Diversity is a word that is often mentioned in the workforce in various areas, such as recruitment and company culture. Having a diverse workforce is crucial as regardless of identity, background or circumstance, we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills and talents in order to reach our full potential. Crucially, everyone deserves to work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment, be fairly rewarded and recognised for their work and have a meaningful voice on matters that affect them.
People from difference backgrounds bring different value to the business, helping to create an innovative and creative workforce by gaining new perspectives. The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges to businesses, including the unfortunate task of making difficult workforce decisions such as about redundancies, and reduction in hours. Employers should ensure their decisions meet their legal obligations and do not discriminate.
People want to work for employers with good employment practices, they also want to feel valued at work. To remain competitive, organisations need everyone who works for them to make their best contribution. Increasingly, employers recognise the importance of inclusion and diversity in recruiting and retaining the skills and talent they need. Furthermore, although there’s no legal requirement to have a written inclusion and diversity policy, it’s a good idea to produce one to demonstrate the organisation takes its legal and moral obligations towards being a diverse employer seriously. It can also encourage employees to treat others equally.
It is also important to have a bullying and harassment policy, making clear that discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated and setting out the consequences of breaking the organisation’s behaviour code. Communication is essential, it is insufficient to simply have these policies in place, the contents need to be provided to all employees and they should be able to access the policies at any time.