Does a generic induction programme suffice for all new recruits?

Employers should be willing to vary the way in which induction is carried out to accommodate the special needs of particular employees and to ensure that no employee is placed at a disadvantage on account of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or being married or a civil partner.

Under s.158 of the Equality Act 2010, it is lawful for employers to take proportionate action in respect of people with a particular protected characteristic and who are from an under-represented or disadvantaged group, where the purpose of doing so is to meet their specific needs. For example, the employer could offer language training to employees from a particular racial group as part of an induction programme, where it identifies that candidates from this group are at a disadvatange.

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to any element of the induction programme to accommodate the needs of disabled employees. This includes a duty to provide information in an accessible format where this would avoid a disabled employee being at a disadvantage.