Race Relations Act 1976,
d)Disability Discrimination Act 1995,
e)Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, f)Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
Human Rights Act 1998
Contains 16 basic rights which affect all aspects of human rights: 1)the right to life,
2)freedom from torture and degrading treatment,
3)freedom from slavery and forced labour,
4)the right to liberty,
5)the right to a fair trial,
6)the right not to be punished for something that wasn't a crime when you did it, 7)the right to respect for private and family life,
8)freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs, 9)freedom of expression,
10)freedom of assembly and association,
11)the right to marry and to start a family,
12)the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms, 13)the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property,
14)the right to an education,
15)the right to participate in free elections,
16)the right not to be subjected to the death penalty.
The service users I work with are vulnerable and depend on others for support in meeting their daily needs, therefore it is my responsibility to protect them and ensure their human rights are upheld by reporting issues where necessary.
Race Relations Act 1976
The act prohibits discrimination on racial grounds when providing facilities and services. As a carer I must treat and ensure everyone in my workplace is treated fairly whatever their race, colour, nationality or ethnicity.
General Social Care Council (GSCC) Code of Practice
GSCC are a set of agreed codes of practice describing the standards and conduct within which social care workers and employers should work.
As a carer I must:
•protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers – in my work role this means I should treat each person as an individual, respecting and where appropriate promoting the views and wishes of both service users and carers, support service users rights to control their lives and make informed choices about the services they receive, respect and maintain their dignity and privacy, promote equal opportunities for service users and carers, respect diversity and different cultures and values, •strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers – by being honest trustworthy reliable and dependable and by respecting confidentiality, •promote the independence of service users while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm - I should recognise the service user has right to be independent and this may involve taking risks; I should help them to identify, manage and minimise potential risks to themselves and others, •respect the rights of service users whilst seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people – I should help them to identify, manage and minimise potential risks to themselves and others, •uphold public trust and confidence in social care services – in order to do this I should not discriminate unlawfully or unjustifiably against a service user, •be accountable for the quality of their work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving my knowledge and skills – by doing this it will ensure I keep up to date with various legislations and policies and procedures which may affect the service users rights.
Care Standards Act 2000
The job of regulating the independent health and care sector by health authorities and local authorities has now been taken over by the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) who became responsible for the registration and inspection of all care homes and private healthcare facilities in England. The purpose of the new regime is to create consistency in the interpretation of the legislation and the application of this to the independent health and care sector.
Previously, where the function had been undertaken by the various health authorities, there was a significant variation across the country in the application and interpretation of the legislation and the intention is now to create some consistency through the NCSC. The National Care Standards Commission was established in England under the Care Standards Act 2000, in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care in 1999.
In April 2004, this body was replaced by two organisations, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection (CHAI).
On 1 April 2009, these two bodies were replaced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a new independent body which from 1 April 2009 became exclusively responsible for the inspection, monitoring and regulation of health and social care in England. The Care Standards Act gives powers to the Secretary of State to publish national minimum standards (NMS)
Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults
Any adult at risk of abuse, exploitation or neglect should be able to access support to enable them to live a life free from violence and abuse. Agencies and organisations will work co-operatively in the identification, investigation, treatment and prevention of abuse of vulnerable adults. As a carer it is part of my role to identify risk and manager risk. I must attend training and be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse. In the event of a suspicion or allegation that a vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse, exploitation or neglect I must be aware of the correct procedures to follow and how to record and report it.
The aim of these legislations and codes of practice are to promote equality of opportunity and ensure inclusion for all, regardless of age, sex, sexuality, disability, race, religion or any other difference. The legislation sets out the “ground rules” for all care providers and workers, thereby ensuring all service users are treated the same and no preferential treatment given to anyone.
An explanation of the possible consequences for individuals, social care workers and others if the legislation and codes of practice are not followed
Discrimination is the act of recognizing, seeing, and distinguishing differences and choosing to show prejudice and bias. It is the restrictive treatment of a person or group based on prejudiced assumptions of group characteristics, rather than on individual judgment. It is the denial of justice prompted by prejudice. Discrimination can be in the form of repeated mistreatment, verbal abuse, threats, humiliation, or intimidating behaviour or conduct.
The effects of discrimination can be different to different people. These effects can be physical, emotional or both. In the short term it can cause an individual to become withdrawn, lose interest in their appearance, loss of confidence, feel depressed or hopeless, guilty, fearful, angry, low self-esteem, feeling isolated, unwanted, insecurity, increased behaviour problems, anxiety, stressed and unable to cope. Physical effects could be headaches, difficulty communicating, poor appetite, a change in eating habits, sleeplessness, loss/gain of weight, deterioration of health, lack of personal hygiene, lack of energy. In the long term it can lead to reduced individual rights, restricted opportunities, limited access to services, mental illness caused by stress, lack of achievements, poor job prospects, lack of skills, loss of motivation, lack of interest in anything.
A description of how inclusive practice can promote equality and support diversity
Inclusive practice means that positive efforts are made to ensure that everyone is included and treated equally regardless of race, ability, age, gender etc. Inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity by ensuring that each service user is treated as an individual and not excluded or isolated. By tailoring each individuals care package to accommodate their own personal needs and preferences and by embracing and valuing their differences, it allows individuals to reach their full potential and ensures inclusive practice. Each individual I care for, has a personal care plan which has been constructed to take into account their individual needs and preferences. No two service users are the same, so by identifying their individual needs, it promotes a sense of inclusion, equality and diversity. Inclusion takes place by ensuring that each individual is treated equally and by recognising their diversity, when assessing their care requirements and encompassing this into their care plan.
Whilst caring for an individual I promote equality by checking individuals needs and preferences are being met and by immediately reporting any changes or problems. I make service users aware of the choices available and support empowerment. I encourage individuals to take part in activities in order to help them to achieve their full potential. I report any comments or complaints they may have regarding their care. I plan and adapt the care I administer to ensure each individual is treated equally. By establishing their individual needs, I promote inclusion by ensuring the care fits around their needs and preferences, despite any differences. I adapt inclusive values and practices, work respectfully with service users and respond positively to diversity.
By valuing and embracing differences and acting in ways that recognise individual’s backgrounds and beliefs, I value people as individuals.
An explanation of how to support others to promote diversity, equality and inclusion
As a carer I should actively help others to promote equality and value diversity by sharing information I may have with other members of staff. If an individual has expressed a need or preference that was not being met, I would discuss this at handover with other members of staff and also report to my Manager so that the situation could be rectified. By reminding other members of staff about individuals, specific needs when necessary.
Example could be:
•remind a colleague who is planning an activity to enable an individual in a wheelchair to join in, •remind a colleague that an individual goes to church on Sunday, when they are planning an activity on that day.
Other ways I can promote equality and rights is:
•Explain equality, diversity and inclusion to new members of staff, •Challenging colleagues if I witness discrimination of any kind and seek appropriate support. •The code of practice for social care workers states you must not “Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination by service users, carers or colleagues”. •Immediately I witness a discriminatory incident I would address the situation by reporting and recording it. By doing this it is more likely to be dealt with in the appropriate manner. •If I overheard someone making a discriminatory remark or not promoting equality or valuing diversity I would challenge them in a calm and professional way and tell them that what they were saying or doing, is unacceptable and explain why. I could also add that I am upset and offended by their discriminatory words and actions and that it is unlawful. In a work setting, discrimination can be a disciplinary matter and policies and procedures will be in place to deal with this. •I could actively challenge discrimination by acting as a role model for positive behaviour and by empowering people to challenge discrimination themselves. Discrimination usually occurs through ignorance. By making a person aware of the facts it will educate them and hopefully change their opinions and actions in the future.