The Equality Act 2010 strengthens, harmonises and streamlines 40 years of equalities law in relation to the nine “protected characteristics” of age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

The HSCP is subject to a general equality duty which means that the HSCP in its role as a service planner and provider must have due regard to the need to:

1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act.

2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a  protected characteristic and those who don't.

3. Foster good relations between people who share a characteristic and those who don't.

As a result of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015, the HSCP also has additional specific equalities duties.

  • These are to develop  and report on a set of Equality Outcomes
  • To report on how the HSCP is mainstreaming equality into its day-to-day business
  • To carry out equality impact assessments  on health and social care policies and practices which have been delegated to the HSCP.

From April 2018, the HSCP is also subject to the Fairer Scotland Duty, Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 which places a legal responsibility on the HSCP to actively consider to reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions.

The HSCP will also continue to meet its obligations around the remaining specific duties of procurement and employment  as they remain the responsibility of the Health Board and the Council by implementing the relevant policies and practices as appropriate.