Personnel Today published an April Fool’s article online last week – ‘Equality Bill amendment bans wedding rings from workplace to protect divorcees’ – which led to the following comments in HR Space…
When I first saw this, my reaction was, literally, “it’s political correctness gone mad”. I was going to fire off a comment on HR Space, and was wondering how I could petition the old folks (oops, ageism) at the House of Lords to put a stop to the madness. Then I clicked on the ‘read more’ link at the bottom. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I clearly have to get out more.
You nearly got me going! I felt my hackles rise and had a flash-forward of thousands of people ready to wage war. Halfway through I started to doubt it and thought: “This has got to be an April Fool.” Thank God I was right. I couldn’t cope with all our employees’ anger.
This only works because we know how close to reality it is. What seemed like a straightforward idea to consolidate and re-affirm existing legislation seems to be turning into “political correctness gone mad”, as the Daily Mail might put it. Discrimination in the workplace is wrong, for whatever reason, but that squeaking noise you hear is the sound of lawyers’ palms being rubbed together with glee.
On a serious note, this April Fool article risks bolstering the views of those who feel equality legislation has already gone too far – as witnessed by other comments. So, as someone who seeks to show why equality and diversity is important and relevant in today’s workplace, I feel this was a poorly judged move by Personnel Today. In my opinion, it is likely to advance the idea of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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