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EAT Decision May be Good News for Equality and Diversity Professionals

Tribunals can demand employers conduct diversity training and equality audits to benefit the entire workforce according to a ruling in a recent age discrimination case. 

The case of Lycée Français Charles De Gaulle v Delambre heard at the Employment Appeals Tribunal  (EAT)(derived special  powers to make recommendations under S.124 of the Equality Act 2010 not only to stop unlawful discrimination or harassment against a claimant but also in respect of the rest of the workforce.
 
In this case a Part Time Dinner Lady was awarded compensation for being discriminated against because of her age. The EAT upheld recommendations made in the original ruling that the employer:-
 
•Circulate the tribunal's judgment to each member of its governing board and senior management team
 
•Engage a qualified HR professional to conduct a review of its existing equality-related policies and procedures to ensure they were legally compliant
 
•Undertake a programme of formal equality and diversity training, beginning with the governors and then cascading down through the entire organisation.
 
The School (defendant) failed to convince the EAT that the recommendations were burdensome and impractical. This case is a clear cut example of the protection a court ruling can deliver reaching beyond the claimant and benefiting an entire workforce, protecting them from any potential discrimination in the future.
 
Not only does the EAT’s decision pave the way for more tribunals to make similar rulings in discrimination cases, opening a feast of work for starved equality and diversity consultants. Significantly the case reinforces the importance of Equality and Diversity compliance. Finally some good news for diversity practitioners!

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