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Equality, Diversity and Human Rights

NHSGG&C have produced a Workforce Equality Action plan to support the delivery of the Board’s equality scheme, “A Fairer NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde” and help fulfil the employment obligations as outlined in the specific duties of the Equality Act (2010).

 Please click here to access our workforce equality action plan and additional workforce demographics.

What is the aim of the plan?

The aim of the plan is to support the delivery of organisational values, by enhancing leadership and promoting a behavioural approach which will promote the principles of dignity and respect across our workforce. This plan continues to build on actions and approaches demonstrated through our previous action plan “Creating and Monitoring a Diverse Workforce 2013-2016”. There are a number of areas highlighted in this plan which will support the mainstreaming of equality and diversity across core HR services. These include:

  • Workforce Planning and Analytics
  • Staff Governance
  • Recruitment and Resourcing
  • Learning and Education
  • Organisational Development
  • Workforce Employability 

Within the plan, there are a number of actions to support our Staff Disability Forum

The plan will be monitored through the Workforce Equality Group which meets quarterly and actions will be refreshed on an annual basis. We will also work with our Heads of People and Change to ensure local accountability for actions and ensure that there is wider ownership of actions across the organisation.

Objectives of the Workplan
  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 and less favourable treatment of staff as set out within other relevant legislation;
  • By removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics and creating an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic (i.e. age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation) and those who do not; 
  • By taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
  • By taking steps to reduce underrepresentation of people with particular protected characteristics and increase the diversity of our workforce, both at an organisational level and within different job roles.
  • Ensure that the Board has due regard for the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) in the discharge of its function;
  • By taking a zero tolerance approach to intimidation, bullying or harassment, recognising that all staff are entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect for all.

Promoting a work environment free from Discrimination, Bullying & Harassment and tackling attitudes and behaviours underpinning this will help promote a positive workplace culture. This leads to increased productivity, better employee morale and the ability to keep skilled workers.

There are a number of links to related policies and guidance to help managers and staff support a positive workplace culture, which can be found below.

Dignity at Work

The Dignity and Work Policy promotes actions that will help develop and maintain a more positive workplace culture. The purpose is to achieve a culture where showing dignity and respect is the norm and members of staff feel comfortable and confident to deal with disrespectful behaviour on a one to one basis if it occurs.

Secondly, the policy provides a new avenue for staff if they wish to raise concerns about disrespectful behaviour and formalises the obligation that a line manager must listen to these concerns and take appropriate local action. The policy defines disrespectful behaviour separately from more serious allegations of bullying and harassment and therefore allows such issues to be dealt with in a more appropriate and immediate way.    

Lastly, the policy strengthens the mechanism for dealing with bullying, harassment and victimisation. All these terms are clearly defined in the policy to help guide people to the appropriate steps.

Creating and Maintaining a Positive Working Environment

What can I do to create and maintain a positive working environment?

  • Regular team meetings
  • Have 1:1 meetings with your staff.
  • Address Attitudes/Behaviours and Values
  • Demonstrate strong leadership (if you see bad behaviour, stamp it out there and then)
  • Set good examples
  • Understanding individual employees concerns and issues
  • Develop your staff e.g. ensure all your staff have regular appraisal and access to training opportunities
  • Promote Reward and Recognition
  • Promote Team working
What training opportunities are there to promote positive workplace culture?

There are a number of training programmes available to help you and your team

Did you know….

 Only 17% of disabled people are born with their disabilities. The majority of disabled people acquire their disability later in life. The prevalence of disability rises with age. Nearly one in five people of working age (7 million, or 18.6%) in Great Britain have a disability. In this section, you can find out more, how NHSGG&C can support you.

What is a disability?

The definition of the types of conditions that constitute a disability in employment legislation are quite broad. However, according to the Equality Act 2010 definition, a person has a disability if:

  • They have a physical or mental impairment
  • The impairment has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day to day activities.

The important thing to remember it is not the impairment but its effect on an individual. It is important to note that the definition can cover illnesses and conditions, including depression, heart disease or diabetes or asthma.

According to recent research the most common impairments that disabled people have were:

  • mobility (57%),
  • stamina/breathing/fatigue (38%),
  • dexterity (28%) and mental health (16%).

“Disabled people make a vital contribution to our labour market, as well as being uniquely able to help employers make connections with disabled customers. Shutting out disabled people isn’t just unacceptable discrimination, it’s bad business.”

-Mark Harper, MP, former Minister of State for Disabled People

What is Disability Confident?

Disability Confident is a government scheme that promotes the benefits to businesses of recruiting and retaining people with disabilities. The scheme offers advice and support to employers, enabling them to actively seek,hire and retain disabled people. Organisations’ complete a Disability Confident self-assessment, agree to undertake all of the core actions to be a Disability employer, and offer at least one activity to attract and retain disabled staff.

Are NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde a Disability Confident Employer?

In February 2017, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) became accredited as a Disability Confident Employer under the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Disability Confident Scheme.

This follows on from our accreditation under the DWP’s Double Tick Standard which the Board held for a number of years – a series of 5 commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people.

What does this mean for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde?

The Disability Confident accreditation means that, as an employer, the Board is proactive in ways to recruit disabled people, and also have mechanisms in place ensuring that people with disabilities and long term health conditions feel supported, engaged and able to fulfill their potential in the workplace.

This is part of our commitment to recruiting and retaining the best people, regardless of disability. Being a Disability Confident employer means we are better placed to recruit people with disabilities, so we can build stronger and more effective teams.

As a Disability Confident employer we promote a culture of being disability confident:

  • Actively looking to attract and recruit disabled people
  • Providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
  • Offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job
  • Flexibility when assessing people so disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job
  • Proactively offering and making reasonable adjustments as required
  • Encouraging our suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident
  • Ensuring employees have appropriate disability equality awareness
  • Providing work experience
  • Providing work trials
  • Providing paid employment (permanent or fixed term)
  • Providing apprenticeships
  • Provide internships
  • Guiding staff to information and advice on physical and mental health conditions, with support available through our Occupational Health Service.
What are reasonable adjustments?

Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean amending the way in which employment is structured, the removal of physical barriers and/or providing extra support. This is the duty to make reasonable adjustments.There are a number of factors to take into account what is ‘Reasonable’:

  • how effective the adjustment is in preventing the disadvantage faced by the disabled employee
  • its financial and other costs (if any) and how disruptive it is
  • the employer’s financial and other resources
  • the availability of financial or other helpIt is important to have objective and current information about the essential tasks of the job and there physical/psychological demands on the employee. Advice must be sought for subject matter experts for example an occupational health adviser, e-health specialist or a disability employment adviser. Its is also important to consider the disabled person in decisions on what is best and most reasonable adjustments, engaging in joint problem solving and be open to suggestions about how tasks or working arrangements might be done differently. As a note of caution the Equality Act does not override Health and safety considerations take precedence over the equality Acts and requirement to make reasonable adjustments. It’s about reasonableness. Therefore an objective, informed risk assessment will be required that:
  • focuses on facts rather than assumptions
  • assesses the individual, avoiding blanket restrictions
  • applies latest medical evidence
  • identifies any hazardous situations
  • involves the individual in finding solutions
  • identifies potential adjustment(s)When adjustments have been identified, they should be confirmed in writing, with a timetable for implementation. Also important to recognise that needs may change, and set up a simple mechanism for reviewing adjustments periodically.Every individual experiences his/her disability very differently therefore it is important not to make generalisations. Some people will experience little effect on their day-to-day activities and will manage at work quite easily, whereas others may have severe effects. It is essential to listen to what the worker says about the daily effects of his/her disability, and let him/her identify the difficulties s/he has at work. It is also important to be aware that many people have “coping strategies” and find ways around the effects of their disability. Some are likely to “play down” its effect.
How can we support you?

Further information on how we can support you can be found here.

Useful Information and Websites

Human Resources Policies                                                      

 NHSGGC has policies on a wide range of issues including Attendance Management and Mental Health & Wellbeing.

 Health and Safety                                                               

The Health and Safety Executive provide information tools and guidance on –

  • Tackling stress
  • Attendance management
  • Risk assessment HSE Stress Management Standards including line managers competency assessment tool
  • Vocational Rehabilitation


Stress related information-

Work related stress case studies

NHSGGC Health & Safety Policies & Guidance


ACAS provide a wide range of resources for employers on health and well-being and inequality


The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) has developed the following article aimed at supporting line managers to recruit, manage and develop people with a disability or health condition:

Faculty of Occupational Medicine

The Faculty of occupational Medicine have a section on Health at Work containing useful resources for managers and staff.

United Kingdom Rehabilitation Council

The UKRC is a community of rehabilitation associations, rehabilitation providers, clients and other stakeholder groups. Our common goal is to ensure access to high quality medical and vocational rehabilitation services in the UK.

The Equality Act (2010) was introduced by the Government to ensure public organisations promote equality and remove discrimination in the delivery of all their functions. Understanding, identifying and addressing inequalities is at the heart of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s approach to providing effective health care to all.

What are the Protected Characteristics?

Under the Equalities Act 2010, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals with certain protected characteristics. The law defines the groups of protected characteristics as:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation 

Many of us have more than one of these protected characteristics.

What do we mean by Equality and Diversity?

Equality is described by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as ‘ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, and believing that no one should have poorer life choices because of where, what or whom they were born, or because of other characteristics.’ 

Managing diversity is defined as ‘valuing everyone as an individual’, recognising that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to managing people does not achieve fairness and equality of opportunity, given that people have different needs, values and beliefs. 

Human rights are defined as ‘the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled’. They ensure that people are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. (Human Rights Act 1998)

Every individual has a unique contribution to make to our organisation. By treating each other with respect, we promote an environment where staff work as one team, improve outcomes and put patients first.

What are my responsibilities

Under the Equality Act 2010 people are not allowed to discriminate, harass or victimise another person because they have any of the protected characteristics. There is also protection against discrimination where someone is perceived to have one of the protected characteristics or where they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic.

  • Discrimination means treating one person worse than another because of a protected characteristic (known as direct discrimination) or/
  • Putting in place a rule or policy or way of doing things that has a worse impact on someone with a protected characteristic than someone without one, when this cannot be objectively justified (known as indirect discrimination).
  • Harassment includes unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect or violating someone’s dignity or which creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for someone with a protected characteristic.
  • Victimisation is treating someone unfavourably because they have taken (or might be taking) action under the Equality Act or supporting somebody who is doing so.
More information

You can find out more about the law and the protected characteristics on the Equalities in Health website

You can sign up for regular updates on equality issues by emailing

Staff Forums

NHS GG&C has developed a number of staff forums over the past few years. The aim of these forums is for people to raise and discuss areas of good practice and support the organisation on areas where it could improve.

Staff Disability Forum

The Staff disability forum is the longest established forum and can be accessed here.

Black & Minority Ethnic Staff Forum

This group is being formed as a result of discussions held with Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) staff about their experience of working in NHSGGC.  Issues raised by staff included stereotyping, discrimination and organisational culture, as well as the impact of negative media reporting and the anti-immigration climate.

In addition to providing a support network for BME staff, the Forum will be supported by members of the Workforce Equalities Group to make positive changes within the organisation.

If you would like any further information about the BME Staff Forum, please contact Nuzhat Mirza at the Equality & Human Rights Team at or call 0141 201 4560. 


For NHSGGC staff members who want to contribute to creating a more LGBT inclusive workplace, there is a LGBT forum available via Facebook this is private group, which you will need to request to join.

Join NHSGGC and the LGBTQ+ Staff Forum in Celebrating Pride.

This June the LGBTQ+ community and our allies come together to show support for our LGBTQ+ community, invest in our staff and raise awareness of progress made and the challenges that still exist for many of us.

The NHSGGC LGBTQ+ Staff Forum is a group of staff members made up of those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer inclusive (LGBTQ+) and our allies. The group aims to create a safe and welcoming space for staff members within our LGBTQ+ community though our social activities, programme of events, formal and informal meetings.

If you would like to join our forum please contact: and if you wish to join the forum’s mailing list, please be assured that your personal details will not be disclosed and you can be part of the forum anonymously. Emails sent will always be blind copied.

The Forum has a social media presence on Facebook ( and Twitter (@LgbtStaffForum). 


Come along and meet us at our Pride stalls.  We’ll be on a selection of hospital sites to provide information about our LGBTQ+ Staff Forum and you can sign up to the NHS Scotland Pride Badge Pledge.    

  • 7 June, GRI Pride 10.00am until 2.00pm
  • 10 June, QEUH Pride 8.00am until 4.00pm
  • 17 June, RHC Pride 10.00am until 2.00pm


We have a supply of NHSGGC Pride posters available from the QEUH Information office.  The posters are available for display in departments and provide information about the range of events planned across the Pride month of June.  We look forward to seeing you!


All events are free to attend, please reserve your ticket by emailing

LGBTQ+ Health Needs Assessment presentation

23 June 10.00am until 11.45am Queen Elizabeth Hospital 

Please join us for a presentation of findings from the recent Public Health Needs Assessment for LGBTQ+ people living in Scotland.  The work was commissioned by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and Public Health Scotland and the findings will be presented on the day by the research author Traci Leven.  This is one of the most significant pieces of research into the health experiences of LGBTQ+ people in recent years and provides some stark reminders that we still have a long way to go secure equality in health and social care outcomes.

The Bingo Babes

23 June 7.30pm until 9.30pm Glasgow Royal Infirmary 

“With a flutter of false lashes & a shower of glitter the lovely Bingo Babes will be taking over for a raucous night of bingo! There’ll be mischief, mayhem, and more jokes than you can handle, with fabulous prizes to be won and drag performances too. You’d better not miss it!”

Queer Quiz

24th June 7.30pm until 9.30pm

Join us as our quiz master as they host a general knowledge quiz with some special LGBTQ+ themed rounds! There is a prize for the winning team! 

The Equality Network – LGBTI Awareness Session

24 June 2.00pm until 4.00pm Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Live Stream

‘This LGBTI awareness workshop will broadly cover terms and definitions, social challenges facing LGBTI people, legal rights for LGBTI people, top tips & correct language and do’s and don’ts for inclusion, ending with a Q&A. It is intended to help people gain a greater level of confidence and be less afraid of getting things wrong when dealing with or supporting LGBTI people.’

The NHSGGC LGBTQ+ Staff Forum is a group of staff members made up of those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer inclusive (LGBTQ+) and our allies. The group aims to create a safe and welcoming space for staff members within our LGBTQ+ community though our social activities, programme of events, formal and informal meetings.

Our LGBTQ+ forum aims to:

  • Create visibility for LGBTQ+ people within our organisation
  • Provide a point of contact and sign posting
  • Actively be involved in policy development within NHSGGC
  • Be as accessible as possible with a mailing list, meetings, activities, events, and social media presence
  • Provide networking opportunities with other forums and groups

If you would like to join our forum please contact: and if you wish to join the forum’s mailing list, please be assured that your personal details will not be disclosed and you can be part of the forum anonymously. Emails sent will always be blind copied.

The Forum has a social media presence on Facebook ( and Twitter (@LgbtStaffForum). 

Amanda Law has been interim Chair of the LGBTQ+ Staff Forum since April 2021 and is an Acute Clinical Nurse Educator at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.

Photo of Amanda Law, smiling

Chairing the Forum with energy and enthusiasm, Amanda shares “I’ve been fortunate to witness first-hand the kindness, laughter and sense of community that comes with being a part of the LGBTQ+ staff forum. I’m passionate about building a safe space for LGBTQ+ colleagues through peer support, social engagement and visibility within our organisation.”

Amanda looks forward to growing and developing our LGBTQ+ Staff Forum, as part of Growing our Great Community.