The Equality Act 2010
There have been many attempts to legislate against discrimination in the UK, but The Equality Act 2010 simplifies the current laws and puts them all together in one piece of legislation. It’s the most comprehensive legal basis to ensure individuals are protected from discrimination, and that those who experience it can take action – not just in the workplace, but in wider society too.
Who does the act protect?
There are many characteristics considered to be subject to discrimination in society and in the workplace, but The Equality Act 2010 ensures individuals are not discriminated on the grounds of:
- Being or becoming transgender or transsexual
- Marital status
- Being pregnant or on maternity leave
- Having a disability
- Sexual orientation
The importance of the act in the workplace
Though the act protects against discrimination for individuals in schools, as consumers, when using public services, and in education, it also ensures consistency in what employers and employees need to do to make their workplaces happy, fair and compliant with the law. It is well known that there is a correlation between the importance of diversity and inclusion for employee engagement. Fortunately more businesses and organisations wish to become a champion of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, following The Equality Act 2010. It is, however, not just important to understand the law, it’s now a necessity for businesses to learn the latest legal duties and understand their equality and diversity obligations.
We’ve helped many forward thinking organisations take the step to becoming C2E certified (Committed 2 Equality) to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in all areas of their business. Our goal is not to help businesses meet the laws in The Equality Act 2010, but to help them thrive and fulfill their full potential by retaining high performing team members, inspiring employees to collaborate and increasing productivity across all departments.
With a C2E accreditation, you’re proving to employees, present and future, customers, suppliers, competitors and stakeholders that you are serious about equality and diversity. You’re also showing your employees they can succeed in your organisation based on merit alone, no matter their age, gender, disability, religious belief, sexuality, race or marital status.
Staff retention is vital to ensure the best bottom line performance in a challenging economic climate. It’s said that ‘Millennials’ are predicted to have exhausted four different jobs by the time they are 31 and according to a joint study by Oxford Economics and UNUM the cost to replace one member of staff costs a business on average £30,000. This includes the cost of advertising, recruiting and training a replacement. Surprisingly salary isn't the highest motivator to switch jobs - it's the smaller things - a car parking space, treatment from management, company mobile, free coffee and subsidised meals that drive employee engagement. An engaged workforce will therefore be more productive and less likely to move, but a C2E certification can help you build the foundations for a team that is happy, motivated and inclusive.
The Equilibrium Network is based in Sandy, Bedfordshire, but we have clients all over the UK, including the likes of Wates Constrction and the Financial Ombudsman. We provide the advisory and auditing work for the Equality and Diversity Accreditation, C2E, and our friendly team is best placed to help you become compliant with the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Act 2010. It usually takes no longer than 3 months to be C2E accredited, but this will be just the start of your journey to help foster innovation in the workplace, building diverse teams that perform better and attract the right individuals to constantly innovate and become a global leader.