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Workplace Equality Turning Policy into Practice Frances McAndrew 25 th November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace Equality Turning Policy into Practice Frances McAndrew 25 th November 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace Equality Turning Policy into Practice Frances McAndrew 25 th November 2010

2 Overview Why The consultation process Some experiences Big barriers Possible solutions The recommendations Any questions McAndrew Management

3 Why Far-reaching workplace equality rights enshrined in legislation Equality Act 2010 A wealth of guidance and toolkits 80,000 tribunal discrimination cases in 2009 Global recession Changing political landscape Cuts in public spending McAndrew Management

4 The Consultation Process 4 expert regional round tables Employers, employees, employer organisations, trade unions, user-led organisations, advocacy groups, social housing providers, skills councils, equality consultants, citizen’s advice, national, regional and local public sector organisations Wider research Report (insights not step-by-step guide) Funded by the European Commission McAndrew Management

5 Some Experiences Employers held back by fear, lack of expertise, time and money Employees know how they want to be treated but are unsure of their rights Workplace cultures and formal or informal rules can be as discriminatory as people Employees held back by fear and lack of support Advisory bodies and unions need time and a mandate McAndrew Management

6 Wider Research on Experiences The diversity paradox Two thirds of UK employees with SMEs Most SMEs don’t get equality advice, some go to their existing networks They want advice tailored to their industry Tackling deeply rooted prejudices and stereotypes underpinning informal workplace cultures is essential McAndrew Management

7 Big Barriers Middle managers’ competencies Employees fear, cynicism and apathy The overwhelming desire to recruit for ‘fit’ Equality is a HR thing, CSR thing, an initiative Discriminatory attitudes, prejudices and stereotypes Lack of consequences of non-compliance Lack of useful, relevant and specific; o Hard and soft evidence o Tailored solutions o Business case o Metrics McAndrew Management

8 Wider Research on Barriers Company size is a key determinant of whether equality policies are adopted and converted General barriers: discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, leadership commitment, lack of information and expertise SME barriers: significant levels of employment of family members, low levels of personnel, time and financial resources, high levels of economic insecurity, and no formal HR McAndrew Management

9 Possible Solutions Trustworthy tailored advice Appropriate baseline evidence Customised action plans Meaningful metrics Bespoke business case Equality competencies Knowledge and influence Beyond the workplace McAndrew Management

10 Recommendations for Public Bodies Increase availability, accessibility & relevance of equality guidance Build capacity of third sector to respond to the employers’ specific needs Harness public sector buying powers to influence the private sector ‘Name and shame’ persistently non-compliant employers Develop managers’ equality competencies McAndrew Management

11 Recommendations for Third Party Organisations Develop understanding of business sectors to provide tailored equality guidance Work in partnership to offer employers and employees a ‘no wrong door’ service Offer additional direct support to the victims of discrimination McAndrew Management

12 Recommendations for Employers Create clear picture of diversity strengths and weaknesses and unique workplace culture Build customised equality action plans with metrics Develop their own unique bespoke business case Improve their diversity management competencies Grant union officials dedicated time to help them promote workplace equality rights Work proactively with the education providers to challenge stereotypes and occupational segregation. McAndrew Management

13 Recommendations for Employees Invest time in learning about their equality rights Take up any opportunity to influence workplace equality practices Seek specialist support when experiencing direct discrimination, prejudice, harassment or victimisation McAndrew Management

14 Conclusion Gaps often exist between policy rhetoric & reality Many complex reasons for the equality gap Bridging gap requires investment of time & energy to acquire new knowledge & skills. This investment will reap rewards and equip us to weather the ongoing economic storm McAndrew Management

15 Any Questions? McAndrew Management

16 Frances McAndrew McAndrew Management McAndrew Management


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