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Employers paying more than just lip service to equal ops monitoring, finds research

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Monitoring equal opportunities isn’t just a paper-pushing exercise, according to new research.

The study, published by IRS Employment Review, reveals that three out of four large organisations use employee monitoring, either at interview stage, while staff are working within the organisation or when they leave, in order to ensure effective equal opportunities policies are in place. 78% of respondents also used monitoring to ensure effective employment practices were in place.

The survey of HR managers also found 89% were monitoring the gender of current employees, while 91% monitored the gender of job applicants. 79% surveyed the race of current employees and 78% monitored disability among current employees. However, just 48% were monitoring the age of job applicants. The study also found a minority of respondents monitoring other areas such as grievance and discipline, appraisals and training for signs of bias.

The differences in rates of monitoring reflect in part current and planned legislation – for example, discrimination on the grounds of age is not currently in place but is planned.

IRS Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail said:

“Employers need to put some effort into monitoring equal opportunities and diversity in their organisations – both to protect themselves against tribunal claims and to ensure that their policies are working. Monitoring can also help identify other problems – high sickness absence levels in one department, for example, may indicate an underlying problem such as a bullying manager or excessive workload.”

More information on the full report can be found on the IRS website.

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