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Equal Opportunities Or Managing Diversity In Organisations Are These J

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Equal opportunities are very important in the modern workplace. Providing equal opportunities involves providing the same opportunities to all the employees and prospective employees regardless of their sex, age, disabilities, ethnic origins, sexual orientations etc. Equal opportunities allow the employee to have rights therefore the employer is unable to take advantage, discriminate or manipulate staff. Employers have an element of power over their employees but by having the law on the side of the employees, employers therefore need to think twice before discriminating in any form. Organisations will need to ensure that there is no unlawful or unfair discrimination. Employees are not stupid - a company that behaves badly to one employee will do the same to another, and then one day it could be them.

In the workplace there should be no form of discrimination. Alleged cases of discrimination can be taken to an industrial tribunal or a body such as the Race Relations Board.

"The prejudiced person is capable of rationalising the situation in a such a way as to conclude that the person he or she met unique in some respects and is unlike stereotype."

(McKenna 1994)

Employee View

When you start work you have several expectations. For one thing, you expect to get paid, unless you are a voluntary worker. You also expect to be paid a fair wage in relation to other people in similar jobs and to receive money at specified times. You expect to be treated fairly and reasonably by both your boss and by others who work within the same organisation. You expect to work in a clean and safe environment and not be asked to undertake dirty or dangerous jobs for which you have received no training or protective clothing. You expect to have holidays and to work a reasonable number of hours each week.

As an Employee you have a right to:

§ To be given a written statement of the terms and conditions of your employment

§ Be allowed to choose whether or not you join a trade union

§ Not to be discriminated against on grounds of race or sex

§ To be paid (unless you are a voluntary worker)

§ To work in an environment which conforms to the Health and Safety at Work Act.

As an Employee you have a responsibility to:

The contract of employment sets out the terms and conditions under which an employee will work. The contract will and should make it fairly clear what the organisation expects from the employee. It is very important for an employee to study his or her contract and to sure in keeping within its terms.

§ Comply with the terms and conditions of your contract of employment

§ Comply with and health and safety regulations and co-operate with your employer in his or her attempts to provide a safe working environment

Business View

From the point if view of self-interest this matter is crucial to business success. The demand for new skills and variety in the future is likely to place organisations in a seller's market. Skills particularly in science, technology and human relationship areas are likely to be in short supply. Partly this arises because there is not a finite absolute level of skill required. For example quality and customer service. There is simply no limit to the quality that can build a product or service; there is no limit to courtesy and service. It follows therefore that however much factors improve, the 'best' will always be in short supply.

It is therefore important that the organisation does not necessarily limit itself in the search for people of ability and quality. It follows that all groups within and outside the organisation should be seen as providing its potential needs. Equal opportunities makes business sense.


A growing number of companies are adopting some form of targeting as part of their equal opportunity programmes as a way of ensuring progress.

Targeting can bring open hostility about the envisaged changes to the surface. New methods to encourage disadvantaged groups to improve employment or developmental opportunities can lead to legitimate criticism. This would be particularly the case if targeting led to positive discrimination in recruitment, which is illegal in the UK. There must be caution in this area. Managers would have to pay particular attention to the legislative framework in what can be a fluid area both in the terms of new acts or interpretation of existing law by the courts.

It is unlawful to require candidates for jobs to meet criteria which are more difficult for different racial groups or either sex to achieve, unless the criteria are specifically a requirement of the job. It is the establishment and maintenance of fair and justifiable selection criteria within the framework of targeting that can form the key focus of an equal treatment policy. The kind of targets would refer to recruitment levels, promotion levels and training to be taken up separately by the appropriate classification.

In summary the target is the result of the organisations various policies, that will be expected to be achieved over a period of time. The targets are not quotas and must not lead to unlawful activity. This is not an easy dividing line and care and attention would be required to separate the pre-selection process from the point of selection itself. It is for example, possible to encourage women to take up engineering or science as a career. However, while this extra effort can be directed at women to encourage greater numbers to apply there must be no discrimination at the point of actual selection based on race, creed and sex.

Targeting makes business sense if it results in a better use of talent available within the company, opens up new sources of external recruitment or simply projects the company as a fair employer. Companies who readily accept targeting in other areas of their business may find difficulty in explaining why targeting achievement equal opportunities policies is not appropriate.

Trade Unions - Negotiations Through Trade Unions

Employees who are members of trade unions have the security of knowing that they can call on the services



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