It is crucial for business owners to consider inclusivity, equality and diversity in their daily operations and running the business. Recent social movements centred on issues of race and gender have brought equality and inclusivity to the forefront of people’s minds.
Why are inclusivity, equality and diversity important in the workplace?
A diverse workforce offers a wide range of benefits to your business and may give you a competitive edge. This includes introducing new and different ideas, having employees with a wide range of skills and selecting applicants from a larger talent pool.
Employees with a strong sense of belonging are more likely to be engaged and have a positive experience at work. Conversely, those who feel excluded can lose interest in work and become unhappy. As such, inclusivity plays a big part in how employees feel. Studies have found that employees who are happy in their role and feel included have increased productivity, higher levels of innovation, and the business benefits from lower levels of staff turnover.
By embracing all employees and promoting equality and inclusion within your organisation, it will build your business’s knowledge on various aspects, including cultures, faiths, disabilities, sexual orientation, and gender to name a few. It will also make employees feel respected and part of a diverse, modern business. So, how can you create an inclusive workplace?
Developing an inclusive and diverse workplace…
How can The HR Dept help?
At The HR Dept, we know how valuable an inclusive workplace is. We review each business individually and take a personal approach to give you suggestions on how to improve diversity, inclusion and equality within your business. We can help you whether you have a one-off question or need long-term support.
For expert advice and solutions, get in touch with one of our HR professionals today.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion FAQs
How do I prevent discrimination in the workplace?
Having a culture that genuinely respects and treats all staff equally and fairly is the starting point.
Within the Equality Act 2010 there are 9 protected characteristics:
- Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of age, no matter what their age.
- Disability. This is defined as someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a serious and substantial effect on their ability to perform day to day tasks. It also includes any diagnosis of cancer whether terminal or not.
- Gender reassignment. This is defined as the process of changing from one sex to another. A Gender Reassignment certificate is provided on completion of the transition.
- Marriage or civil partnership. Employers cannot discriminate against employees because they are married or in a civil partnership. This can either be between a man and a woman, or between partners of the same sex.
- Pregnancy and maternity. Employers must not discriminate against employees because of their pregnancy, an illness related to pregnancy or maternity or leave that they take, or plan to take.
- Race. Employers cannot discriminate against people because of their race. This includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins and ethnic and racial groups.
- Religion or philosophical belief. This is defined as someone being treated differently because of their religion or belief, or lack of religion or belief.
- Sex. Employers must not discriminate against employees because they are a, or are not, a particular sex.
- Sexual orientation. Employers must not discriminate against employees if they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual, or if you think they have a particular sexual orientation.
It is advisable to get professional help when dealing with any discrimination issue as tribunal awards for discrimination are unlimited. Your Equality policy should set out clearly your principles and the penalties for those that transgress them.
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