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How to handle hate in the workplace

We’re currently living through some very uncertain times here in the UK and you’ve no doubt seen the news stories unfolding in recent weeks detailing terrible acts of racism and xenophobia on our streets since the country voted to leave the EU.

There’s no denying that there’s a level of fear amongst minority communities, and True Vision, a police-run site created to combat hate crime, recently recorded a five-fold increase in reported incidents from the public in the days following the referendum result. So what exactly do employers need to be aware of and what are your responsibilities as we navigate our way through what’s to come? Read on for advice and guidance.

Take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and harassment

If you witness hateful incidents in your workplace, it’s your responsibility to take action. Business owners and their managers should never turn a blind eye to such situations and if you were to take this route, you’d be likely to find that everything very quickly escalated out of control.

Many of our clients employ diverse workforces and enjoy the many benefits of doing so, but it’s important that you have a plan in place when problems arise. Act fast and in line with your existing people policies. Be firm and lead by example. This is no time for waiting around or being ambiguous with your actions.

Contact the appropriate authorities where necessary

Some problems can be nipped in the bud immediately with some clear communication and a firm stand. Sometimes though, there are deeper issues at play and things can very quickly spiral out of control. It may be the case that you need to involve the police.

This may seem like a big step to take, but it’s vital that you remember that you have a responsibility as an employer. The authorities will be able to give you advice on what to do next, and will be able to take any necessary steps to ensure that the situation is managed in accordance with the law.

Our advice for handling hatred in the workplace is short and to the point. Take action quickly and take a stand against any such behaviour.

If you suspect that your discrimination and harassment policies may be outdated or no longer fit for purpose, then now would be a great time to complete an audit of exactly where you are and what challenges may be ahead. Not sure where to start? We can help. Give us a call today and we can arrange a no-obligation consultation.