equality and diversity policy
Employers need a robust equality and diversity policy that follows the Equality Act 2010 whilst also being fit for purpose for the particular working environment that it is used for.
For instance, very few small businesses will have an extensive list of equality and diversity policies, but will still however, be expected to follow the Equality Act.
Engage your staff in your equality and diversity policy
An equality and diversity policy needs to be read by all staff and shared with customers, suppliers, users of services and anyone else that has significant contact with your business. For users of services, there may be a visible equality and diversity statement declaring it is unacceptable for anyone to act oppressively or use discrimination.
Your equality and diversity policy or policies need to be measured, this can be by monitoring the effectiveness of the policy, is it doing what you expect it to be doing, is it being followed and understood, is it treating any group more or less favourably.
People need equality and diversity training to understand what the equality and diversity policy means, wording has changed over the years, and certain words are no longer acceptable, but if a staff member innocently uses a word without understanding it is discriminatory, it is the duty of the employer to challenge this appropriately by letting all staff now what is currently acceptable.
Staff also need training to be able to challenge discrimination when they see it, effective challenging is a skill, and people may feel ill-equipped to challenge their colleagues, line managers, users of services and so on.
Review your equality and diversity policy annually
Ensure that your equality and diversity policy is reviewed annually to take into account of changes within the company, legislation etc. Often titles are changed within the working environment that are not reflected in policy, this may make it difficult for an individual to know who they can turn to if they feel harassed or discriminated against.