Discrimination in the Workplace -
Discrimination is ‘the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.’ (Dictionaries, n.d.)
Discrimination within the workplace is common and occurs across all types of employment industries, there are numerous forms of discrimination including, sex, gender, age, race, disability, and religion. Discrimination in the workplace has negative effects both for the business and individual employees; for example businesses can have a decrease in labour productivity, increase in financial costs and for employees it can cause health related implications (Paludi, 2012). It is a morale responsibility for managers to identify discrimination and use the correct discipline and remove it in order to create a legal, successful and happy workforce. ‘Discrimination based on sex, race or religion can't be tolerated.’ (Woodman, C. (2011).
Sexual Discrimination –
In the UK ‘twenty-five percent of female workers have experienced discrimination in the workplace. (Wires, 2013). These figures are high for a 21st century world and magnify how much of an issue this is for current managers. However, considering all women only gained the right to vote in 1928 (Myers, 2013) this is an improvement. A change in legislation was put in place to combat the issue in 1975 The Sexual Discrimination Act, ‘created to render unlawful certain kinds of sex discrimination and discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity between men and women’ (Legislation.gov.uk, n.d.) Managers today must abide by this act, if they identify sexual discrimination or committing themselves, under UK Law the business and individuals involved are taken to court and can face imprisonment depending on the scenario. The way managers approach this issue is to enforce clear workplace policies and procedures that prevent sexual discrimination among their work force, although there are legal policies set in place having this reinstated on an individual business basis re-instates to employees that it will not not be tolerated. Being open about the issue and reiterating this to is a paternalistic style of management making them more approachable to their employees so if any issues occurred their employees feel coming to them is the first and right option to take, this will mean that the issue does not esculate for those involved and correct action takes place straight away, managers who have a 0% tolerance policy to this issue will gain the respect of their staff who feel they are equal and as valuable as each other.
A recent case in the public eye was two female forearm officers received a pay out of £70,000 as they were given too large firearms, which affected their work, discriminated them against and affected whether or not they kept their jobs (Brown, 2014). Senior staff managers ignored them and did not take any action to create an equal situation for the women compared to their male colleagues. Public legal action shows managerial staff cannot act in this way, discrimination towards women is not acceptable. Public cases like this raise awareness of the issue and will make current managers think about their workforce and whether there are any improvements or changes they can make for their female employees.
Age Discrimination (Ageism) –
Age discrimination is where stereotypical views are held about a person’s capability of completing a job or profession due to their age. This can occur in two ways whether someone is viewed to young for a position. Such as being incapable of holding large responsibilities, on the other hand individuals can be seen as too old to hold a position for example not being up to date with current technologies etc. Current business managers must be sure to eliminate this, as it is more important now then ever before. These figures show why ‘average retirement age risen to 64.6yrs for men and 61.2yrs for women, shows from report...
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