HR’s duty to read and digest diversity paper

The Government has begun the consultation process which will lead to a raft
of new equality legislation covering age, sexual orientation and religious
beliefs.

Organisations in the financial services sector have welcomed the proposals,
but they have long been committed to the business case for strong equality
policies. There will be other sectors where HR will face more of a challenge
and where the notion of employment rights on the grounds of religion, age or
sexual orientation will be an alien concept to many staff and managers.

In this respect the consultation paper, Towards Equality and Diversity, will
be a help for HR people. It will give them a mandate to seek out and share best
practice with other organisations, and it will be a huge help for them in
persuading line managers to introduce and commit themselves to sound equality
policies.

Between now and the end of March it is crucial that HR professionals take a
hard look at the proposals and ensure there are no potential pitfalls hidden in
the small print.

The close of a most memorable year

The events of 11 September and the continuing fall-out from the terrorist
attacks make it difficult to draw positive messages from the events of 2001. It
is a year which began and ended with job losses and which saw HR people having
to tackle the tricky business of staff consultation on redundancy with varying
degrees of success. The Government began its second term with promises of a
light touch on employment legislation and proceeded to introduce measures for
working parents and filtered in EU equality legislation. Our review of the year
for HR looks back at the key events of 2001 – a year the world will never
forget.

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