Equality, diversity, and inclusion the workplace — advice and resources from an HR professional
by Yvette Court
A workplace encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion can help:
1. make it more successful
2. keep employees happy and motivated
3. prevent serious or legal issues arising, such as bullying, harassment and discrimination
4. to better serve a diverse range of customers
5. improve ideas and problem-solving
6. attract and keep good staff
Equality in the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants.
You must not treat people unfairly because of reasons protected by discrimination law (‘protected characteristics’). For example, because of a person’s sex, age or race.
Diversity is the range of people in your workforce.
For example, this might mean people with different ages, religions, ethnicities, people with disabilities, and both men and women. It also means valuing those differences.
To avoid bullying, harassment or discrimination, you should make sure:
1. your workforce and managers understand what is protected by discrimination law
2. what’s expected under discrimination law is actually happening in your workplace.
3. you make changes if what’s expected is not happening, for example stepping up staff training
4. your workforce and managers understand what the benefits can be of having a range of people with different backgrounds
An inclusive workplace means everyone feels valued at work. It lets all employees feel safe to:
1. come up with different ideas
2. raise issues and suggestions to managers, knowing this is encouraged
3. try doing things differently to how they’ve been done before, with management approval
An inclusive workplace can help lower the risk of bullying, harassment and discrimination.
I would suggest that you point your audience in the direction of ACAS website for more detailed information. For mental health issues: Supporting mental health at work — Acas
Also, Scope.org.uk has some very interesting supportive areas for people with disabilities.
Headspace.com offer assistance on well-being for employers to support their staff. Headspace for Work is a science-backed meditation and mindfulness solution for the workplace.
The Open University published information for those applicants who do have a disability and are unsure as to whether they should offer the information to the potential employer before interview. The link below will help understand the complexities.
Explaining a disability when applying for jobs | Help Centre | The Open University
Other useful resources:
Formed through a unification of Disability Alliance, Skill, Radar and National Centre for Independent Living on 1 January 2012.
A downloadable booklet from Disability Rights UK
A voluntary organisation set up to widen access to learning for disabled young people, adults and carers across Scotland.
Offering information and advice for disabled students and graduates, MyPlus Students supports you through applying for jobs and going through the recruitment process.
Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB)
This website has information to help you get a new job, retain your current one and know your rights in the workplace.
Aims to help to create a society in which people with mental health problems enjoy equal chances in life.
Supporting disabled and disadvantaged people to prepare for work, The Shaw Trust helps people find jobs and live more independently. It offers a service for students and graduates with disabilities, dyslexia or a specific learning difficulty.
The Association of Disabled Professionals
Provides employment advice and peer support to disabled people. Members also give advice based on their particular employment experience.
Provides careers advice and how to get a graduate job if you have dyslexia.