Acas guide for laws on equality and diversityBusinesses are being urged to think how changes in government legislation on equality and diversity could impact on how they conduct their day-to-day affairs.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), which is a non-governmental body largely financed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has published guidance on how to deal with rule changes and how they affect company policies and procedures.

In the document, it is noted that firms will no longer send out pre-employment health questionnaires to would-be employees with application packs from October onwards.

Furthermore, bosses could be liable for harassment of a member of staff by a third party they do not have on they payroll such as external suppliers or even customers.

Another key aspect for employers to think is the outcome of tribunals, which can require them to alter their policies if they have been found guilty.

Acas chief executive John Taylor commented: "Fairness in the workplace is good business and motivates staff as well as improving effectiveness and productivity."

By Ross George