Small Businesses (under 100 staff)

  • Business alliance

This section is aimed at primarily but not exclusively at businesses that want to win public Sector contracts and is aimed specifically at:

  • Small businesses
  • Procurement/Commissioning bodies
  • Suppliers
  • SME’s
  • Social Enterprises
The business case for improving EDI in your business is an open and shut case if you want to win contracts.

As a result of the Equality Act 2010 and particularly Section 149 which enumerates the Public Sector Equality Duty, large businesses have a duty to “advance equality of opportunity” across all their functions and are legally required to now use their considerable financial resources to get your business to improve EDI.

It’s a taken a few years for it all to filter through but they are now increasingly upholding their duty through the procurement function.

Public bodies are/will be getting much stricter on collecting evidence of good EDI practices. Having policies and procedures are nowhere near enough. If you haven’t looked at this area, you are already late coming to the table and you need to move now.

Investors in Diversity for Small Businesses

identify gaps in policies, procedures and practices, which could enable you to improve customer service and business performance;
build your credentials (upon successful achievement) so that you can compete for public sector contracts;
mitigate legal liability by training 100% of your staff.

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E-Learning Programmes

We currently offer four specially designed, high-quality e-learning training programmes based around the following topics:

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Face-to-Face Training

Should you need additional Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training within your organisation, our team of expert trainers are on hand to create bespoke programmes for you. Once you have outlined your EDI needs to us, one of our trainers will be in touch to further establish the content of the information required and then deliver a tailor-made training session to your staff at your office base.

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Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, created a duty on Public Authorities (this includes private businesses and charities that operate a public function), to advance equality of opportunity across all their functions including procurement. Failure to do so means that they run the risk of legal action being taken against them.

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Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, created a duty on Public Authorities (this includes private businesses and charities that operate a public function), to advance equality of opportunity across all their functions including procurement. Failure to do so means that they run the risk of legal action being taken against them.

Find out more

Bid writing

Today, Equality, diversity and inclusion is a very important part of almost all bids and tenders for public sector funding. Getting it wrong could jeopardise your chances of winning the bid.

You may think that you know all about the project or services that you are delivering i.e. operations, delivery of objectives and targets against the criterion etc.

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The Public Sector Equality Duty (Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) impacts Businesses

The Equality Act 2010 was by far the most expansive pieces of equality legislation ever in the UK – bringing together 116 pieces of pre-existing legislation.

It gave legal protection to people who have at least one of 9 protected characteristics (Everyone of us has at least 5 of these protected characteristics).

The Equality Act 2010 contained a new Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which brought a previously unparalleled duty to become proactive in terms of how organisations approach equality.

The PSED is made of:

  • The 3 aims of the ‘General Duty’, which are summarised below.
  • Specific duties to create one or more equality objectives in compliance with the 3 aims paraphrased below and to publish equality information (above 150 staff).

The 3 aims of the ‘General Duty’:

  1. Eliminating discrimination, harassment, and victimisation for those that share a protected characteristic.
  2. Advancing equality & opportunity regarding people and groups with a protected characteristic.
  3. Fostering good relationships between protected & unprotected groups and individuals by tackling prejudice & promoting understanding.
  4. Compliance with the PSED is not just for Public Authorities; Businesses that run a public function must also comply. We are strong in our belief that the PSED is a meaningful stimulus to create real and needed culture change in Businesses.

The 3 aims have ushered in a need for proactivity that is, hitherto, unparalleled. Whether you deliver a public function doesn’t really matter. To get ahead of your competitors you need to do the same kinds of things that the Public Bodies are doing. If you can get ahead and actually be further forward than the public bodies themselves then you will stand out and look even more attractive to awarding bodies.

So it is quite simple. Either you assess, improve on this position and show evidence of improvement or you will miss on public and private sector contracts. Your competitors will win these

What Businesses need to do:

Because of the importance of this area of work Businesses should take a project management approach and carry forward the 9 action points below:

  1. Appoint a leader to oversee this work.
  2. Assess your starting position on EDI.
  3. Fill any gaps
  4. Access good or best practice.
  5. Ensure staff are knowledgeable, competent and confident
  6. Create a measurable plan to include promoting all 4 areas.
  7. Monitor success.
  8. Collate evidence
  9. Re-assess and do the same again.

What are Public bodies specifically looking for:

Each Government department seems to be looking for different things but to give yourself the best possible chance of winning contracts, you should be looking at the following:
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  • Diversification of your workforce. They will want successful contract winners to increase the representation of employees from female, disabled, black and other ethnic minorities specifically but also to ensure all 9 protected char are given due regard. There will be real pressure to make this happen.

  • They want you to truly eliminate discrimination (conscious and unconscious biases), harassment and victimisation in your organisation and within your supply chain.

  • Influencing your supply chain to be adopting the same best practice that you are going to be following.

  • They want you to embed succession planning so that the importance of fairness for all is never lost for example if key individuals leave or if new key people join don’t see this as a priority.

  • They want to see that your Leaders have bought into EDI.
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    The PSED will directly or indirectly impact every business in Great Britain. If your competitors are doing the above and you aren’t, they have a competitive advantage so its time to act now if you haven’t already.

    Way forward and support available to you

    The National Centre for Diversity, over a 10-year period has worked with the UK’s best known and most forward looking of businesses such as:

    • Coca-Cola
    • ITV
    • Aon
    • Ramada Hotels.
    • The Priory Group.
    • Vinci
    • NG Bailey
    • Northern Rail
    • Mersey Rail
    • First Great Western Railways
    • Transport Systems Catapult
    • GEO, Capita, G4S
    • Serco
    • Interserve
    • Kier
    • Geo-Amey
    • Amey
    • Carillion
    • Cruden Construction
    • Shepherd Construction

    The National Centre for Diversity has a strong track record of supporting businesses

    The support available to business like yours:

    1. ‘Investors in Diversity’
    2. ‘Leaders in Diversity’
    3. ‘Investors in Diversity for Small Business’
    4.  ‘Investors in Diversity verified’ for business with up to 50 staff (includes checking, support and verification).
    5. A free supply chain support service procurers and commissioners.
    6. E-training packages on EDI, Unconscious bias, Promoting good Mental health at work and the Equality Act (this is complimentary to anyone who signs up to 3 and 4 as above).
    7. Top 100 – (this is complimentary for businesses that sign up to 3 and 4 as above).

    In 1-5 above the National Centre for Diversity would provide you with a specialist Advisor who would help you attain.

    • Examples of best practice from working with other from a diverse range of sectors.
    • Expert support in terms of at least one equality impact assessment where we do almost all of the work.
    • Help to identify any gaps and therefore identify what equality objectives we should set for ourselves.
    • Create an action plan to deliver (optional).
    • Independently measure and verify the improvement – hopefully resulting in you achieving initially ‘Investors in Diversity verified ’ or ‘Investors in Diversity for Small Businesses’ and then potentially you could move up to achieving ‘Leaders in Diversity’.

    Also, you would qualify at no charge to be analysed for the ‘National Centre for Diversity Top 100’ this also demonstrates your organisation’s commitment towards EDI.

    Benefits of good EDI practices in your business:

    • Organisations employ people – people are literally diverse by nature – organisations cannot effectively manage people unless they understand the diverse needs of the people that work for them.
    • There is a need to create conditions where people (who are by definition, diverse by nature) , can give their best to the organisation and where the organisation can get the best out of all its people.
    • Good EDI practice can help increase productivity.
    • The available labour pool is completely different to what it was in decades gone by.
    • There is no choice but to deal with people from diverse backgrounds – we need to know how to do this.
    • It is critical organisations understand the factors which help or hinder progress, productivity and motivation of the workforce.
    • Having a range of diverse employees, means that they can begin to identify new opportunities (both commercial and none-commercial) to diversify products, services, projects,initiatives, open up new markets, create new markets, identify niches.
    • Once diverse needs have been identified, steps can be taken to seize on those opportunities or markets.
    • Effective EDI management can and does give organisations a competitive advantage.
    • Good PR on EDI enhances organisational reputation which increases confidence both within and externally to the organisation.
    • Becoming an employer of choice helps to bring in high quality staff – high quality staff lead to high quality outcomes – could be difference between success and failure and between jobs and redundancies.
    • Success or failure of all organisations rests on its decision-making – EDI enhances decision making. Good decision-making is dependent on having as much information as possible. The ability to gather, and process a diverse range of perspectives, intelligence, ideas, thoughts and considerations will enable decision makers to have a much fuller picture.
    • If people feel that there is inequality then they feel a sense of tension, frustration and often anger, which could and does come out in a range of different ways.
    • Understanding the needs of people in organisations and then appropriately meeting those needs can and do reduce concerns, tensions, frustration, worries and grievances.
    • One IiD organisation has reported a 20% reduction in the number ofgrievances. Good EDI practice reduces sick leave and absence.
    • Good EDI practice reduces the risk of being taken to Employment Tribunal and suffering heavy financial as well as PR losses.
    • Good EDI practice can lead to a reduction in staff turnover and therefore recruitment costs and eliminates the loss of productivity in the time take to induct, train and develop and appraise the abilities of new starters.

    What benefits does a diverse workforce bring:

    • Bring different skills – e.g. skills learnt in different countries, different sectors.
    • Different knowledge.
    • Customers , service users often relate better to people from the same
    • Languages – people with English as an additional language often feel more
      comfortable in communicating with people who also speak their first language.
    • Enriches the work experience.
    • People from diverse backgrounds have insider knowledge of needs, issues,
      issues, worries, concerns, of other people from diverse backgrounds.
    • Different experience of the same things.
    • Different outcomes.
    • Different understanding on needs could lead to new and different opportunities
      and new business – perhaps new niches.
    • Enhances decision making.
    • Gives a balance to the organisation.
    • Can offer different solutions to problems or barriers to progress.
    • Enhanced ability to gain knowledge, intelligence, information and guidance.
    • Different Knowledge of a range of different matters.
    • Different Ideas.
    • Different Perspectives.
    • Diverse Considerations.


    “We were absolutely thrilled to bits. We champion diversity within the community so to be actually accredited for it is a great achievement. We work with different sectors of business and our ethos and mentality means we are open to everyone and to be the first in the country to win the award is fantastic”

    Gail Glover, Director of Shine

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