Equal opportunities policy
The London Plan, Published by the Mayor of London in March 2016, suggests that equal opportunities refers to: ‘The development of practices that promote the possibility of fair and equal chances for all to develop their full potential in all aspects of life and the removal of barriers of discrimination and oppression experienced by certain groups.’
Equal opportunities policies are now commonplace in most businesses. The policy will state how the organisation will ensure that it is open and accessible to all. They typically cover discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability, religion, age, marital status, gender, sexual orientation or sexuality. The policy will typically be included in the contact of employment.
An equal opportunities policy is important because:
- Certain individuals, groups and communities face discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- The majority of clients or funders now require an equal opportunities policy.
- Writing an equal opportunities policy will help an organisation think clearly about how they can ensure all individuals are treated equally and with respect.
- A documented policy will show that an organisation is aware of the potential for discrimination, harassment and victimisation and that there are measures in place to stop it happening.
- Demonstrating compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
The exact content of an equal opportunities policy will vary depending on the type of organisation but it could include the following:
- Statements outlining a commitment to equality.
- Identification of the types of discrimination that the organisation is required to combat across the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
- Statements outlining the type of work environment the organisation would like to create, including what is acceptable behaviour at work (also referring to conduct outside the workplace and at work-related social functions where relevant).
- Information about how the policy will be implemented, including how any policy breaches will be dealt with, and how concerns and complaints will be handled.
- Who is responsible for the policy.
- The monitoring protocol.
- Details covering how the policy is linked to other policies.
An equal opportunities policy will require periodic monitoring to ensure that it is effective and if it isn’t, to address the reasons why.
- Other groups of employees in the company.
- Jobseekers in the local community.
- The wider national labour market.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access and inclusion in the built environment: policy and guidance.
- Access audit.
- Access consultant.
- Approved document M.
- Balance for Better: Why lack of diversity is an issue for everyone.
- Changing lifestyles.
- CIAT celebrates Pride 2020.
- Construction recruitment agency.
- Equality Act.
- Gender pay gap in construction.
- Healthy planning policy and monitoring in Southwark and Lambeth.
- Inclusive design.
- Limited appointment.
- Modern slavery.
- Older people.
- People with disabilities.
- TUPE Regulations.
 External references
Diversity, social value and skills
- Diversity and inclusion
- Skills and careers
- Social value
- Academic research
- A-Z of EDI: Definitions
- Building People 'Network of Networks'
- Building People platform
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