Equal Opportunity Policy

What is an Equal Opportunity Policy?

An Equal Opportunity Policy is the key written document that sets out an organisation’s commitment to preventing and tackling discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity.

The policy guides the organisation’s procedures which set out how the organisation intends to put these commitments into practice in terms of both employment and service delivery. Sometimes an organisation’s equal opportunity policy will be called an Equality and Diversity policy.

Organisations will have other policies that support the equal opportunity policy such as Bullying and Harassment policies or dignity at work policies. Organisations also need to ensure that wider policies reflect the commitments they make within their Equal Opportunity Policy and that they comply with the Equality Act 2010.

Why it matters?

A successful Equal Opportunity policy demonstrates to people that an organisation is serious about fairness and eliminating discrimination and harassment in both the workplace and in service delivery.

It helps both employees and service users to understand what they can expect from an organisation, how to report incidents of discrimination and how they are expected to behave.

A successful policy sends out a positive message about an organisation and its approach to equality to both potential and existing employees, tenants and service users.

Contractors will normally need to provide a copy of their Equal Opportunity policies during the procurement process.

A policy with an effective action plan and monitoring regime enables an organisation to review and respond to its performance on equality, ensuring commitments within the policy are being met.

Our top tips:

Reference all protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 in the policy– Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnerships, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation. Carers are also protected under the Equality Act through discrimination by association.

Make a commitment within the policy to observe relevant equality legislation and associated legislation (e.g. reference to the Equality Act 2010, Gender Recognition Act 2004, Human Rights Act 1998 and Data Protection Act 1998).


Provide definitions (and if possible examples) of the different forms of discrimination (direct, indirect, harassment, victimisation, discrimination by perception and association).

Make reference to how the organisation will comply with reasonable adjustments duties in terms of disability for both service provision and employment.

Local authorities and registered social landlords should outline their duties under the public sector equality duty and how they will meet them.

Outline what employees and service users should do if there is a breach of the policy and for example they experience discrimination – reference any other relevant policies e.g. complaints procedure, disciplinary procedure and harassment and bullying policy.

Look at the key areas of employment, corporate and service delivery. Note your objectives on these areas and what you have or will do to support achieving them. Reference any relevant procedures, policies and your equality scheme or strategy.

Highlight who is covered by the policy e.g. employees, board members, tenants, service users, contractors etc. Make clear who is responsible for the policy’s implementation.

Include information on how you will make staff, contractors, board members, tenants and service users aware of the policy.

Highlight mechanisms that you have in place to ensure that other policies comply with this policy and relevant equality legislation. For example use of equality impact assessments. Ensure other policies reference the equal opportunity policy and take equality

Have a section on equality training.

Include a section on monitoring and review. This should mention any equality monitoring and analysis that is carried out as this will assist the organisation in determining how successful the policy is. Equality monitoring and its analysis and reporting should feature in the attached action plan.


Accessing Member Resources

Some resources are for Tai Pawb members only and you will need a password to access them. If you are a Tai Pawb member and need details of the password or copies of documents in a Word version or alternative format please contact helpline@taipawb.org or call 029 2053 7630.


Please note the material in this section is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Tai Pawb is not responsible for the content of external resources.

How Tai Pawb can help:

Review and provide feedback on the policy and related action plan

Assist with the analysis of equality information to inform the policy review

Develop practical equality handbooks and resources for staff to help you implement the policy in practice

Equality and Diversity training to ensure staff are aware of their obligations under the policy.


Review and provide feedback on wider policies to ensure that they reflect good practice and have taken equality considerations into account.

Assistance with equality impact assessments on policies


For further information or to discuss potential consultancy or training support please contact helpline@taipawb.org or call 029 2053 7630.

Verified by MonsterInsights