The Equality Act 2010: protected or ignored characteristics? Jo Moriarty Jill Manthorpe King s College London

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1 The Equality Act 2010: protected or ignored characteristics? Jo Moriarty Jill Manthorpe King s College London

2 Outline Equality Act Doing the literature review Messages Discussion Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 2

3 Equality Act 2010 (1) Rationalised existing antidiscrimination legislation For example, race & gender New provisions For example, indirect discrimination against people with a disability Most provisions came into force October 2010 Age discrimination October 2012 Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 3

4 Equality Act 2010 (2) Nine protected characteristics age disability gender reassignment marriage and civil partnership* pregnancy and maternity* race religion or belief sex sexual orientation *Excluded from review as relate to paid employment Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 4

5 Equality Act 2010 (3) Outlaws: Discrimination Direct Indirect Harassment Victimisation Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 5

6 Based on: Scoping review for Age UK Focus on five key services: Falls prevention Day services Befriending Home from hospital Handyperson schemes Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 6

7 Not so simple NB: Illustrative example not precise search Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 7

8 Invisibility Social Care Online is one of the better resources for LGBT coverage Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 8

9 Why so difficult? Very little research focuses specifically on issues of equality and diversity Routine monitoring for different protected characteristics uneven Religious belief Sexual orientation and sexual identity Differing reporting standards Strikingly short on detail (Glasby et al, 2006) William Harrigan and Claude Rains The Invisible Man Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 9

10 Falls prevention (1) Good evidence on effectiveness of falls prevention exercise classes Some research on take up by people from black and minority ethnic groups Issues about accessible information From Generations Working Together website Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 10

11 Falls prevention (2) But when is it better to consider ethno-religious preferences For instance, single sex classes Gender More women fall but more men have more injurious/fatal falls Sexual orientation/gender identity Unknown impact of discrimination on take up of exercise classes? Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 11

12 Day services (1) Day services/day opportunities a neglected issue in research Evidence of major changes with re-provision/personal budgets Equality impact documents may be rather research-lite Faith-based services may provide communal social activities but very under researched Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 12

13 Day services (2) Some services have been developed to attract more men Loneliness among never married/divorced/widowed men Men in Sheds Some specialist services for people from minority ethnic groups May be particular issue for current generation of older people Faith-based services may provide communal social activities but very under researched Know nothing about how inclusive or acceptable services are for LGBT people Picture from Shaw Healthcare Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 13

14 Home from hospital (1) High levels of satisfaction Highlights question of access Insufficient evidence about cost/avoiding readmission to hospital or admission to long term care Schemes have expanded with little attention paid to equality issues Age UK Eastbourne website Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 14

15 Home from hospital (2) Some suggestions that under-used by people from minority ethnic groups Hospital care for transgender people discussed in terms of people having gender reassignment surgery More older lesbian, gay, and bisexual people live on their own does this mean they have an increased need for home from hospital services? More questions than answers! Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 15

16 Befriending (1) Loneliness is major issue Not confined to older people but illness and bereavement have major impact on people s social networks and these are more likely to occur in later life Highly valued by people using them but studies testing effectiveness lacking From Top News Health website Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 16

17 Befriending (2) Some suggestions older people from minority ethnic groups report HIGHER levels of loneliness We do not know whether this is reflected in higher rates of using befriending services Risk and protective factors for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people reported Opening Doors evaluation (King & Knocker, 2008) showed service was valued Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 17

18 Handyperson schemes (1) Potential to allow older people to live independently For instance, helping with tasks people can no longer manage themselves, such as minor household repairs Contributing to reducing risk of falls Universally praised but not universally available Consistently praised by people using them Availability varies throughout country (Croucher et al, 2012) Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 18

19 Handyperson schemes (2) Relationship with housing conditions is complex Older people from some minority ethnic groups may live in older housing Especially older Asian people Transgender people disproportionately living in private rented sector (Whittle et al, 2007) Sample not specifically in older age group Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 19

20 Risks of making assumptions Merle Oberon Evasive about her background Most think what was termed Anglo Indian Film maker Michael Powell suggests in his autobiography her dresser was actually her mother Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 20

21 Not just about forms In some cases, people may still choose not to disclose information But we can try to ensure we don t make assumptions I was only married for five years, and with my male lover for over 30 years, but most of the staff asked me about my wife, not about Bill, as the heterosexual marriage was what makes sense to them. There wasn t a box on the form to include my relationship with Bill. (Older gay man quoted in Knocker, 2012) Picture from OutHistory.org Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 21

22 Key messages More evidence for potentially increased need than on people with certain protected characteristics having different experiences Inclusive publicity can reassure people Showing staff have been trained in equality and diversity issues sends a powerful message Volunteers are a resource to increase users diversity but must avoid risk of stereotyping them too General neglect of user views Research on adherence to falls prevention Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 22

23 Equality impact assessments Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images [The Equality Act was] not a bad piece of legislation [but] we don't need all this extra tick-box stuff. So I can tell you today, we are calling time on equality impact assessments.." Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 23

24 May be changes Important piece of legislation Not reflected in research as yet Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 24

25 Read the report professional-resources-home/ research/social-research/ health-and-wellbeing1/ Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 25

26 Thank you This review was funded by Age UK Thanks to Sujata Ray and Claire Ball for their help and support Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 26

27 Thanks to you too for listening! Now over to you Contact You can follow me Age UK London SCWRU annual conference 27

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