Best practice policies and procedures

Summary of topics

  • Why inclusive policies are important
  • Creating an overarching plan
  • Reviewing existing policies
  • Identifying barriers
  • Indirect discrimination

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As part of your commitment to developing an inclusive workplace, you will need policies, strategies and statements to define your organisation's attitude to diversity in the workplace. Talking about inclusion in and around the workplace fosters a positive environment, where employees are recognised for their unique qualities and feel supported to reach their full potential.

Start with an overarching plan to set out your organisation's objectives relating to employment of people with disability and how you will promote and achieve inclusion and diversity. It's critical this policy framework is developed in consultation with staff, supervisors, managers and people with disability. Review your existing policies and procedures to ensure they don't discriminate against anyone, including people with disability. As part of your planning, identify any barriers in your organisation that might limit opportunities for employees or customers with disability. This might include improving physical structures, signage or access points in your building or ensuring your computer technology is accessible and your videos are captioned.

When you identify potential barriers to people with disability it's important not to inadvertently cause indirect discrimination. For example, a public building is fitted with lifts but the six steps at the front entrance means a person in a wheelchair can only access the lifts through the back service entrance. This may be considered indirect discrimination. Indirect discrimination can occur when your processes appear to be fair, but actually prevent people with disability complying with what's required.

Understanding policies and procedures and what discrimination looks like is an important step towards an inclusive workplace.

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