Sainsbury’s is one of 18 major UK businesses to sign up to a new National Equality Standard (NES), to promote diversity and inclusion.
The NES is overseen by Ernst & Young and supported by the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) and the CBI, to help businesses achieve the new standard and share ideas and approaches.
It is the first diversity and inclusion standard to be developed for businesses, by businesses, to bring clarity and consistency in efforts to tackle inequality and promote inclusion. Ernst & Young worked with the NES Board, consisting of businesses across sectors, to put together a comprehensive and pragmatic assessment that is accessible to business.
Group HR Director at Sainsbury’s, Angie Risley, said: “As one of the UK’s largest employers with over 154,000 colleagues from different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and religions, we recognise that employing a diverse range of people benefits the communities we serve. It is a crucial part of who we are and we’re very proud of it.
“We are constantly looking at ways we can push ourselves as an inclusive employer, so signing up to the National Equality Standard is the right thing for us to do as a pioneering, successful British business.
“We will be working closely with the NES Board over the coming months to help set the parameters and start working towards the measurements within our business. It is early days but we are very excited about the next stages.”
Arun Batra, CEO of the NES said: “The NES is here to help businesses navigate through the complex field of EDI (equality, diversity and inclusiveness) and ultimately make them realise the competitive advantage that comes from getting the people element of an organisation right. Sainsbury’s is amongst the 18 pioneering businesses that have already signed up. We are proud to have them on board and look forward to working with them in the future.”
To be awarded the NES, each company will undertake a robust assessment against a defined set of criteria across seven standards. Trained NES assessors will review documentation, ensure legal compliance, conduct comprehensive interviews and sample staff through in-depth surveys. The outcome will be detailed in a comprehensive report.
Current members of the NES Board and sponsors of the initiative are: