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7 Actions to Promote Human Rights and Equality at Work

7 Actions to Promote Human Rights and Equality at Work


Building a Workplace Culture of Equality and Human Rights


Enterprises and organisations must adopt a deliberate and methodical approach to equality and human rights in order to create a culture of those rights in the workplace. Although none of these strategies must be used in accordance with the law, an organisation interested in promoting equality and respect for human rights in the workplace may find the following seven-step structure useful:

  1. A statement outlining the criteria to which the business or organisation is dedicated about employment
  2. Training on equality and human rights that enable employees to comprehend and uphold these standards for the business or organisation
  3. A committee or individual selected to drive the equality and human rights standards is responsible for these issues.
  4. A roadmap for equality and human rights that outlines the goals the company or organisation wishes to achieve in respect to employment, equality, and human rights, as well as the steps that will be done to attain these goals - This strategy is based on an analysis of the employment-related equality and human rights circumstances in the business or organisation.
  5. Equality and human rights impact assessments that would put these issues at the centre of the organization's or business's important decision-making
  6. Data on equality and human rights that are obtained and examined within the business or organisation with regard to employment, the nine grounds for discrimination under equality laws, and groups at risk of human rights violations
  7. Participation of persons with an interest in equity and human rights in the governance of the enterprise or organisation, allowing their voices to be heard and influencing policy, procedure, and practise within the firm or organisation.

A planned and systematic approach to equality and human rights aims to empower a business or organisation to end discrimination, achieve equality, and uphold human rights for the long term. It denotes that a business or organisation can embed equality and human rights into its organisational culture rather of relying solely on reactive techniques where action on equality and human rights is dependent on addressing and seizing momentary opportunities or problems.

1. Human rights and equality policy
A structured and organised approach to equality and human rights inside an organisation is built on the foundation of an equality and human rights policy. It acts as a roadmap for the company in terms of its goals for its employees. It states:

  • The organization's commitment to equality and human rights in regards to its workers and those it contracts with
  • To provide goods and services; the equality and human rights standard that the organisation aspires to in
  • Regards to employment; and the measures that the organisation will take to protect the standard and ensure that the standard is put into effect.


An equality and human rights policy will outline a statement of expectations for how an employer should act with regard to:

Recruitment, working conditions, workplace culture, career advancement, remuneration, promotions, reasonable accommodations for diversity, such as those for individuals with disabilities, employee equity results, and dismissals and redundancies.


Compliance with international human rights agreements and employment equity laws as they relate to the business/organization and its functions must be the primary goal of the standards set. The finest practises for accommodating variety, attaining equality, and upholding human rights are what an equality and human rights policy aspires to.

The equality and human rights policy outlines ways to protect the established standards and file and handle complaints when standards are broken. It outlines the actions the organisation will take to explain the policy to staff members and customers so they are aware of the obligations made. It outlines procedures for receiving input on implementation from staff members and service recipients. It lays forth the management's direction and oversight of the policy. It identifies the infrastructure for human rights and equality that the organisation uses to guarantee a well-thought-out strategy.

The enterprise/organization assigns responsibility for the process, preferably at a senior level, when creating an equality and human rights policy. Representatives of the wide range of service customers and employees, as well as staff organisations and pertinent representative organisations from civil society, are all included in a participatory process. As a result, the equality and human rights agenda gains support and ownership. Peer learning from other businesses and organisations that have advanced their understanding of equality and human rights improves the standard of the policy.

2. Training in Human Rights and Equality
To ensure that an organisation and its workers can meet the requirements outlined in the organization's equality and human rights policy is one of the main goals of equality and human rights training. This training develops personnel by:

  • Knowledge of: diversity, equality, and human rights issues; their rights and obligations under equality legislation and human rights instruments; how discrimination, harassment, and human rights violations occur; and their knowledge
  • Skills in: responding to incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment; promoting equality and supporting human rights; and putting the standards of the equality and human rights policy into practise. that: respect equality, diversity, non-discrimination
  • Behavior; are free from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and other violations of human rights; and are supportive of these things.

Training in equality and human rights promotes staff personal growth, effective performance with regard to equality and human rights, positive staff relationships, and a workplace environment that values, comprehends, and supports equality and human rights.

In order to ensure competent leadership on equality and human rights, senior management and line management training is crucial. Building a capacity for equality and human rights in critical organisational operations requires training for personnel involved in policymaking, human resources, and customer relations. A company culture that emphasises equality and human rights is developed through training for trainers, new hires, and all staff members.

3. Taking Charge of Human Rights and Equality
Everyone working for a company or organisation is responsible for upholding equality and human rights. This fundamental idea is crucial. To guarantee that the organization's commitments to equality and human rights are carried out and to empower everyone to assume their roles, it is beneficial to assign responsibility for driving those commitments.

This duty can be carried out by a single person, preferably a senior employee with the required power. The person must be provided time to carry out this duty. It is also possible to hire a dedicated equality and human rights officer. This could guarantee the person has the skills required for the position.

An equality and human rights committee may be in charge of shouldering the duty collectively. To disseminate influence and ownership, this committee's members should be selected from the many departments or organisational units. Groups experiencing inequality or potentially the targets of human rights violations should be represented in it. This makes it possible to design and carry out equality and human rights actions from a variety of perspectives.

4. Roadmap for Human Rights and Equality
An organization's or group's goals for furthering equality and upholding employees' human rights are outlined in a roadmap for employment equality and human rights. It outlines the actions the business or organisation will take to enhance how well it handles these problems. It gives personnel who have received training in equality and human rights the context they need to use the knowledge, abilities, and attitudes acquired in their daily work. It makes sure that standards and promises are carried out in the workplace.

The equality and human rights plan calls for the following steps in several crucial functional areas:

  • Neutralise discrimination
  • Make a reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  • Promote equality, appreciate diversity, and uphold and fulfil human rights.


The plan's effects should be quantifiable and have specific goals. To maintain morale and dedication, it is crucial to track progress and to recognise accomplishments.

An equality and human rights roadmap can be usefully evidence-based if a prior equality and human rights audit within the organisation is conducted. This audit determines the organization's status with regard to equality and human rights in terms of:

  • The position and experience of the employees,
  • The results for the experiences of service users,
  • The results for beneficiaries of policies, and the kind and extent of internal infrastructure to support an equality and human rights agenda within the organisation.


Participatory planning is used to create an equity and human rights roadmap. Employees, a variety of employees, and employee organisations are all involved. Diversity must, to the greatest extent possible, include the nine categories protected by equality laws: gender, civil status, family status, age, handicap, sexual orientation, race, religion, and Traveler community participation. It would also be ideal if it took socioeconomic status into account.

5. Impact evaluation of human rights and equality
A policy or plan is subject to an effect analysis on equality and human rights during the design phase. It aims to make sure that the strategy or policy can account for diversity, promote equality, and comply with non-discrimination and human rights standards. It evaluates any potential negative effects and identifies the necessary adjustments to adapt the strategy or policy. Identifying mitigation strategies to address the potential negative impact is necessary when redesign is not a possibility.

Evaluating the impact of equality and human rights involves four main steps:

  • Gathering information and data: compiling pertinent quantitative and qualitative data regarding groups experiencing injustice or human rights violations.
  • Impact evaluation using the data collected, testing the strategy or policy to determine any potential negative, neutral, or positive effects
  • Consultation: Discussions about the validity of the information gathered, the nature of the effect assessment, and the choices to be followed in light of the impact assessment
  • Decision: determining the adjustments or mitigation measures that must be made in response to the impact assessment monitoring: verifying that the impacts are as anticipated and, if not, making the appropriate adjustments.


6. Data on equality and human rights
The lack of pertinent equality and human rights statistics hampers evidence-based action on equality and human rights. Organizations have little to no influence on this. However, organisations gather information about employees, staff, and policy beneficiaries while remaining within the parameters of data privacy legislation. If this data is desegregated based on socioeconomic position as well as the grounds protected by equality legislation, it can be a valuable tool for planning and evaluating human rights and equality initiatives. Data can be anonymised and exploited to find trends of access, participation, and outcome across the 10 grounds.

7. Involvement of Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Interests
Employee involvement in organisational decision-making is a crucial component of the framework for a planned and methodical approach to equality and human rights. Both individuals and the organisations that advocate for their interests may participate in this. It guarantees:

  • When numerous viewpoints are considered, decision-making is improved because it may take into consideration the practical implications of various identities, experiences, and situations.
  • Access to qualitative data is crucial in the absence of sufficient quantitative data transparency and,
  • Openness in the organization's work gives proof for action on equality and human rights.


This involvement can be arranged inside the common decision-making procedures. As necessary, a separate conversation with these groups and their organisations can be conducted and integrated into the decision-making process.