The following report will talk about the legislation associated with equality, fair treatment, and diversity. In addition to this, unconscious bias, prejudice, and discrimination will be elaborated and how they affect the organisation and individual will be elaborated. A discussion on various active advisory services will be done.
Equality and diversity play a significant role in building a healthy environment that promotes creativity and innovation and improves employees' and organisation's performance. Diversity in a team can be in terms of skills, experience, attributes, ideas, background, abilities, etc. Having a diverse team in public service can be very useful as it can generate a wide range of solutions and a unique range of approaches(Malinen and Johnston, 2013). Talking about equality among the teams and team members, it is characterised by giving equal opportunities to all individual regardless of their sex, age, gender, culture, race, disability, or any other factor.
A diverse workforce and promoting equality can result in a number of benefits that will contribute directly to the organisation's performance. The benefits include a sound decision-making and wide variety of the possible solutions. Enhanced quality and overall performance. Better relationships with the team members and customers that result in effective service.These also lead to better staff management, improved staff satisfaction, and improved staff retention rate. In order to value the diversity and establish equality within the organisation, legislations have been formulated in the UK (Stephanand Stephan, 2013). All these are mandatory to follow by organisations (both public and private) that are aiming at establishing in the UK or currently operating there. Legislations are the law or sets of law enacted usually by the local, state, or federal government. In addition to this, apart from the legislative body, the Supreme Court also formulate certain laws.
In order to ensure that diversity, equality, and fair treatment, some legislation that are necessary for the public service are elaborated below:-
Equality Act 2010: This legislation safeguards people from illicit discrimination within the organisation or in society. It was enacted in 2010 as a replacement of different anti-discrimination laws that were earlier protecting people from a particular basis of discrimination. The Equality Act of 2010 covered all those laws in a single framework, thereby making it easier for people to contemplate the law. Prior to the enactment of this Act, there were many legislations that focused on discrimination. These include “Sex Discrimination Act 1975,” “Race Relations Act 1976,” and “Disability Discrimination Act 1995.”The Act emphasises the concept of equal treatment in both public and private companies
Fair Treatment Legislation and Regulations
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 Sex Discrimination Act 1975
It came into force in October 2006 and is one of the UK’s secondary’s legislation. It obligates employers to avoid discrimination against workers on the basis of age. It obligates the businessmen do not discriminate against an individual while deciding to who they should offer a job, in setting up the terms on which he offers the job, and lastly refusing employment.
Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 Human Rights Act 1998
The Act was designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of religion or absence of religion or belief. The act came into existence in accordance with “European Union Directive 2000/78/EC. It obligates employers to stop harassing workers on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 Equality Act 2010.
The Act prohibited the organisations to discriminate unreasonably against workers on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, age, or belief. It came into existence as per the terms defined under European Communities Act 1972 that aimed at implementing in the United Kingdom the European Union Equal Treatment Directive Provisions.
Organisations are subjected to a certain legal framework that obligates them to be responsible for their policies, procedures, and actions. Employers can keep a check on race, age, gender, culture, disability, sexuality, etc., can be very crucial for career progression. However, least emphasised mechanism of unconscious bias can majorly affect the behaviours that employees demonstrate in the workplace. Unconscious bias comprises those assumptions that people make about other(Stephanand Stephan, 2013). Many researchers have proved that unconscious biases have disturbed the diversity within an organisation, thereby causing a great negative impact on the team. People's mood and attitude have a huge severe impact on decision-making. Humans do not think clearly when they are under pressure, stressed, angry, emotional, physically tired, and depending on impulses. This would make their decision more susceptible to bias. This may sometime result in a situation where an individual is being discriminated.
The major incidents of unconscious bias are related to the hiring and recruitment process. These biases can have a negative impact on equal recruitment opportunities. Aspirant's first impression may affect the recruiters that they start judging him without analysing his/her actual potential. In addition to this, unconscious bias is also associated with the employees' development and retention. Mentoring and promoting someone can be based on the bias instead of actual performance. This led to the discrimination within the organisation as people are not treated equally. This would also affect the performance management system of an organisation.
Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination are three terms that symbolise the unfair treatment but they have different meanings. Unconscious bias is the kind of stereotyping, wherein people make a generalisation about others based on their behaviour, gender, and other attributes. Talking about prejudice, it is characterised by a positive and negative attitude that people demonstrate being influenced by a certain group(Henderson, et.al, 2012). Discrimination change those attitude to actions towards objects. It is very important for the organisation to eradicate prejudice from the workplace in order to avoid the danger that may cause discrimination against employees and promote unfair treatment. It is important to address the prejudice as it can be invidious for the organisation. Employees in an organisation might be very authoritarian that believe in determining and rejecting those individual whom they see inferior in positions or power. Some employees hold prejudice because they see conflict as a natural phenomenon. Since there might be some competition in the organisation, prejudiced employees might find ways to reduce the opportunities for others and they rely on the stereotypes to support their prejudices.
According to Carter (2013), it is important for the employer to understand prejudice, discrimination, and unconscious bias so as to avoid any kind of discrepancies in the near future. The business environment is ever-changing and witnessing stereotyping and prejudice is very common. Managers have the ability to transform assumptions in their work premises. All three of them have destructive nature as they result in conflict on the basis of superiority and inferiority. They may impact the effective workplace communication and harmony within the organisation. Therefore, it is crucial for managers to determine and tackle them effectively. It has been noticed that if a manager understands effective ways to change the cultural assumptions, the impact of stereotypes and prejudice can be lowered down.
Advisory services help the public service organisation to solve problems and give advice on the issues that affect the internal and external environment of the organisation and business growth too. These services have some experts who guide or direct organisations about the steps to be taken so as to establish a healthy working environment within the company. There are many challenges that business might face in the course of its operation. The advisory services handle all the business aspects i.e., from managing finances, carrying out research and development, marketing the product, and ensuring a healthy working environment to improve the operations (Henderson, et.al, 2012). Here, a list of some important advisory services has been provided.
Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS): It is one of the widely recognised advisory services in the UK that act as an impartial authority while investigating the effectiveness of workplace relationships. ACAS gives free and impartial advice to the organisation and workers on numerous aspects of employment laws. Its aim is to provide employees and employers with one of its kind practical, digital, and expert advice in order to help them establish workplace and working lives.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB):This advisory service comprises 316 independent charities across the UK that offers free, confidential data, and advice to the organisation and employees with some money and legal problems. Its primary aim is to offer free advice to those who are in problem. The secondary aim is to improvise those policies and principles that are influencing people's lives.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Rights of women:it is one of the many non-departmental public organisation that operates in England and Wales. EHRC was founded in the year 2006 and is responsible for the establishment and enforcement of non-discrimination and equality laws in England, Wales, and Scotland. It promotes the equality law and takes measures to stop discrimination in a society based on age, religion, belief, and sexual orientation.
Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR):It is an umbrella advisory service that works for and with disabled individuals and their rights in the UK. Its primary motive is to eradicateeconomic, structural, and attitudinal barriers. It provides support to its members and organisation associated with it. It has over 500 associated members and serves the role of a pressure group on the local and central government to focus on aspects related to disability, such as education, holidays, employment, housing, and social services.
Trade unions:these are the organisations that comprise members who are the employees of organisations. The primary aim of such advisory services is to safeguard and promotes the interests of the members of the union in the workplace. They act independently and negotiate agreements with the companies regarding salary and working conditions. They act as a facilitator who emphasises employees' issues in front of the employers. They provide members with financial and legal advice (Waughray, 2014).
Liberty Human Rights:it is a well-known, independent organisation that challenges illegal activities and injustice in the society, defend freedom and organise campaigns in order to make sure everyone is treated well and equally in the UK. It provides legal advice to the people who approach it. It comprises numerous lawyers, campaigners, and policy experts that handle advisory services.
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC):it is another non-departmental government organisation in the UK which is responsible for taking care of complaints against the police forces in the UK. IPCC works independently unlike other government bodies and that's why it is free from political influence or pressure groups. It establishes and promotes standards for the policemen so to improve the modus operandi of handling the complaints made by the public (Bradford, 2014). The establishment of IPCC is done with an aim to increase the public's confidence in law and justice.
Discrimination, unconscious bias, and prejudice are present in the majority of organisations. According to Raymond (2013), these destructive issues not only affect the organisation's healthy working environment but employees as well. These have a direct impact on the productivity of the workforce as motivation decreases gradually. The discrimination against employees can affect the level of satisfaction in the workplace. If an employee sees that organisation is promoting other employees based on gender, race, or age instead of contribution and talent, then this would demotivate him/her (Malinen and Johnston, 2013). In addition to this, their commitment will also reduce with time. Such malpractices in the workplace can reduce the retention rate in the organisation.
The public sector in the UK is now becoming aware of the side-effects of the three evils of the workplace. The Police Scotland and Procurator Fiscal Service have emphasised on removing prejudice by building cohesion within the communities and workforce. They have established an Advisory Panel that provides their expert advice on how to strengthen the approach to cohesive community and safeguarding people’s rights.
In this report, the legislation associated with equality, fair treatment, and diversity was highlighted. In addition to this, unconscious bias, prejudice, and discrimination were elaborated and how they affect the organisation and individual was outlined. A discussion on various active advisory services was done.
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