Equality and diversity and coronavirus

The CSP has been working to support and protect members at work during the COVID-19 pandemic, including on issues related to equality and diversity.

Nationally – what has CSP been doing?

We are using a range of national influencing opportunities within NHS partnership structures, such as the NHS staff council Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group, and through our affiliation to the TUC (STUC, Wales TUC and Northern Ireland Congress of Trade Unions) to pursue matters of equality and diversity related to coronavirus. CSP's national officer for equality and diversity, Siân Caulfield, has worked with the CSP diversity networks to ensure their views are heard and represented.  

Actions to date

  • Public Health England launched a national review of the effects of COVID-19 on BAME individuals, following representations from the TUC, among others, and two reports have now been published – read the CSP reactions here and here.
  • NHS England, working with England’s Social Partnership Forum and its Workforce Issues Group, has released updated guidance on risk assessments for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes the need to risk-assess any BAME and disabled workers who are at a higher risk of catching the virus. An All Wales tool has been published, too.
  • The CSP has worked with other health unions to produce trade union principles on health and safety risk assessment and vulnerable workers, including BAME staff
  • The TUC, to which the CSP is affiliated, is gathering its own evidence on BAME workers experiences at work during the coronavirus crisis to support influencing and lobbying on this issue – BAME CSP members are urged to complete the TUC survey.
  • The wider political climate around COVID-19 and the lockdown has highlighted the need to show solidarity with BAME members and colleagues against the evils of racism internationally, including in the UK. We issued a statement in response, which was originally released on Twitter,
  • Submitting evidence to Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select Committee on the impact of coronavirus on women (see link below).

BAME members

COVID-19 higher cases

Sadly, the UK and international data suggests that people from BAME backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. See above for actions CSP has undertaken or helped promote on this matter. 


TUC guide – Why structural racism is putting BAME lives at risk.

BAME network day

Due to Coronavirus, the CSP BAME network day will now be held in June and online. Please contact Siân Caulfield for more information.

Members with disabilities

We are seeing those with disabilities such as long-term health conditions being disproportionately affected by the virus in the workplace, whether that’s by self-isolation, a move to working from home or – even worse – jobs being put at risk because they have a disability.

If you have a disability, you can access support via your CSP steward and by joining the CSP DisAbility network group. Email Siân Caulfield to join.

Other resources for members with disabilities

DisAbility Network day

Due to coronavirus, the CSP DisAbility network day will now be held in London in July. Please contact Siân Caulfield for more information.

LGBT+ members

The LGBT foundation – report on the impact of Coronavirus and the LGBT+ community.

Stonewall report – LGBT in Britain: Health report.

LGBT+ network day

Due to coronavirus, the CSP LGBT+ network day will now be held in July and online. Please contact Siân Caulfield for more information.

Other relevant articles

The impact of COVID-19 on women.

The Council of Europe has launched a dedicated resource page on national measures taken to prevent and combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, and to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on equality between women and men.

FLOWS is a team of experts from the family team at the Royal Courts of Justice Advice, working in partnership with Rights of Women. It is a network of trusted and fully vetted advisers which includes experienced solicitors and law clinics, citizen advice services, front-line professionals in women’s refuges, women’s organisations, and organisations that provide safe environments for domestic abuse survivors.

Domestic violence

Calls to domestic abuse lines have more than doubled since the UK lockdown started. We also know that, tragically, three times as many women have been killed by men in their own homes during lockdown.

Domestic abuse during COVID-19: a reminder of advice for NHS staff: Letter from Kate Davies CBE and Kenny Gibson.

The TUC has designed an excellent guide to help you spot the signs of domestic abuse.

Pregnant and vulnerable workers

The CSP has compiled guidance on what you need to know to work safely and protect yourself and your loved ones from infection while working during the pandemic.

Guidance for pregnant and vulnerable workers.

CSP Members Benevolent Fund

If you are experiencing hardship, The CSP Members Benevolent Fund can help. It was set up in 1917 to support members experiencing financial difficulties.

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