Last year, ABDO conducted a survey of members seeking their views and experiences of discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics as listed in the Equality Act. Now the organisation is launching new guidance for members on diversity, equality and inclusion.

The responses in ABDO’s survey were disheartening, showing that there was an unacceptable level of understanding and support within our industry. Four main points came to light: 21% of those who responded did not know if there was a discrimination or harassment policy within their workplace; 47% of women had experienced some degree of prejudice over their gender; 32% reported prejudice over their age and 24% experienced prejudice over their race.

Discrimination or harassment when experienced within the workplace and of course at any level, can have a detrimental effect on well-being throughout our working life and home life too.

The survey also highlighted that some managers and business owners had a lack of awareness about what comprises discriminatory behaviour and harassment.

The new resources from ABDO will help employers understand their responsibilities. ABDO also has guidance on HR in the business hub on its website where there are easily accessible template policies.

For employees who need
support there is help on understanding your rights and guidance on how to escalate discriminatory behaviour when there is an issue with a manager, colleague, general public or patients. ABDO’s legal advice helpline can also come in handy.

I’ve said this before, it’s everyone’s duty to practice equality, inclusion, respect diversity, raise awareness and support our colleagues in taking appropriate action when necessary.

ABDO president, Jo Holmes