Discrimination and the law

What an employer can do to prevent discrimination

You can help prevent discrimination in the workplace by steps including:

  • having an up-to-date equality policy
  • providing regular anti-discrimination training to staff
  • making it clear how staff can complain if discrimination happens
  • regular one-to-one catch-ups between employees and their line managers, to help build positive working relationships 

This can help:

  • make sure your workplace treats employees fairly
  • make it less likely you'll be held responsible for discrimination carried out by an employee

Find out more about improving equality, diversity and inclusion in your organisation.

Public sector equality duty

The public sector equality duty (PSED) is a legal duty for anyone who works in the public sector or does work on behalf of the public sector. Under the duty, you must consider how you could:

  • stop discrimination, harassment and victimisation for employees, customers and other users of your services
  • help support equality and equal opportunities in the day-to-day running of your organisation
  • help make good relations by tackling prejudice and promoting understanding on all protected characteristics

The duty helps ensure public bodies consider the needs of everyone in their day-to-day work, including:

  • their employees
  • when shaping policies
  • when delivering services

You can find the full list of employers who must follow the public sector equality duty in Schedule 19 of the Equality Act 2010 on GOV.UK.

As well as the overall public sector duties, there are also specific duties that apply in England, Scotland and Wales. Find out more about the public sector duties from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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