As the Equalities Bill starts its long ride through Parliament to become law, a study has found that currently most employers have policies that go beyond the statutory requirements.
A survey of 150 private and public sector organisations, with a combined workforce of more than 400,000, found that only two had no policy, according to Personnel Today’s sister publication Employment Review. A total of 70% went further than the law currently required.
Flexible working was the most common measure employers had undertaken, with six in 10 offering more than is required by the law, and nearly half (47%) offered to support family-friendly working. About half also provided maternity pay and leave greater than the legal minimum.
Anti-bullying and harassment arrangements that were stronger than the law demands were promoted by four in 10 respondents, and about one-third (32.4%) had specific dignity at work provisions.
The presence of a diversity manager in the workplace is starting to grow – one in eight had a specialist responsible for developing diversity policies. However, in the majority of organisations questioned, the HR manager was still the main individual for developing and reviewing these policies.
Their role is likely to become more onerous once the Equalities Bill becomes law, but the survey found employers were checking whether their managers were abiding by the organisation’s code. More than three-quarters regularly monitored the impact of their equalities policies.