A new standard for equality in the workplace has been launched by businesses in conjunction with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the CBI.
The National Equality Standard (NES) is described as the first diversity and inclusion initiative developed by businesses to tackle inequality and promote inclusion. Ernst & Young led the group of businesses in its development.
The NES board consists of Bright Ideas Trust, MSD, Pearson, Nestlé, Vodafone, RBS, Lawn Tennis Association, Cisco, EDF Energy, Microsoft UK, National Grid, WPP, BT, Sainsbury’s, Pearn Kandola, BHP Billiton, Green Park, and Roast Restaurants.
To be awarded the standard, employers will be required to undertake an assessment against criteria across seven areas. Assessors will review documentation provided by the employers, ensure legal compliance, conduct interviews and sample staff through in-depth surveys. Outcomes will be detailed in a full report.
Harry Gaskell, managing partner of Ernst & Young’s UK & Ireland advisory practice and head of diversity and inclusion (D&I), said: “D&I is probably the biggest strategic challenge for business in the next 10 years. As global business challenges become more complex, solving them requires calling on the widest spectrum of views and opinion to offer diversity of thought and perspective.
“The NES will help businesses face up to that challenge. It is a robust diversity standard that provides businesses with a range of indicators to help them drive sustainable change and demonstrate exceptional practice.”
The official launch of the NES will take place on 22 May at the British Museum.
For more on equality in the workplace, see XpertHR’s reference manual on equal opportunities policies and monitoring.