The business case for human rights
Building a human rights culture makes good business sense. Employers have the responsibility to ensure the work environment is free of discrimination based on the protected grounds in the Alberta Human Rights Act. The AHR Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on the grounds of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religious beliefs, gender, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, family status, source of income and sexual orientation. (You can read more about the protected areas and grounds.) The business case for building a human rights culture is as follows:
- Loyal employees: Employees may be more willing to address their human rights concerns internally through their supervisors, managers or union representatives rather than making a formal complaint to an external agency such as a human rights commission or the courts.
- Cost savings: Concerns are dealt with internally and not through costly external legal systems.
- Time saving: Concerns are dealt with quickly by internal mechanisms.
- Increased productivity: Employees are focused on their jobs and not distracted by issues of discrimination.
- Less absenteeism: Employees are not stressed at work and therefore more likely to have regular attendance.
- Cooperation between employees: When there is mutual respect, employees are more likely to work cooperatively as a team.
- Good reputation for the business: Reputation is not tarnished by human rights complaints or litigation.
- Good service for customers and clients: Customers and clients get good service as employees are willing to work together for the good of the organization.
Revised: December 16, 2009
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.
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