Launch of the National Equality Standard

The National Equality Standard, launched in 2013, is sponsored by Ernst & Young in partnership with 18 other UK and global companies. It is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the CBI.

The NES is a groundbreaking initiative developed for business, by business, which sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria against which companies will be assessed.

The collective ambition is that the NES will become the accepted standard for business across the UK and make a significant and lasting impact on the way equality, diversity and inclusion is integrated into everyday business. A NES Assessment will provide companies with a comprehensive and quality review of their EDI policies and practices, identify areas for improvement and provide implementation recommendations.

The objectives of the NES are to provide an assessment tool which:

  • Enables businesses to undertake a comprehensive assessment specifically focused on EDI
  • Consists of best practice standards that can be applied to any business sector or size
  • Provides a single reference point incorporating all elements of the Equality Act 2010
  • Aims to significantly impact the way diversity and inclusion is integrated into everyday business activity across the country
  • Provides a pragmatic solution to EDI which rewards ambition
  • Supports the private sector by providing one recognisable holistic framework for industry good practice
  • Enables companies to showcase their business as leaders in this field
  • Bridges the gap between legal requirements and best practice.

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