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Diversity Statement

Creating a Diversity and Equality Policy


Diversity Statement

Example statement of a diversity and equality policy

This example policy serves to illustrate the basic form of a diversity and equality policy statement. When preparing your own diversity and equality policy it is often advisable to seek professional help.

Our policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide diversity and equality to all in employment, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, nationality, national origin, sexuality, religion or belief, marital status and social class. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

All employees, whether part time, full time or temporary, will be treated fairly and equally.

Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.

All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilized to maximize the efficiency of the organization.

Our commitment:

Every employee is entitled to a working environment which promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.

The commitment to diversity and equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense.

Breaches of our diversity and equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.

This policy is fully supported by senior management and has been agreed with trade unions and employee representatives (insert details if appropriate).

The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.

Implementation (include brief details of what will happen, how the policy will be monitored and reviewed over time).

The law

This policy will be implemented within the framework of the relevant legislation, which includes:

Equal Pay Act 1970 (Equal Value Amendment 1984)

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999)

Race Relations Act 1976

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003

Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

By creating a diversity and equality policy, you will be setting out your aims and attitudes as a company towards diversity and equality, and how you plan to fulfil those aims and meet your legal obligations.

This guide explains why having a diversity and equality policy is important, what you need to cover, and provides an example statement along with approved questions that you may be asked when bidding for a public sector contract.

Why should I create a diversity and equality policy?

For a small business, creating a diversity and equality policy might seem a bureaucratic burden. However, there are several good reasons for you to take the time to prepare a diversity and equality policy for your business.

It is generally illegal to discriminate in employment matters against anyone on the grounds of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age.

Most of the larger private organizations and certainly the vast majority of public sector organizations will require their suppliers to have a diversity and equality policy.

By developing good practice your company can benefit from diversity in terms of its customer relationships and wider pool of skills and experience from which to recruit.

What does your diversity and equality policy need to demonstrate?

Primarily your diversity and equality policy should show that you are aware of your obligations under the law and that your business is committed to meeting those obligations. It may also help to demonstrate that your company is keen to benefit from the diversity of society which may be viewed favorably by prospective customers.

Legislation that you need to comply with is not neatly contained in one act but includes:

Equal Pay Act 1970

Race Relations Act 1976

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Employment Rights Act 1996

Human Rights Act 2000

Employment Relations Act 1999

Part-time working regulations 2000

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003

Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

Fortunately, the requirements of equalities legislation are not very hard to meet for well-managed firms. Your diversity and equality policy need only reflect your everyday anti-discriminatory activities.

What is discrimination?

There are two types of discrimination that are unlawful: direct and indirect discrimination.

Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favorably because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age.

Indirect discrimination is where an employer applies a practice, requirement or condition which applies equally to all individuals, but which:

has an adverse disproportionate impact on a group of people because of their race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age, and

the employer cannot show it to be justified, and

it causes a detriment to the individual.

What should my diversity and equality policy cover?

This will be a statement of your aims and attitudes as a company towards diversity and equality and how you intend to fulfil those aims and your legal obligations.

On the employment side, you should include:

recruitment (including advertising guidance), selection, training, promotion, discipline & dismissal

policies with regard to victimization, discrimination and harassment. These issues should be included in your disciplinary and grievance procedures

identification of the person responsible for the policy and implementation

communication of the policy to all staff members

monitoring of job applicants, successful applicants, trainees, grievances, promotion, dismissal, etc.

policy reviews and implementation of changes

consultation with workforce

On the service delivery side, your policy should make a commitment to providing professional and appropriate services to all people.

A meaningful commitment

When you own or manage a company, you have the responsibility to ensure that discrimination is also not practiced by your employees and that they are aware that discrimination will not be acceptable.

That's why your diversity and equality policy has to be supported with practical measures to ensure that indirect or direct discrimination is not taking place, wittingly or unwittingly. For example, jokes based on racial or sexual stereotypes can cause deep offence or embarrassment for some members of staff - even when that is not the intention behind them.

Employees will need training on diversity and equality issues. You will need a channel for complaints and you will need to review your policies regularly.

Legislation is frequently amended and updated. You need to see that your organization keeps up-to-date with these changes.

For example, it is now is illegal to discriminate against a member of staff because he or she works part time. Recent legislation now ensures that part time workers have the same terms and conditions as their full time colleagues on a pro-rata basis.

The business case for diversity

The business case for diversity is quite clear. By sweeping away discrimination, employers can:

maximize the pool of potential job applicants and improve their chances to recruit the right person first time, every time

become the employer of choice reducing the costs of recruitment and improving retention

make more effective use of human capital, improve workforce morale, reduce staff turnover, sickness and absenteeism

gain goodwill in the community and improve business profile

exploit links to increase sales to new customers and clients from minority communities

develop the capacity of the workforce to do business with all sections of the community

provide better customer service, respond effectively to change in the marketplace and become the supplier of choice

utilize untapped resources including language skills and connections with export markets

comply with legislation.

 

We hope you found this article helpful.

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