A Guide to Inclusion at Work

Flexible Working

Individual needs are diverse and ever-changing. Our lives outside of work all look a little different, and increasingly employers are committing to giving you flexibility and choice on when and where you do your job.

There is also a growing recognition that you may have responsibilities or interests outside of work that mean you need to take time out or flex the way that you work. This guide sets out how employers can commit to supporting you with arrangements that are practicable for both the business and you meaning there’s more time to spend on what makes you happier.

You may want to flex your working week during Ramadan or other religious practises, change your working environment to alleviate symptoms of the menopause or take time to care for a relative – whatever the reason, it’s understanding what works best for you.

Other Leave

This could include:

  • Time off to honour religion or belief
  • Military Reservists
  • Carers
  • Balanced working – which includes:
  • Homeworking
  • Flexible working
  • Flexibility in the workplace

Tailored Working

In a diverse workplace, differences exist, and people require support in different ways.

Tailored working is ensuring that any changes/adjustments that are needed by a colleague to thrive at work and be the best that they can be are in place.

It goes beyond reasonable adjustments as required by law, but allows us to develop a personalised and supportive plan to ensure that all of us can perform at our best.

By completing a Tailored Work plan, you can create awareness of any adjustments that could improve your ability to carry out day-to-day activities, to bring the out the best.

These changes/adjustments could include, but are not limited to:

  • changes to the physical workspace
  • cultural considerations
  • changes to tasks
  • the provision of technology or tools
  • a flexible working pattern
  • a channel of communication where you feel comfortable to ask for support

Types of Discrimination

There are different types of discrimination which generally fall into the following categories:

Direct discrimination – This occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have, or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic.

Indirect discrimination – This occurs when a rule or policy applies to everyone but disadvantages someone who has a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination can be justified if the employer can show there is a genuine business reason and there is no alternative to the particular disadvantage.

Harassment – This is unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of others. Unlike bullying, it is related specifically to age, sex, gender re-assignment, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or any personal characteristic of an individual. It is unwanted conduct that violates another person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that person. This means that harassment does not have to be directed at you. It can be directed at another person, but you, as an individual may find it offensive.

Victimisation – This is less favourable treatment of an individual because they have made a complaint or intend to make a complaint about being bullied or harassed or because they have been or intend to act as a witness or give evidence in support of another person’s complaint about being bullied or harassed. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they maliciously make or support an untrue complaint Types of discrimination.

Micro-Aggressions - Be Conscious of Them

Have you ever felt like you were on the receiving end of a subtle form of prejudice or stereotyping?

As though someone just said or did something that made you feel unwelcome or judged because of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristic related to a marginalised group?

If so, you might have experienced what is called a microaggression. Although subtle and potentially less harmful than outright prejudice or intolerance, microaggressions have an impact too; in fact, being exposed to chronic microaggressions over a period of time may be hurting your mental health.

It’s important to note that those individuals who engage in microaggressions may or may not be doing it on purpose. Instead, these actions or comments may reflect the biases held by a particular group about other groups of people.

While they are still harmful, often the intent of a microaggression is not to harm: in other words, people don’t necessarily know that their words and actions hurt and if people were made aware of the impact of their words and actions, they might change what they do and what they say. Some examples of what a micro-aggression may sound like are shown opposite…

“You’re transgender? You don’t look like it.”

Telling a transgender person they don’t ‘look trans’ may seem like a compliment but it may it can be offense, implying that it isn’t desirable to be trans.

“But where are you actually from?”

Asking someone about their ethnic heritage may just appear as a way to get to know someone but asking them again can imply that you’re making an assumption based on how they look

“I can’t believe you have a disability – you’re so young”

By telling someone they look too young to have a disability implies that you have an assumption on how those with disabilities look

“I think you’re in the wrong room. This is the programmers meeting.”

It may appear to be a helpful suggestion, but don’t assume someone doesn’t belong by the way they look. These types of comments will only make them feel like outsiders

“Do you even know what snapchat is?”

While joking about a colleagues texting habits may seem innocent, age discrimination can be a serious problem in the workplace. This potentially innocent comment can leave a colleague feeling discriminated and left out of the workplace

Diversity Glossary

We want everyone to get comfortable with uncomfortable and create a dialogue without fear of getting it wrong. Our uncertainty over what to say or how to say it can often lead to us simply not talking at all, especially in relation to race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. But that’s not helpful – infact it’s one of the biggest barriers holding organisations back from creating an inclusive working environment that teams need to thrive. We want everyone to freely talk about differences. To help open up these meaningful conversations, we’ve made a start on a diversity and inclusion glossary to help you all feel a little more confident. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.


A person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.


Expression. How a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of social expectations of gender.


A person who may or may not be part of a specific community but supports their rights and promotes equality for all Intersectionality Having multiple identifies that intersect like gender, race and sexual orientation.


A form of action against racism and systematic oppression of marginalised groups. It’s conscious efforts and actions to provide equitable opportunities for all people on an individual and systemic level.


Neurodiversity describes the spread of neurological differences (learning difficulties, ADHD and Autism are examples).


A person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction.


Refers to a person who doesn’t identify as only male or only female, or who identifies as both.


Systematic patterns where our brains stray from rationality in judgement which can result in attitudes for or against a person, group or concept.


The absence of the inconvenience, impediments or challenge, and when you have privilege you do not notice it as it is unseen (e.g. being able to access a shop with a step).


An acronym that’s stands for black and Asian minority ethnic.


Words we use to refer to people’s gender in conversation, for example he, she, they or their.

Cis Or Cisgender

Refers to a person whose gender identity is the same sex they were assigned at birth. Often used by the allies, who by using this term recognise that trans people exist and matter.

Sexual orientation

This is interpersonal: it’s who we’re romantically, emotionally and/or physically attracted to.


Calling someone by their birth name after they have changed their name.


An over-generalised belief about a particular category of people or an expectation that people may have about a particular group.


Treating everyone the same while assuming that everyone starts on an equal footing with equal opportunities Trans An umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity is not the same sex they were assigned at birth.


Working towards fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique barriers.

Under-represented groups

Groups whose members are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by dominant groups, and who may regard themselves as recipients of collective discrimination.

Ethnic group

The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a shared culture of tradition.

Workplace inclusion

An atmosphere where all employees belong, contribute and can thrive. It requires deliberate and intentional action Feminist The belief that all genders should have equal rights and opportunities.


Dislike or prejudice against people from other countries.