As an employer, creating an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy demonstrates your commitment to building an inclusive work environment. In doing so, you ensure every employee in your organisation feels supported, valued, and empowered.
Deciding what to include in your EDI policies can be a challenging decision for employers. And while your policy should be tailored to the specific needs and context of your organisation, using an equality and diversity policy template can offer a great jumping-off point.
This guide covers everything you need to know about creating an EDI policy, including tips and an equal opportunities policy template.
What Is an Equality, Diversity, And Inclusion Policy?
An Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policy outlines an organisation’s commitment to promoting and maintaining the core principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion is the workplace. As such, the policy covers how an organisation will promote EDI in all aspects of its operations,
Essentially, an EDI policy sets the tone and creates a clear framework for how all employees are treated in the workplace. That’s to say, with respect, fairness, dignity, and empathy. So by documenting this framework in a policy, employers ensure that all members of the company understand and follow the EDI principles, preventing discrimination at work.
What Are The Main Elements Of An Equality, Diversity, And Inclusion Policy?
While each organisation should tailor the components of its EDI policy to their individual business needs, context, and goals, there are some common elements:
Components of a Diversity and Inclusion policy:
- Policy statement: This statement briefly highlights the company’s commitment to EDI.
- Scope: Underscore the specific areas and individuals it applies to (eg. customers, contractors, employees, stakeholders, etc.)
- Glossary: Provide clear and concise definitions of key EDI terms that employees should know.
- Legal framework: Summarise the legal obligations the company has regarding EDI.
- Protected characteristics: List any and all protected characteristics under anti-discrimination legislation in the UK. These include race, gender, and disability.
- Roles and responsibilities: The roles of stakeholders, such as senior management, HR, stakeholders, and employees, should be clearly established. How are they expected to implement EDI principles?
- Code of conduct: Describe the expected behaviours of all employees. In particular, the policy should emphasise respect, dignity, and a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and bullying.
- Reporting procedures: No matter how clear your policy is, incidents can still happen. Therefore your policy should establish a clear (and anonymous) reporting and complaint procedure. In addition, there should be guidelines on how to handle the process of investigating EDI-related complaints and resolving issues.
- Monitoring: Describe how the organisation will continuously evaluate the policy and identify areas of improvement. For instance, by conducting ongoing reviews, surveys, and data collection.
- Communication: Your company should have a comprehensive communication strategy in place that covers how the policy will be introduced to employees.
- Review: As UK laws and regulations regarding EDI evolve, the policy should include how your company plans to revise the document to ensure you are complying with the latest requirements.
Tips On Creating An Equality Diversity And Inclusion Policy UK
A stellar Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policy is the cornerstone for companies looking to create a fair and welcoming workplace. Here are some useful tips to help you craft a comprehensive and impactful policy.
- Get familiar with UK legislation surrounding EDI, such as the Equality Act 2010.
- Define a clear purpose and metrics to measure your progress
- Assess the current state of EDI in your workplace by running a diversity audit
- Get buy-in from key stakeholders, such as leadership, employee resource groups, and HR
- Use inclusive language in your policy and ensure it’s accessible for all employees
- Enlist the support of external experts, such as Aspiring To Include for advice and support
- Ensure the policy and all relevant resources (guidelines, reporting procedures, etc.) are stored in an accessible place where employees can easily refer to them
- Include EDI policies, procedures, and training in employee onboarding
Equality Diversity And Inclusion Policy Template
An equality, diversity, and inclusion policy is a customised document that’s specific to your organisational culture, needs, and legal obligations. As such, we advice seeking legal advice and consulting with third-party HR professionals to ensure you are compliant with local laws.
That said, using a template to craft a first draft of how you want your policy to look can be extremely useful. Not only does it provide a jumping-off point for other stakeholders to add to, but it gives third-party experts a clear idea of your company’s priorities.
This equality and diversity policy template can offer some inspiration on where to start when it comes to creating your own.
EDI Policy Template
|[Company/Organisation Name] Equality and Diversity Policy
Briefly state the purpose of the policy and the role has in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the business. Highlight your commitment to building an inclusive workplace.
Define who the policy applies to and what areas of operation it covers.
Declare the legal requirements and regulations that the company must adhere to, such as the Equality Act 2010.
Highlight the company’s stance on discrimination, bullying, or harassment in the workplace.
Provide definitions for key EDI terms that all employees should know and understand.
Roles and responsibilities:
Provide transparent breakdowns of the responsibilities of key company stakeholders in promoting and maintaining EDI principles.
Craft a mission plan on the measures the company is taking to ensure a fair and inclusive recruitment process.
Training and development:
Provide comprehensive diversity and inclusion training to all employees to raise awareness and promote inclusion.
Emphasise the company’s commitment to equal pay and reward.
Clearly define the expected conduct of all employees and outline what is considered discrimination or bullying.
Include clear procedures on how employees can report incidents of discrimination and harassment. You should also outline the official steps the company will take to handle and investigate complaints to ensure confidentiality and a fair resolution.
Specify how you plan to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and ensure it it being implemented.
Describe how you will communicate the policy across the organisation to promote it and embed it in the company culture.
Provide a timeline or roadmap for revising the policy to ensure it aligns with current organisational goals and legal requirements.
Underscore how the company will deal with non-compliance with the policy (e.g. disciplinary actions)
How ATI Can Support Your Equality Diversity And Inclusion Policy
Comprehensive EDI policies are paramount to ensuring your workplace is a supportive, fair, and empowering environment. However, crafting, implementing, and revising the policy can be challenging.
So, if you’re an employer looking to build a more inclusive environment, we can help. Our resource hub for employers is packed with guidance on everything from inclusive recruitment to monitoring EDI figures. You can also connect with diverse talent by posting your latest opportunities on our inclusive job board.
Get in touch for more information on our tailored employer services.