Equality in the Workplace Legislation

In December 1996, Disability Discrimination Act, 1995, was enacted. The act prohibits the discrimination of the people with disabilities in “employment, accesses to goods, facilities, and services, management, buying, or renting of land or property as well as education” (Disability Discrimination Act – your obligations as an employer, 2008). This act was amended to the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

This legislation mandates not to deprive the people with disabilities with equal opportunities in the society, specifically with regards to “interview arrangements, application forms, promotion, terms of employment, transfer or training opportunities and work-related benefits that includes the access to recreation/refreshment facilities as well as dismissal or redundancy” (Equal opportunities for people with disabilities, August 11, 2004). Sadly, even at the modern times, numerous employers still lack of awareness on existence of equality legislation.

Their obligations under this Act are still not known to them. There are a number of violations of these. Some organizations lack the capability in initiating positive actions. Some lack the awareness of the value or impact of having equality and diversity incorporated in organizational activities. Equality and Diversity in the Organisation In some cases, resistance to equality and diversity is observed among the managements and the staff. Partly, resistance exist as problem resulting to the additional workload.

At times, resistance came about as an offshoot of the common thinking among employees that existing employees would be discriminated against. Sometimes, prejudice gets in the way. During this instance, the best recourse is good implementation of equality and diversity programmes. This will lead to reduction in the level of resistance. In most cases, several organizations take steps to address the issue of resistance. There are measures that can be utilized in order to reduce the impact of resistance.

According to Wynne (2007), conceptualizing and implementing equality and diversity orientation programmes for staff will surely help . One key solution to increasing resistance is through provision of equality and diversity related skills and attitudes enhancement training for management. Likewise, the employees with disabilities should be treated on the same basis as all the rest of the normal employees. The above countermeasures are efficient in addressing resistance from both the management and staff.

Different arguments can be called on in an attempt to draw attention to the need for greater equality of opportunity. One of the most recent developments in arguments for equality in the workplace is ‘the business argument’, linked with the concept of ‘managing diversity’. Although this has its strengths in broadening perceptions of why these things matter, and perhaps gaining more support for action, the platform of ‘business argument’ also has limitations and weaknesses.