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Identify which legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to own role

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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As a care worker and an employee, you should have an awareness and a basic understanding of the legislation, policy and codes of practice that relate to equality, diversity and discrimination.


Legislation (laws) relating to equality, diversity and discrimination include:

  • The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for individuals to treated unfairly because of their differences. It states nine protected characteristics that can not be used as a reason to treat someone unfavourably. They are:
    1. Age
    2. Disability
    3. Race
    4. Religion/belief
    5. Sex
    6. Sexual orientation
    7. Gender reassignment
    8. Marriage/civil partnership
    9. Pregnancy/maternity
  • The Human Rights Act 1998 states the rights, freedoms and liberties that every person in the UK is entitled to
  • The Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes protection for individuals that are unable to make decisions for themselves
  • The Care Act 2014 is a broad-reaching piece of legislation but it does have a running theme of the wellbeing of individuals in the care system, which includes having their values, beliefs, wishes and preferences respected and valued
  • The Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations – information about individuals must be collected and processed fairly and their rights and interests must be safeguarded


Local and national policies are based on the legislative framework and are the actions and principles used to adhere to and promote the law.

Your employer may have organisational policies that relate to equality, diversity and discrimination documented as agreed ways of working. For example, there may be an equal pay policy or equal opportunities policy.

Nationally, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates and governs adult care providers and during the inspection process, they will look at what the organisation does to promote and support equality and diversity.


The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England includes many principles relating to equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) Code of Practice provides guidance and information about how to ensure that individuals that may not have the capacity to make their own choices are treated fairly.

How they apply to roles

There are several ways that the aforementioned legislation, policies and codes can apply to your own work role.

For example, this could mean ensuring that individuals with specific dietary requirements receive a similar meal quality and range of choices as individuals that are able to eat from the standard menu. Or ensuring that a resident with a non-Christian religion is enabled to practice their faith and observe religious festivals.

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