Equal opportunities policy and practice

Susie Munro Editor's message: The importance of having a comprehensive equal opportunities policy in place and keeping it up to date should not be underestimated. But a policy will be effective only if it is properly communicated to staff and put into practice throughout the organisation.

An employer that takes its equality and diversity policy and practice seriously will not only benefit from avoiding disputes and potential tribunal claims, but will be better placed to attract and retain the best candidates and harness the potential of the entire workforce.

As an employer you are liable for any discrimination, harassment or victimisation carried out by your employees in the course of their employment unless you have taken reasonable steps to prevent such conduct. Such steps would include having an equal opportunities policy in place, training relevant employees on it and ensuring that everyone in the organisation is aware of it and understands it.

Susie Munro, senior employment law editor

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