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SCE Solicitors Celebrates Manchester Gay Pride

Having lived in Manchester for a long time, I know that Manchester Pride is a huge event for me and the rest of the Manchester LGBT community.  So, to celebrate the upcoming festivities we here at SCE Solicitors celebrated our own diversity with a ‘pride party’. We pride ourselves on being a diverse team, despite our size, and we encourage others to do the same.

Having a diverse workforce is a commercial no-brainer. It allows businesses to use people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and expertise to create an environment where employees can learn from each other and produce innovative ideas. Employees will also feel valued and supported, which increases their productivity. Workplace diversity builds a good reputation for any business. Being known for being fair and diverse is likely to attract a wider pool of applicants for any vacancies and will attract loyalty from the socially conscious.

It also encourages a mutual respect for others, which is vital to protect against claims of discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 protects those who have one or more of the 9 protected characteristics from discrimination. The protected characteristics are; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Even if you, as an employer, do not yourself discriminate against the protected employee, you can still be held liable for an employee’s conduct if you cannot show that you have done everything in your power to prevent such behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative that employers have effective Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies, staff and management training, and a zero-tolerance approach when dealing with acts of discrimination.

If you are an employer or an individual and you have questions about diversity and discrimination in the workplace contact me at eve.king@scesolicitors.co.uk or call 01133 50 40 30.

Manchester Gay Pride begins today, Friday 24 August 2018, and ends on Monday 27 August 2018. 


SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

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How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace

Managing diversity in the workplace presents employers with a number of challenges. However, these challenges can be easily managed by employers promoting a culture of tolerance and open communication. Below are our top tips for managing diversity in the workplace.

Treat each employee as an individual

Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit.

Prioritise communication

To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using pictures and symbols whenever applicable.

Encourage employees to work in diverse groups

Diverse work teams let employees get to know and value one another on an individual basis and can help break down preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings.
Base standards on objective criteria

Set one standard of rules for all groups of employees regardless of background. Ensure that all employment actions, including discipline, follow these standardised criteria to make sure each employee is treated the same.

Be open-minded

Recognise, and encourage employees to recognise, that one’s own experience, background, and culture are not the only with value to the organisation. Look for ways to incorporate a diverse range of perspectives and talents into efforts to achieve organisational goals.

Recruitment

To build a diverse workplace, it is crucial to recruit and hire talent from a variety of backgrounds. This requires leadership and others who make hiring decisions to overcome bias in interviewing and assessing talent. If organisations can break through bias and hire the most qualified people, those with the right education, experience and skill sets, a diverse workplace should be the natural result.

Policies and Practices

Organisations that embrace diversity also need to ensure that there are policies and practices in place to protect employees’ rights and stay compliant with government regulations.

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Having a diverse workplace means that jokes and comments about a protected characteristic need to be met with zero-tolerance enforcement. Policies should be put in place to handle misconduct and communicate to employees that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Organisations also need to make sure they have a formal complaint policy, so employees know how to report misconduct within an organisation.

Training

Employees need to be aware of how to coexist with a diverse range of people, as well as be conscious of cultural sensitivity. Training can help an organisation manage diversity in the workplace by helping employees become more self-aware, which plays a vital role in helping employees understand their own cultural biases and prejudices.

If you need any help and advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Smoke and Mirrors Embedding Diversity Inclusion for real – AFSA

On the 30 November until 1 December 2017 SCE Solicitors were invited to the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) National Conference and Awards Ceremony, this time hosted by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

Samira and Courtney Janotta, a Paralegal at SCE, attended the event and were once again impressed with the positive action being taken and the energy and drive at the event. 

At the Awards Ceremony, both our ladies were moved and inspired by Bhanu Jadeja-Mahal, of Asian / Kenyan decent, who described her journey of life overcoming domestic abuse and rejection in 1970’s Britain, while being a mother to a young daughter, to pursuing a successful career in the police force.   

Courtney recalls her saying it was the police force that saved her when she had nowhere to go after she had been ejected out of her family home. Samira likened Bhanu to a Bollywood heroin, especially when Bhanu ended her story by telling the attendees that she married her childhood sweetheart (who was in the audience that evening) in her 70’s. 

On the second day of the conference Samira delivered a seminar on ‘Faith and Sexuality; the legal workplace perspective’.  Providing an overview of the law, explaining practical steps for employers, dealing with conflict between the two equalities and encouraged discussion and debate with case studies.  

The comments received from the delegates was positive and included “great explanation of case law with relates to work experiences in my workplace” and “the relevance of conflict between faith and sexuality in workplace and case studies which explored appropriate action of investigation team”.                                                                                                                 

This was a great opportunity to catch up with the AFSA management committee and other delegates they have met during their involvement and sponsorship of AFSA over the years.  

SCE Solicitors would like to, again, thank AFSA for the hard work they do to promote equality and diversity and run these remarkable events. Smoke and Mirrors Embedding Diversity Inclusion for real – AFSA 2017

Ensuring your Workplace Offers an Inclusive and Supporting Environment for Trans Employees

New research undertaken by ACAS, Supporting Trans Employees in the Workplace, published in August 2017, exposes that employers are failing in their efforts to understand the issues concerning their trans and intersex employees. 

Whilst transphobia and discrimination are extensively reported, little research has previously been conducted into the experiences of trans or intersex employees in the UK, which has larger implications for both managers and employees in the workplace. 

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