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Developing your policy

You need a clear, written policy for a discrimination and harassment-free workplace. Keep it short and simple. "This business is an equal opportunity employer" does not constitute a policy statement.

Consult with your staff and customers, and talk to employer groups, other similar businesses, unions and the Equal Opportunity Commission to get your policy right.

Your policy can:

  • state why you support equal opportunity, listing the benefits to service and productivity
  • state who the policy covers
  • define direct and indirect discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and victimisation and state that they are against the law
  • commit to not tolerating such behaviour in your workplace
  • state staff and employer responsibilities and rights
  • explain what to do if discrimination or harassment happens
  • explain that people who breach the policy or the law will be disciplined
  • explain the complaint procedure
  • guarantee protection from victimisation
  • state where people can get further help
  • be supported and signed by the chief executive officer.

You can download a sample equal opportunity policy below to use as a starting point. Adapt the sample to suit your business.

Also develop a complaint procedure so that everyone is clear about what happens if a problem arises.

A code of conduct may also be useful.  This outlines the conduct that is expected of everyone in your business. Very small businesses may be able to use a code of conduct rather than a policy. A sample code of conduct can be downloaded below.

Introducing a policy is the first step. Then everyone needs to know about the policy and what it means for them.

Related information
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