Equal Opportunity in the Workplace

Discuss about the Equal Opportunity in the Workplace.

Understand The Impact of Equal Opportunities Within the Workplace

In recent years, it has been found that employees are bringing charges against their employers related with discrimination at the workplace. It has been found that during the period of 2014 to 2015, there were 61,308. The highest sum awarded by the Employment Tribunal was £557, 039 (Coppock, Haydon & Richter, 2014). Hence, it has become important to discuss various forms of discrimination within a company (Virgin Group) and the practical implication equal opportunity legislation for Virgin Group.  

Different Forms of Discrimination that can take Place in Workplace of Virgin Group

There are various types of discrimination can be found in the workplace of the company Virgin Group. They are such as gender related discrimination, religion related discrimination, inequality in compensation, and age related discrimination and discrimination with disables. 

Gender related discrimination

In the company Virgin group, there various types of gender discrimination can be found. It includes pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal payment for female employees (Coppock, Haydon & Richter, 2014). The management of the company needs to understand that sex discrimination or gender discrimination is a significant part of common civil right violation that needs to be prohibited. They need to develop equal payment scheme for both men and women in accordance to the Equal Pay Act 1963 (Barak, 2013).

Religion related discrimination

It has been found that in company Virgin group, persons belong to Muslim religion have to face issues from the management and they are treated less favourably. Kersley et al. (2013) have stated that, the incident of 9/11 has affected the organizational behaviour of Western companies. However, the company needs to understand that, the HR policy or management has to be natural for all religion. Elmuti et al. (2013) have mentioned, “management or HR policy cannot force any employee to restrict religious activity or to abide by other beliefs.”

Inequality in compensation

In addition, it has been found that the management of virgin group is partial to some employees in case of compensation. It decreases motivation level of employees at workplace and decreases level of job satisfaction. Holmes and Stubbe (2015) have stated that, in order to improvise employee motivation, HR policies have to be developed in such a way that no discrimination has been occurred while judging the compensation rate of employees.

Discrimination with disables

The company treats disable peoples as less capable and talented than normal people. However, it has been found that there are many disable candidates who are more skilled and capable than normal employees. Hence, employers of Virgin group should not underestimate disable candidates during the process of recruitment (Klarsfeld et al., 2014)

Practical Implications of Equal Opportunities Legislations for the Virgin Group

The equal opportunity policy of this Virgin Group endorses the equal treatment and the services it present irrespective of disability, color, race, cultural and national originality, marital status, sexual orientation and some other criterion. From the company profile, it can be seen that the there are four Advisory committees in Virgin Group that are responsible to look after by the EO department and they with the specified areas of potential discrimination. It can be said that the Equal Opportunities Department, as well as commerce with the work of these departments and being concerned in campaigning issues, provides good advices to the braches on equal opportunities concerns and arranges assistance in respect of nuisances well as unfairness (Vandello et al., 2013).

Apart from that, it can be stated that there is assistance available if the employees feel that they are experiencing bullying and harassment in the place of work. The assistance phone number is available for employees 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The concerned department of Virgin Group focus on these below mentioned points and these are as follows:

  • Dignity and fair treatment
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Purposeful leadership
  • Fair pay and some lucrative benefits
  • A highly positive workplace and the environment
  • Global belonging, i.e. connecting with the regional and intercontinental communities and some other sectors
  • Significant work and delivering proper purpose and joy (Akande, 2013)

The team has always focused on being more human and thus, in the year 2015, they launched 100 experiments in the B Team corporations and the aim of the company is to make the workplace more human. From that company profile, it can be seen that they are more focused on sharing these new ways of working with the wider business community, so that the best practices can be easily scaled and replicated throughout the world (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013).  

Comparing the Approaches to Manage Eequal Opportunities and Managing Diversity

Boston and O’Grady (2015) have stated that one of the core differences among managing diversity and equal opportunity is concerned with the force of change. It can be stated that whereas external forces like governmental legislation, social fairness, human rights and ethical rights targets to drive equal opportunity, managing diversity seeks to be driven by internal factors within the administrative arrangement and is instantly associated with the bottom line. Apart from that, it can be mentioned that another difference between these two approaches are their goals. The goal of the equal opportunity has been mentioned as social justice and rectifying errors that have been made previously in the past, in order to correct an imbalance, an injustice and a mistake (Jonsen et al., 2013)

Apart from that, it can be stated that managing diversity is regarded as a more integrated approach to put equality into practices and is properly demonstrated to be responsibility of all managers, whereas only the human resource managers drive equal opportunity approaches. In this part, the fundamental differences are between “managing diversity” and “equal opportunity” approaches have been mentioned here (Guillaume et al., 2013).

Aspect

Managing Diversity

Equal opportunity

Purpose

Utilize potential of the employees to maximum advantage

Reduce discrimination

Case argued

Business case- enhance profitability

Moral and ethical

Responsibility

All the concerned managers

Human Resource and the Personnel department

Focus on management activities

Managing

Recruitment

Remedies

Changing the culture

Changing systems as well as practices

Podsiadlowski et al., (2013) have stated that the major opportunity strategies as well as practices at the organizational level have been recognized as a significant attempt to establish equality. For instance, it can be said that the creation of such a community or organization, where both female and male are dealt with same manner and they face no odd situation because of their sex. In contrary to this situation, the term “managing diversity” is there to point out the significance of difference and put forward a viewpoint where difference is welcomed. Moreover, this is considered as an advantage rather than a disadvantage to the concerned organization (Wanrooy et al., 2013).  

Understand Approaches to Human Resource Practices in the Virgin Group

Comparing Various Methods of Performance Management

Acker (2012) has stated that performance management takes into account monitoring as well as scrutinizing performances of the concerned employees for recognizing specified places they are performing excellent service. This also sheds light on the areas that require additional enhancement along with those areas that are affecting a company detrimentally. At Virgin Group, performance management methods takes into account those that concentrate on the employee groups or teams, production lines, departments as well as company branches or the subsidies. However, it is required to mention that at Virgin Groups, performance management methods of performance management are similar, as they all help this organization’s Human Resource Management to recognize actual level of performance of the employees (Kulik et al., 2014).

Another performance management procedure being used at Virgin Groups is flatter in the organizational structure that provided opportunities for the employees to rake more responsibilities that was not possible when there were high hierarchy structure in the organization. This particular step has led to enhanced job satisfaction of the employees. Therefore, it can be stated that this is a productive method to provide several chances to the employees in order to maximize their potential, without bureaucratic obstructions to assist the organization (Lips, 2013).

The company has their own rewards for excellence and under this category, they rewards those employees who have performed well. For example, it can be stated that the top sales associates can be properly identified through the Virgin Group’s 100 program or the Virgin Group’s rewards for excellence that takes into account gala evening with an Oscar Style ceremony. Here, the employees are nominated regardless of their job type. From the company profile, it can be stated that there are 20 winners each season and this is the largest rave review within Virgin Group. The management of the company focuses on making things bigger and as a result of that, an internal survey result has explored that 91% employees are ready to go extra mile in order to deliver the customers in the best possible way. However, it is required to mention that it is proven fact that the people respond positively towards rewards, therefore, this performance is highly encouraging as well as motivating. Employees know that when organization plans to reward their hard works, they tend to perform more and this lead to higher employee performance (Dychtwald, Erickson & Morison, 2013).

Evaluating the Approaches to the Practice of Managing Employee Welfare in Virgin Groups

Properly managing the welfare of the employees in Virgin Group is one of the significant parts of the Human Resource Department roles. The Employee Relation team is one of the parts of the Human Resource management team. They have the responsibility to manage several issues that leave impact on general well-being of employees in order to make sure their performance and commitment are not negatively affected by kind of issues like grievance, policies, procedures and redundancy. In this part, it is required to mention that the employee relation team is responsible to generate pension scheme that is highly effective in meeting the general welfare of the employees after retirement from work (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013).

Therefore, it can be stated that the Human Resource Management Team always respond to several aspects of the employee welfare for both life and work by carefully handling the issues of workplace that might affect their concentration and commitment to the organization. Moreover, it is required to add here that the responsible team support largely to plan the employees for their future through their pension scheme (Dychtwald, Erickson & Morison, 2013).

Kulik et al., (2014) have stated that the organizations proffer welfare in several effective ways through several types of programs. From the research works, it can be seen that personnel assistance programs aid the company personnel to manage the issues that are not related to work like family and personal issues. Thus, it aids them to reduce the level of stress that might affect their capabilities of productivity detrimentally. Jonsen et al. (2013) have stated that programs related to income protection supports the employees to achieve fiscal security both in the time of employment and in the retirement periods. Approaches of managing several welfare programs takes into account Blanket approach and Cafeteria approach. However, it can be stated that both these approaches are expensive in long-term perceptions, as it generally ends up making an organization to expend resources to individuals that do not need them. Thus, it is required to mention that the organizations must initially assess personal requirements before implementing any management approach (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013).

Discussing the Implication of Health and Safety Legislation on Human Resources Practices

Health and safety legislation has proper implications on the practices of human resource practices at Virgin Group, as they are under obligations. Therefore, they are abiding by them not only for the safety and for well-being of the employees and the customers, but also for the public. With the course of time, there could be increased expenditure of the company resources. For example, it can be stated that heath legislations like Health and Safety Act of 1974 generally demand that the employers have to institute relevant programs that would ensure acceptable health and safety legislation holds the companies responsible for the health and safety of the employees. Moreover, it can be stated that human resource managers have to make sure that both the employees and environment of the company comply with stated requirements.

Moreover, this implies extra costs in training the employees on health and safety issues. It is regardless to mention that health and safety legislation affects normal human resource management practices since they form a significant factor even in their practices and policies. In order to assist Virgin Group’s human resource management in their practices in relation to health and safety legislation, they have placed several other safety and security units like fire, health and safety teams, and uniformed security for both the female and the male employees. The job of the fire unit review fire precautions, conduct several training courses for the employees in safety related to the subjects like inductions, fire safety, first aid and manual handling.

Evaluate the Impact of one Topical Issue on Human Resource Practices 

Chrobot-Mason and Aramovich (2013) have stated that numerous topical issues largely affect the human resource practices in different parts of the corporation. One such issue takes into account the labour supply of the organization. Labour supply can affect the human resource management practices through both under-supply and over-supply. Under-supply of labour takes place when a specific system is unable to proffer an adequate and constant supply of properly qualified labours for the companies. This happens because of the factors like wanting educational systems or lack of qualified teaching personnel. This in general forces human resource management departments in affected organizations to have to source personnel through some other means like labour exporting that is significantly expensive. Over-supply takes into place when a system or the economic condition churns out more qualified human resources than required. In general, this hampers the existing human resource management practices, especially during the recruitment procedure, as it tends to get more applicants than required. Therefore, they are bound to look at some other effective ways for selecting personnel in pursuit of executing proper and fair selection methods that are not discriminatory in any manner (Guillaume et al., 2013).

When focus is shed on Virgin Group, it can be found that one main issue that leave impact on the human resource practices are the culture of the organization. It can be seen that the culture is one of the major elements that figures out the recruitment and selection procedure at Virgin Groups as well as the engagement of the employees. The impact of culture on recruitment determines a series of interview stages like initial application, screening of CV, telephonic or the video interview, assessment centre, proper resourcing interview and some more. These steps are followed to make sure that the applicants can gradually adapt to the company’s culture. Moreover, it is required to mention that the learning and the development part of the human resource are highly people centred for better engaging with the employees. Apart from that, it is required to mention here that the culture is such a significant part that leaves impact on the style of leadership and thus the leadership of Virgin Group focus at the democratic end of the spectrum (Guillaume et al., 2013).

References

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Akande, A. (2013). The glass ceiling: Women and mentoring in management and business. Employee Councelling Today.

Barak, M. E. M. (2013). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.

Boston, S., & O’Grady, F. (2015). Women workers and the trade unions. Lawrence & Wishart.

Chrobot-Mason, D., & Aramovich, N. P. (2013). The psychological benefits of creating an affirming climate for workplace diversity. Group & Organization Management, 38(6), 659-689.

Coppock, V., Haydon, D., & Richter, I. (2014). The illusions of post-feminism: New women, old myths. Routledge.

Correia, T., Dussault, G., & Pontes, C. (2015). The impact of the financial crisis on human resources for health policies in three southern-Europe countries. Health Policy, 119(12), 1600-1605.

Dychtwald, K., Erickson, T. J., & Morison, R. (2013). Workforce crisis: How to beat the coming shortage of skills and talent. Harvard Business Press.

Elmuti, D., Lehman, J., Harmon, B., Lu, X., Pape, A., Zhang, R., & Zimmerle, T. (2013). Inequality between genders in the executive suite in corporate America: Moral and ethical issues. Equal opportunities international.

Guillaume, Y. R., Dawson, J. F., Woods, S. A., Sacramento, C. A., & West, M. A. (2013). Getting diversity at work to work: What we know and what we still don’t know. Journal of occupational and organizational psychology,86(2), 123-141.

Holmes, J., & Stubbe, M. (2015). Power and politeness in the workplace: A sociolinguistic analysis of talk at work. Routledge.

Jonsen, K., Tatli, A., Özbilgin, M. F., & Bell, M. P. (2013). The tragedy of the uncommons: Reframing workforce diversity. Human Relations, 66(2), 271-294.

Kamerman, S. B., & Kahn, A. J. (2013). The responsive workplace: Employers and a changing labor force. Columbia University Press.

Kersley, B., Alpin, C., Forth, J., Bryson, A., Bewley, H., Dix, G., & Oxenbridge, S. (2013). Inside the workplace: findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey. Routledge.

Klarsfeld, A., Booysen, L. A., Ng, E., Roper, I., & Tatli, A. (Eds.). (2014).9.78 E+ 12: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Kulik, C. T., Ryan, S., Harper, S., & George, G. (2014). Aging populations and management. Academy of Management Journal, 57(4), 929-935.

Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2016). Work in the 21st Century, Binder Ready Version: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

Lips, H. M. (2013). The gender pay gap: Challenging the rationalizations. Perceived equity, discrimination, and the limits of human capital models.Sex Roles, 68(3-4), 169-185.

Maclaran, P., Stevens, L., & Catterall, M. (2013). The “glasshouse effect”: women in marketing management. Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science.

Oswick, C., & Noon, M. (2014). Discourses of diversity, equality and inclusion: trenchant formulations or transient fashions?. British Journal of Management, 25(1), 23-39.

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.

Rubery, J., & Rafferty, A. (2013). Women and recession revisited. Work, Employment & Society, 27(3), 414-432.

Vandello, J. A., Hettinger, V. E., Bosson, J. K., & Siddiqi, J. (2013). When equal isn’t really equal: The masculine dilemma of seeking work flexibility.Journal of Social Issues, 69(2), 303-321.

Wanrooy, B. V., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J., Freeth, S., Stokes, L., & Wood, S. (2013). The 2011 workplace employment relations study: First findings.

 

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