Introduction to this document

Equal opportunities training record

There’s no legal requirement to have an equal opportunities and dignity at work policy or to train your staff on the topic, but we recommend you do both because it can afford you an important defence against a claim for unlawful discrimination. Use our equal opportunities training record for this purpose.

How can the policy and training help us?

Discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, age, religion or belief, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, or pregnancy and maternity are all unlawful. Having a policy and, more importantly, training your staff on how to implement it sets out your commitment to equal opportunities and the elimination of harassment in the workplace. You’re usually vicariously liable for the acts of your employees committed during the course of their employment. However, discrimination legislation provides you with a defence if you can prove that you took all reasonable steps to prevent those acts occurring. This is why training your staff on your policy is very important.

Importance of training

Simply having a policy won’t be enough; you also need to enforce it and train your employees and managers on their obligations relating to equal opportunities and dignity at work. The best way to do this is to include equality and diversity training as part of the induction process: give new starters the policy and then spend some time going through what it means and what standards of behaviour you expect - your training needs to be both good quality and substantial. Ask your employees to complete and sign the Equal Opportunities Training Record as written confirmation that they have received and understood both the policy and training. Keep the original on the employee’s personnel file and give them a copy. However, that’s still not enough to establish the statutory defence as you then need to offer refresher training to all staff at regular intervals, e.g. annually. Ask them to complete and sign the training record each time.