Every employee should be trained in basic equality awareness.
Legal background to equal opportunities
The Equality Act 2010 (“Equality Act”) encompasses all anti-discrimination laws applicable in the workplace and wider society. It lists the nine personal characteristics that are protected under it and on which equalities law is based. The Equality Act explains what behaviour relating to those protected characteristics, is unlawful. Government Equalities Office information and guidance on the Equality Act can be found here.
The Equality Act prohibits discrimination based on the nine protected characteristics of:
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sexual orientation
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) website provides further information about the Equality Act, including a summary of each of these nine protected characteristics here. The Gov.UK legislation page lists all the provisions of the Equality Act, detailing each of the nine protected characteristics.
The EHRC has, together with Ofcom, provided guidance for the television broadcasting sector on what action can lawfully be taken to increase diversity in the industry. The stated aim of the publication is “to tackle some of the misunderstandings about what equality law prohibits and permits in the television and broadcasting sector.” Whilst the guidance was designed primarily for the television broadcasting sector, its content is useful and relevant for any sector in the creative industries wishing to develop a better understanding of these key issues.
In August 2017, the EHRC announced a new strategy for tackling gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. The key elements of the strategy include: • Advertising all jobs as available for flexible working; and• increasing paternity leave and pay but on a ‘take it or lose it’ basis.
Click here to see the full announcement
What does the UK really look like today?
Here’s a snapshot of the current picture of ethnic diversity across the UK
Source - Regional Factsheet Ethnic Minorities in the West Midlands: A Business Case for Inclusion, Race for Opportunity. Click here for the full report.
It’s interesting that…
13% of the UK population is BAME or black and minority ethnic. According to the IPA’s report on diversity in 2014, The New Britain, the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population in the UK has more than doubled in the last 30 years and is expected to double again by 2045. However, when it comes to cities the picture is very different. E.g. in London and Birmingham the BAME population exceed 40%.
According to the report, about 13% of people working at advertising agencies come from a BAME background.
According to the AA report The Whole Picture, for people in the UK, ethnicity is an important part of diversity; infact, 78% of respondents for the report think it’s one of the top most relevant aspects of diversity in advertising – compared to the next most popular answers of nationality (34%), religion (32%) and gender (26%).
Last updated 23/08/2017