Discrimination law changes make little impact

Just 50 per cent of employers have trained their staff on new discrimination legislation, according to research by Personnel Today’s sister title, IRS Employment Review.

A survey of 76 employers found that eight in 10 had modified their policies over the past year to comply with laws banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or religion, which came into effect in 2003.

Almost all the respondents had pre-existing policies on equal opportunities and diversity, and the majority introduced these to staff at induction(79 per cent), on the intranet (75 per cent) or through training (75 per cent).

The extent of training made available to staff is likely to be an important consideration when determining whether ‘reasonable steps’ have been taken to avoid discrimination. Respondents stressed the importance of training, consultation, communication, monitoring and ensuring proper procedures are in place.

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