Workplace diversity Policy
Diversity has to do with more than race or ethnicity. Diverse workplaces are composed of employees with varying characteristics including, but not limited to, religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and geographic location.
The Workplace Diversity Policy is designed to support the Company’s ongoing commitment to recognising, promoting and supporting diversity within the work environment.
2. Purpose and objectives
We are committed to providing an inclusive workplace culture where all our staff are valued and recognised for their unique qualities, ideas and perspectives. We acknowledge the skills and perspectives that people may bring to the workplace by gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or other difference.
We are committed to providing a working environment that values diversity and inclusion which supports all employees to reach their full potential. Our commitment is demonstrated through workplace diversity and inclusion strategies, policies and initiatives. These include:
- access to flexible working arrangements such as part time work and flexible hours
- training and awareness programs and support for managers, staff and teams including Indigenous Cultural Awareness and Disability Awareness and Confidence training
- celebrating diversity days and events to promote awareness and inclusion
- diversity specific employee networks designed for staff to connect, express their views and experiences and share information
3. Relevant Supporting Legislations
Racial Discrimination Act 1975
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 gives effect to Australia's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Its major objectives are to
- promote equality before the law for all persons, regardless of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin, and
- make discrimination against people on the basis of their race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin unlawful
The Act protects people from racial discrimination in many areas of public life, including employment, education, getting or using services, renting or buying a house or unit, and accessing public places.
It is unlawful to discriminate when advertising jobs, during recruitment and selection processes, when making decisions about training, transfer and promotion opportunities, and in the terms, conditions and termination of employment.
Examples of racial discrimination in employment could include:
- insisting that all employees speak English at all times, even during their breaks
- not employing someone from a particular racial group because ‘those people are unreliable’
- not employing or promoting someone because of assumptions they wouldn’t ‘fit in’ with their colleagues, or
- unfair treatment in the course of work on the basis of race such as subjecting employees to negative comments about their race.
Sex Discrimination Act 1984
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 gives effect to Australia’s obligations in order to
- promote equality between men and women
- eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex, marital status or pregnancy and, with respect to dismissals, family responsibilities, and
- eliminate sexual harassment at work, in educational institutions, in the provision of goods and services, in the provision of accommodation and the delivery of Commonwealth programs.
Sex discrimination in employment occurs when someone is treated less favourably than a person of the opposite sex would be treated in the same or similar circumstances. It can occur when employers or managers hold assumptions about what sort of work women are capable – or not capable – of performing.
Examples of sex discrimination could include:
- not hiring a woman because the employer thinks she won’t fit into a ‘traditionally’ male workplace
- not paying a woman the same salary as a man for doing the same work, or not providing the same opportunities for training, mentoring or promotion
- allocating work tasks based on a person’s sex.
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Disability discrimination is when a person with a disability is treated less favourably than a person without the disability in the same or similar circumstances. The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) makes it against the law to treat people unfairly because of a disability.
The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, including:
- the recruitment process, such as advertising, interviewing, and other selection processes
- decisions on who will get the job
- terms and conditions of employment, such as pay rates, work hours and leave
- promotion, transfer, training or other benefits associated with employment
- dismissal or any other detriment, such as demotion or retrenchment.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992), employers are obligated to make adjustments to accommodate an individual’s disability, unless that adjustment would result in unjustifiable hardship. Many employers accept that workplace flexibility is an attraction and retention strategy.
Age Discrimination Act 2004
Age discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably, or not given the same opportunities as others in a similar situation, because he or she is considered to be too old or too young.
The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age when advertising jobs; during recruitment and selection processes; when making decisions about training, transfer and promotion opportunities; and in the terms, conditions and termination of employment.
Stereotypes about young people and mature workers can greatly influence decisions made during recruitment and in the workplace.
Examples of age discrimination could include:
- not employing certain people because they won’t ‘fit in’ with other employees because of their age
- not employing younger workers because of assumptions that they will quickly move on to another job
- advertising a position for someone aged ‘under 30’ to join a ‘dynamic, young team’
- making choices around redundancy, or forcing someone to retire, because of his or her age, or
- harassing or bullying a person because of his or her age.
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
Discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin, age, medical record, criminal record, marital or relationship status, impairment, mental, intellectual or psychiatric disability, physical disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and trade union activity. Also covers Discrimination in employment or occupation.
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
The Act in Victoria is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The objects of the Act are:
- To secure the health, safety and welfare of employees and other persons at work
- To eliminate, at the source, risks to health, safety or welfare of employees and other persons at work
- To ensure that the health and safety of other members of the public is not placed at risk by the conduct of undertakings by employers and self-employed persons
- To provide for the involvement of employees, employers, and organizations representing those persons, in the formulation and implementation of health, safety and welfare standards.
Fair Work Act 2009
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) is the primary piece of legislation governing Australia’s workplaces. The rules and obligations for employees and employers which are outlined within the Fair Work Act 2009 are known as the national workplace relations system. The purpose of this system is to provide a balanced framework for productive workplace relations that promote national economic prosperity and social inclusion for all Australians. This essentially means that it is in place for the good of all and does not come with any subjective or biased perspectives.
- provides for terms and conditions of employment
- sets out rights and responsibilities of employees, employers and organisations in relation to that employment
- provides for compliance with and enforcement of the Act
- provides for the administration of the Act by establishing the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman
Employer Roles and Responsibility
As an employer, he/she must provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees. This includes:
- providing and maintaining safe plant (such as machinery and equipment) and safe systems of work (such as controlling entry to high risk areas, controlling work pace and frequency and providing systems to prevent falls from heights)
- implementing arrangements for the safe use, handling, storage and transport of chemicals (such as dangerous goods and other harmful materials)
- maintaining the workplace in a safe condition (such as ensuring fire exits are not blocked, emergency equipment is serviceable, and the worksite is generally tidy)
- providing workers and contractors with adequate facilities (such as clean toilets, cool and clean drinking water, and hygienic eating areas)
- making sure workers have adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to work in a safe and healthy manner.
While the duty of care of employers under the 2004 Occupational Health and Safety Act are more or less the same as what they were under the 1985 Act, the definition of health has been amended. The new definition is as follows: "health" includes psychological health. This means that the employer must address workplace hazards such as bullying, stress and fatigue.
Managers and supervisors roles and responsibility
As a manager or supervisor, the responsibilities include ensuring the health and safety of the workers. As someone responsible for instructing and supervising others at work, supervisor/manager have authority from employer to take action on their behalf to meet legal requirements for health and safety.
This includes the responsibility of:
Taking all reasonable care to prevent injuries or illnesses occurring at work
Take every step to make sure workers are aware of the organisation's health and safety policies and follow them. Do everything within your authority to remove or reduce the risk of injury and illness.
Attempt to resolve any health and safety issues as soon as possible
If it is unable to resolve an issue, manager/supervision should speak to higher authority about the problem. In the meantime, if there's an ongoing risk to workers, take all possible steps to reduce it while the situation is being resolved.
Do everything reasonable to help an injured worker to return to work
Firstly, if a worker is injured supervisor/manager should help them to get appropriate medical treatment. If the incident resulted in or could have resulted in serious injury or death, notify WorkSafe immediately and must also record the details of the injury or illness in the workplace's Register of Injuries.
Employee Roles and Responsibility
The duties employees (workers) have under the Occupational Health and Safety 2004 Act. The one difference is that workers, like employers and other parties, can now be charged under the new offence of 'reckless endangerment'. For more information on this, see the page on Reckless Endangerment in this section
- take reasonable care for their own health and safety
- take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may affected by their acts or omissions
- cooperate with anything the employer does to comply with OHS requirements
- not 'intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse' anything provided at the workplace for OHS.
The Act also specifies that in determining whether a worker failed to take reasonable care, 'regard must be had to what the employee knew about the relevant circumstances'.
Grievance is any type of problem, concern or complaint related to an employee’s work or the work environment. A personal grievance can be about any act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision impacting on an employee, that the employee thinks is unfair or unjustified.
A grievance can relate to almost any aspect of employment, for example:
- Safety in the workplace
- Staff development or training
- Leave allocation
- Rosters or hours of work
- Performance appraisal
- Transfer or promotion
- Wage or salary levels
The aim of these guidelines is to achieve consistent treatment in the handling of personal grievances in the workplace and provide a procedure to follow in the event a personal grievance arises.
The procedures outlined in this Policy aim to achieve consistent treatment in the handling of personal grievances in the workplace and provide a procedure to follow in the event a personal grievance arises.
Dealing with Grievances
The company recognises that an employee may not perform to the best of their ability if they feel they are being treated unfairly or are feeling aggrieved.
Accordingly, the company will endeavour to provide a fair and just working environment, by aiming to ensure that employees have access to processes for the resolution of genuine personal grievances related to the workplace.
As such, the company will use its reasonable endeavours to:
- encourage staff to come forward with personal grievances;
- deal with personal grievances in a supportive way, without victimisation or intimidation of any person connected with the grievance;
- encourage fairness, impartiality and the resolution of personal grievances as reasonably
- promptly and as close as possible to the source of the grievance; and
- have managers and supervisors seek to prevent and resolve personal grievances.
- Where a personal grievance arises, the company will endeavour, if appropriate, to resolve the dispute.
Staff Grievance Procedure
- Attempt to resolve the grievance directly
If the employee feels comfortable in doing so, they should attempt to address the issue directly with the person(s) involved in the grievance. The employee may find the other person was not aware of their grievance and the matter can be resolved directly.
- Report the grievance to management
If the employee does not feel comfortable talking to the person(s) involved, or they have tried to and it was ineffective in resolving the grievance, or if there is no other person involved in the grievance, the employee should report the grievance in the first instance to their line-manager.
- Informal Procedure
A range of informal actions can often resolve the grievances. Such actions will depend on the individual circumstances of the grievance. Possible actions include, but are not limited to:
- the line-manager discussing the issue with the person against whom the complaint is made; and/or
- the line-manager facilitating a meeting between the parties in an attempt to resolve the issue and move forward.
- Formal Procedure
The step involves a formal investigation of the grievance and a decision about appropriate actions and outcomes. In the first instance, this will be undertaken by the HR Manager. The investigation generally involves collecting information about the grievance and then making a finding based on the available information. Once a finding is made, the HR Manager will make recommendations about the grievance.
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