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Maintaining Equality In The Workplace

Posted On: 26/07/2018

Equality ensures that everyone is treated fairly. No matter what a person’s differences are, these must not be an obstacle for recruitment, career progression or to receive the pay deserved.

An inclusive workplace will recruit, develop and give the same opportunities to all of their employees. No business should let any of these factors influence any decision or action:

But, it doesn’t stop there. Our lifestyle and political persuasions can also lead to discrimination. Our opinions and even the football teams we support are potential obstacles, however, supporting your manager’s enemy when it comes to sport or having different thoughts about Brexit must never be the reason for not getting that promotion!

Legal implications

It’s also the law not to discriminate. All businesses in the UK must follow standards set out by these Acts to eradicate discrimination in the workplace and to ensure equality is maintained:

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.

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK in October 2000.

But it also makes sense from an employer’s perspective, as you’re more likely to find the perfect candidate from a wider range of people.

Maintaining your talented employees

While some business may only meet the minimum standards required of them, it’s best practice to understand your workforce and ensure you have everything in place to maintain your unique set of employees.

Making changes and putting the correct policies in place has many benefits to both the employee and the employer:

After all, it is the diversity of a workforce that makes a business successful.

Adapting the workplace

Employers must make reasonable adjustments where necessary to ensure no one is disadvantaged in any way.

This could be physical changes to the workplace to accommodate an employee with a physical disability, the purchasing of new equipment, or changes to hours worked to allow a parent to work around childcare.

The list doesn’t end there. A strong workplace culture should encourage communication and engagement, and through this an employer and their employees should be able to work together to find solutions to overcome any obstacle to allow all individuals to fulfil their duties.

Equal pay

We hear so much about men earning more than women for doing the same job, from Hollywood film stars to Tesco employees. Pay should be rewarded for the work done; in a nutshell – equal pay for equal work!

It’s not just about basic pay, the whole package must be equal, including:

The law states that all employees have a right to equal pay, whether they are full time, part time, on a casual or temporary contact, those who are self-employed, those who work from home and regardless of length of service within an organisation.

Transparent equality policies based on respect

Although it is not the law to have a Diversity or an Equality policy, it’s a good idea to put one in place. The content of the policy should reassure all employees that no discrimination will be tolerated in the workplace. It should also make clear that recruitment and selection is purely based on aptitude.

When creating the equality policy, a business must consider the following types of discrimination to protect its employees:

Inclusive training and development programmes

Continual training and developing existing members of staff is great for all businesses. Inclusive education will take into consideration everyone’s unique characteristics to promote a more creative, respectful and productive workforce. Inclusive and diversity training is flexible to accommodate everyone’s needs.

What if a company doesn’t embrace diversity?

When a company chooses not to put in place reasonable changes or put in place an equality policy the result can be devastating:

If you would like to discuss how to put an Equality Policy in place, or need advice on any issues related to diversity and inclusion, do call us to talk through your requirements on 0161 941 2426.

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