How you and any staff who work for your organisation behave towards customers, clients, service users, members, associates or guests in relation to their protected characteristics will be at the heart of whether your organisation delivers services without unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation and whether it makes reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
Equality good practice tip for how you and your staff should behave
Ideally, you want anyone who comes into contact with members of the public to treat everyone they come across with dignity and respect. This will help you provide good customer service (not just without unlawfully discriminating but more generally) and can make customers less likely to complain.
Tell your staff how to behave so that they do not discriminate against people because of a protected characteristic – and make sure you know what this means too. By doing this, you will reduce the risk that you will be held responsible for their behaviour.
Even if the person who has been discriminated against does not bring a legal case against your organisation, your reputation may suffer.
This does not just apply to situations where you and your staff are dealing directly with members of the public, but also to how your services are planned. This is the point at which a decision might be made, a rule might be applied or a way of doing things might be worked out which will affect how someone accesses your services. If this has a worse impact on people with a particular protected characteristic than on people who did not have that characteristic, then it will be indirect discrimination unless you are able to objectively justify the decision, rule or way of doing things.
So it is important that you and everyone who works for you knows how equality law applies to what you and they are doing.
How can I make sure your workers and agents know how equality law applies to them?
Last Updated: 21 May 2014