Steps towards more inclusive workplaces

It’s commonly accepted that employee satisfaction is the key to keeping productivity high, but workplaces around Australia are adding a new approach to the task.

A renewed focus on health and safety is catching on, with a new survey from Employment Office finding that one in five Australians have worked for a company with a nut-free policy to cater for their employees’ allergies.

Tudor Marsden-Huggings, managing director of Employment Office, said banning nut products isn’t the only option.

“The best scenario is for the workplace and the employee to work in partnership, creating a plan to ensure the safety of anyone at risk,” Marsden-Huggins said.

“It may not be necessary for employers to go as far as adopting a total nut-free policy, however it is essential for employers to take a severe food allergy seriously. The condition is recognised as a disability in Australia, so employees affected should be treated with an acceptable level of care and consideration.”

Marsden-Huggins said workplaces can also consider offering nut-free snack options in the office kitchen and when planning in-house or off-site events.

While health and safety is a natural part of an employer’s responsibilities, it can also be an opportunity to show an employee they are a valued member of the team, and help contribute to a positive, inclusive office culture.

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