In today’s rapidly changing world, embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace has become an imperative step in producing positive and progressive organisations. Employers and employees are increasingly realising the value of a diverse workplace. However achieving, and maintaining diversity is not without its challenges. Throughout this blog you will understand more and more how important diversity is and how law enforces employers to avoid discrimination.
Why Is This Important?
It’s important to understand why diversity is as important as it is within the workplace. Diverse teams bring together individuals from different backgrounds, perspectives, skills and areas which often leads to more ideas and better decision making. This is because the decision they ultimately come up with has been considered and agreed on by a huge range of people. This therefore will appeal to more of the population. Studies like the Cloverpop study agree with this, for instance, teams that are diverse in all those areas make better business decisions 87% of the time. Not only does it benefit the business but employees are also happier and 5.4 times as likely to stay for a longer tenure.
Employment Law serves as a foundation for promoting diversity and inclusion within organisations. Various laws and regulations have been put in place for employers. This is so that they do not discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or other protected characteristics.
The Laws and Regulations Put In Place
- The Equality Act is a law which protects you from discrimination. It means that discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of certain personal characteristics, such as age, is now against the law in almost all cases. The Equality Act applies to discrimination based on age, race, sex, gender reassignment, religion, sexual orientation, marriage and pregnancy.
Under the Equality Act you as an employee are protected from direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Direct discrimination – This is when you’re treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. For example, if your manager refuses to give you a advice because of your gender.
- Indirect discrimination – This is when there’s a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way. However, it has a worse effect on some people than others.
- Harassment – This is when you experience behaviour that makes you feel intimidated, humiliated, or degraded, or that creates a hostile environment.
- Victimisation – This is when you are treated unfairly as a result of making a complaint about discrimination or giving evidence when someone else makes a complaint.
- The Equal Pay Act 1970 (Amendment) Regulations 1983: The Equal Pay Act, which was later incorporated into the Equality Act 2010, addresses gender-based pay discrimination by requiring employers to provide equal pay for equal work.
- Public Sector Equality Duty: Public authorities in the UK have a duty to consider how their policies and practices affect equality, including the need to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.
- The Human Rights Act 1998: While not specifically an anti-discrimination law, the Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law and includes provisions related to the right to be free from discrimination.
Tips on Creating a Diverse Workplace
- Diversity and inclusion training – Implement ongoing training programs to raise awareness about bias and promote inclusive behaviours among employees.
- Recruit diverse individuals – In order to recruit people from different diversities, employers must reach and make the application process known and accessible by everyone and not favour certain people.
- Set goals for the company to meet and go above and beyond to guarantee diversity, its important to keep track of the progress you make.
In conclusion, diversity and inclusion are not just ethical imperatives but also important for the company to increase better decision making and grow an engaged workplace. Employment law plays a crucial role in promoting diversity and ensuring fair treatment in the workplace. By addressing the challenges and implementing best practices, companies can create more inclusive and equitable workplace that benefit both employees and employers.
If you have any Employment Law related questions please contact Lloyd Clarke 01206239761
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