Learn, Do Not Copy!

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:

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

Related legislation (laws) include:

  • The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for individuals to treated differently because of their differences. It states nine protected characteristics that are safeguarded from discrimination. 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 a number of rights and freedoms that every single human being in the UK is entitled to
  • 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 Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes protection for individuals that are unable to make decisions for themselves
  • The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gives more choice to individuals in the care of the NHS

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.

In addition, your employer may have their own policies or agreed ways of working to ensure discrimination is not tolerated and that everybody works in an inclusive way.

Example question and answer

Your work setting is running an induction course for new social care workers in an adult social care setting.  

Create a leaflet which can be used to support this course.

The leaflet must include the following:

a)      A description of the legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality,  inclusion and discrimination.
b)      An explanation of the possible consequences for individuals, social care workers and  others if the legislation and codes of practice are not followed.
c)       A description of how inclusive practice can promote equality and support diversity.
d)       An explanation of how to support others to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.


  • DIVERSITY – Valuing individual’s differences and talents
  • EQUALITY – Ensuring all individuals have equal opportunities, regardless of abilities, background or lifestyle
  • INCLUSION – Making all individuals feel included, valued and respected
  • DISCRIMINATION – Treating individuals differently or worse based on certain characteristics


The EQUALITY ACT 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy/Maternity
  • Religion/Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

This Act brings together all previous anti-discriminatory legislation including the equal pay act, the sex discrimination act, the race relations act and the disability discrimination act.


The CARE QUALITY COMMISSION (CQC) that regulates service providers requires that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, which incorporates that everybody should be treated as equals.

The CODE OF CONDUCT FOR HEALTHCARE SUPPORT WORKERS AND ADULT SOCIAL CARE WORKERS requires that we promote equality and inclusion for all individuals that use our services.

We also have policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.


If a care worker does not follow these laws and codes of practice, they should expect to be confronted about it by others. It could also lead to disciplinary action, suspension or dismissal from their role and could even result in legal action being taken against them.

The individual that is discriminated against is likely to feel sad, upset and angry and it could lead to low self-esteem and low self-confidence.

The care provider could be given a warning, lose their registration or be prosecuted.


You can promote equality and support diversity in your day-to-day role by using Inclusive Practice.

This means treating everyone that you work with as individuals and with respect and dignity regardless of their social identity.

This does not mean that you need to treat all individuals in the same way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! You should try to increase your understanding of other individual’s social identity, recognise the difference and respond appropriately.

You should not make assumptions or promote stereotypes of individuals. Neither should you use language that an individual may find offensive or not be able to understand.

You should also be aware that your own social identity may have an impact on individuals.

Ensure that all individuals are given the same opportunities and try to encourage them to join in and be part of the group.

If you know of any special talents an individual may have, encourage them to share them with the group.


You can support others to promote equality, diversity and inclusion by challenging any discrimination that you encounter and educating people as to the reasons why it is wrong.

You can give people copies of this leaflet or direct them towards the Equality Act, codes of practice or company policies.

The company should also provide training on equality, diversity and inclusion.

By being a good role model you will exemplify best practice and encourage others to do the same.