Equality and Diversity training - Paris Smith Skip to content

2nd November 2021

Equality and Diversity training


2nd November 2021

Equality and Diversity training

Following the removal of employment tribunal fees, discrimination claims bought by employees continue to rise. Employers have a number of legal obligations to prevent discrimination at work. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is also a vital part of any successful business, helping to increase staff recruitment and retention and ensure a productive workforce.

Our next equality and diversity training is on 9 March 2022. The aim of the training session is to raise awareness of the Equality Act and what this means to the manager and their staff in a practical sense. We will stress the importance of maintaining equality in the workplace and we aim to empower managers to identify any potential issues. As with all employment issues, prompt and decisive action is the key and therefore, we will encourage the managers to address issues as they arise so they can be dealt with effectively and appropriately. This session will also focus on how equality and diversity in the workplace can be managed with more staff working remotely and the issues employers should be aware of that arise as a result of increased remote working.

Ahead of our training session we’ve set out some of our top tips for employers to consider below.

1. Put compliant equality and diversity policies in place

The starting point for all employers is an up to date and compliant equality and diversity policy, ideally coupled with an anti-harassment and bullying policy. These policies should be used to educate employees as to the forms of discrimination and the behaviours that are not permissible at work. They should provide a clear mechanism for employees to raise concerns regarding equality at work and clearly set out the employer’s policies on key risk areas such as recruitment.

2. Train staff on equality and diversity issues

Of course it is not enough for employers to simply have a policy in place. Employers must also ensure that all employees receive regular training on equality and diversity issues. Training should ideally provide examples to help employees understand those comments or actions which are inappropriate at work, and cover areas such as unconscious bias and different individuals’ perceptions as to what is offensive or hurtful, even if meant in jest.

3. Watch out for indirect discrimination

Most employers are mindful of the need not to directly discriminate against employees with protected characteristics. However, indirect discrimination can be easier to miss. When implementing new policies or changes in the workplace, employers should always be mindful as to whether there is an indirect discrimination risk, for example when changing rota hours, could this have a detrimental impact on women due to child care responsibilities? When changing office location or requiring longer travel, could this have a detrimental impact on disabled employees? If a potential impact is identified, steps should then be taken to prevent or mitigate this impact where possible.

4. Investigate issues promptly

When an employee raises concerns regarding discrimination it is important that you treat these seriously and investigate issues promptly. Most concerns will need to be addressed via your grievance procedure. Ensure that you carry out investigations sensitively and consider the employee’s need for support whilst the process is ongoing, particularly if their complaint relates to their line manager or someone working in close proximity with them.

5. Be mindful of your liability for events outside of work

Many employers are not aware that their liability for discrimination extends to incidents that take place outside of working hours, provided there is a sufficient connection with work. For example, an employer will usually be responsible for discrimination that occurs at an office party or informal office drinks. Employees should be reminded that their obligation to act appropriately extends to work related activities outside of the office. Again, where complaints are raised, employers should ensure that these are investigated and addressed in the same way.

Book your place at our training session on 9 March 2022 on what the Equality Act means to managers now.

Visit our Resources and Events page to view our other upcoming training events.

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