God and sex cause confusion for employers

employers have been quick to take on board new guidance on how to monitor the
ethnic origin of their staff, they appear less certain about how to deal with
religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

to research by Personnel Today’s sister publication, IRS Employment Review,
eight in 10 (81 per cent) respondent organisations monitor their workforce in
some way, 77 per cent monitor ethnicity and 73 per cent monitor gender.

next most commonly monitored characteristics are disability (62 per cent) and
age (60 per cent). Marital status is monitored by fewer than two in 10
employers (17 per cent).

one of the least-monitored workforce characteristics were those covered by new
areas of discrimination law. Religion/belief is monitored by less than one
organisation in 10 (9.3 per cent), and just 4 per cent of employers monitor
sexual orientation.

research is based on a survey of 75 HR departments, together employing 278,577

Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail said: “It is clear that employers
are struggling to get to grips with new areas of employment discrimination law.
In 2007, they will also have to cope with the potential minefield of a ban on
age discrimination.

are compelling reasons for HR managers to go back to their policy documents,
employee handbooks and contracts of employment to ensure that they are
thoroughly future-proofed.

campaigning organisation, Stonewall estimates that by 2011, only 18 per cent of
the UK workforce will be white, male, able-bodied, under 35 and
heterosexual," said Crail.

sector employers are legally obliged to monitor their workforce but private
sector organisations can choose. By monitoring the characteristics of
potential, current and departing employees, organisations can get a clear
picture of the make-up of their workforce and identify problem areas where
particular groups appear to do less well and may be facing unlawful


do employers monitor?            Ranked in

Recruitment applications                     64 per cent

Selection: acceptances/appointments   57.3
per cent

Selection: job offers                            44 per cent

Selection: shortlists                             41.3 per cent

Resignations                                       33.3 per cent

Grievances                                         24.3 per cent

Dismissals                                          30.6 per cent

Disciplinary procedures                      30.6 per cent

Access to training                               28 per cent

Promotion decisions                           22.6 per cent

Appraisal decisions                            21.3 per cent

Pay decisions                                     12.1 per cent

Job evaluation decisions                     13.3 per cent

By Quentin Reade

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