What should our business know about anti-discrimination and harassment?

Anti-Discrimination Training and Your Business: What Business Owners Must Know

In a perfect world, everyone would be treated as equals. Skin colour, age, gender, and religious beliefs would not matter. We would all recognise one another as human beings and act appropriately. Sadly, we do not live in such a world and discrimination remains a daily fact of life for many people throughout the UK despite the fact that it is against the law in most instances. This applies to businesses, as well. Anti-discrimination training for your employees and managers can help ensure that not only are you complying with the letter of the law, but that you are treating others appropriately.

What Is Meant by Discrimination?

We have all heard of discrimination, and yet it is sometimes difficult to define in concise terms. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines discrimination as, “a prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment, or the act, practice or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, “the treatment of a person or particular group of people differently, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.”

What Types of Discrimination Exist in the Workplace?

Discrimination comes in many different forms, and all of them can occur in the workplace. It is vital that business owners and decision makers are not only aware of the types of discrimination that exist but are vigilant against them. Some of the most common types of discrimination include:

  • Racial – This is discrimination against people of another race than your own.
  • Cultural – This is discrimination against people of another culture than your own.
  • Age – This is discrimination against people of an older age, generally in favour of younger people.
  • Sex/Gender – Gender discrimination is generally perceived as the denigration of one gender over another, or the preference for one gender within the workplace than another.
  • Religious – Religious discrimination is denigrating someone from a different religion than your own.
  • Disability – This is discrimination against those with some form of disability, whether physical or not.

There are numerous other types of discrimination that may occur within the workplace, as well. These include gender reassignment discrimination, pregnancy or maternity discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, and even discrimination against those who are not married or who have a civil partnership.

What Is Anti-Discrimination Training?

Anti-discrimination training is nothing more than education that helps explain what discrimination is, why it is wrong, and how to recognise it in oneself and in others. It helps to establish anti-discriminatory practices in all areas of a business and to ensure compliance with relevant laws, including the Equality Act 2010.

Anti-discrimination training can be delivered in several ways, including on-premises (in-person) classes, as well as through online classes. While there is nothing wrong with in-person training, online courses offer convenience, time-savings, and even financial savings.

Why Does Anti-Discrimination Training Matter?

Anti-discrimination training matters for many reasons, but it is most important to ensure that employees, managers, and even decision makers are aware of what constitutes discrimination, and why it is wrong. It’s about educating and exploring topics that are all too often glossed over in a “business as usual” environment. This type of training helps to create an inclusive, welcoming environment where everyone can be comfortable, regardless of their age, gender, religion, or abilities.

Ensure you have a healthy, inclusive environment.

Ultimately, anti-discrimination training is an essential investment for all businesses, regardless of size, industry, or niche. Without this training, sexual harassment, age discrimination, racial discrimination, and other negative behaviours could create a toxic environment. However, by investing in the right training programme, you can ensure a healthy, inclusive environment.

Download our Anti Harassment and Discrimination Booklet.
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