With today's globalised world, it is highly likely that you might see a workplace anywhere in the world comprising of a diverse workforce. Diversity implies people from different beliefs, cultures, race and ethnicity, even age and gender working under one roof. Britain is a diverse and multicultural land and organisations spread throughout the nation has workers, employees, employees and management official not only from different walks of life, but with different ethnic origins, backgrounds, national identities, genders and age. Thus, it is important to constitute a formal policy with regards to diversity and enforcement of regulations that cater to violations of these principle ideologies.
Diversity is beneficial for organisations whereby knowledge is transferred from one person to another based on their previous interactions with relevant business processes. You might say that a Japanese employee would be technology conscious while French have a highly developed taste receptors. Nevertheless, that's only a perception of cultures - and by stereotyping cultures, one brings discrimination in the picture. Therefore the British government brought forth the Diversity Legal Framework in order to assemble and compile effective ways of managing a more congruent and diverse workplace that is void of discrimination and provides equal rights to all its individuals.
What is the Diversity Legal Framework?
The Diversity Legal Framework is a defined collection of rules and proposed guidelines for organisations to follow. This framework involves various policies with regards to diversity in workplaces and equal rights for all individuals (employees, employers and otherwise) within an organisation. The framework defines a very thorough set of conduct guidelines that cater to an employee's regular practices, behaviours, their selection and reforms pertaining to the policy reforms.
The Diversity Legal Framework finds its way into the policies of any organisation, especially with regards to human resource management processes. The HRM processes are critically in charge of implementing the various policies that fall under the Diversity Legal Framework. This may include the implementation of said policies within an organisation's individual process - from the employee selection procedures to the day to day routine of business affairs. Any violation and breaches must be catered to, observed and addressed with immediate notice.
Because Diversity Legal Framework caters to the two fundamental policies of Diversity and Equality within a workforce, any violation of the policy is seen as the failure of the policy. Intolerance and vile attitude towards employees and employers has a more common form, i.e., discrimination.
Discrimination can be of many forms and kinds. It may involve one individual directly mistreating or unjustly violating the rights of another individual, or it may come in the form of a managerial decision that may not be just for a small group of people within the organisation. Discrimination comes in many shapes and sizes but can always be seen violations against a person's individual character, belief and norms. Discrimination is usually triggered by unfair attitudes towards a person's race, national identity, gender, age or sexual orientation, etc. Sometimes even governmental legislations fail to realise and recognise certain forms of discrimination. For instance, gender-based conflicts within a workforce do not fall under discriminatory violations but are rather forced to be seen under harassment. In fact, harassment and bullying incidents are kept separate from diversity and equality policies for some reason. People also sometimes indulge themselves in acts of discrimination without the knowledge that they are actually involving in violating someone's rights - this can be done via stereotyping of false perceptions of fellow employees, etc.
It is the responsibility of the organisation to identify and curtail any discriminatory violation against the reforms stipulated within the policies pertaining to diversity and equality in workplaces. Just because government legislations do not formally identify types of discriminations, it doesn't mean that organisations should not cater to those observed instances. All unfair and unjust violations and discrimination against any form of an individual's identity and rights should be taken into account and addressed with utmost seriousness. Instances of violations against one's sexual orientation, age, creed, colour, race, national identity, ethnicity or gender should be taken in account and penalties should be placed against those who violate these.
The Diversity Legal Framework still has room to grow, and there are certain instances where the framework fails to address certain aspects of discriminatory actions, e.g., harassment - physical or sexual, is usually not included in the framework. However, organisations should still keep tabs on the virtues of these violations using the same measures talked of in the Diversity Legal Framework.
Discrimination, Diversity and Equality
We have looked at discrimination thoroughly and understand how employees should be given equal rights. Let's understand diversity and equality in the light of Diversity Legal Framework; and then the violation of the same in the form of discrimination or harassment.
Equality is ensured within an organisation by providing equal opportunities to each and every employee, member of the staff or management official. Thus ensuring that discrimination pertaining to race, creed or age, etc. doesn't come in the way of policy decisions, employment or day to day business processes within the organisation. The Diversity Legal Framework not only provides policies and reforms suggesting the identification of diversity and equal rights but also provides actionable measures to prevent any forms of violations. From the interview, assessment and employment of an individual down to the restructuring of staff and lay-offs, the framework discusses ways of preventing discriminatory violations. These measures can be introduced within an organisation's affairs by including new policy reforms or by amending existing policies.
These actions and measure are very straight forwards and may involve policy decisions like enhancing a mere perception of equality amongst individual by structuring employees within an organisation based on their skill set and experience; or by employing people from all walks of life regardless of their race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation. This helps to promote a diverse and better working environment for people that are otherwise reluctant to join an organisation where they think they might face discrimination. Diversity policies also cater to the disabled whereby amending policies to comprise of proper treatment of disabled people, e.g., providing with disabled car parking services, Braille for the blind and audio output devices for the hard of hearing. Employing a sense of respect amongst employees towards each other instils a positive attitude within the organisation as well. Human resources should be at the forefront by introducing policies that welcome any person from any walk of life to join the organisation, ensuring that they do not fall under unjust dismissal because of discriminatory prejudice.
The Diversity Legal Framework identifies policies pertaining to diversity and equal rights for all employees and is designed to provide guidance at all levels within an organisation. Employees from the floor level to the managerial offices and eventually the board are bound to accept these guidelines as their prescribed mode of operations on a day to day basis. Management offices like the Board of Directors, individual managers and even union heads are issued with the responsibility of implementing and enforcing these guidelines in their relevant departments. When put into practice, the Diversity Legal Framework provides a complete framework and infrastructure for the resolution of all issues pertaining to social, cultural and moral behaviours of all employees within the organisation. The Diversity Legal Framework also looks into the general conduct and behaviour of an organisation's employees and gives guidelines to observe and report any violations in this regard to relevant authorities. Prejudices, discrimination and stereotypical judgments are all catered for within the Diversity Legal Framework.
Implementing a Just and Tolerant Workplace
All policies developed within the organisation and for the organisation should cater to the wellbeing, safety and the preservation of all individuals' rights. Any unjust or discriminatory treatment against an employee should be taken care of by taking into account the penalties and measures talked off extensively in the Diversity Legal Framework.
Any policy that is then formulated within the organisation should cater to observed discrepancies in the existing diversity and equality policies. A tolerant workplace should be encouraged where each individual has the responsibility to respect others' rights. From recruitment policies to redundancy measures, restructuring or downsizing to daily process involvement, all policies should be refreshed with a better understanding of diversity and equal rights practices.
Monitoring Diversity Policies
To make sure that the diversity and equality policies that fall under the Diversity Legal Framework are functioning properly as per the governmental legislative report and that the measures address diversity violation claims and reported incidents of discrimination, the policies need to be revised every now an then. This makes the policy reforms qualitative and ensures a higher degree of diversity and equality amongst employees within the organisation.
Furthermore, monitoring diversity and equality policies at regular intervals makes sure that there are no areas of concern within the organisation and that all areas of diversity and equality are taken into consideration. Policy considerations are taken into affect by assessing the working conditions and reforms that make an individual do something that is undesirable to them - for instance Muslim women may prefer to wear a scarf and provisions need to made in accordance with these religious preferences. Holidays and leaves of absence based on beliefs and norms are some other things that are taken into considerations, e.g., since accepting Druidism as a formal religion in 2010 in the UK, followers of the faith may expect the organisation to recognise their faith-based holidays like the summer and winter Solstice, etc. Valuable feedback from employees is appreciated in this process and their complaints are taken into consideration as well. Any exploit and loophole within the system are also identified at this stage so as to fill in the gaps in shortcomings within the policies. This ensures the best possible working conditions within the organisation, along with a fresh outlook on approaches taken towards diversity and equality throughout the workforce.
Observing Diversity in Workforces
While reviewing policies pertaining to diversity and equality in the regular monitoring activities, any observation made are to be assessed by relevant managerial officers and union heads to ensure policy reforms are just and that they effectively present a fair amount of diversity in the workforce within the organisation. The prescribed measures should then focus on further effectiveness of the monitoring and the reviewing activities for the further development of these policies. These policy observations and monitoring activities make use of statistical data to ensure that the concerns within the system are properly identified and that the authoritative officials are well aware of their existence. It is very likely that certain surveys are conducted to understand the features of these policy reforms and their effectiveness even further. Also taken into consideration are the complaints and feedbacks taken anonymously from employees and accumulated into statistical analysis by the human resource management. Revisions are made to the policy in incremental steps by understanding the concerns within the organisation alongside governmental legislative department reports.
Implementing Formal Policies for Diversity
Policies pertaining to diversity and equality that fall under the Diversity Legal Framework should be implemented within every aspect of an organisation's affairs starting with the human resources. Effective training should be provided to members of staff, employees and managers to identify and respect diverse cultures and to bring about positive tolerance for various cultures. Workshops should be conducted to make sure that employees understand all issues concerning the awareness of diversity in workplaces. With every regular assessment and review of the policy, it becomes the duty of each individual department, especially human resources to train its employees with the latest developments and evolution.
Individuals should be given a copy of the diversity, fairness and equality policies in order for them to automatically identify violations, respect co-workers' rights, and serve under the organisation as prescribed by the Diversity Legal Framework. These policies should serve as a guideline for their approach to their daily business affairs. Regular conduct reviews and employee observations and assessment should be conducted in order to survey the enforcement of these policies to the utmost degree.
Enforcing and Ensuring a Diverse Workforce
Every person within the organisation, be it the managers, floor level employees or consultants are accountable to ensure the applicability of diversity and equality policies in their working habits and behaviours. Organisations should play a vital role in ensuring the safety and safeguard of employee rights and implement the Diversity Legal Framework policies at all levels of the organisations thus making way for a diverse, multicultural environment that ushers positive measures taken to bring about equal opportunities for all employees within the organisation.
Every organisation has a vital responsibility in ensuring that every member of their staff, management and board understands and respects diverse cultures working under the same roof. It becomes highly important for organisations to train their employees to respects other employee's rights and not to violate them, thus keeping discrimination at check. This brings about a highly diverse workplace where policies regarding diversity and equality are always kept at check. These policies need to be implemented at all levels of organisational realms. From the floor employees to the board of directors, every person has the single most vital duty to observe and implement the guidelines specified under the Diversity Legal Framework.
Organisations should regularly monitor these policies and its employees to observe violations and discriminatory practices within the organisation. Management at every level is responsible and accountable for ensuring the effective implementation of these policies. It is the individual worker's duty to report any incidence of violation against their rights to the management, and the responsibility of the management then to carefully monitor and judge these claims and reports. The management also has the responsibility of updating reforms within the policies to tend to the growing needs of rights protection for their employees.
Diverse cultures can coexist and that too under a single roof working for a single entity or organisation. That is the major aim that a Diversity Legal Framework cares to address. The framework not only involves policies with regards to diverse assemblage of people and cultures, but also focuses quite prominently on providing all workers with equal rights, be it on the basis of their sexual orientation, age or creed.
But identifying the need to enforce such policies within organisations is one thing; actually implementing said policies is another. It is a very multifaceted process to be brought holistically into the day to day affairs of an organisation. The Diversity Legal Framework can no doubt help organisations reach a healthy level of tolerance and congruence with the workforce but it takes care to monitor these policies.
It is highly important that organisation cater to the Diversity Legal Framework and learn to observe values of their diverse workforces while understanding the scope of their differences, implementing policies with regards to these differences and monitoring the acceptability and enforcement of these policies. It is role and responsibility of the organisation to be identifying breaches and violations of these policies and conduct a regular review and consultation pertaining to these policies. This way they can truly encourage a diverse workforce under their roof.