Equality and Diversity - Policy and Practice

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EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY: POLICY AND PRACTICE

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to analyse and evaluate equality and diversity policies between two companies and determine whether there are gaps between policies and practices in relation to recruitment and selection. The report entails case studies of two organisations namely Working Links (WL) and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC). This report shows that there is a gap between policy and practice in both organisations, the gap being bigger in WL. RBKC being a public organisation have based their policy from a moral perspective where as WL policy is business driven. The report concluded that WL is a compliant organisation while RBKC is a comprehensive organisation (see appendix 3 for full explanation). Being a compliant organisation in need of a lot of changes, this report has provided WL with considerable recommendations.

1.INTRODUCTION

1.1Aims and Objectives
The aim of this report is to explore variations in the approach adopted by both organisations to equality and diversity policy and what outcome this has on their recruitment and selection process. The objective of the report is to identify and explain approaches to equality and diversity policies. Explain and compare the recruitment and selection process in both organisations. Critically evaluate these processes. Establish what sort of equal opportunity organisation both RBKC and WL are and give necessary recommendations to working Links.

1.2 Methodology
The bulk of information in this report is based on secondary data. There is a bit of primary data which involves informal interviews with various members of staff. Respondents involved local managers, HR staffs, those responsible for equal and diversity policy, staffs involved in recruitment, selection and promotion and employee representatives. Interviews were conducted with both male and female employees and ethnic minority staff. Secondary data involves reports from consultant forums as well as the analysis of documentary and statistical materials. Materials such as formal equal opportunity policies, recruitment, promotions and grievance procedures and literature reviews were also consulted.

This approach was chosen due to the difficulty involved in collecting primary data and the fact that it is subject to a lot of external variables that may affect information collected thus making it very unreliable hence not valid. Moreover primary data is also time consuming as opposed to secondary data. Although a bit of primary data has been used the findings are backed up by reports from meetings.

1.3Equality and Diversity
An Equal opportunity policy (EOP) can be defined as a commitment to engage in employment practices and procedures which do not discriminate, and which provide equality between individuals of different groups or sex to achieve full, productive and freely chosen employment (Blakemore and Drake, 1996) whereas, the concept of managing diversity is generally seen as ‘proactively capitalizing on the different skills, qualities and viewpoints that a diverse workforce has to offer’ (EOR, 1999).

Although equality and diversity policies can be viewed as opposing strategies they are complimentary and mutually reinforcing. UK employers seem to understand diversity as an equality strategy, complimenting and supplementing, rather than substituting traditional EOPs. This is supported by the view expressed by the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD), in its Position Paper, in which the IPD states its belief that ‘the management of diversity compliments established approaches to equal opportunities’. According to Liff (1999), organisations can adopt this twin approach and develop a strategy to enable differences between and among groups of employees to be recognised and, at the same time as treating them equitably.

One of the main criticisms of equal opportunity has been that it is negative,...
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