Acas Launches Guide To Help Businesses Understand New Equality Act
Released on: August 13, 2010, 6:01 am
Industry: Human Resources
Acas, the employment relations service, has published new
guidance to assist businesses in understanding and preparing for the
changes to the new single Equality Act. The new Acas quick start
guidance, 'The Equality Act - what’s new for employers?' demonstrates
what these changes mean in practice.
John Taylor, chief executive of Acas, said: "Fairness in the workplace is good
business and motivates staff as well as improving effectiveness and productivity.
Last year Acas received around 32,000 calls on diversity and discrimination related
issues. Our new guide helps businesses and managers understand what the changes mean
in practice and what action employers will need to take."
Changes have occurred in the following areas: third party harassment, pre-employment
health checks, power of employment tribunal recommendations and pay secrecy.
The new act means employers are potentially liable if their staff are harassed by
people they don't employ such as external suppliers or customers.
From October employers should no longer send out pre-health questionnaires with
employment application packs. There are some exemptions, for example around
questions related to making reasonable adjustments for the person in the selection
process if they are disabled.
Employment tribunals can require employers found guilty
of discrimination to take steps to require them to change their policies and
practices to prevent further discrimination.
If a contract of employment requires employees to keep pay secret, the Equality Act makes this requirement unenforceable. An
employer can still require employees to keep pay rates confidential from others
outside the workplace, such as competitors.
The new changes come into effect from October and so it is imperative that
businesses understand the changes which will impact them, and have reviewed and
updated current policies by this date. The new quick start guidance is available to
download on the Acas website, along with a table that provides a snapshot of where
changes and new areas have been added.
Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment
relations. It provides information, advice, staff training such as training explains current legislation related to employment law and a
range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve
problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a
council consisting of the Acas chair and employer, trade union and independent
members. This can be found at the Acas website.
For more information about Acas or this PR, please contact:
Media and Marketing Officer
286 Euston Road
020 7271 3920
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