Five Approaches To Handling The Equality Act 2010

equality act
October of this year saw the introduction of the biggest single piece of Equality legislation in the UK. The Act brings race, disability, sex and other grounds of discrimination within one piece of legislation. It also makes changes to the law.You’ll find more information here:

Here’s some approaches you could take to dealing with the implications of the ACT:
* Do nothing, it’s never been an issue
* Workshops/briefings
* e-learning
* Documentation (intranet, email or web)
* Blended Learning

Let’s take a closer look at each approach.

Do Nothing, it’s never been an issue
“History is no guarantee of future performance” as any investment banker will tell you. Favoured by many organisations this approach (or non approach) will probably turn out ok (fingers crossed) but won’t do anything to protect your staff from being treated unfairly. If any issues do arise then your organisation may face legal action. If you ensure that staff have had appropriate training then you substantially reduce that risk.

Workshops can be very effective with the right trainer but it will obviously take some time to train the staff of a large organisation. Workshops for all employees are often not an option due to both cost and time contraints. Many organisations choose to train managers and ask (hope) that the information is cascaded down to the rest of the staff.

e-learning has long been recognised as a great way to deliver compliance training. It’s cost effective, can be rolled out to all staff at the same time and you can track usage and results easily. It can also be easily updated as changes are made to legislation. e-learning has unfortunately been a victim of it’s own success in this area though. The tools around today make it easy for anyone to create e-learning but creating good e-learning is not so easy! Text dumps on screen are just not going to cut it (even if you do add a few pretty pictures.)

Documents can be made available on your intranet or emailed out to staff. If you have a learning management system it will track who has opened the file (that doesn’t mean that they’ve read it of course.) At best people will probably give the document a quick scan-through. As an approach it’s better than nothing, but not much better. Are you confident your managers will be equipped to deal with equality issues after a quick speed-read of a document?

Blended Learning
In reality most organisations will provide a combination of the above and that’s really what blended learning is – a combination of more than one learning method. And just by exposing people to more than one method you will improve learning and retention.

An Equality Act blended learning programme could include, for example:
e-learning courses and online assessments;
job aids such as a matrix highlighting what’s new in the act (see the CIPD matrix if you’re a member)
Workshops with managers where learning is put into practice with scenarios and case studies.

What’s your approach? Do you have tips and ideas to share? We’d be delighted to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

One Response to “Five Approaches To Handling The Equality Act 2010”

  1. Nicola Field said:

    Nov 15, 10 at 7:00 pm

    Doing nothing is a risky business, with claims for discrimination currently uncapped! Not to mention the bad PR and the morale of staff who don’t believe the organisation values difference. Blended learning recognises that people learn in different ways and gives texture and interest to this experience. This will help ensure that organisations achieve their learning objectives also in a way that is efficient and cost effective.

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