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Follow these 4 guidelines in drawing up an effective diversity policy in the workplace

by , 18 February 2016
As an employer, you have a legal duty to ensure that no unfair discrimination or harassment takes place in your workplace.

And in ensuring this, you can start by introducing a written policy on diversity.

Having said that, here are 4 guidelines for drafting an effective diversity policy...


2 out of 5 women in South Africa have been victims of some form of sexual harassment in the workplace!

Do you know what procedures to follow if one of your employees lodges a sexual harassment complaint?

Click here to fid out...
Guideline#1: Purpose and objectives (Why do you need the policy?)

The purpose of your diversity policy should be to build and maintain tolerance, respect and cooperation among all employees in the workplace, and to ensure that no unfair discrimination or harassment occurs.

Guideline#2: Legal status (Is the policy in support of a particular law?)

For example:

This diversity policy is in support of the Employment Equity Act No. 55of 1998, as well as the National Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Guideline#3: Definitions of terms in the policy

In order to interpret your policy effectively, you need to define your terms well…

For example:

·         Sexual harassment is any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which the recipient has made clear is offensive, or which the perpetrator should have known is offensive; and

·         Any person may be guilty of unfair discrimination if he or she says or does something which violates human dignity and respect, is a barrier to achieving equity, or cannot be justified in terms of the inherent requirements of the job…

Guideline#4: Implementation (How the policy is to be introduced and maintained?)

For example:

·         All managers and supervisors in leadership positions in the company will be expected to set an example of fairness, tolerance and respect and to uphold the diversity policy.

·         Regular audits will be done in order to ensure that the physical work environment is free of any unfair discrimination, and changes
will be made where, and if, necessary…

*Those were 4 guidelines on drawing up a diversity in the workplace, but there's still so much more!

So page over to chapter D 02: Diversity in the workplace, in your Practical Guide to Human resources Management handbook, to see more guidelines on effectively introducing a diversity policy in the workplace, or click here if you don't already have it.

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