Is Equality and Diversity Training Mandatory?

A regular component of the modern workplace, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) training aims to educate employers and employees about what it takes to achieve a fair and just work environment.

But, is equality, diversity and inclusion training mandatory? Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training (EDI) is not a legal requirement for employers. However, while EDI training is not legally mandated, it has become increasingly commonplace in the workplace as employers look to create a harmonious working environment.

Despite not being a legal requirement, you might still be planning on incorporating equality and diversity training into your employee training programme. This blog post aims to explain exactly what diversity, equality and inclusion training is, why it is relevant, and how you can upskill your staff by running your own in-house DEI training.

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Training: Is It Mandatory?

DEI training is not enforced by government bodies, however there is legislation from employees from workplace discrimination. Despite this, equity, diversity, and inclusion training can improve your business function as employees are educated about the different types of workplace discrimination and biases, both conscious and unconscious.

A successful DEI/EDI program helps to teach employees how to treat each other with respect and compassion within an egalitarian and diverse workplace. It should also explain how employees can take action if they (or a colleague) are discriminated against under the 2010 Equality Act.

Why Are The Benefits of Equality and Diversity Training Important?

EDI is not mandatory, but it is also not a virtue-signalling exercise. Rather, it is a core part of a company's employee training program. In addition to raising awareness of unconscious biases and discriminatory behaviors, DEI training creates a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable expressing their true selves,which in turn leads to an increase in job satisfaction, increased levels of trust, innovation, and productivity,all of which contribute to a healthier bottom line.

In recent years, workplace equality and diversity have been heavily researched topics, and the data is clear in showing just what can be achieved through a diverse workforce. In companies with more diversity among management, average earnings are 38% higher than in companies with lower diversity. In addition, companies with more executive diversity are 21% more likely to be profitable and 27% better at creating value.

So, the research is there for all to see, but what steps can you take to make your workplace more equitable?

Examples of Equity in the Workplace

Aside from training on diversity, inclusivity, and equality, there are three easy ways to improve equality at work. Whilst these activities are not mandatory, there are three easy ways, on top of EDI training, to improve equality at work:

Follow An Unbiased Hiring Processes

A diverse and equitable workplace is achieved by addressing biases in the hiring process. This is the area that is most prone to biases and, as such, you should be focusing on it. Blind hiring is one extreme example of reducing unconscious biases, but there are many steps you can take to reduce them. Including the entire team in your hiring process, from job descriptions to the final hiring decision, is a less extreme but more inclusive approach, along with training on hiring biases, can go a long way to remove any individual hiring biases.

Profitability and value creation are both positively correlated with gender and other forms of diversity. In spite of this, women and minorities in the workplace still tend to have fewer opportunities when it comes to salary and promotions, and are more likely to be laid off. This is a clear indicator of biases existing, and the need to address them.

No Wage Gaps: Ensure Salary Equity

In order to achieve equity within an organisation, it is important to eliminate wage gaps. The playing field cannot truly be level if people earn drastically different wages for the same job. By making salary discussions transparent, everyone will be fairly rewarded for their efforts and the taboo surrounding salary discussions will disappear. Buffer takes this topic to the extreme by publicising everyone's salaries for everyone to see, even if you don't work for the company. What a great example of transparency!

HSE Equality and Diversity Training in the UK

With HSE Docs, you can access our Online Equality and Diversity Training for as little as £4.99. The course aims to make participants aware that equal opportunities should be available irrespective of the diversity within the workforce.

We design the training we offer on diversity and equality to be informative and fun for all employees regardless of their role in the organisation. In this course, participants learn about nine protected characteristics that people may encounter at work and how they apply to the workplace, as well as the legal ramifications and processes that may be followed if they feel they have been discriminated against.

Our training will provide candidates with an understanding of what equality, diversity, and discrimination are and the law, duties, and benefits that accompany them.

If you have any questions or would like to preview our course content, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.