At Pertemps we have a zero tolerance approach to any form of ‘ism’ within our organisation. We promote equal opportunities for all employees at all times. Anyone who sees or hears anything they are uncomfortable with must report it straight away to HR.
As soon as employees start working for us, they know we do not tolerate discrimination – this is highlighted from induction and carries on throughout employment. All managers receive mandatory unconscious bias training, plus when employing for clients we adhere to the REC code of conduct. As a company featured in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies for ten consecutive years, Pertemps are certainly doing something right when it comes to respecting our employees.
However not all organisations are like us, highlighted by a recent YouGov report, Equality, Diversity and Racism in the workplace: A qualitative analysis of the 2015 Race at Work Survey. This builds on the 2015 Race at Work survey, which investigated accounts from 24,457 workers of racist harassment or bullying at work, and how their employers promote equality, diversity and fairness.
The report found that ethnic minority workers are still subjected to racism by colleagues and managers, ranging from ‘everyday banter’ to violence and intimidation. As a result, the mental health of these workers is impacted dramatically, meaning their careers are impacted negatively. Furthermore, some managers and senior individuals in organisations are described as ‘indifferent’ regarding how they deal with racism.
The report calls for employers far and wide to carry out a clear zero-tolerance approach to racism in both policy and practice.
All managerial figures need to be sure about their organisation’s policies on racism, equality and diversity. A senior individual within the company should be responsible for ensuring anti-racism policies are shared with all staff, external stakeholders, contractors, clients and customers. Casual racism needs to be eradicated from general workplace culture, so employees need to know managers will not tolerate it.
The government need to act by setting up annual company inspections where racism has been identified. Legal costs should be scrapped for employees who seek to challenge racism through employment tribunals.
As well as this, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should be given an adequate level of ring-fenced funding, enabling them to guarantee employers comply with existing legislation and equality duties. This would put an end to discrimination trickling down into a company from senior members.
Pertemps realise that discrimination exists in the recruitment process as well as in wider industries and this needs to change. In the meantime, there are plenty of people out there willing to help if you ever feel discriminated against.
We do our best to advise clients on how they should be working. It’s simple enough – treat candidates equally, abolish discrimination and a wider, happier talent pool will be the result. However, for instance, if you are employed on a temporary basis through us and feel your employer is not treating staff with respect, let us know and we will make it a priority to follow up. We hope other organisations follow our lead and work to eradicate all types of discrimination for good.