God and sex cause confusion for employers

While
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.

According
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.

The
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).

But
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.

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

IRS
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.

There
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.

“The
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.

"Public
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
discrimination.”

www.irsemploymentreview.com

What
do employers monitor?            Ranked in
order:


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

Comments are closed.