Template Equality Policy
*There is no formal statutory requirement for an employer to put in place an equality policy. However, a systematic approach to developing and maintaining good practice is the best way of showing that an organisation is taking its legal responsibilities seriously and avoid the risk of legal action being taken against them.
Equality policies and practices are often drivers of good recruitment and retention practice. Information on these policies, as well as on equality worker network groups, on the organisation’s website and/or in induction packs, send a very positive and inclusive signal encouraging people to apply to work for the organisation.
Equality monitoring enables an employer to find out whether their equality policy is working. Equality monitoring is the process that employers use to collect, store and analyse data about the protected characteristics of job applicants and workers.
Employers can use monitoring to:
• establish whether an equality policy is effective in practice
• analyse the effect of other policies and practices on different groups
• highlight possible inequalities and investigate their underlying causes
• set targets and timetables for reducing disparities
• send a clear message to job applicants and workers that equality and diversity issues are taken seriously within the organisation.
For employers in the private sector, equality monitoring is not mandatory. However, it is recommended that all employers carry out equality monitoring. The methods used will depend on the size of the organisation and can be simple and informal. Employers must take full account of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) when they collect, store, analyse and publish data.
It is important for employers to communicate on a regular basis to managers, workers and trade union representatives on the progress and achievement of objectives of the equality policy. Employers should also consider how the results of any monitoring activity can be communicated to the workforce. However, care should be taken to ensure that individuals are not identifiable from any reports.
Taking action based on any findings revealed by the monitoring exercise is vital to ensure that an employer’s equality policy is practically implemented.
There are a number of steps employers can take, including:
• examine decision-making processes, for example recruitment and promotion
• consider whether training or further guidelines are required on how to avoid discrimination
• consider whether any positive action measures may be appropriate
• work with network groups and trade union equality representatives to share information and advice
• set targets on the basis of benchmarking data and develop an action plan.