Equality and Diversity
What is Equality?
Equality ensures that all individuals are treated fairly and equally because of a characteristic. Characteristics include race, gender, disability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, gender reassignment or age.
What is Diversity?
Diversity aims to respect and promote individual differences, such as the protected characteristics mentioned above. Diversity values people’s differences and aims for individuals to realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture. Bullying, harassment or victimisation are considered equality and diversity issues.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act ensures consistency so that employers and employees are clear on what workplaces must do to ensure a fair environment and to comply with the law. For example, an employer must make ‘reasonable adjustments; for any employee / potential employee who has a disability. Another example would be that males and females are by law, entitled to the same pay for the same job. To find out more about the Equality Act, please visit the websites below.
Equality and Diversity in the Workplace
Companies in the UK are required to follow the law (such as the Equality Act) to ensure that equality is met in the work place. In addition to this, reasonable adjustments must be made to ensure that certain individuals are not disadvantaged at work.
Equality and diversity in the workplace can positively affect relations between staff and a well-implemented programme (inclusive training, development programmes, clear value system that promotes these values) can help this.
The benefits of equality and diversity in the workplace include the reassurance that there will be no discrimination in the workplace and that you will be given the tools to do your job properly such as flexible working hours, good disabled facilities and good communication between staff. It’s also beneficial to the employer as individuals from different background, perspectives and insights can often lead to a dynamic and creative workforce.
If you feel that your employer is not meeting the minimum standards for equality and diversity, or you feel discriminated against, the following organisations can help:
○ Trade Union
○ Citizens Advice Bureau
○ Internal Grievance Procedures
○ ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
Why is Equality and Diversity part of my apprenticeship?
Equality and Diversity is taught as part of your apprenticeship so that individuals know their own rights and so that it is understood how people should be treated. Teaching equality and diversity creates a safer environment as combining understanding, respect and tolerance for difference can empower individuals to tackle prejudice and improve relationships. It is the responsibility of Paignton Sec to promote Equality and Diversity issues to learners so they can understand our ever more diverse society and to keep positive and open-minded attitudes.
How does Equality and Diversity affect me?
Teaching Equality and Diversity educates learners about their rights in the workplace, at home and beyond into the wider community. Learners with a positive attitude towards equality and diversity will promote a healthier, happier and fairer society, which could lead to the reduction of bullying and other negative behaviours. Some other positive outcomes of teaching Equality and Diversity include:
○ Recognising when you (or others) are being discriminated against and having the knowledge to be able to take action against this
○ Gaining knowledge and respect to individuals who are from different backgrounds, this can relate to age, ethnicity, race, disabilities, maternity, etc
○ Improvements in attainment or aspirations for those who previously may have been discriminated against.
If I have an Equality and Diversity issues, who can I go to?
If, you feel that you are being discriminated against in the workplace, one option could be to take this up with your employer, such as a higher manager. If, you do not feel comfortable talking to your employer, you can speak to your training consultant who will be able to advise you. If you would prefer to not discuss the issues with your training consultant, you can speak to Paignton Sec’s Equality and Diversity representative using the following details:
Name: Sarah Abbott
Phone number: 01803 559816
There are also a number of organisations that can give you advice on how to take further action if your employer takes no further action. For more information, you could talk to your Trade Union or see the following websites for details: