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As an employer you'll want to make sure all of your staff are treated equally. There are a lot of laws surrounding equal opportunities and fair treatment, especially around maternity and disability. Even if you have policies to cover workplace discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying at work, you need to take steps to make sure that you are implementing them fully.
Therefore you'll need to train all your managers with regards to employment discrimination laws and equal opportunities. This is your responsibility and if you overlook something you could be held accountable.
For example if an employee's absence record includes sickness due to pregnancy this will be seen as discrimination in the courts. Whether that's the manager or company's intention is irrelevant. This is why we offer our advice and guidance, whether you're dealing with a particular case or not. You may feel your training and documentation needs updating due to the ever increasing changes in the law or advice if an employee does make a claim.
One of the main areas of discrimination is to do with maternity leave and pay. The main thing to remember is that it's automatically unfair to dismiss someone due to pregnancy or maternity. However you may find that it's impractical to continue to employ a woman on maternity leave. If this is the case then you will need to find another role for that person with equal pay and benefits, with priority given over all other employees.
There are a number of things to consider when employing disabled people. Not only must you provide your staff with adequate training on disability discrimination but it's of vital importance that you make adequate adjustments to accommodate a disability; for example installing ramps for wheelchair users or providing supervision as required.
If you fail to fulfil adequate standards of supervision for disabled employers or you allow/fail to prevent discrimination you will be liable. Please get in contact for advice and guidance if you are unsure whether you're complying with current legislation.
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