Is diversity and equality training compulsory?
Posted on 24th May 2022
Is diversity and equality training compulsory? The short answer is Yes; it is compulsory for the healthcare sector. However, not for every industry, but that doesn't mean that it's not important, and it doesn't mean that your team wouldn't benefit from undertaking it.
If your staff are supporting people with a wide variety of holistic needs, this training is a must. In order to undertake appropriate care, your staff will need to understand how best to communicate & provide support, having knowledge of Equality, Diversity & Inclusively is crucial.
Did you realise that an employee can file a claim for discrimination against both a person and a company under UK discrimination legislation?
Employers can be held vicariously accountable for their workers' actions during the course of their employment, even if they are unaware of or disapprove of them. The company has a defence if it can demonstrate that it took all reasonably practical means to avoid the employee from performing that conduct, one of which is ensuring that all of its workers have received unconscious bias, equality, and diversity training.
Even if equality and diversity training is not compulsory, adhering to the laws regarding equality and diversity is.
Why Diversity and Equality Training Is Important
It is critical that you follow the law and understand how it impacts you and your business.
Equality and diversity means the recognition that everyone has the right to fair and equal treatment, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or any other trait. Initially, employment legislation relating to these rights was seen as a grey area, with around 116 individual regulations existing under the wide umbrella of "equality and diversity." Finally, in October 2010, all were consolidated into a single cohesive act: the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act contains a section titled 'Protected Characteristics,' which refers to disparities between persons that cannot be used to justify treating them differently. A violation of this would constitute a violation of the law.
The Equality Act also contains a section on 'Prohibited Conduct,' which refers to activities that persons are not permitted to commit to one another based on any of the protected traits. This is also against the law.
This can be confusing, but good equality and diversity training will ensure everyone understands exactly what they can and can't do and treats everyone with the respect they deserve.
Diversity and Equality Training
Employers of all sizes should provide diversity and equality training on a regular basis. The training must be of sufficient quality and frequency to have an impact on the personnel who receive it, preventing genuine acts of discrimination from happening or, if they do occur, ensuring that they are dealt with swiftly and equitably. To keep this training from going stale, employers should refresh it on an annual basis.
However, training alone is insufficient. Other key factors to demonstrate that an employer has taken all reasonable means to prevent discrimination and/or harassment include frequently updated rules that are widely available and conveyed to workers, as well as a culture in which discrimination is not permitted.
For example, employers should do an assessment of their present training programs to determine the substance of the training and any areas that need to be updated. Employers should also determine whether staff have received training and if refresher courses are necessary.
Leicestershire Training Team Can Help
Equality and diversity training – and the need for it – can be a complex matter, which is why it's best to see help from experts. Our equality and diversity training courses are perfect for carers, senior carers, nurses, clinical leads, deputy managers, home managers and even regional managers and care home owners. Contact us for more information!
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