Inclusive Employers, an organisation dedicated to helping employers develop an inclusive workplace, today announced the launch of  National Inclusion Week, the first such week to help employers avoid the pitfalls of discrimination and to maximise the potential of all employees.

National Inclusion Week is an annual campaign from 7-11 October 2013 that invites employers to participate in a range of activities and events.  The idea of matching an engaged, inclusive workforce to a high-performing company is a simple one, yet one that still fails to be adopted.  By understanding a diverse workforce, supporting and utilising skills, a business will reap commercial awards.  The week aims to arm employers with the skills to do just that.

Richard McKenna, Inclusive Employers MD said:  “We are delighted that around 50 UK employers have already signed up to take part.  We’re now calling on other UK employers to do the same.   It’s time we got behind the concept of inclusion to end the isolation and discrimination thousands of employees face on a daily basis.

“We need to harness the talent of our diverse workforces to reap the commercial rewards that inclusion offers us.  Inclusion is a business priority and should be at the top of your organisation’s agenda; being an inclusive employer benefits your productivity and profitability.”

In the three years since the introduction of the Equality Act, the pace of change in UK workplaces has been slow and the number of employment tribunals is on the rise. In 2010/11 there were:

  • 6,800 age discrimination claim
  • 5000 race discrimination claims
  • 640 sexual orientation discrimination claims
  • 880 religion or belief discrimination claims
  • 18,300 sex discrimination claims & 1,900 claims on grounds of detriment or unfair dismissal due to pregnancy.
  • 7,200 disability discrimination claims.

Rachel Lock, HR Director, TSB said: “We are delighted to support and take part in the first National Inclusion Week.  As Britain’s newest bank we are passionate about building an inclusive organisation, which nurtures different styles, skills, backgrounds and cultures. Our 8,500 staff will play a vital role in our future success and it is incredibly important to us that each and every person working for TSB feels valued, is able to be themselves and is appreciated for the contribution they are making”.

Mark McCusker, CEO of Texthelp & Chair of the British Assistive Technology Association said: “Texthelp is proud to be taking part in National Inclusion Week as our aim has always been to provide inclusive support in the workplace for those that have dyslexia or reading and writing difficulties. We work with organisations such as Transport for London and the Fire Brigades Union to help staff improve their performance, as well as to promote equality and inclusion with the most comprehensive, cutting-edge technology available.”

Sharon Pegg, Group Inclusion & Diversity Manager, The Co-operative said: “The Cooperative Group is proud to be participating in National Inclusion Week. Our organisation values the contribution of every member of our team; inclusive thinking is central to who we are and what we do.”

NHS Employers, TSB, McDonalds, The Co-operative, Transport for London, Enterprise Rent-a-car, House of Commons, Nomura, Macmillan, Environment Agency, Recite, National Grid, Texthelp, Southwest Trains are some the leading national brands that are participating in the Week. Together they will lead the way in breaking barriers and building success.

Every organisation is welcome to take part in National Inclusion Week.  With lots of different events and activities taking place, there is something for everyone to get involved in. There will be daily “tweet-ins” which will promote inclusion and the importance of valuing difference in the workplace, #NIW2013 or #NationalInclusionWeek.

National Inclusion Week is jam-packed full of events and workshops:

It is free to register, visit: www.nationalinclusionweek.co.uk to find out more.