Introducing an equal opportunities policy.Introduction
This checklist provides managers with the basis for introducing an equal opportunities policy. The advantages of such a policy include the ability to attract the best talent and to attract people with new ways of thinking leading to a more diverse work-force with a richer mix of skills and experience. Such a policy also results in a more stable work-force which retains the best people by ensuring their needs are fully met, and an improved reputation for the organisation through higher ethical standards.
HR managers should be aware of existing and new legislation impinging on equal opportunities. The main Acts (as amended) include the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. In addition, various employment, employment rights, employment relations, human rights, pensions, health and safety acts, subsidiary regulations and EU Directives (European Union Directive) A set of privacy requirements that took effect in 1998 and ordered European member nations to enact compliant legislation. It deals with the establishment of Data Protection Authorities, people's rights to personal information and enforcement. should be taken into account. Recent legislation includes the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Age discrimination legislation is due in October 2006 and the Equality Bill will provide protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. from April 2007.
National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership
This checklist has relevance for the following standards: B: Providing direction, units 8, 11, 12
An equal opportunities policy is a statement of organisational procedures and practices which provide genuine equality of opportunity for all employees, regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin, marriage, religion, or disability. Its remit To transmit or send. To relinquish or surrender, such as in the case of a fine, punishment, or sentence.
An individual, for example, might remit money to pay bills.
TO REMIT. To annul a fine or forfeiture.
2. goes beyond strict compliance with the law and ensures the effective use of all human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. within the organisation. Such a policy should focus on preventing discriminatory dis·crim·i·na·to·ry
1. Marked by or showing prejudice; biased.
2. Making distinctions.
dis·crim or harassing behaviour in the workplace and achieving equal access to training, job and promotion opportunities.
1. Secure the commitment of top management
Demonstrate that the organisation is serious about equal opportunities by giving overall responsibility to a senior manager, preferably at board level.
2. Designate des·ig·nate
tr.v. des·ig·nat·ed, des·ig·nat·ing, des·ig·nates
1. To indicate or specify; point out.
2. To give a name or title to; characterize.
3. a post with specific responsibility for introducing and implementing equal opportunities
Appoint an equal opportunities officer to coordinate actions on a day to day basis. Define the responsibilities and level of responsibility clearly even if the post is not full time.
3. Establish a working party to provide employee input
Set up a working party drawn from representative groups within the organisation including union or staff associations, management, personnel, women and ethnic minority groups and the disabled. Make it clear that the group is not a lobbying point for special interest groups.
4. Review policies adopted by other organisations
Research good practice. If possible, obtain copies of the policies of other organisations in the same sector. Draw on these to prepare a first draft of your own policy. Take care to include only objectives and commitments that are appropriate to your culture and attainable within a realistic timescale timescale
the period of time within which events occur or are due to occur
timescale n → délais mpl
timescale time (Brit) n .
5. Decide the scope of your policy and distinguish between law and good practice
The law only covers what should not be done. However, most policies, while laying down what people must not do in terms of the law go further and include good practice about what they should do. Make clear in yours where it is underpinned by law and where employees will be held liable for their actions.
6. Conduct an "equality audit" to establish a baseline for action
Conduct a workplace audit to provide information about the composition of the work-force in relation to gender, race and disability. If the information is not already held in personnel records, carry out an employment survey but make it clear that the information collected will be used only for equal opportunity purposes. Review how many women and men you employ: in total, by grade and salary, by hours of work, by marital/family status, by age and by ethnic origin. Use this information to identify existing patterns of employment and underrepresentation.
7. Draw up a programme of action
Use the information captured to identify the areas for attention within the organisation. Consider whether you will require positive action: both the Sex and Race Discrimination Acts allow certain steps to redress Compensation for injuries sustained; recovery or restitution for harm or injury; damages or equitable relief. Access to the courts to gain Reparation for a wrong.
REDRESS. The act of receiving satisfaction for an injury sustained. any imbalances. At a minimum, the programme will need to cover: recruitment, selection, induction, flexible working, assistance for careers and training.
8. Set targets for under-represented groups
UK law allows employers to set a numerical objective for the groups which have previously been under-represented in the workforce; for example, that 30% of line managers should be women by the year 2005. Set targets that are challenging enough to stretch the organisation to change but realistic enough to show existing employees they have a fair chance of promotion.
9. Provide equal opportunities training
Provide specific equal opportunities training first to priority groups such as senior executives, personnel specialists, recruiters and selectors, reception staff and other "gate keepers Gate Keepers (ゲートキーパーズ ". Where applicable, these groups should then cascade training through line managers to all employees.
10. Offer flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work, flexitime flex·i·time
a system permitting flexibility of working hours at the beginning or end of the day, provided an agreed total is worked
, job-sharing and term-time working, to employees of all grades.
Assume that all jobs can be done on a flexible basis unless there is a clear occupational requirement for a job to be carried out in standard hours. Ensure that flexibility in hours is available to all employees--not just to women.
11. Review job descriptions
Review all job descriptions objectively when a vacancy arises, based on the organisation's needs, not on the needs or preferences of the person currently doing the job.
12. Review selection and recruitment practices
Shortlist short·list also short-list
A list of preferable items or candidates that have been selected for final consideration, as in making an award or filling a position.
Noun 1. candidates only on the basis of whether they meet essential skills and knowledge requirements of the job, rather than personal characteristics. Remove personal details personal details npl (on form etc) → coordonnées fpl
personal details person npl → Personalien pl
personal details (such as name, date of birth, nationality nationality, in political theory, the quality of belonging to a nation, in the sense of a group united by various strong ties. Among the usual ties are membership in the same general community, common customs, culture, tradition, history, and language. and marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. ) from applications before they are seen by selectors.
13. Provide parental, family or adoption leave and career breaks for female and male employees and assistance with child and elder care
Offer schemes for parental leave parental leave
A leave of absence granted to a parent to care for a new baby. , child care and flexible working to all employees, not just to enable female staff to combine work and family; otherwise they are unlawful.
14. Regularly review the existing qualifications and training needs of all employees
Monitor take-up of training by different categories of employee. Where necessary, make special training available for employees who have traditionally been discriminated against.
15. Ensure your training programmes provide for comparable on and off the job training for all employees at every level
Distinguish between training to improve job performance and training to acquire new skills. Make clear the links between acquiring new skills and the possibility of regrading.
16. Introduce a written and accessible grievance procedure A term used in Labor Law to describe an orderly, established way of dealing with problems between employers and employees.
Through the grievance procedure system, workers' complaints are usually communicated through their union to management for consideration by the employer. which is widely publicised Adj. 1. publicised - made known; especially made widely known
publicized and which employees can use to pursue allegations of gender discrimination, harassment Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med. or equal pay
Assume all allegations are well-founded while they are being investigated and deal promptly and sensitively with them.
17. Introduce monitoring and review procedures
Your equality audit will only give details of your current work-force. Set up monitoring systems, to capture details of all job applicants and those recruited; and establish performance indicators to review progress against your targets and action plan. Monitor internal and external appointments by gender, marital status and ethnic origin: you may also want to include age.
18. Communicate policies and practices clearly
Send a copy of the policy to potential and actual applicants, new recruits and existing employees. Use every opportunity to publicise Verb 1. publicise - call attention to; "Please don't advertise the fact that he has AIDS"
advertise, advertize, publicize
announce, denote - make known; make an announcement; "She denoted her feelings clearly" the policy, including company literature. Be aware of the possibility of creating a dissatisfied work-force if raised expectations are not met in full.
How not to introduce an equal opportunities policy
* Set unrealistically high targets.
* Fall into the trap of positive discrimination.
* Target flexible work and child care schemes only at women.
Glossary A term used by Microsoft Word and adopted by other word processors for the list of shorthand, keyboard macros created by a particular user. See glossaries in this publication and The Computer Glossary.
Targets are forecasts of the percentage of ethnic minority, women or disabled employees that employers realistically aim to have by a specific date. Targets are generally lawful Licit; legally warranted or authorized.
The terms lawful and legal differ in that the former contemplates the substance of law, whereas the latter alludes to the form of law. A lawful act is authorized, sanctioned, or not forbidden by law. in the UK.
Quotas are a fixed percentage of posts reserved for a particular group. They are generally unlawful in the UK.
Positive discrimination means discriminating dis·crim·i·nat·ing
a. Able to recognize or draw fine distinctions; perceptive.
b. Showing careful judgment or fine taste: in favour of someone from a previously disadvantaged group because he or she is a woman or of a particular ethnic origin. It is illegal in the UK, except in exceptional circumstances and where there is a "Genuine Occupational Qualification" (very limited exemptions which allow you to recruit from a particular racial group or sex - for example, where authenticity is required in the serving of food or drink)
Positive (or affirmative) action involves taking action to promote equality of opportunity in access to a post for a previously disadvantaged group (eg special training to allow ethnic minorities to compete on more equal terms for a particular type or level of work such as management). Positive action is legal in the UK, provided the employer does not guarantee a job or promotion at the end of it.
Direct racial discrimination occurs if a person is unfavourably treated on racial grounds. These are widely defined to include: colour, ethnic or national origin, race or nationality.
Indirect racial discrimination occurs when a requirement or condition is applied with which only a "considerably smaller proportion" of persons in different racial groups can comply (eg accepting only British qualifications).
Direct sex discrimination occurs if a person is treated unfavourably because: she is a woman; he is a man.
Indirect sex discrimination consists of applying to a woman a condition or requirement the same as that for a man but which is a condition that only a small number of women would be able to comply with.
Discrimination a guide to the relevant case law on sex race disability and sexual orientation discrimination and equal pay 18th ed, Michael Rubenstein
London: LexisNexis UK, 2005
Discrimination and the law: does the system suit the purpose Patricia Leighton
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the leading professional body for those involved in the field of personnel, training and development. Membership of the CIPD is highly respected and widely accepted by employers as a requirement of practice. , 2004
Racial equality and the smaller business: a practical guide
London: Commission for Racial Equality The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom which aims to tackle racial discrimination and promote racial equality. It was set up under the Race Relations Act 1976 and is the only body with statutory power to help enforce the act. , 2004
Equality diversity and discrimination: a student text Kathy Daniels and Lynda MacDonald
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2005
Employment equality sexual orientation regulations: guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. for employers
London: Stonewall stone·wall
v. stone·walled, stone·wall·ing, stone·walls
a. , 2004
This is a selection of books available for loan to members from the Management Information Centre. More information at: www.managers.org.uk/mic
Implementing a diversity management programme (152) Setting up a grievance procedure (054)
Disability Rights Commission: www.drc-gb.org
Includes section on disability equality duty.
Employers Forum on Age: www.efa.org.uk
Includes sections on being 'Age aware' and 'Age: the facts'.
Equal Opportunities Commission,
Arndale House, Arndale Centre,
Manchester M4 3EQ
Tel: 020 7939 0000 www.cre.gov.uk
Commission for Racial Equality,
St Dunstant's House,
201-211 Borough High Street Borough High Street is the last section of the road from Dover to London as it approaches London Bridge. It is also the northern section of the A3 road from London to Portsmouth.
It divides historic Southwark in two. , London SE11 1GZ
Tel: 020 7939 0000 www.cre.gov.uk