26 September 2017
National Inclusion Week #NIW2017
National Inclusion Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in the workplace. Run by membership organisation Inclusive Employers it also aims to highlight the many benefits there are to a business that has a diverse and inclusive workforce.
This year’s theme is ‘Connect for Inclusion’ which our firm is proud to support with a number of activities encouraging staff to step out of their comfort zone and ‘connect’ with staff they have not met before.
It is positive to see that a number of other public and private sector employers are also taking part.
Why is Inclusion important?
Inclusion is vital in the workplace as essentially it is about ensuring that workers feel valued, respected, listened to and able to challenge any issues they have with their employer. Inclusion is also about recognising, appreciating and valuing the differences every individual brings to the workplace and creating an environment in which all staff have equal access to opportunities and resources, thereby allowing them to contribute towards an organisation’s success.
It all sounds quite simple, doesn’t it? Well sadly, it isn’t. Unfortunately, there are still a great number of UK employers who do not provide an inclusive and diverse workforce. Many workers are treated badly/excluded by their colleagues and/or management because they are in the minority or simply because they are ‘different’. In my experience, issues surrounding race/race discrimination in the workplace, in particular, are not discussed often enough. Many employers are blissfully unaware of the unfair treatment their staff are being subjected to. On the other hand, some employers are aware but choose not to take any action to resolve the issues, which can give rise to various discrimination claims. However, just because an issue is not often talked about does not mean it is not real.
Simply by encouraging staff to connect with each other, it can give them the opportunity to gain new perspectives and ideas that can enable a business to grow and develop inclusively.
National Inclusion Week is a step in the right direction towards tackling the issues of discrimination faced by many in the workplace. If your employer is not in favour of supporting the campaign, ask them why.
For more information on the National Inclusion Week campaign and details of how your employer can support it, click here http://www.nationalinclusionweek.co.uk/about
If you suffer with race discrimination at work you can call our employment law solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online. We can offer immediate representation anywhere in the UK for race discrimination cases. Claims for race discrimination must be brought in the employment tribunal within three months less one day of the adverse treatment taking place.
Marsha Thompson is an employment lawyer based in the London office of Slater and Gordon Lawyers. Marsha helps individuals to challenge unfair work practices including issues with race discrimination.