Frequently asked questions
• sexual orientation,
• pregnancy and maternity,
• gender reassignment,
• religion or belief,
• marriage or civil partnership, or
First of all, equality. This means offering the same rights and opportunities to all people.
Secondly, diversity. This is understanding that each person is unique. It means embracing the range of human differences, including people’s beliefs, abilities, preferences, backgrounds, values and identities.
And, inclusion is an extension of all these things. It means that all people, without exception, have the right to be included, respected and appreciated as valuable members of the community.
It's also useful to know what equity means. This means offering those rights and opportunities fairly, which means catering to people’s differences, so they are given fair access to the opportunities.
Interview questions cannot be related to your age, country of origin, race/ethnicity, disability, religion, gender/sex or if you are pregnant or married. Here are some example questions that cannot be asked to you in an interview:
- Are you a legal Citizen here?
- Are you married?
- How old are you?
- How many sick days did you take in your last job?
- Are you/is your wife pregnant?
- At what age do you plan to retire?
- Do you have any religious beliefs?
If your illness is considered a disability then you are protected by the Equality Act under one of their protected characteristics. A disability is defined as “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
- Ensure you have policies in your workplace that cover the protected characteristics of the Equality Act. So policies such as Equality & Diversity policy, an Anti-Bullying & Harassment policy, a Grievance Policy and Procedure, and an Anti-Racism Strategy. Getting the input of you and your colleagues is crucial so your managers know they are really addressing what they need to. All policies must be easily accessible.
- Create company values. They should be honest, simple and easy to remember. They can go up on your company website and around your workplace.
- Dedicate time for discussing social issues. Perhaps someone can champion this and organise an internal support group that’s mediated (or a specialist can come in from outside your organisation) and sensitive subjects can be explored openly and respectfully among members of the team.
- Training and self-learning. The first should be provided for you, and the second is something for you to implement.
- Employ an HR representative. Your managers can also go one step further and get certain staff trained as Mental Health First Aiders, or offer an Employee Assistance Programme so there is more support available to you.
White papers & guides
Whether you employ hundreds of people or you’re responsible for a smaller team, making sure all your employees are treated fairly is still vitally important.