Workforce diversity is the demand of today's organizations due to the several inherent benefits that are received out of a diverse workforce. Moreover, it is also the responsibility of the organizations to maintain diversity and remain fair for employment. The diversity policy of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care states that every person or every staff of the organization would be given equal, fair and transparent treatment for recruitment, growth and advancement. People would not be discriminated on the grounds of age, gender, nationality, race, color, religion, marital or relationship status, disability, pregnancy and breastfeeding. The further details of the policy include:
Policy is applicable for all the staff members employed or contracted by the commission.
Resources and Legislation
The commitment of the organization’s workplace diversity will be mentioned in the clause 65 of the Enterprise Agreement 2012-2014. Various other conditions given in the Enterprise Agreement are also considered in the development of the policy.
Key Principles of Equity and Diversity in Employment
The key principles that are valued in the policy are impartiality, committed to service, accountability, respectful and ethical practices.
Workplace diversity program of the commission
The organization is committed to ensuring that people are not discriminated on the basis of their differences. It acknowledges and respects employees who differ on the parameters of skills, talent, backgrounds, views and other aspects. The objectives are the enrichment of the organization's working environment and achieving qualitative work that is needed to be done by the commission.
Program Goals, Activities and Reporting
In Australia, unintended bias is experienced by the people of certain groups. These groups include aboriginals or Torres Strait Islander people, women; disable people and people who are linguistically and culturally different (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2014). Thus, special attention would be given to ensure that these groups of people do not face any kind of discrimination at the work place. Every employee in the organization would be responsible to treat their co-workers with respect and courtesy, to carry out the work without harassment and to behave in such a manner that upholds the values of diversity management in the organization. Every staff member is responsible to adhere to the values and guidelines of diversity management policy.
The organization which is selected for the development and implementation of diversity policy is the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. It is a government organization that facilitates and directs health and safety in the healthcare system of Australia. The aim of the organization is to provide a health care system to the country which is informed, organized and supported so that safe and high-quality health care services can be delivered to the citizens (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2019a). The aim of the work is to understand and develop a diversity policy for the organization so that diversity can be effectively implemented in the organization.
Nature of the business
The organization is a government institute and it operates in the health care sector of the country. As it is a government organization and it sets standards for the entire industry, it is significant to have an effective diversity management policy. The diversity policy will ensure that the organization welcomes different kinds of people irrespective of their background, culture, religion, nationality and colour. This kind of policy facilitates innovation in the firm, enhances better services to the client and enhances the quality of working environment of the organization. The organization is accountable to the Australian Parliament and Minister for Health regarding the initiatives and developments in the healthcare sector (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2019b). The company ensures that it supports the people, organization, professionals and policy workers in the direction of health and safety. It is vital for the organization to work effectively and diversity places a significant role in the effective functioning of the organization. Moreover, it needs to maintain a positive and acceptable image for itself in the industry. The organization which works ethically, welcomes diversity at the workplace and executes its duties effectively is respected in the industry. As the organization is one of the top agencies in the industry, it should focus on maintaining its image positive and acceptable.
The clients of the organization are various government and private hospitals, health care institutes and care agencies that work in the area of health care and safety in the nation. The good health and safety of the patients is also the responsibility of the commission and therefore, it needs the frame such policies that can benefit all the stakeholders. All the clients and stakeholders of the company are associated with the industry of health and safety.
Various benefits will be gained by the organization after the implementation of diversity policy. It is an inclusive organization where fairness, consistent diversity and equity are valued up to a great extent in consistency with the Australian Public Service (APS) values and Code of Conduct. By implementing the diversity policy, the organization will get benefitted in the following ways:
The recruitment of the employees will be completely impartial and the current practices of the existing employees will also be effective.
When the staff receives fair treatment and fair opportunities for growth, they will remain committed to their services. Moreover, the clients of the commission will receive good services from different kinds of people who possess a varied spectrum of knowledge and information. When the clients will receive effective services, they will also support the policies, procedures and programs that are designed by the commission for the health and safety of people. Getting the support of healthcare organizations is vital to achieve the aims of objectives of the commission (Riccucci, 2018). Thus, diversity policy will be helpful in this direction.
Accountability will increase from both the sides that are the organization will remain accountable to its stakeholders and the stakeholders will also remain accountable to the commission for the achievement of stated objectives.
Efficiency of the commission would increase with the help of varied people who will have a wide range of knowledge, information, experience and background.
Innovation would increase in the organization by employing a diverse workforce. More rooms will be open for new ideas and insights in the policies of the commission.
The work environment of the organization would be better (Podsiadlowski, Gröschke, Kogler, Springer, & Van Der Zee, 2013).
Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act
The act states that no one would get discriminated on the basis of gender, age, background or any other grounds. It is given with respect to the employment and growth opportunities for people. The workplace diversity policy of the commission will incorporate this act in the policy and it will ensure that every person’s differences would be valued at the workplace. Recruitment, advancement and promotion will take place on the basis of qualification, experience and knowledge and not on the basis of other unfair grounds (Lennox & Waites, 2013).
Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act/s
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 prohibits the discrimination of the people in an organization on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, political opinion and marital status. The commission would ensure that the organization follows this act and no one gets discriminated on the basis of all these aspects. Everyone would receive fair opportunities to work in the organization (Morris, 2013). Moreover, transparency will be maintained so that the stakeholders can get information about recruitment, selection and growth.
Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 fosters equality between men and women at the workplace and it gives effect to the international human rights obligations of Australia. The act is influential to protect people from discrimination and unfair treatment on the basis of sexual orientation, relationship or marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding and gender identity. Workers with family responsibilities also get protection and sexual harassment is considered against the law. This act would be effectively incorporated into the policy and everyone will have right to register complaints to commission in case the law gets violated by anyone (Grbich, 2013). Harassment and discrimination would not be tolerated in the commission and fair treatment will be facilitated.
Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 is passed by the Australian government with the purpose to protect disable people in various realms. These realms include education, employment, provision of goods and services, association, club and publicly available premises. In the field of employment, these people are protected from any kind of work place discrimination. The commission would ensure that disable people get their rights implemented effectively and they are not discriminated in the organizational procedure and practices. Various health conditions like cancer, HIV, physical disability, blindness and so on are covered under the act (Stancliffe, 2014). So, the organization would include all the aspects of the diversity procedure.
Key stakeholders of the policy
The key stakeholders of the policy who will be consulted while developing the policy are as follows:
Minister for health: Section 16 of the National Health Reform Act provides empowerment to health ministers to give direction to the commission. The commission must comply with the directions of the minister for health. Various board members are also appointed under him who can also be consulted during the development of the policy.
Healthcare organizations: Various healthcare organizations like government and private hospitals and other care providers will be consulted so that their constructive suggestions and feedbacks can be received.
Top health care executives: The top executives of the industry like policymakers, doctors and practitioners will be involved in the procedure of development of policy. They are the people who are familiar with the ground realities and their involvement would prove to be of great help to frame effective policies (Morello et al., 2013).
Lawyers: Lawyers are one of the most significant stakeholders that need to be involved because they can provide insights into the laws, legislation and acts that must be incorporated into the policy.
Government bodies: Those government bodies which are working in the sector would also be involved.
Stakeholders are the key people and therefore, their involvement is vital in the development and implementation of the policy. The stakeholders will be provided with all the details of the policy like what are the upcoming plans, how people will get benefitted from the policy and what steps will be followed to implement the policy. During the development and implementation of the policy, the stakeholders will be involved. Thus, they will automatically get the information regarding the benefits of the policy. Moreover, a formal mail will be released regarding the description of the policy (Lawrence & Weber, 2014). Another method that will be adopted for this purpose is the release of diversity policy on the internet. The website of the commission will also contain information regarding the same. All the stakeholders of the organization can thus, easily gain information for the policy and its benefits.
The benefits of the policy include innovation in the organization by paving a way for the inclusion of innovative ideas and contribution of people from various backgrounds. Further, a friendly, supportive and favorable environment will exist in the organization that will be helpful in efficient and effective practices. The commission is responsible for the health care organizations of the country in terms of preparation and implementation of health and safety policies. Thus, it must remain fair and transparent and it should stand as an ideal organization for the stakeholders. By reflecting diversity in the workforce, it can understand the requirements of the clients more effectively. It will prove to be helpful in providing better services to the clients. A more comprehensive awareness of the community will get developed and thus, the needs of the community can be understood effectively (Lawrence & Weber, 2014). Communication with the clients and stakeholders will become smooth and facilitating.
The following efforts will be done in this direction:
Empowerment and education of the departmental heads: The primary point of employee connection is their departmental heads. They must be taught and educated the benefits of the policy. Further, they will be empowered to hire and manage a diverse group of people. They will be given information regarding how to treat the people in order to manage diversity at the workplace. Training will also be given to department heads so that they can deal with sensitivity and cultural issues.
Building Diversity-Friendly Workforce Policies
The workforce policies will be diversity friendly and it will include amendment of current policies and implementation of the new one. While posting a new job opening, the job description should be tailored in such a way that it can reach a broader audience (Wangombe, Wambui, Muthura, Kamau, & Jackson, 2013). Employees should be allowed to take holidays for the important days in their consideration.
Efforts will be made to maintain open communication in the commission. Furthermore, employees would be encouraged to tell to the departmental heads regarding any kind of discrimination that has been observed or experienced by them (Barak, 2016).
Offering varied opportunities for the engagement of the employees
Diverse opportunities that will let them know the benefits of the policies include engagement in the cultural celebrations of the commission and engagement in the relevant matters (Barak, 2016). Moreover, everyone would be provided benefits that are meant for them without any biases.
The impact of the policy needs to be measured so that the outcomes of the policy can be known. It can be measured in the following ways:
A survey can be done in which employees will be required to give their feedback for the kind of changes that they have observed after the implementation of the diversity policy.
The employees will also be interviewed to get information regarding the status of diversity at the workplace. Moreover, questions for discrimination and equality will also be asked.
Feedbacks and suggestions that are received from the people will be reviewed so that more information can be gained. People will be allowed to report discrimination incidence to their departmental heads (Davis, Frolova, & Callahan, 2016). The reports and feedbacks will be stored and analyzed to judge the impact of the policy.
A report will be prepared for the current status of diversity in the workplace. The diversity report would include proportion of men and women, recruitment of disable people and information of people from diverse backgrounds. It will be helpful to understand the type of recruitments and promotions that have taken place after the implementation of the policy (Davis, Frolova, & Callahan, 2016).
The impact of the policy will be measured after 1 year of implementation. The period can be extended up to 18 months depending on the requirement of that time.
Monitoring of the effectiveness of the policy will require continuous inspection when it is in practice. Continuous monitoring is essential to ensure that the results and impact would be in alignment with the stated objectives and purposes. The monitoring will be done by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the workplace. Checking the availability of convenient infrastructure and support system for disabled people, inspection of staff's involvement in various events of the commission, analyzing the feedbacks on a continuing basis and checking the availability of non-gendered restroom facilities will be done in this direction. Recruitment and selection is a vital procedure that will be monitored to check if discrimination occurs in the procedure (Ashe & Nazroo, 2017). It will be ensured that people are given opportunities to work in the organization. Department heads will be asked to check the status of the effectiveness of the policy in the commission. Moreover, an executive will be given responsibility and accountability to ensure that department heads are working appropriately. All the areas where diversity should exist will be checked and monitored. The existing practices will be matched with the standards that are defined in the policy so that assurance can be achieved for the expected practices. Timely communication will also be done in this direction with the staff and departmental heads. The communication can be both formal and informal.
The policy is effective enough to ensure that diversity is managed significantly in the organization. However, the policy can be improved by incorporating some more suggestions and guidelines. After the implementation of the policy, it should be continuously monitored to ascertain that the practices are performed as per the expectations. In case any deviation is found or some activities are not seen up to the mark, then changes can be introduced. These changes will be made in such a manner that the objectives of the policy can be achieved. The policy should also incorporate relevant actions that would be taken against those people who do not follow the diversity policy and its instruction. Moreover, people should have information regarding the actions that can be taken against them in the situation of non-compliance with the policy. The initiatives and support which is expected out of responsible people in the organization should be mentioned in a chart. This will be helpful for the people to remain aware of the work that should be performed by them regarding the implementation of the policy. Lawyers should also be consulted periodically so that if any changes take place in the legislature, they can be incorporated in the policies.
Ashe, S., & Nazroo, J. (2017). Equality, diversity and racism in the workplace: A qualitative analysis of the 2015 race at work survey.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2014). Workplace Diversity Policy. Retrieved from https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Workplace-Diversity-Policy-Jan-2015.pdf
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2019a). Home page. Retrieved from https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2019b). National Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/national-priorities/
Barak, M. E. M. (2016). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.
Davis, P. J., Frolova, Y., & 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), 81-98.
Grbich, J. E. (2013). The body in legal theory. In At the Boundaries of Law (RLE Feminist Theory) (pp. 81-96). London: Routledge.
Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2014). Business and Society: Stakeholders, ethics, public policy. New York: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Lennox, C., & Waites, M. (2013). Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in the Commonwealth: From history and law to developing activism and transnational dialogues. School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Morello, R. T., Lowthian, J. A., Barker, A. L., McGinnes, R., Dunt, D., & Brand, C. (2013). Strategies for improving patient safety culture in hospitals: a systematic review. BMJ Qual Saf, 22(1), 11-18.
Morris, S. (2013). Constitutional reform for indigenous recognition and equality before the law. Legaldate, 25(4), 2.
Podsiadlowski, A., Gröschke, D., Kogler, M., Springer, C., & Van Der Zee, K. (2013). Managing a culturally diverse workforce: Diversity perspectives in organizations. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(2), 159-175.
Riccucci, N. (2018). Managing Diversity in Public Sector Workforces: Essentials Of Public Policy And Administration Series. London: Routledge.
Stancliffe, R. J. (2014). Inclusion of adults with disability in Australia: outcomes, legislation and issues. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(10), 1053-1063.
Wangombe, J. G., Wambui, T. W., Muthura, M. W., Kamau, A. W., & Jackson, S. M. (2013). Managing Workplace Diversity: A Kenyan Perspective.
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