New guide offers local authorities advice

The
Employers Organisation for Local Government (EO) is urging local authorities to
take action on new religion, belief and sexual orientation regulations to avoid
costly investigations, mediation and settlements.

Under
regulations that came into force in December, employers have a responsibility
to actively introduce measures to prevent discrimination in their workplaces on
the grounds of religion, belief and sexuality.

A
new EO publication, The Employment Equality Regulations 2003: religion, belief
and sexual orientation, a guide for employers, addresses key questions such as:

What
might constitute harassment?

Can
an employee refuse to work with someone whose religious views or sexuality they
find offensive?

What
steps can employers take to create a diverse, flexible and inclusive workplace?

Ellen
Reynolds, principal diversity adviser at the EO, said local authorities should
revisit their existing HR procedures to ensure they don’t conflict with the new
regulation.

“An
organisational culture that challenges discrimination and promotes inclusivity
will benefit from better organisational performance and higher productivity,”
she said.

To
order a copy of the guide, contact Colin Divens at the EO on 020 7296 6872, or
e-mail colin.divens@lg-employers.gov.uk

By Michael Millar

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