1. Are all relevant key legislations included in the DET policy? (Eg Gender Equality Act) (10 marks)
Yes, there are a number of important legislation that is included in the DET policy. After the careful review of the DET policy, it has been observed that the policy has been developed well as it highlights the significance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, Gender Equality, Racial Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, and Disability Discrimination Act and so on. However, in comparison to other legislation, sex and disability discrimination are discussed less. The policy so far ensures that people are offered equal opportunities without the organization preferring one type of candidate or group. Discrimination based on age, gender, caste, creed, sex, ethnicity, geography is prohibited under the law. The department of education in NSW has highlighted the importance of workforce diversity and how it supports an organization to use talents from different people (Education.NSW n.d.). The framework of diversity policy ensures that it has a skilled workforce so that they can engage better with the NSW community and serve in a better way to the customers. Research has shown that an organizational culture which best supports the inclusive practices and behaviours are able to benefit than the others (Davis, Frolova and Callahan 2016). The department has worked well to strengthen the quality of education which is been given to the students (Education.NSW n.d.). The policy mentions that this step is not taken for increasing the differences in an organization but so that they can benefit from a variety of skilled people and use their knowledge, experience, ideas and values to create a healthy organization. The policy of NSW ensures that the candidates are selected on the basis of their ranks (Education.NSW n.d.). Also, it is important that they get adequate and equal access to employment, personal and professional growth. The people who are often under-represented in an organization must also be encouraged to participate in the workplace. This is possible when an organization is fair and free from any form of discrimination and harassment.
2. Identify where in the existing Policy the principles of diversity are evident. (10 marks)
Workplace diversity can be understood as differences in the people that are working together. Diversity includes the difference in race, religion, gender, personality, age, experience, education, background and so on (Education.NSW n.d.). There are a number of sections where the principles of diversity are evident. This is as the policy is developed in relation with the NSW-Anti discrimination Act and other legislation such as NSW disability services act 1993, community relations and principles of multiculturalism act 2000, education act 1987 and so on. This makes the policy of diversity evident in each aspect as the meaning of diversity gets clear through each section. The policy primarily focuses on providing with an equal opportunity to the people that are often not represented in the society. These groups mainly include people from Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islander communities and so on. The policy laid emphasis on stopping any kind of discrimination with people due to disability, race, ethnicity, age or sex. This clearly shows that policy is made to increase and improve the rate of diversity in the organization. Research has shown that diversity in the organization has a number of benefits (Education.NSW n.d.). However, managing a diversified workforce is a challenge in itself. Therefore, the main purpose of the policy is to ensure a work environment that is able to utilize the skills, experiences, qualification and values of a diversified workforce (Riccucci 2018). In this way, knowledge related to workforce diversity and its benefits can help an organization in successful functioning. The section of access and equity contains discussion of Aboriginal education, anti-racism, multi-cultural education and students with disabilities. These topics contain principles of diversity and support the inclusion of different people in the organization by supporting these subjects. The principles of EEO are the main founding body for the formation for the workplace diversity policy, programs and initiatives. The principles of EEO support diversity with aim of providing equal access to jobs, opportunities for self and professional growth and so on (Education.NSW n.d.).
The policy indicates that has a workplace diversity plan, Aboriginal human resources development plan and a strategic human resources plan (Education.NSW n.d.). These will assist to understand the meaning of diversity and will make it clear how they can implement the same within the workplace. The benefits of policy can also be released with this step. Overall, the policy encourages people to make sure that it is implemented in a way that people are benefited from it.
3. Are the strategies and measures of success in the implementation documents relevant to the objectives in the policy? (15 marks)
The policy statement highlights that the department of NSW is committed to building a workplace that is fair and supports inclusion. The workplace must reflect the diversity of all the students, parents and the community. The three main objectives of the policy are as follows.
1. The NSW Department of education mentions that its people are its biggest asset. It aims to attract and retain employees that have diverse skills and come from different ethnicity, experience and backgrounds (Education.NSW n.d.). This will help in the promotion of high-quality education and training services to the students. Therefore the objective of having a workplace that is diversified help in meeting the needs of parents, communities, customers and so on.
2. The department respects individuals with differences and is passionate about building a workplace culture that treats each person with fairness and provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth (Education.NSW n.d.). The objective helps an organization to get benefited by having a workforce with wide-ranging capabilities.
3. The policy of workplace diversity helps in building and implementing different programs and initiatives that help in recognizing and promoting workplace diversity in all the areas of the department.
In section five of the policy, the plan for monitoring, measurement and evaluation is highlighted. In the section, it is indicated that the scope of the plan will be monitored by the general manager. As the responsibility of the policy given to the general manager, there will be strict adherence to the policy and it will be made sure that all the activities are guided according to the framework. Different work areas in the department are given with the responsibility of implementing, monitoring and reporting about the progress of the policy with respect to different plans. The inclusion of every department in this process of monitoring will make sure that data is collected in a reliable way and that each one contributes to the achievement of the objectives. The policy is planned to be evaluated on an annual basis and will be measured using the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statistics (Education.NSW n.d.). Use of survey in this process will make sure that the results are accurate. These will also help the department to know about the areas where there is a need for improvement and those which are accomplished. Further, it is the responsibility of the senior executives, staff, supervisors and the managers to motivate the employees to participate in filling out the EEO survey. This is as the survey will be used to measure the data for workplace diversity. The strategy used in the policy majorly focuses on encouraging every employee of the organization to promote, monitor and report the progress of workforce diversity (Education.NSW n.d.). These strategies help in meeting the objectives of the policy.
4. Review DET Annual Report for statistical data to identify trends for diversity and EEO issues. (https://bit.ly/2OGxyVY) (10 marks)
The DET report summarizes the achievements obtained by the department in 2017’s workplace diversity initiatives and programs. The department has worked to promote equal employment opportunities to all the employees in the organization. According to the department of NSW, workforce diversity is about the representation of groups who are often under-represented at a workplace (Annual Report 2017). These groups majorly consist of women, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people, people with some form of disability and those who have different first language and not English.
The figures show that in 2017, 77.8 per cent of the women were a part of the permanent and temporary workforce (Annual Report 2017). The representation of Aboriginal communities in NSW government was 3.8 per cent which is more than the last year (2.6 per cent) (Annual Report 2017). The people that are suffering from disabilities who required adjustments in the workplace were 0.7 per cent while overall people with disability accounted for around 3.1 per cent (Annual Report 2017). The people who were having different first language except English were 11.1 per cent in the workforce (Annual Report 2017). The trends reflect that in 2017, the department has been able to improve as the proportion of people is high as compared to previous years. The total number of staff from diversified groups counts to 97,076 which is higher than 2016 (95,332) (Annual Report 2017). However, not much difference is observed in figures as compared to previous years. This is why it is important to focus on the integration of diversity on a broader level. This is as according to the report, NSW is the one which has the highest amount of Aboriginals in its population. This population is higher than any other state of Australia and is predicted to increase (Annual Report 2017). Thousands of students are a part of NSW public schools and acquire support from their teachers due to disabilities. The trends in policy show that the budget for the welfare of the students has significantly increased in the past few years (Annual Report 2017). Opportunities are created by preventing them to pay fees for starting calendar year. However, after all these efforts the figures have not changed drastically in the last five years. The successful management of diversity will be possible when a work culture is established that clearly supports and uses the contributions made by employees belonging to different ethnic backgrounds, education and language. The awareness generated on diversity will also assist in benefiting the diverse workforce and will help people to protect the rights of people and respect the domains of diversity (Knoke 2018).
5. Make recommendations for improvement for the policy. (10 marks)
The policy consists of all the required legislation and key ideas that support the inclusion of diversity. However, the policy must lay more emphasis on the sex discrimination and disability discrimination act. Moreover, in relation to the implementation of the policy it must be ensured that along with the senior staff, supervisors, managers, each employee from any designation must support in the achievement of the policy. Further, strategies must involve the use of technology where the department can market its programs and initiatives. This will assist in increasing the awareness related to diversity policy and will also encourage other organizations to adopt the same (Annual Report 2017). The aim of the policy must not be to have a diversity of Aboriginals and women but also the people who are denied due to other reasons. The policy must also focus on other issues that arise in the workplace and compliance must be made. These issues consist of respecting values of others, promotion of workplace diversity, being ethical, ensuring workplace safety, prevention of unlawful discrimination based on different grounds and harassment and bullying. These practices will help greatly in making an efficient and healthy workplace (Davis, Frolova and Callahan 2016). More emphasis must be laid on fairness and discrimination in the workplace. This will help in resolving issues of poor organizational culture and will promote a healthy and diverse workforce. Moreover, it is recommended that the policy must be circulated to all the areas and places at NSW so that more people can be made aware of the laws. Consistent efforts must be made in order to make the policy effective for a long time. In addition, a broader integration of the policy will help in attaining results faster and will also help in eliminating the issues faced by under-represented people.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1987
This act means that employment procedures and policies are derived and regulated by the principle of merit. This states that the workforce is treated fairly when employers come to take any decisions. Moreover, unlawful discrimination must not take place in any form. According to law, discriminating someone against different grounds based on their actual or assumed aspects such as age, gender, career status, disability, employment, sexual orientation, industry activity, marital status, political values, pregnancy, breastfeeding, race and religious beliefs is prohibited (Stephenson, Broadbent and Strachan 2017). Thus, the act makes sure that the place where employees are working is free from every form of discrimination and harassment. The EEO in the NSW sector provides with programs to assist people to come out through present or past situations of discrimination (Taksa and Groutsis 2017). The act has an impact on diversity as it allows having workplace rules, practices and working which is fair and do not disadvantage people that belong to some different groups. These groups can be women, Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islanders, members of ethnic, racial, ethno-religious and minority groups and those with disabilities or impairment. Thus, the act promotes giving equal opportunity to each of these groups without any discrimination, In this way, diversity is promoted and employers including the government are required to not discriminate any candidate because of any of the above-mentioned grounds (Davis, Frolova and Callahan 2016). In addition, both indirect and direct discrimination is against the law. Direct discrimination can be understood the one where an employer might not hire anyone because they are women (Thornton 2015). This can likely be understood as discrimination due to sex. On the other hand, indirect discrimination can be outlining an employee's pay based on their race and not because of their skills. This constitutes discrimination based on race.
Gender Equality Act of 2012
According to this act, employers are required to promote gender equality in the workplace. The main motive of this act is to promote and improve gender equality in employment and within the workplace (Harris Rimmer and Sawer 2016). The act support employers to eradicate the barriers to complete and equal participation of women in the staff. This is done to recognize the disadvantaged position of women associated with employment matters. The act aims to eliminate discrimination based on gender among employers. In this way, discussion among employees and employers in relation to gender equality in the workplace can be increased. The act also has a deep impact on diversity as the act promotes an equal share of men and women in the workplace eliminating any grounds of discrimination (Williamson and Colley 2018). Thus, productivity and competitiveness in the business can be improved with the advancement of gender equality within the workplace and employment. This Workplace Gender Equality agency is established which helps employees in promotion and improvement of gender equality in the workplaces. The agency provides guidelines to different employers so that the purpose of this act can be met and diversity can be ensured. The agency also works with employers in order to maximize the effectiveness of the act and minimize the burden of regulatory affairs for employers.
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Disability discrimination is seen when a person is not given adequate opportunities or treated favourably like others in the same situation due to their disability. According to the disability discrimination act, it is against the law to discriminate a person on the basis of their public life, employment, use of services or public places and so on due to their disability (Annual Report 2017). The act also addresses people that are suffering from a temporary or permanent form of disabilities. These involve physical, intellectual, neurological, sensory and other forms of psychological disabilities, diseases and illness, medical conditions, injuries or physical disfigurement. The act is extended to the disabilities that people have developed in the past or those which might happen in near future along with disabilities that people assume that they have (Moore 2015). The act also aims to protect people that are having any disabilities and those who can be discriminated because they are assisted by someone who can be an interpreter or a reader. Also, there can be people who are accompanied by a trained animal or a guide, assistant or a guide and so on. The act is also extended for people who might be using any equipment or aid like a hearing machine or a wheelchair (Australian Human Rights Commission 2016). The act also makes it unlawful to discriminate someone based on their connection or relation with a person with a disability. The act is made in such a way that it involves that everyone despite their disability is given equal representation in the workplace. This equal representation allows for a diversified workforce and includes people despite of their disabilities. This helps in the promotion of diversity as seen from a bigger perspective. In addition, according to this act, discriminating people with disabilities is prohibited during the process of recruitment, final decision, terms and conditions of the job, training, promotion, transfer, dismissal and so on.
Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Racial discrimination can be understood when a person is treated less favourably and is not given equal opportunities like others in a similar situation only because of their race, the country where they were born, their origin, ethnicity and their skin colour. The act prohibits can kind of discrimination against a person because of their race, origin or status of immigration (Human rights n.d..). Under the act, people are protected against racial discrimination in all spheres of public and professional lives including education, services, renting or buying of houses or accessibility to the public places. The act also prohibits hatred related to race. The act has a deep impact on diversity as it promotes the inclusion of people belonging to different races. When people from different ethnic backgrounds are given place in an organization then they can deal effectively with different kinds of customers located globally. This is how the act promotes diversity and helps in employing people coming from different backgrounds based on their skills and knowledge. Various examples where racial discrimination in employment can appear involves, insisting the employees to speak in English at all the times, not giving job to someone from a particular racial group considering them as unreliable or not promoting someone by assuming that they might not fit well with others or giving negative comments to employees due to their race (Bielefeld and Altman 2015). The act also covers the process of recruitment by which candidates are hired in the agencies.
Annual Report. 2017. NSW Department of Education. https://education.nsw.gov.au/about-us/strategies-and-reports/media/documents/Annual_Report_2017_Full.pdf
Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016. Willing to work: national inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability (2016).
Bielefeld, S. and Altman, J., 2015. Australia's First Peoples–Still Struggling for Protection Against Racial Discrimination.
Davis, P.J., Frolova, Y. and Callahan, W., 2016. Workplace diversity management in Australia: what do managers think and what are organisations doing?. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 35(2), pp.81-98.
Education.NSW. n.d.. Workforce Diversity Policy. https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/workforce-diversity-policy
Harris Rimmer, S. and Sawer, M., 2016. Neoliberalism and gender equality policy in Australia. Australian Journal of Political Science, 51(4), pp.742-758.
Human rights. n.d.. Racial discrimination. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/employers/good-practice-good-business-factsheets/racial-discrimination
Knoke, D., 2018. Changing organizations: Business networks in the new political economy. London: Routledge.
Moore, K.J., 2015. Disability employment practices in the Australian retail sector (Doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology).
Riccucci, N., 2018. Managing Diversity In Public Sector Workforces: Essentials Of Public Policy And Administration Series. London: Routledge.
Stephenson, E., Broadbent, K. and Strachan, G., 2017. Climbing the'Staircase': Do EEO Policies Contribute to Women Achieving Senior Leadership Positions in Universities in Australia and Hong Kong?. Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity, 5, pp.122-152.
Taksa, L. and Groutsis, D., 2017. Swings and Roundabouts: Reconsidering Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity Management in Australia from a Historical Perspective. In Management and Diversity: Thematic Approaches (pp. 255-282). Emerald Publishing Limited.
Thornton, M., 2015. The Political Contingency of Sex Discrimination Legislation: The Case of Australia. Laws, 4(3), pp.314-334.
Williamson, S. and Colley, L., 2018. Gender in the Australian Public Service: Doing, Undoing, Redoing or Done?. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77(4), pp.583-596.
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