Human Resource Management: Equal Opportunities Essay example

2272 Words Mar 22nd, 2007 10 Pages
Equal Opportunities
The issue of equal opportunities is one which has developed to such an extent over the years that it has now firmly arrived at the forefront of discussion. The nature of equal opportunities is so broad that it affects almost every individual, from every background. Two vast areas link equal opportunities to companies: human resource management and employment law. This report intends, initially, to discuss the topic from both a human resource and a legal perspective: determining how good practice in equal opportunities through positive action is now fundamental to the running of a successful business. In addition, equality problems at Atherton Publishers will be considered with a view to advising the management of
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The Disability Discrimination Act came into force in 1995, aiming to protect disabled people in employment, access to goods and services, in property, and within education. (www.drc-gb.org) Implementation of the Act was, predictably, a step-by-step process. Demonstrating that the prevention of disability discrimination in the workplace was particularly pertinent, the relevant sections of the Act for employers became law first: since December 1996 it has been unlawful to treat disabled people less favourably than others, for a reason related to their disability.

Currently, there is no anti-discrimination law in force. Notwithstanding this, draft regulations have been produced: the law must be implemented by October 2006 in order to comply with the age component of Directive 2000/78. (www.dti.gov.uk)

Striking a Balance
The argument over which ‘method' – the incentive or the deterrent – is more successful has been subject to much academic commentary. Excellently illustrating both sides of the discussion, Rutherford analysed two companies – an airline and a bank – ultimately concluding that the answer will, unsurprisingly, depend upon the nature and structure of the organisation. Where the airline was concerned, it made good business sense to create more equal opportunities as many female employees were not fulfilling their potential. Generally, this is an aspect of equal opportunities which companies should consider…

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