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How HR Should Approach Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

Implementing equality and diversity in the workplace is something that HR should take seriously. Treating employees fairly regardless of gender, age, race, and other characteristics are crucial for the organisation's overall success.

Here are some ways HR should approach equality and diversity in the workplace.

1. Create Workplace Policies

When implementing equality and diversity in the workplace, the best place to start is to develop workplace policies that cover equality and diversity, also called "equal opportunities policies", which helps everyone to know that the organisation aims to support and treat everyone fairly. These policies also help make everyone aware of the kind of behaviour they need to have as part of the organisation.

Organisations should treat every employee fairly. Having policies ensures equality is implemented in the workplace. These policies help to safeguard employees against discrimination and harassment while also encouraging diversity. The workplace policies on equality and diversity also demonstrate that your organisation values every individual. They give the business a good reputation, proving that the workplace is free from biases and unfair treatment in areas like employee development, promotion, and recruitment.

When implementing workplace policies on equality, organisations must ensure that the obligations stated will apply to employees of every level, regardless of their roles. Even those working part-time should familiarise themselves and comply with the regulations stated in the policy. HR has the responsibility to ensure compliance with workplace policies.

2. Implement The Equality Act 2010

HR must implement the Equality Act 2010, which brings together over a hundred separate legislation pieces in one Act. The Equality Act 2010 offers a legal framework to protect employees' rights and promote equal opportunity for all. It's a discrimination law protecting individuals from unfair treatment and encouraging a more equal and fair society.

The Equality Act 2010 became law in 2010 and covers every employee in Britain, protecting them from harassment, abuse, and discrimination. There are various protected characteristics under the Equality Act, which include age, race, sex, religion, gender reassignment, disability, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and sexual orientation. The Equality Act will protect you from discrimination while in the workplace, using public services, in businesses and other organisations, and when taking public transportation.

When implementing The Equality Act 2010, HR should consider letting the employees undergo online compliance training courses to help them familiarise all things concerning equality and diversity, including the Equality Act, while also creating an environment where everyone is aware of diversity and inclusion.

3. Put some Thought into Recruitment

During the recruitment process HR must ensure they adhere to the Equality Act 2010, which helps to ensure they do not discriminate against any applicant. Discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of a person due to some protected characteristics. Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for any organisation to discriminate against job applicants due to race, sexuality, gender, disability, and other characteristics.

When ensuring equality and inclusion during recruitment, it's vital for HR to apply fairness and not discriminate against any candidates. It should apply in all recruitment aspects, from creating job adverts to interviewing potential candidates. When creating job adverts, recruitment should avoid using gender terms. They should also consider where the job will be advertised and be mindful of different groups who may wish to apply for the roles.

When shortlisting candidates, there should be more than one person conducting the shortlisting process to prevent bias. Whoever will be involved with the shortlisting must not have access to information like name, date of birth, etc. During the interview, HR must check if any of the candidates require reasonable adjustments or assistance during the interview. Interviewers must refrain from asking questions that relate to the candidate's religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, etc.

4. Have a Great HR Team

It is the responsibility of the HR team to devise ways of addressing workplace bias and promoting an inclusive workplace environment that provides opportunities for everyone in the organisation. Therefore, companies must invest in a great HR team. Consider using HR recruitment specialists who can help ensure the implementation of diversity and inclusion across the workplace, which helps with consistency in managing diversity and inclusion.

HR specialists are a team of HR professionals who will take charge of the human aspect of the workforce. They manage all the responsibilities of Human Resources, including who to hire and address the needs of existing employees. Best of all, they help to implement diversity and equality in the workplace. HR has a unique view of the impact of diversity and inclusion in the organisation and must ensure that effective strategies permeate every aspect of people management.

One of HR's roles in implementing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is D&I monitoring. Implementing and monitoring diversity and inclusion can be challenging for most organisations. To address this, HR can conduct audits which effectively measure the organisation's progress.

5. Encourage Communication

Employees will be more likely to get on board with the workplace policies on diversity and inclusion if they understand their roles in achieving the organisation's goals. Thus, communication is essential when implementing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Organisations must be clear about their purpose and values and communicate this clearly with everyone.

Communicating diversity in the organisation should not leave you feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to be more diverse and inclusive in your organisation's communication strategy. Proper communication helps build a culture of inclusivity and keeps employees engaged and connected while moving forward positively. Accepting differences, whether language, culture, religion, or age, can help to ensure that all employees are valued, seen, and included, leaving your team more satisfied, happier, more reunited and engaged.

Communication helps bring employees together and keeps them closer to each other, thereby managing organisational diversity. Some employees may belong to a particular race or religion, but their ability to communicate helps them to understand their fellow workers more. Regardless of their characteristics, employees must be comfortable talking and sharing with others in the organisation.

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