Equality Policies, Training and Monitoring

If you are an employer, and you are:

  • recruiting people to work for you or
  • making any decisions about what happens to the people working for you, or
  • taking action in relation to the people working for you, equality law applies to you.

Equality law applies:

  • whatever the size of your organisation
  • whatever sector you work in
  • whether you have one worker or 10 or hundreds or thousands
  • whether or not you use any formal processes or forms to help you make decisions.

Pages in this section include:

If you implement good equality practices in your organisation, you should greatly reduce the likelihood that you will unlawfully discriminate.

In turn, this should make you significantly less likely to face legal claims against your organisation for unlawful discrimination.

By law, you must not discriminate against, harass or victimise people who work for you.

Often your intentions or wishes do not matter. What matters is whether you have acted unlawfully or not.

You may also be legally responsible for what workers you employ or your agents do when working for you, even if they are doing something without your knowledge or approval. You can read more about this in the section of this guide When you are responsible for what other people do. You may be able to avoid being legally responsible if you can show that you have taken ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent unlawful discrimination.

So it is important that you have a clear idea what is going on and are taking active measures to improve your organisation’s equality performance. This may include: 

  • having and putting into action an equality policy
  • providing equality training for your workers.

Workforce monitoring is one way of helping to make sure your equality policy and equality training are having an effect.

Good practice of the kind set out in this guide can also help you and your organisation do your core business better. Organisations have found that taking positive steps to promote equality and diversity has benefits which include: 

  • greater worker satisfaction, which helps attract new staff and retain those already there, reduced recruitment costs, and increased productivity
  • improved understanding of the experience of their existing or potential customers, clients or service users
  • filling skills gaps.

This guide also contains the following sections, which are similar in each guide in the series, and contain information you are likely to need to understand what we tell you about good practice:

 

Last Updated: 14 Apr 2014