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Equity at Work: How Employers Can Champion Inclusivity in 2024

View profile for Kimberley Whalen-Blake
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When it comes to fostering inclusivity in the workplace, the UK has several vital laws and regulations in place. The key provisions are contained within the Equality Act 2010. This Act serves as a cornerstone in promoting inclusivity and safeguarding individuals from discrimination at work. It's a robust piece of legislation designed to protect individuals based on nine key characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

From recruitment processes, to terms and conditions, promotions, internal processes and dismissals, the Act covers various aspects of employment. In this blog, we'll explore how you can become an inclusive employer by understanding and implementing the principles outlined in the Equality Act.

How can employers make sure they adhere to the guidelines set out in this act?

Employers can ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and adhere to its guidelines by implementing the following measures:

Training and Awareness:

Provide comprehensive training on equality and diversity for all employees, including managers and supervisors. This training should cover the provisions of the Equality Act, including the nine protected characteristics, types of discrimination, and best practices for promoting inclusivity in the workplace.

Written Policies and Procedures:

Develop and communicate clear policies and procedures that demonstrate the organisation's commitment to equality and non-discrimination. These policies should address recruitment, promotion, training and development, harassment and bullying, flexible working arrangements, and grievance procedures. Ensure that these policies are accessible to all employees and regularly reviewed and updated as needed.

Fair Recruitment Practices:

Ensure that recruitment processes are fair and unbiased, with job advertisements free from discriminatory language or requirements. Use diverse recruitment channels to attract a wide range of candidates and implement blind recruitment techniques where possible to reduce unconscious bias. Make reasonable adjustments for applicants with disabilities to ensure equal access to the recruitment process.

Equal Treatment in Employment:

Treat all employees fairly and consistently, regardless of their protected characteristics. Avoid making decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about individuals' abilities or suitability for roles. Provide equal opportunities for training, development, and career progression, and address any disparities in pay or benefits that may arise.

Accommodating Disabilities:

Make reasonable adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities in the workplace. This may include providing accessible facilities, equipment, or support services, adjusting work hours or duties, or allowing remote working arrangements. Consult with employees to identify their specific needs and ensure that appropriate accommodations are implemented.

Preventing Harassment and Bullying:

Create a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and bullying in the workplace, including harassment related to any of the protected characteristics. Train managers and employees on recognising and addressing inappropriate behaviour and provide clear procedures for reporting and investigating complaints. Take prompt and decisive action to address any incidents of harassment or discrimination.

Regular Monitoring and Review:

Regularly monitor and review employment practices, policies, and outcomes to identify any potential areas of inequality or discrimination. Collect and analyse data on recruitment, retention, promotion, and pay to assess whether there are any disparities based on protected characteristics. Use this information to make informed decisions and take corrective action where necessary.

Recent changes to the Equality Act 2010

The UK Government has introduced amendments to the Equality Act 2010, effective from 1 January 2024, in response to the post-Brexit 'REUL' Act. These changes aim to maintain certain discrimination protections derived from the EU. Here's a summary of the key updates:

  • Enhanced protection for people with disabilities in the workplace, ensuring equal participation in work-related activities.
  • Safeguards against discriminatory recruitment practices, including statements by employers indicating a preference against certain protected characteristics, even in the absence of active recruitment.
  • Clarification of the right to claim indirect discrimination by association and protection for those who suffer similar disadvantages due to an employer's policies, regardless of their own protected characteristics.
  • Protection for breastfeeding women against workplace discrimination, confirming that it falls under the sex discrimination provision.
  • Protection for women returning from maternity leave against unfavourable treatment related to pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness.
  • Extended protections for women without statutory maternity leave rights but with similar entitlements under alternative occupational schemes.
  • Confirmation that women can receive special treatment from employers related to maternity, such as enhanced occupational maternity schemes.
  • Clarification of the 'single source' test for establishing equal pay comparators, applicable when employees' terms are from a single source but not the same employer.

These amendments aim to uphold and reinforce inclusivity and anti-discrimination measures within UK law.

Also on the near horizon will be the change to the employer’s duty to proactively prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. This is currently scheduled for amendment in September 2024 – however as we know with Governments changes, the proposed amendments can always be subject to change! Nevertheless, employers acting proactively, would assist in defeating any Tribunal claim made on the grounds of discrimination.


By implementing these measures, employers can demonstrate their commitment to adhering to the guidelines set out in the Equality Act 2010 and create a workplace that is inclusive, diverse, and free from discrimination.

In conclusion, embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace isn't just the right thing to do – it's also a legal imperative for businesses looking to thrive in today's diverse and dynamic world. By following these guidelines, employers can create a workplace where every employee feels valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential.

What happens if a member of staff feels discriminated against?

With so many rules and regulations occasionally employers and/or their staff can encounter difficulties. Whether you’re an employer who has been accused of discriminating behaviour or an employee who has been discriminated against, we’re here to help.

At Hughes Paddison Solicitors, we're here to provide expert guidance and support on any inclusivity and diversity issue in the workplace. If you have any questions on inclusivity, please get in touch with our Employment Team.

The information contained on this page has been prepared for the purpose of this blog/article only. The content should not be regarded at any time as a substitute for taking legal advice.