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Glossary of Terms

A law or piece of legislation passed by both Houses of Parliament and agreed to by the Crown, which then becomes part of statutory law (i.e. is enacted).

Black and Ethnic Minority (BME):
Is a term commonly used to describe a range of minority ethnic communities and groups in the UK – can be used to mean the main Black and Asian and Mixed racial minority communities or it can be used to include all minority communities, including white minority communities.

Case Study:
The study of one person or incident and drawing conclusions from that study that can be applied more widely.

Data Collection:
This is a system or process which provides detailed information on patterns of service usage by service user and staff. The system facilitates the collection of qualitative and quantitative service data, its analysis, evaluation and input into the review of patterns of employment practice and service provision. Such systems are invariably designed around the personal protected characteristics.

Qualitative data:
Qualitative data refers to the experiences of individuals from their perspective, most often with less emphasis on numbers or statistical analysis. Consultations are more likely to yield qualitative rather than quantitative data.

Quantitative data:
Quantitative data refers to numbers, typically derived from either a population in general or samples of that population. This information is often analysed by either using descriptive statistics, which consider general profiles, distributions and trends in the data, or inferential statistics, which are used to determine “significance” either in relationships or differences in the data.

A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A detriment or impediment – something that the individual affected might reasonably consider changes their position for the worse.

When an individual, group or community is treated less favourable as a result of them belonging to a particular personal protected characteristic.

Recognising and valuing differences between individuals and groups of people – Where many different types of people are included or considered.

The word ‘ethnicity’ can be used to describe how people are defined, differentiated, organized and entitled to group membership based on shared physical or cultural characteristics. Ethnicity can also be used in reference to a consciously shared system of beliefs, values, practices and loyalties shared by members of a group who perceive themselves as a group. Ethnicity can essentially be thought of as an attachment that a person or a group feels towards a common cultural heritage.

This is a shorthand term for all work carried out by an organisation to promote equal opportunities and challenge discrimination, both in employment and in carry-out functions and delivering services.

An equal society protects and promotes equal, real freedom and substantive opportunity to live in the ways people value and would choose, so that everyone can flourish. An equal society recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be. (The Equalities Review 2007)

The 10 dimensions of equality
The Equalities Review 2007 identified the ten areas, or dimensions, together comprise the bundle of properties that enable the progress towards a more equal society to be measured. They tell us most clearly whether one group of people enjoys life chances equal to another; and whether, year on year, society, or any group within it, is experiencing greater equality or not. The dimensions should be considered in the round rather than individually to avoid one dimension being traded off against another.

  • Longevity: including good health care and avoiding premature mortality
  • Physical security: including freedom from violence and physical/sexual abuse
  • Education: including being able to be creative, to acquire skills and qualifications and having access to training and lifelong learning
  • Standard of living: including being able to live with independence and security and covering – nutrition, clothing, housing, warmth, utilities, social services and transport
  • Productive and valued activities: such as access to employment, a positive experience in the workplace, work/life balance, and being able to care for others
  • Individual, family and social life: including self-development, having independence and equality in relationships and marriage
  • Participation, influence and voice: including participation in decision-making and democratic life
  • Identity, expression and self-respect: including freedom of belief and religion
  • Legal security: including equality and non-discrimination before the law and equal treatment within the criminal justice system

Equality Act:
The Equality Act, which received royal assent in April 2010 and came into force on 1 October 2010, replaced all previous equality legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1975; Race Relations Act 1976; Sex Discrimination Act; the three Employment Equality Acts relating to religion, sexual orientation and age; and the Equal Pay Act 1970. The Act covers England, Scotland and Wales.

Equality Objectives:
Under the (specific duties) provided in the Equality Act 2010, public authorities in England and Wales are legally required to set equality objectives identifying key equality challenges they will address. These objectives must be specific and measurable, and detail how progress will be measured. Equality objectives should have been prepared and published by 2 April 2012 for public bodies in Wales and 6 April 2012 for public bodies in England and at least every four years after.

Gypsies and Travellers:
This is a commonly used term to describe travelling people – often of Romany origin who can reside or be based in areas of the UK.

Hard to Reach Groups:
The notion ‘hard to reach’ is a contested and ambiguous term that is commonly used within the spheres of social care and health, especially in discourse around health and social inequalities. The ‘hard to reach’ may include drug users, people living with HIV, people from sexual minority communities, asylum seekers, refugees, people from black and ethnic minority communities, and homeless people although defining the notion of the ‘hard to reach’ is not straight forward. It may be that certain groups resist engaging in treatment services and are deemed hard to reach by a particular service or from a societal stance. There are a number of potential barriers for people who may try and access services, including people having bad experiences in the past; location and opening times of services and how services are funded and managed. A number of areas of commonality are found in terms of how access to services for ‘hard to reach’ individuals and groups could be improved including: respectful treatment of service users, establishing trust with service users, offering service flexibility, partnership working with other organisations and harnessing service user involvement.

Health Inequalities:
Where some sectors of the community or people belonging to personal protected characteristics may suffer detriment on the delivery or provision of health care.

This term is applied when any of the people or communities described under the ‘equality’ definition above are not seen to be having their needs met.

Interpretation consists of transferring ideas that are spoken, or by the use of gestures (for example sign language), from one language to another. For example, an interpreter who understands both English and Urdu could help an English-speaker and an Urdu-speaker understands what each other is saying. People may need interpreters at conferences, in meetings, interviews or any other situation where people need to understand each other but do not communicate using the same symbols or words.

The process of collecting and analysing data information about people to see whether all groups are fairly represented.

Personal Fair and Diverse:
The personal, fair and diverse campaign by NHS Employers will seek staff and community members who believe that diverse workplaces make organisations better and who are passionate about an NHS with patients at its centre and is fair and accessible to all.

Personal Protected Characteristics:
There are 9 specific areas (or protected characteristics) which are covered by the Equality Act 2010:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Disability
  • Religion/Belief
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy/Maternity

Positively Diverse:
A strategic approach by NHS Employers to managing and improving equality of opportunity for staff, and benefiting from the diversity of culture, skills and experience they bring to the workplace.

Public sector equality duty:
The duty on a public authority when carrying out its functions, to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, foster good relations and advance equality of opportunity

Socio Economic:
The Office for National Statistics’ socio-economic classification is used for all official statistics and surveys. It replaced social class based on occupation and socio-economic groups. This version of the classification, which will be used for most analyses (the analytic version), has eight classes, the first of which can be subdivided. The socio-economic classification analytic classes are:

  1. Higher managerial and professional occupations
    – large employers and higher managerial occupations
    – higher professional occupations
  2. Lower managerial and professional occupations
  3. Intermediate occupations
  4. Small employers and own account workers
  5. Lower supervisory and technical occupations
  6. Semi-routine occupations
  7. Routine occupations
  8. Never worked and long-term unemployed

People with an interest in a subject, or an issue, who are likely to be affected by any decision relating to it, and/or have responsibilities relating to it.

The act or process of changing the written word (text), from one language to another.