Glossary of terms
- Mon 06 December 2021
- Next update:
- January 2022
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The Equality Act 2010 defines age as follows:
(1) In relation to the protected characteristic of age:
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular age group;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same age group.
(2) A reference to an age group is a reference to a group of persons defined by reference to age, whether by reference to a particular age or to a range of ages.
- Cabinet Office
The primary role of the Cabinet Office is to facilitate collective decision making – whether within the cabinet or cabinet committees.
- Care Inspectorate
Regulates and inspects care services in Scotland to make sure they meet the right standards
- Care Quality Commission
Independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.
The Government Statistical Service publishes guidance on unpaid care
- Centre for Equalities and Inclusion
The Centre for Equalities and Inclusion in the Office for National Statistics aims to improve the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness in the UK.
- Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Home to four national longitudinal cohort studies, which follow the lives of tens of thousands of people.
- Centre for Time Use Research
A multidisciplinary research group based at the University College London Institute of Education.
- Children's Society
Is a United Kingdom national children's charity allied to the Church of England. The charity's two governing objectives are to directly improve the lives of children and young people for whom it provides services; to create a positive shift in social attitudes to improve the situation facing all children and young people.
- College of Policing
A professional body for everyone who works for the police service in England and Wales. The purpose of the College is to provide those working in policing with the skills and knowledge necessary to prevent crime, protect the public, and secure public trust.
- Crown Prosecution Service
Prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales.
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. It also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation.
- Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Responsibility for culture and sport in England, the building of a digital economy, and some aspects of the media throughout the UK, such as broadcasting and Internet.
- Department for Education
Responsible for children's services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy.
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Responsible for safeguarding the natural environment, supporting the food and farming industry, and sustaining the rural economy.
- Department for Infrastructure
Responsible for regional planning and development, and transportation in Northern Ireland.
- Department for Transport
Responsible for: providing policy, guidance, and funding to English local authorities to help them run and maintain their road networks, improve passenger and freight travel, and develop new major transport schemes.
- Department for Work and Pensions
Responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK's biggest public service department, it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits.
- Department of Communities
The department's main responsibilities are housing, social security and welfare, employment services, culture, sports and leisure, historic and cultural affairs in Northern Ireland.
- Department of Health and Social Care
Responsible for government policy on health and adult social care matters in England, along with a few elements of the same matters which are not otherwise devolved.
The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as follows:
(1) A person (P) has a disability if:
(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
(2) A reference to a disabled person is a reference to a person who has a disability.
(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of disability—
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person who has a particular disability;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who have the same disability.
The data sources are organised into six domains as defined in the Equalities and Human Rights Commission Measurement Framework. These are:
- Justice and personal security
- Living standards
- Economic and Social Research Council
A non-departmental public body funded by the UK government. It provides funding and support for research and training in the social sciences. It is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues.
- Education and Skills Funding Agency
Responsible for determining the Colleges and Training Organisations that are eligible to administer Advanced Learner Loans, as well as the learning aims that are eligible and the maximum amount of loan available for those aims.
- Equalities Act 2010
The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The Equality Act applies in England, Wales and Scotland and defines the following as protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- and sexual orientation
Although there is some overlap with the protected characteristics in the Equality Act, separate legislation applies in Northern Ireland.
- Equalities Data Audit
An audit of UK data on the protected characteristics specified in the Equality Act 2010.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission
Promotes and upholds equality and human rights ideals and laws across England, Scotland and Wales.
Is a tripartite European Union Agency, which provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies.
The statistical office of the European Union.
- Gender Identity Development Service
A service for children and young people, and their families, who experience difficulties in the development of their gender identity.
- Gender reassignment
The Equality Act 2010 defines gender reassignment as follows:
(1) A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
(2) A reference to a transsexual person is a reference to a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment—
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a transsexual person;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to transsexual persons.
- General Register Office
Holds records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, stillbirths and adoptions in England and Wales.
- Government Equalities Office
Leads work on policy relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality
- Health and Social Care Information Centre
The national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care.
- Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
The service carries sentences given by the courts, in custody and the community, and rehabilitate people in our care through education and employment.
The UK's tax, payments and customs authority.
- Home Office
The lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counterterrorism and police.
- Homelessness is a devolved matter in the UK, so homelessness statistics are produced by each UK country separately:
- Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for England
- Welsh Government for Wales
- Scottish Government for Scotland
- Department for Communities for Northern Ireland
Statutory homelessness and rough sleeping are the two main concepts of homelessness which are collected in each country and published as official statistics. However, due to devolution, legislation, and administrative data collection, systems are different in each country and information about comparability is generally limited.
This harmonised standard is about impairment, not medical condition. This means it looks at the functions that a person either cannot perform or has difficulty performing because of their health condition. For example, glaucoma is a medical condition but being unable to see or being partially sighted is an impairment. Using this harmonised standard means outcomes for disabled people can be looked at by impairment type.
- Insolvency Service
A Government agency that helps to deliver economic confidence by supporting those in financial distress, tackling financial wrongdoing and maximising returns to creditors.
- Looked after children
More information on looked after children (from the Children Act 1989) is available
- Marriage and civil partnership
The Equality Act 2010 defines marriage and civil partnership as follows:
(1) A person has the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership if the person is married or is a civil partner.
(2) In relation to the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership—
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person who is married or is a civil partner;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who are married or are civil partners.
- Metropolitan Police Service
Police service for the Greater London area, (excluding City of London).
- Ministry of Defence
Responsible for implementation of government defence policy and for the British Armed Forces.
- Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the leading Government department on housing and homelessness.
- National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service
Run by Public Health England (PHE). It is responsible for cancer registration in England to support cancer epidemiology, public health, service monitoring and research.
- National Centre for Social Research
A registered charity trading as NatCen Social Research and is the largest independent social research institute in the UK.
- National Records of Scotland
Records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, stillbirths. NRS are also responsible for the Scottish national archives, which contain government documents and public records.
- National Statistics Socio-economic classification
The National Statistics Socio-economic classification (NS-SEC) has been constructed to measure the employment relations and conditions of occupations.
- Natural England
The government's adviser for the natural environment in England.
- NHS Digital
The national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care in England, particularly those involved with the National Health Service of England.
- NHS Wales Informatics Service
Collects, stores and analyses and presents national data and statistical information for NHS Wales.
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
The principal source of official statistics and social research on Northern Ireland.
- Office for National Statistics
The UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.
- Office of Rail and Road
A non-ministerial government department responsible for the economic and safety regulation of Britain's railways, and the economic monitoring of Highways England.
Responsible for inspecting a range of educational institutions, including state schools and some independent schools. It also inspects childcare, adoption and fostering agencies and initial teacher training, and regulates a range of early years and children’s social care services.
- Pregnancy and maternity
The Equality Act 2010 identifies pregnancy and maternity as one of the protected characteristics and prohibits pregnancy or maternity discrimination. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) specifies what is covered under this characteristic in the following way:
“Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.”
- Protected characteristics
There are nine protected characteristic groups covered by the Equality Act 2010. These are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race or ethnicity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Public Health England
Responsible for: making the public healthier and reducing differences between the health of different groups by promoting healthier lifestyles, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and the public. protecting the nation from public health hazards.
- Public Health Wales
The national public health agency in Wales which works to protect and improve health and well-being and reduce health inequalities.
- Race or ethnicity
The Equality Act 2010 defines race as follows:
(1) Race includes:
(c) ethnic or national origins.
(2) In relation to the protected characteristic of race:
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular racial group;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same racial group.
(3) A racial group is a group of persons defined by reference to race; and a reference to a person's racial group is a reference to a racial group into which the person falls.
(4) The fact that a racial group comprises two or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a particular racial group.
- Religion or belief
The Equality Act 2010 defines religion or belief as follows:
(1) Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.
(2) Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief.
(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of religion or belief:
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular religion or belief;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who are of the same religion or belief.
- ScotCen Social Research
Is the Scottish branch of the United Kingdom's largest centre for independent social research, NatCen Social Research.
- Scottish Funding Council
The national, strategic body that is responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland.
- Scottish Government
The devolved government of Scotland
The Equality Act 2010 defines sex as follows:
"In relation to the protected characteristic of sex:
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a man or to a woman;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same sex.
- Sexual orientation
The Equality Act 2010 defines sexual orientation as follows:
(1) Sexual orientation means a person's sexual orientation towards—
(a) persons of the same sex,
(b) persons of the opposite sex, or
(c) persons of either sex.
(2) In relation to the protected characteristic of sexual orientation—
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person who is of a particular sexual orientation;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who are of the same sexual orientation.
- Skills Development Scotland
The national body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills
- Sport England
A non-departmental public body under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to build the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other funded partners, to grow the number of people doing sport; sustain participation levels; and help more talented people from all diverse backgrounds excel by identifying them early, nurturing them, and helping them move up to the elite level
Charity that campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain.
- Welsh Government
The devolved government of Wales