Staff not being informed of new discrimination laws

Almost three-quarters of organisations have not informed their staff about
the implications of forthcoming laws banning Religious and Sexual Orientation
discrimination.

According to a survey, by PolicyMatter, of more than 220 UK HR
professionals, 85 per cent of respondents were aware of the changes – due next
week – but just 22 per cent had taken steps to communicate the requirements of
the new regulations. Five per cent of respondents said they had no intention of
informing staff of the new rights.

The ban on workplace discrimination on the basis of religion comes in on 2
December, while the regulations banning workplace discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation come into force on 1 December.

Nathan Millard, senior solicitor, employment law at law firm Morgan Cole,
said he found the survey’s findings disappointing.

"Discrimination is such a hot topic that it is widely believed the new
regulations could spawn upwards of a thousand tribunal cases in the first
year," he said.

"It’s only sensible for organisations to protect themselves against
this risk."

However, the survey found only 44 per cent of organisations had published a
formal policy on equality. Of those that had not, 55 per cent said they would
do so by the end of the year.

For a full guide to religious dates that are protected under the new laws GO
TO www.personneltoday.com/features

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