Equality & Diversity Case Study

The Challenge .

Paul a white disabled male, has recently had an application for a career promotion declined. His application failed because his manager doubted his ability to meet the required competencies for the new role.

Paul disagreed, claiming that even though his manager is aware he is HIV positive he had failed to make any reasonable adjustments for the side effects of his medication he has to take for HIV. Despite sometimes feeling overwhelmed at work, Paul was still expected to attend and contribute to meetings, with no adjustments been made.

He was particularly angered at overhearing comments made by his manager that he believed were scathing as to the source of his infection and his lifestyle.

He has taken the step of approaching the owner of the business for a discussion, and has already initiated with his local Law Centre the first step towards an Employment Tribunal hearing. This was when D & V Associates was asked to intervene and help them resolve this matter amicably.

D&V Associates

Our Solution .

We met with both parties separately to hear their side of this matter; the manager stood by his decision not to promote Paul, and Paul remained convinced he had the attributes required for the role and was displeased of the scathing comments made by his manager.

It was clear we were faced with a number of issues;

  • The owner, management and staff all needed equality & diversity training
  • What are the issues Paul’s case raised?
  • What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for further discussions with Paul?
  • What is our advice to Paul especially in the light that he believes his future lies within the company?

Paul is registered as a disabled male with HIV positive and he is protected under the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person that has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day to day activities; reasonable adjustments are to be made within reason. Thus, Paul was legally entitled to reasonable adjustments been made for him at work, which was at that moment not happening.   

This was a potential case of Direct Discrimination caused by the manager’s perception, doubting Paul’s ability to carry out the daily activities of the new role Paul applied for.

We approached Paul again and asked if he would be prepared to give us a few days to endeavour to create a solution that would be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned. Paul agreed and we arranged to meet with him again in a few days.

During the interim we devised a template to create a working environment to which all management and employees can be valued and be at their most productive in order that they can deliver organisational goals and satisfy their customers. The owner was open to the ideas and changes we were recommending, with one of the ideas we suggested needed inputting forthwith.

We encouraged the owner to send himself, management and staff to our equality & diversity training. The case for equality & diversity training is not easily accepted by business owners, CEO’S, Managing Directors or HR Managers, there is a negative perception around this subject, because of fear of Employment Tribunals cases, workers threats regarding working conditions, and lack of funds available for equality & diversity training.

Ensuring all employees attend equality & diversity training is positive for all businesses and organisations. This is because it will enhance your reputation and perception as a forward-thinking organisation among your staff, improve relationships with their people and increase business results and performances. Keeping up to-date with equality and diversity issues is cheaper in the long run because it will ensure you avoid unwanted issues from arising that may be financially costly and prevent damage to your reputation.

The Result .

Reasonable working adjustments were made which included input from Paul. We met with Paul and he was happy with the new working environment and was open to revisiting past discussions and any new details concerning his abilities to carry out his or any new duties that may arise from time to time. 

Paul and his manager were included in the first group of employees to attend our equality & diversity training. After attending our equality & diversity training, Paul withdrew his potential discrimination case against the company.

Our clear involvement in this matter saved the company from a potential fine, potential embarrassment, and loss of business.

Before attending equality & diversity training, my beliefs of equality & diversity training were that it would be a waste of my time. I have always tried to treat everyone fairly, regardless of who they are. So why do I need equality and diverse training now? But after attending equality & diversity training delivered by D & V Associates, I had a major paradigm shift, self-discovery of self; I held partial views against other people. D & V Associates shared with me how and where my partial views originated from and what I needed to do to eliminate them in exchange for impartial views to be naturally part of my character towards others. Everyone needs to attend Equality & Diversity Training delivered by D & V Associates, my interpersonal relationships with others has improved in leaps and bounds

Valerie DWP