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Creating a working environment that is free from discrimination is a continual challenge for employers. Responsible businesses have a duty to provide equality and diversity in the workplace, where employees and customers are treated fairly and equally regardless of colour, race, age, gender or beliefs, while valuing the differences each individual brings.

According to Business in the Community, the gender pay gap is still an issue, with a median full-time difference of 9.4% – for every £1 earned by men, women earn 81p. 16% of black, asian and minority ethnic individuals have experienced racial harassment from their managers and UK Government statistics show that 19% of disabled people have been treated unfairly at work, compared to 13% of non-disabled people.

According to ACAS, there are key steps that both SMEs and large organisations can take to ensure discrimination is not fostered in their workplace. Implementing a clear Equality and Diversity policy outlining business expectations and acceptable behaviour is critical in creating a successful working environment.  

Julian Roberts, CEO of EssentialSkillz, said: “Enhancing awareness of the benefits of having a diverse workforce is fundamental. Greater diversity and equality brings new approaches, skills and innovation to the workplace and can enhance team spirit and employee engagement – not to mention boosting the reputation of the business.

“Both employers and employees have a joint responsibility in creating a culture of respect. Training all staff is a vital step in achieving equality and diversity across the entire business to create an inclusive and collaborative work environment.”

EssentialSkillz offers an Equality and Diversity eLearning Course, which explains the importance of the Equality Act 2010 to the workplace and highlights the need to ensure that there is no discrimination in your organisation, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, or sex and sexual orientation.

As with all courses from EssentialSkillz, the Equality and Diversity eLearning course can be tailored to the needs of the organisation at no additional cost. Course content can be updated using the integrated authoring tool. Once the training has been provided an Equality & Diversity Policy can be easily distributed to all staff using the WorkWize policy roll out module to ensure they have both understood the training and accept the policy.

The Equality and Diversity course is available as part of the Business Protection Pack for Corporate Customers or on a Pay as You Go (PAYG) basis for SME customers:

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