Work EDI policy - help!

(69 Posts)
mrsnibblesisahero Wed 21-Jul-21 16:16:55

Hi everyone, bit of a slow burn as I'm a bit busy and may not be able to answer straight away to every message, but looking for support. I'm a senior manager, can't really afford to expose myself too much or be too direct, so looking for 'tactful' ways to go back on this.

.....a monitoring system will be introduced to measure the effectiveness of the policy and arrangements. This will involve the routine collection and analysis of information on team members by
gender, marital status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and religion/beliefs. Information regarding the number of team members who declare themselves as disabled will also be maintained.
- why gender not sex???

and this:
.... receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) in recruitment or employment on grounds of age, disability, gender/gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual
orientation. These are the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010.
- obviously shouldn't have the 'gender/'

and this:
Gender
Women and men are fully and properly represented and rewarded for their contribution at all
levels of the organisation through:
• challenging gender stereotypes
• supporting employees in balancing their life at work and at home
• supporting employees who become pregnant and taking active steps to facilitate their return to work after maternity leave
- why gender not sex?

Thing is - I did already go back once and got the response that gender/sex is interchangeable in law and HR..... I know the former isn't true of course but not sure what to do now in a positive way without marking my card.

Also - thinking - should I fight or should I just let go? I mean really in my industry no worries re toilets or anything. Confident that I can manage any situation by being respectful etc. But language matters, and this pains me, it feels wrong. Any advice that makes it clear am not out to cause trouble and am not a horrific bigot would be amazing.

OP’s posts: |
Wildgarlicpesto Wed 21-Jul-21 16:25:58

.....a monitoring system will be introduced to measure the effectiveness of the policy and arrangements. This will involve the routine collection and analysis of information on team members by gender, marital status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and religion/beliefs. Information regarding the number of team members who declare themselves as disabled will also be maintained

These "monitoring" systems are completely optional for employees, no-one has to take part and in my experience many aren't interested in being monitored. Companies can do all the things that you list without monitoring data. Your discrimination rights are unaffected by what is monitored and what isn't.

These monitoring claims are all a bit overblown really.

mrsnibblesisahero Wed 21-Jul-21 17:17:23

nonetheless should it not include sex rather than gender? or sex as well as gender? What did you think about the other two pieces - I feel as though under Gender (Sex) there should be more to it, would like a commitment to not tolerate sexual harrasment, and the menopause, not just pregnancy and parenting.

OP’s posts: |
ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 21-Jul-21 17:21:11

It should definitely include sex, not gender, and they are not the same thing - I'm sure there has been something legal about that.

Maybe point them to the Reindorf report / Essex University. Point out the potential for loss of reputation, actions from employees etc.

Fizzgigg Wed 21-Jul-21 17:27:42

Our org has explicitly stated that they are monitoring data and creating policies on the protected characteristics (eg sex) but are choosing to also include gender.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 21-Jul-21 17:29:22

Link to full Reindorf report on this page:
www.essex.ac.uk/blog/posts/2021/05/17/review-of-two-events-with-external-speakers

sex-matters.org/where-sex-matters/the-workplace/

www.sexnotgender.info/whats-the-problem/

Whatsnewpussyhat Wed 21-Jul-21 17:30:07

They can't change the wording of the equality act to gender as they are mis- representing the law.

Sex and gender are no longer interchangeable.

How can they be challenging 'gender stereotypes' whilst simultaneously inforcing them?

Women and men are fully and properly represented and rewarded for their contribution at all

How can this happen without defining woman and man by sex?

Advertisement

NewlyGranny Wed 21-Jul-21 17:41:22

Try telling any TRACthat sex and gender are interchangeable.

Light the blue touch paper and retire!

NewlyGranny Wed 21-Jul-21 17:42:31

TRA. Don't know where the C came from. Yes I do - it's above the space-bar. 🤷🏼‍♀️

FemaleAndLearning Wed 21-Jul-21 18:12:34

If they are going to list the protected characteristics then they should list them correctly. If they want to go above and beyond then they can but they either use the protected characteristics list or not.

mrsnibblesisahero Wed 21-Jul-21 18:13:49

TRAC had me puzzling there for a minute @NewlyGranny! Thank you everyone - I found the sexnotgender link particularly clear @ItsAllGoingToBeFine. Any ideas on how to write this? I'm feeling panicky, we are a small company of 20 ish, and I'm senior, but nonetheless vulnerable.

OP’s posts: |
Wildgarlicpesto Wed 21-Jul-21 18:27:59

Blimey less than 20 people and they are going to start monitoring everyone in great detail? I find that excessively intrusive. That's far too small a number for any confidentiality.

Very ill advised.

Wildgarlicpesto Wed 21-Jul-21 18:34:50

This will involve the routine collection and analysis of information on team members

They wording implies an analysis of individual team members. What are they really doing I would like to know. Are they planning on reading a team members responses and having a ponder on their personal circumstances?

DisappearingGirl Wed 21-Jul-21 20:40:53

I work at a university. They have recently requested that, for EDI monitoring, they would like us to add our sexuality and gender identity to our staff records. It's optional but encouraged. I think HR and possibly management would be able to see it. I haven't added mine as it feels too personal/intrusive, irrelevant, and I never know what to put for gender identity anyway.

I can sort of see why they're asking as they want to see how they're doing re protected characteristics ... but I still don't like it. I feel like asking, shall I add my favourite colour and favourite sexual position while I'm at it?

Wildgarlicpesto Wed 21-Jul-21 21:33:42

I can sort of see why they're asking as they want to see how they're doing re protected characteristics

It's just counting though. There's no "how they are doing" possible from counting.
If the OPs company counts 2 gay people what does that tell them about how they are doing?

Nothing.

BridgetInHerBravery Wed 21-Jul-21 21:38:32

As well as the issue of misrepresenting the EA, I'd be concerned that the data collected, even anonymously, in such a small company, would be highly identifying.

mrsnibblesisahero Thu 22-Jul-21 06:38:47

That's a good point. I will have to work out if it helps me to add that or whether it just builds a sense of me being hostile to the whole process (which I'm not).

OP’s posts: |
mrsnibblesisahero Thu 22-Jul-21 07:01:11

To be honest, I think there is some great stuff in there, albeit clumsily handled about disability and neuro-diversity. The one other thing I am struggling with is the failure to address educational background, which it is curiously silent on. You don't need a degree to work in our industry - but it's sort of a given. I think it is hard to really say you are working towards EDI without addressing this.

OP’s posts: |
wildseas Thu 22-Jul-21 07:39:18

I work at this level.

Do you have a risk register? Or a high level risk assessment process?

I would probably approach it from the basis of we should be adding «possible legal challenge for not including sex as a protected characteristic in edi documents and monitoring» to the risk register. I would reference the first and third example above and send a link to some protected chatictarisric information. Once that is done I would suggest «add sex to document « as a mitigation measure.

I would let example 2 go. Although it’s factually wrong by adding it they aren’t taking away from anything so it will be much harder to challenge.

wildseas Thu 22-Jul-21 07:47:43

I would also talk loads about how enthusiastic you are about the policy existing, how important equality and diversity are to you, and I would enthusiastically suggest additional things to include - your example about educational background above is a good one - so that you aren’t only raising sex/gender.

wildseas Thu 22-Jul-21 07:51:07

If you do want point 2 raised I would probably ask someone to spell check, grammar check and fact check the whole policy and then take it from there .....

wildseas Thu 22-Jul-21 07:51:22

Good luck!!

Babdoc Thu 22-Jul-21 09:33:01

Why not suggest they run it past a lawyer for advice on how to deal with the fallout from misrepresenting the Equality Act?

Wildgarlicpesto Thu 22-Jul-21 09:38:11

All employers already collect male and female for payroll, it's a mandatory field. You can also tell by looking at people. A third set of information about identity put on a voluntary anonymous monitoring form is overkill. It's certainly not needed for the legal obligations of Equal Pay and Gender Pay gap reports as these both rely on payroll data.

The missing things are a bullying and harassment policy, including sexual harassment and assault (which always should be reported to the police). The other area you mentioned is possibly a social mobility policy.

mrsnibblesisahero Thu 22-Jul-21 10:19:39

Thanks @wildseas, that's really helpful - except that no, we don't actually have a risk register. Clearly needed. Second point you'd let go - I was thinking I had the strongest case there as they are clearly stating these are the protected characteristics - when they are not.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in