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Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion


Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and actively implementing policies and practices that support EDI, are essential elements for creating a happy and healthy workplace and workforce. EDI is about creating working environments and cultures where everyone, irrespective of background or identity, can feel safe and valued and supported to achieve their full potential.

This section provides information, guidance and links to further information for employers to consider their current practices and identify ways to become more equal, diverse and inclusive.

What is equality, diversity, and inclusion?

Equality is about treating every person in society fairly and ensuring we all have the same opportunities despite our differences. It means that no one is excluded or treated less favourably. In the UK, the legal requirements on an employer are to:

  • Ensure compliance with equal pay legislation, i.e. paying men and women the same for doing the same (or equivalent) jobs.
  • Not discriminate against job applicants or staff when it comes to benefits, promotion and other workplace matters.
  • Do all that is reasonably possible to prevent discrimination and harassment of employees in the workplace by others. This can be achieved by having the right policies in place, providing adequate training and demonstrating strong leadership.

Diversity is about recognising that we are all different in a variety of both visible and non-visible ways, including background and culture. It also recognises the value of creating a workforce that has representation of people with different backgrounds and celebrates this diversity.

Inclusion means creating an environment where everyone, regardless of their background or identity, is welcomed, respected, feels valued and is empowered to be themselves and thrive at work.

Protected Characteristics 

Under the Equality Act 2010, there are nine legally protected characteristics.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure employees are not discriminated against. Whether this be through direct or indirect discrimination and harassment because of any of the below 9 protected characteristics.

Indirect Discrimination | Equality, Diversity & Inclusion ( 

The importance of taking action on EDI

In many organisations across Wales, EDI requires further consideration and action to prevent and address discrimination, bullying and harassment. Despite the Equality Act having been in place for many years, research demonstrates that people with protected characteristics still face discrimination and harassment in the workplace. For example:

  • In 2018, over a third of Welsh lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) employees said they hid or disguised their sexuality at work for fear of discrimination.
  • In 2021, the employment rate for black, Asian and ethnic minority groups for Wales was 64.6%, which is around 8% lower than white people (72.7%).
  • One in five mothers had experienced harassment or negative comments at work in 2016.
  • While 72.8% of people without a religion and 72.6% of Christians were employed in Wales in 2020-21, the combined employment rate for those from other religions (including Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jewish people, and other beliefs) saw a combined employment rate of 59.3%.
  • Just 47% of disabled people in Wales were employed in 2021, compared to 80% of non-disabled people, amounting to a 33% gap.
  • In 2021, the difference in average earnings between disabled people and non-disabled people was 11.6%.

Actions for employers 

The following actions will help employers to comply with UK equality laws and to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within their workplace. More guidance and tools on specific topics can be found in the resources section.