Does your organisation have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy?
Is your organisation’s EDI policy compliant with the law?
Can your organisation fairly balance an inherent conflict of rights between protected characteristics?
Does your organisation understand the single-sex exception and when it can be lawfully applied/not applied?
AEA will work with your organisation to:
- assess your EDI policy for compliance with equality legislation
- provide policy-development support for organisations that do not have an EDI policy
- ensure your organisation understands the potential conflicts of interest between protected characteristics and how to fairly balance competing rights
- ensure your organisation understands the single-sex exception and the permissible discrimination that is central to that exception
- highlight areas of unease and potential conflict
An example of our two-part consultancy package:
- Client Risk Profile
We will assess your policies and operations for legal liability, in terms of service-provision and/or in the workplace, and identify other types of risk.
- Mitigate Risk
We will highlight means and methods by which identified legal and other risks may be mitigated.
It is commonly acknowledged that a happy workplace is a productive workplace. A diverse workforce is equally acknowledged as being of great benefit to organisations. Diversity also better reflects the wider population and is therefore morally justifiable. It does, however, introduce a potential for conflicts of interest, which have to be managed.
For organisations with a public sector equality duty (PSED), there is a requirement in the 2010 Equality Act to ‘foster good relations between those of a protected characteristic and those not’.
Though a PSED is not applicable to non-public organisations, fostering good relations between protected characteristics is clearly in the interests of all organisations.
Allowing employees and or clients/service-users to have a say on planned change – especially change that is sensitive and likely to be controversial – is an effective way to manage potential conflict. It also embeds trust in senior management and is an effective route to workplace harmony and for client/service-user contentment.
However, there must also be confidence in the process itself.
In the case of applying, or not applying, the ‘single-sex exception’, consulting with employees can be hampered. Fear of recrimination from co-workers and/or management, as well as concern for possible negative repercussions on career prospects, can deter employees from voicing an honest opinion.
This defeats the very point of consulting and will skew consultation results. It also leaves underlying discord unaddressed which can sour work relations, with a potential negative impact on productivity.
An internal consultation outsourced to an external agency can bolster employee-confidence, not only in the consultation process itself but also in your organisation’s impartiality.
It will also serve to shield your organisation’s operations and reputation should adverse reactions arise.
AEA offers an impartial anonymised consultation mechanism to manage and facilitate consultation with your employees.