The Equality Commission can help you to develop an equality plan that will be tailored to the specific needs of your business.
Your equality plan should provide you with a practical and manageable framework for undertaking all equality work within your business.
Equality planning will also help you to assess what further work you need to undertake to promote good practice and it may also show areas where you need to ensure you meet legal requirements.
Step 1: Review your existing equality practices
When starting to develop your equality plan, you should firstly review your current employment practices against the Equality Commission’s equality indicators. You can find these in the Equality Commission’s template equality plan (DOC, 150K).
Reviewing your employment practices will help you to determine the extent to which your policies meet current equality legislation requirements and best practice.
You can then develop an equality plan outlining what action you intend taking in order to remedy any areas of non-compliance.
Step 2: Draw up an equality plan
Your equality plan should include:
- an outline of how your equality and diversity policy will be implemented – including set dates, how these will be implemented and by whom
- a flexible structure that can be tailored to your specific needs
- a review of your other employment policies eg recruitment and selection, redundancy, bullying and harassment
- a way of integrating equality into performance management systems, quality initiatives and corporate planning processes
- how you will evaluate your success and how and when you will review the overall working of your equality policy
- an ongoing equality training plan for all staff
Step 3: Train staff and promote equality across the workplace
You should establish equality awareness training within your business to support your equality plan. Staff at all levels should be involved in this training.
New employees should receive equal opportunity awareness training as part of their induction process. See preparing for an induction.
The training should show your commitment to the promotion of equality of opportunity and the effective implementation of your equality plan.
Equality training should be ongoing, with an annual update for all employees.
Case study: equality plan
Interface based in Craigavon manufacture and produce carpet tile and have developed an equality plan with help from the Equality Commission. Find out how they have gone about developing an equality plan - Interface (video).