Diversity, discrimination and dignity at work


This highly participative workshop focuses on the importance of valuing individual differences at work and creating a positive working environment, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The programme highlights the responsibilities that managers have in this area and reinforces relevant organisational policies and procedures, particularly those relating to harassment and bullying. In addition, the workshop builds awareness of discrimination legislation, taking a practical approach to minimising risk.

The emphasis is on encouraging managers to manage positively and proactively, to role model appropriate behaviour, to recognise issues at an early stage and to take prompt action to resolve concerns informally or formally as appropriate.

Learning objectives

This is a skills- and confidence-building programme which will help participants to:

  • Understand what is meant by diversity, discrimination and dignity at work
  • Know the importance of valuing individual differences and treating people with respect
  • Understand the organisation’s policies and procedures in this area and the role and responsibility of managers and other sources of support, eg, HR
  • Understand key principles from employment law and how to minimise risk
  • Identify what constitutes unacceptable behaviour, eg, bullying and harassment at work and manage issues proactively, either informally or formally as appropriate
  • Have built knowledge, skill and confidence in this area


All managers, in any type of organisation – large or small; public, voluntary or private sector.

A tailored version of the programme can be delivered to non-managers.


This one-day course is highly participative and uses group exercises, case studies and practical exercises to illustrate problems and develop a best practice approach in dealing with them. Group discussions and feedback are used to develop learning points and to enable participants to relate examples to their own situations.

Participants will be sent a welcome pack in advance of the session which will include some pre-course work as well as asking them to reflect upon their own experiences and challenges in this area. Participants will also be asked to familiarise themselves with the key internal policies and procedures relating to this area and to bring copies to the course for reference throughout.

Special feature

This programme is always tailored to meet client’s specific requirements, not least by incorporating references throughout to the client’s own policies and procedures.

The programme can also be delivered in a version specifically for managers or in a tailored version to cover the needs of both staff and managers.

Expert trainer

This programme is delivered by Rachel Hicks, our lead trainer in this area. See her profile here.


See what participants have said about our ‘Diversity, discrimination and dignity at work’ workshops:

‘Eye opener to the right and wrongs of everyone’s benefits to get help and support.’

‘Well prepared and very enjoyable.’

‘An informative course.’

‘The examples were very thought-provoking and well worth doing.’

‘Gained valuable, relevant, needed knowledge.’

‘Very informative.’

‘Was able to take info/ideas back to staff.’

‘Thought provoking/ interactive well organised, good flow.’

‘Good course, well-presented and an easy to follow pace.’

‘Very good.’

‘Really enjoyed the course and it was very informative.’

Workshop outline

Note: this is a purely indicative outline, subject to change in the light of (a) developments in employment law and (b) your organisation’s policies and procedures.

1 Introduction

  • Course objectives and benefits from attending this course
  • Participants’ experience and confidence in this area
  • Personal objectives

2 Setting the scene

  • Understanding what diversity is and the benefits and challenges of a diverse workforce
  • Equal opportunities in the workplace
  • The importance of treating people with dignity and respect
  • Organisational policies and procedures

3 Working with respect

  • Exercise: What does working with respect mean in terms of behaviours?
  • Application to participants’ own teams; insights and actions

4 The law

  • Overview of discrimination law; the Equality Act 2010
  • Understanding protected characteristics and different types of discrimination
  • Burden of proof and liability; minimising risk
  • Other relevant legislation
  • Practical scenarios

5 Roles and responsibilities

  • Recognising that everyone at work has a responsibility
  • The role and responsibility of a manager
  • What is expected from all staff
  • Working with HR and other sources of support

6 A model of discrimination

  • Exercise: Stereotyping, bias and the power of labels
  • Understanding unconscious bias
  • The link between beliefs and behaviour

7 Bullying and harassment

  • Defining bullying and harassment
  • Impact of unacceptable behaviour at work
  • Recognising bullying and harassment

8 Taking action

  • Informal action and guidelines on challenging unacceptable behaviour
  • Managing complaints and grievances
  • Formal action in line with internal policies
  • Liability, the law and lessons from case law
  • Creating a positive working environment

9 Scenarios

  • Group exercises on managing challenging situations. Scenarios will be written specifically for the organisation to ensure maximum relevance for the group. Examples may include managing banter / jokes / nicknames, religious dress or practice at work, etc.

10 And finally…

  • Open forum – remaining challenges and ‘what if’ scenarios
  • Action planning – identifying how participants will transfer this learning into the workplace and what else they may need which will help them to do this effectively
  • Review and close

For a no-obligation discussion about running this programme for your organisation on an in-house basis, just give us a call on 01582 463462.