Equal Opportunity - a Director's Responsibility

Directors are still responsibility for equal opportunity

Equal opportunity is defined as a principle of non-discrimination which emphasizes that opportunities in education, employment, advancement, benefits and resource distribution, and other areas should be freely available to all citizens irrespective of their age, race, sex, religion, political association, ethnic origin, or any other individual or group characteristic unrelated to ability, performance, and qualification.

Sadly, this does not always occur and Directors must make sure they have an adequate Equal Opportunity policy in place and it is abided by. This does not mean it is always carried out. There are managers who openly boast they want to employ young men as they will not get married and pregnant and then cause a problem for a year being away.

It is easy to hear these attitudes but quite another to prove. It is probably this fact alone which causes many disputes not to be raised or conflict caused. An ordinary Directors and Officers Liability policy will cover the individual Director or Officer specifically accused of being so prejudiced. However, you need entity cover under either an extension to the policy, or separate Employment Practices Liability cover, or a Management Liability cover if a Private company, to protect your company itself. While claims settled are quite small, no money will compensate for the effect on reputation it can bring.

Directors should embrace diversity, for not only their Board, but throughout the company as people from many different backgrounds bring their own unique strengths to an organisation. It can only make it a better place to work and breakdown narrow minded attitudes

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