now in place
All businesses must demonstrate pro-active strategies to eliminate sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation. Along with this
new ‘positive duty” , ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ discrimination have been redefined.
All businesses need to review current EEO policies and procedures, as they now have a positive duty to ensure their workplaces are free from discrimination. Small business employers are no longer exempt .
Positive duty: The Act introduces a positive duty upon employers to eliminate discrimination in workplaces. This positive duty means that employers must be proactive when managing their compliance to the Act. The proof of this compliance is required to be via an action plan.
Direct and indirect
discrimination: Previously, an employee had to demonstrate a comparison to prove discrimination , this is no longer required, paving the way for an easier claims process, with less evidence needed. Another good reason for employers to be proactive with their strategies.
Direct discrimination occurs if a person “treats, or proposes to treat, a person with a protected attribute unfavourably because of that attribute”. The previous act included ” where persons without that attribute are or would be treated more favourably in the same or similar circumstances” This comparison is no longer required.
Indirect Discrimination occurs if an employer “imposes, or proposes to impose, a requirement, condition or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging people with a protected attribute, and that is not reasonable”. Again comparison is no longer required.
The word proposes is also new to both definitions.
What does this mean for your business ?
You need to develop an action plan which may include, developing or reviewing policies and procedures, surveying your staff, providing awareness training etc.