What is equal employment opportunity?

Most people understand that equal employment opportunity is about treating people fairly and with respect. This enables people and workplaces to embrace diversity and recognise that different people have different needs. It develops trust, and this enables the right conversations to take place. It overcomes uncertainty and doubt. It allows people to be the best they can be. Such a workplace is safe, inclusive and respectful for everyone almost all the time.

What does the law say about equal employment opportunity?

However, some workplaces continue to struggle with equal employment opportunity, despite the law stating that it does not tolerate discrimination, sexual harassment, unlawful adverse action and victimisation. The law makes it clear that everyone has a responsibility to ensure equal employment opportunity is afforded to everyone in the workplace. Unfortunately, though, it often fails. When it does, trust plummets and engagement dips.

What personal attributes are protected by law?

Many personal attributes are protected by law, including:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Family or carer’s responsibilities
  • Gender
  • Marital or relationship status
  • Political opinion
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation

The law states that all forms of unfair treatment based on personal attributes that are protected by law are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. For us to understand what this means, we must first explore each of the personal attributes that are protected by law. Some are more obvious than others, and this 12-part blog series will explore each of the personal attributes that are protected by law, providing explanations and practical examples of each. The idea is that by understanding each of the personal attributes, we will better appreciate what equal employment opportunity in the workplace means and the benefits of embracing diversity and recognising that different people have different needs.

If you would like to go a little bit further, you may like to request a demonstration of the Sentrient online equal employment opportunity course, which covers personal attributes protected by law as well as a more detailed understanding of equal employment opportunity in the workplace. The online equal employment opportunity course is a 15-20 minute online course on equal employment opportunity that is used by hundreds of employers in Australia and New Zealand and completed by tens of thousands of people each month. It covers local legislation and is endorsed by Sentrient partner law firms in both countries. Reasonable adjustments can also be made to this content for global organisations that have teams across the globe.

For more information or to get your FREE Online Demonstration of this equal employment opportunity training course for Australian and New Zealand workplaces, please get in touch with the team at Sentrient or call them between 9 am and 5 pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time, Monday to Friday on 1300 040 589.

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