Under the Equality Act 2010 it is a legal requirement for all organisations to promote equality in all of their business and activities. It is the responsibility of public authorities to enforce this whilst also carrying this out themselves. Within the Equality Act 2010 there are certain legal requirements under existing legislation to promote equality which identify nine protected characteristics of Equality and Diversity.
The Protected Characteristics
The nine protected characteristics are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
How can we Promote Equality and Diversity?
Ensuring equality and diversity is essential to accommodate every individuals human rights.
- Treat everyone fairly
- Create a culture that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone
If an environment is not accommodating of an individual, the environment must be adjusted. For example, providing wheelchair ramps, prayer rooms, breastfeeding spaces etc.
- Ensure there is equal access to opportunities such as training, promotion, learning and that everyone is able to fully participate in these opportunities
This should be available to everyone and provided fairly and equally based on skills and abilities.
- Make sure everyone is given the chance to develop to their full potential
For example, a young person on a low income may not be able to afford to transport fees required to attend an interview or training course.
- Give staff and service users the skills to identify and challenge inequality
Effective and well-communicated strategies should be in place and training regularly provided to all staff.
- Provide environments, buildings and materials which are accessible and inclusive
Everyone should have the right and be at liberty to access environments. Whilst it may not always be possible, every consideration and care should be taken to consider the limitations others may experience and to accommodate these.
- Provide and enforcing equality and diversity policies and procedures
These provide the foundation and guidelines for an organisation.
Equality and diversity in the workplace is an issue that impacts upon all of us and both organisations and individuals have a responsibility to understand and practice its principles.
Engage in Learning provide a multilingual equality and diversity training course. This course provides clear explanations of the legislation and key terms, and its impact on business, and also uses scenarios and ‘what next?’ questions to help learners understand how they can positively affect culture, communication and inclusion.
Organisations are legally required to ensure that discrimination is eliminated and expectations of equality are met. Equality and diversity training helps you meet this requirement and ensures that an inclusive and fair working environment exists so that no form of perceived difference is an obstacle in people’s career potential or progression. Having a diverse workforce also means that organisations can offer a wider range of ideas, skills and resources to the business, giving it a competitive edge and improving team productivity, morale and motivation.
Equality and Diversity eLearning Outcomes
- Differentiate between equality, diversity and inclusion
- Recognise offences such as indirect and direct discrimination, victimisation and harassment
- Avoid behaviours that constitute unfair treatment and follow best practice approaches in areas such as recruitment
- List the consequences of not complying with the regulations
- Describe what to do when facing or witnessing unfair treatment at work
- Identify behaviours, language and attitudes that promote equal and inclusive working relationships
- Appreciate the benefits of diversity, equality and inclusion in the work place