'Does the law work or doesn't it?'

November 2004
Management Services;Nov2004, Vol. 48 Issue 11, p6
This article focuses on the 2004 report, Discrimination and the Law: Does the System Suit the Purpose, from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which suggests that there is a growing need to take stock of the way law has influenced the process of equal opportunities. The current climate is right for the raising the level of debate. The creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights later in 2006 heightens the discussion level about the need to simplify the legal duties facing employers. Patricia Leighton, author of the report, said that evidence suggests slow progress has been made to create equal opportunities at work despite increasing legislation. She said that there is a need to consider what impact legislation has on the employer. Law can produce a defensive and negative response from managers. It is equally, if not more important to support progressive employers who are committed to diversity as it is to impose sanctions on reluctant and prejudiced employers. The report suggests bias will continue despite tight legislation unless employers understand the benefits diversity can offer. Once employers recognise how central diversity is to the way business is done they will engage and drive the change.


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