Everyone has the right to equal access to employment opportunities which must be founded on merit and without apprehension of discrimination, bullying or harassment. As an employer it is important that you promote and uphold equal employment opportunities as there are significant legal ramifications where employers are found not to comply with the relevant standards provided under federal and state legislation.

An equal opportunity policy can be an important tool for a business to promote diversity and a safe workplace which can in turn improve productivity and result in a healthier workplace culture. Furthermore, as employers are responsible for ensuring that discrimination, bullying and harassment does not occur within the workplace, an equal opportunity policy can assist with mitigating liability as it can be a means of showing that reasonable steps were taken to minimise the problem.

Accordingly, an equal opportunity policy is an asset to any business. An effective policy should set out various terms, including:

  • the employer’s responsibilities in complying with the equal opportunity provisions
  • the policies surrounding recruitment, dismissal, discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • a clear and fair process for employee’s complaints to be effectively managed and resolved.

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