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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights

BSMHFT is committed to building a workforce which is valued and whose diversity reflects the communities it serves, enabling it to deliver the best possible mental health services to its service users and communities. The Trust will support its employees through their employment journey and make reasonable adjustments where possible enabling staff to feel valued and safe. The Trust Values are Inclusive, Compassionate and Committed and will ensure this is evidenced throughout all areas

A workplace encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion can help:

  • make it more successful
  • keep employees happy and motivated
  • prevent serious or legal issues arising, such as bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • to better serve a diverse range of customers
  • improve ideas and problem-solving
  • attract and keep good staff



Equality in the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants.

You must not treat people unfairly because of reasons protected by discrimination law ('protected characteristics'). For example, because of a person's sex, age or race.


Diversity is the range of people in your workforce. For example, this might mean people with different ages, religions, ethnicities, people with disabilities, and both men and women. It also means valuing those differences.

To avoid bullying, harassment or discrimination, you should make sure:

  • your workforce and managers understand what is protected by discrimination law
  • what's expected under discrimination law is actually happening in your workplace
  • you make changes if what’s expected is not happening, for example stepping up staff training
  • your workforce and managers understand what the benefits can be of having a range of people with different backgrounds



An inclusive workplace means everyone feels valued at work. It lets all employees feel safe to:

  • come up with different ideas
  • raise issues and suggestions to managers, knowing this is encouraged
  • try doing things differently to how they’ve been done before, with management approval


To enable the right ingredients for an Inclusive culture which is…

Anti racist and Anti discriminatory for all to Improve access, experience and outcomes for our people. 

For further information or support either for yourself or your team – please contact the EDI Team:

Jaskiern Kaur – Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Lynn Phung – Senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead


Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. 

Equality Act 2010 (legislation.gov.uk)

There are 9 protected characteristics, and these groups are as follows: 

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Religion or Belief (including no religion)
  4. Gender Reassignment
  5. Race
  6. Sex
  7. Sexual Orientation
  8. Marriage and Civil Partnership
  9. Pregnancy and Maternity
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Protected nine characteristics

Human Rights Act (1998)

The Human Rights Act (1998) is the legislation which protects human rights in the   

UK Human Rights Act 1998 (legislation.gov.uk)

Socio-economic Background

This relates to a combination of an individual's income, occupation, and social background. Socio-economic background is a key determinant of success and future life chances. The Trust recognises socio economic background as a focus to help people and communities overcome inequalities.

Diversity awards 2019 Innovative EDI

What is Equality and Diversity?

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, however, the terms ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ are not the same.
Equality is about making sure everyone is treated fairly and given an equitable chance to access opportunities.  It is not about treating everyone the same way as they may have different needs to achieve the same outcomes.

Diversity means ‘difference’.  When it is used in the same context as ‘equality’, it is about recognising and valuing individual as well as group differences.  It also means treating people as individuals and placing positive value on the diversity they bring as a result of them belonging to a certain personal protected characteristic or their cultural background.

As a result of diversity meaning difference, we sometime focus on our differences and put aside what we have in common, a focus on commonality will most likely promote a more inclusive and cohesive workforce.

Why are Equality, Diversity and Inclusion important to us?

  • We wish to provide a service that is accessible, provide choice and is flexible to the community we serve
  • We wish to recruit and retain the most creative and committed staff to work with us from all community groups so we can better represent the society we serve
  • We have a corporate social responsibility
  • We have moral and legal obligation

We are keen to ensure that our services recognise and deliver culturally sensitive, inclusive, accessible and appropriate services which make a difference to individual lives and to ensure that the services we provide do so without discrimination.  We are committed to ensuring that our approach to our staff is the same as our approach to our service users being open and transparent, focused and based on our values.