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Equality & Diversity

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The first thing you need to do is save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or a disk Then work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference Then, go to www.vision2learn.com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number.

Please note that this Assessment document has 4 pages and is made up of 3 Parts.

Name: Lee Francis

You should complete this Assessment in relation to an organisation that you are familiar with. For example, this could be:

Your current workplace
Your current place of learning (school, college, etc)
A workplace that you are familiar with (you have worked there in the past, a friend / family member works there, etc) A place of learning that you are familiar with (you have studied there in the past, a friend / family member studies there, etc).

Part 1: Creating a diverse environment

1. In relation to your chosen workplace / place of learning, provide examples of policies / codes of conduct that encourage and / or protect equality and diversity. The organisation I currently work for have a number of codes of conduct to provide a safe and secure workplace free from harassment,
bullying etc. Legislation is carefully followed, which includes, the Equality Act, Race Relations Act, Sex Discrimination Act, Disability Discrimination Act , Human Rights Act. All job applications and interviews are monitored to make sure adherence to the above legislation is followed. All procedures, and new procedures & policies are checked to make sure that diversity and equality is adhered to. All staff decisions that are made are checked to make sure all staff are treated fairly. New job applications are checked and monitored to ensure Managers are adhering to the procedures, and there is no breach of these. The areas covered and monitored include:

■ Age
■ Sex & Sexual Orientation
■ Religion & Beliefs
■ Gender Assignment
■ Race
■ Pregnancy & Maternity
■ Disability

2. In relation to your chosen workplace / place of learning, describe what is expected of members of staff who have specific responsibility for equality and diversity. Include information about their job titles and describe their responsibilities.

Service Manager- The position is responsible for a number of staff, both head office based and field based. The Service Manager is responsible to ensure all operational staff are given the same opportunities for training and career advancement. The role is also responsible for recruiting operational staff, and the service manager is responsible to ensure the best possible employees are employed by the company, regardless of their diversity.

Finance Manager- The position is responsible for all admin staff. The Finance Manager must ensure that all staff are treated fairly. As there are a number of older members of staff in this area, the Finance Manager must ensure that there is no discrimination shown towards these members of staff due to their age, and that the company provides any assistance required to accommodate their needs, as well as all staff.

3. Describe what is broadly expected of all staff in relation to equality and diversity.

All staff are expected to treat each other fairly and with dignity. The company procedures are discussed during staff inductions and all staff are required to comply with these procedures and policies. All staff are expected to treat other members of staff respectfully, regardless of age, race, and diversity.

4. Based on the work you have done in Question 1 – 3, write a short summary of what you have discovered in terms of the organisation’s work on equality and diversity.

I have found that although there are good policies and procedures in place to prevent bullying & harassment, the company does not have a dedicated equality policy in place. This needs to provided and included with all new employment contracts issued. In regards to what should be put in place besides a set policy is: Open door environment- make staff feel they are able to go to senior management with problems, concerns. Make all staff feel they are protected and looked after by the company by promoting a happy working environment. Introduce a suggestions scheme, so Staff can make anonymous suggestions or share concerns if they wish, without fear of reprisals.

Once you have completed this Part of your Assessment, save the work you have done so far – you will need to send your work to your tutor for marking when you have completed all three Parts of this Assessment.

Part 2: Maintaining and monitoring equality and diversity

1. Describe how equality and diversity is monitored within your chosen place of work / learning.

Equality & Diversity is measured by:
Job applications are monitored and characteristics recorded. These can include Male/Female percentage of applications, Ethnic background etc.

Internal promotions are also monitored to record the percentages of characteristics.

Job applications are kept on file and once the position is filled, the process is monitored and the findings are recorded and kept filed with the job applications. The file is passed to the General Manager for review to make sure the process has been handled fairly and no breach of the Equality Act 2010 has occurred.

2. Prepare a short report on how your chosen place of work / study promotes (communicates) policies and practices for equality and diversity to employees and external stakeholders (such as customers and the community). Provide specific examples.

The company will shortly introduce an Equality & Diversity policy which will be provided as part of an employment contract when hiring a new employee, as well as issued to all staff. This way, all staff are informed about how they are expected to act, and how the company manages equality & diversity. The policy will also also be provided to customers, and to training colleges where apprentices are recruited from. The company employee handbook contains a bullying and harassment section. This outlines that all staff must act in a reasonable manner towards each other and must respect each other. This section outlines that abuse, threatening behaviour, and assault will be treated as gross misconduct. It is also outlines that inappropriate behaviour towards other members of staff would be treated as misconduct, but in serious cases, would be treated as gross misconduct. The employee handbook is part of the employment contract and issued to all staff. When employing Apprentices, a company handbook is issued, and the contents explained in detail during an induction. All staff, including Apprentices sign to confirm they understand and have received a copy of the handbook.

3. Describe the organisation’s punishments or sanctions for any breech in the policies / codes of practice / guidelines where equality and diversity are concerned.

The company would view a breach of the company equality and diversity policy as misconduct, and this would be dealt with through the company disciplinary procedure. Depending on the severity of the breach would depend on the level of punishment, so it could result in a formal warning, or in a severe case that could be gross-misconduct, it could result in instant dismissal.

Once you have completed this Part of your Assessment, save the work you have done so far – you will need to send your work to your tutor for marking when you have completed all three Parts of this Assessment.

Part 3: The importance of creating and maintaining a diverse environment

1. Describe why the creation and maintenance of an environment that promotes and ensures equality and diversity is desirable. Describe the advantages for the organisation and provide examples.

The creation and maintenance of promoting and ensuring equality & diversity has a number of desirable benefits, which include:

Working conditions- If an organisation provides good working conditions, it can improve the positive mindset of individuals,. This can then lead to staff being more committed to the organsisation. .

Stress levels: By providing a fairer working environment, it can lead to happy staff, which provides a lower stress level. This in turn can help reduce sickness and increase efficiency and performance of the company.

Job applications: If an employer has a good reputation it will be more likely that people will apply for jobs. This allows the company to be selective as it can draw from a larger pool of candidates. It also enables an employer to become an employer of choice, so candidates contact the company direct for jobs as they would like to work for the company, even when the company is not actively looking for staff. This enables a company to plan ahead for recruitment and can reduce recruitment costs.

Points of view- Promoting a varied workforce enables a company to draw on a wealth of life experiences and so enables a company to become more creative and innovative.

Business excellence- This enables organisations to achieve recognition via awards such as investors in people, charter marks, etc. This in turn makes the organisation to be more attractive to potential employees.

Building trust- By promoting a fair and safe workplace, free from stereotyping, bullying and harassment, employees feel they can trust the organisation, which promotes dedicated staff and improves productivity. .

2. Describe the consequences for your chosen organisation of failing to create and maintain a diverse and equal environment. You should consider aspects such as:

Legal- Companies can be forced to make changes to their procedures and policies. Companies also face legal action as they may be forced to pay compensation where the organsisation has acted unfairly. This can also lead to a loss of reputation, and result in a loss of business through customers not willing to deal with the company.

Economic- A company can face economic affects by failing to create a fair environment.

Fines imposed.
Loss of potential customers who will only deal with fair organisations The company can also miss out on hiring talented staff, as potential candidates will be put off by the company’s reputation. The Company’s sickness and absenteeism rates could increase, as well as high staff turnover rates. This puts pressure on other staff, and can be costly due to business not being able to be taken on. A company can become uncompetitive due to additional
costs through fines, sickness, absenteeism, and hiring less productive staff.

Social- People have more choice in choosing an employer than ever before, and they also have the opportunity to make a moral judgement and so are far less likely to work for an organisation that does not protect its staff from stereotyping, bullying and harassment. People have far more understanding of what type of behaviour is acceptable and un-acceptable than they have in the past, so organisations must recognise this and show they can provide a great working environment to attract the right staff.

In summary, should the organisation I am working fail to provide and maintain a diverse and equal environment, the company would loose out on employing strong, highly skilled employees. This would have a detrimental impact on the business as we would not be able to carry out work due to a shortage of staff. As most of our Customers are large Blue Chip organisations, we need to meet specific criteria around our HR policies. Failure to provide evidence to these companies would mean that we could not tender for their business, and so have a severe economic impact on the business.

Now that you have completed all three Parts of this Assessment, go to www.vision2learn.com and send your work to your tutor for marking.

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