Essentially an organizations equal opportunities policy document sets out its commitment to fairness, and guidelines on how it will deal with issues relating to equal rights and equal opportunity. The policy should clearly state that its policy applies to everyone in its organization regardless of race or social background. Having a written policy can assist a company or organization from any future legal action by employees, by showing and proving that it has taken reasonable steps in trying to curb discriminatory issues within its organization.
The policy statement is an assurance to a companies staff that of its workplace policy to diversity and that equal employment is important to it. It will state its code of practise and how it intends to tackle discrimination and prejudice based on race, religion, gender and how it intends to promote equal rights for all its employees. It will give details of a reporting system, setting out how aggrieved parties can go about putting in complaints, and how it will support all parties involved in any disputes. Another of its core aims should be to promote harmony amongst its workforce.
Policies should have a Statement of Principles that covers all areas of employment practise including recruitment training and promotion. As regards recruitment the statement should stress that recruitment is based on merit and that only those applicants with the most suitable talent and skills will be successful. Its equal opportunities policies will state a procedure to resolve disputes and promote the participation of minority groups and women in its organisation. The diversity policy should also name a Designated Officer in the company, as well as have details of the definition of discrimination, and the objectives of the policy, just to name a few points.
The statement should have a mission statement that highlights its goals and policy issues to eliminate and tackle problem areas as well as set timetables for targets to be met by. For instance this could mean a council or other public sector employer instigating a project to build a ramp for wheelchair users to be able to gain access to its building. Or it could mean a commitment to having a training policy in place by a certain period.
A company that is looking to develop a equal opportunity policy can purchase ready made templates of this policy and then amend and change it to suit its own circumstances and objectives.
Manager should be fully aware of and have a clear understanding of the policy document so that when required they can offer guidance and advice on best practise to the company workforce and also management.
Equal opportunities policies should not just apply to the staff or a company but also to how it deals with its customers, suppliers and other partner organisations.