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2010 Health Care Service Group Conference
11 December 2009

Conference welcomes the commitment won by UNISON from the employers to partnership working to keep the equality sections of the Agenda for Change agreement under review and up to date. For example, conference welcomes guidance being produced for managers, at UNISON’s request and with UNISON’s input, on supporting staff who are undergoing gender reassignment.

Conference calls for this to be made widely available for health branch negotiators and to be incorporated in local agreements.

Conference also welcomes partnership work on updating the equality sections of the Agenda for Change Handbook to prepare for the coming into force of the 2009 Equality Bill. The Bill includes an integrated equality duty on public bodies covering seven equality characteristics – age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation.

Conference notes that if the Bill does not go as far as we would wish in creating statutory rights, there is still room to negotiate more, for example in seeking national agreement on facilities time for equality reps at the local level.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to encourage health branches to make full use of the national agreement to promote equality at the local level, in particular by promoting the use of Equality Impact Assessments to make equality a normal part of everyday practice within all parts of the NHS.