Equality Act

To quote the government‘s website:

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

“It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.”

It is important to remember that as a worker, you have a right to:

  • Fair practices and behaviour in the workplace
  • Fair allocations of workloads
  • Equal access to benefits and conditions
  • A workplace that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying
  • Competitive merit-based selection processes for recruitment and promotion
  • Fair processes to deal with work-related complaints and grievances

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) & Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) both provide free and impartial information aimed at challenging discrimination.

As counsellors, we have “a duty to work with and acknowledge the client’s reality and constantly ensure that what is going on in the counselling room does not become part of the client’s problem” page 154 of Counselling Skills and Studies (2014) acutely states. Marrying critical thinking with regard to the case in hand with the Equality Act itself is vital. It is, for example, the counsellor’s responsibility to:

  • Find out about the unfamiliar / that outside the scope of their experience
  • Focus on individual experience
  • Acknowledge with humility that there are many things we don’t know (Einstein famously said: “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing”)
  • Work towards moments of understanding

Without these cement blocks in place there cannot be trust or the core conditions in their entirety or ethics and good practice.

Don’t forget:

Prejudice is one’s Attitude

Discrimination is one’s Behaviour