Supporting Employees’ Dietary Diversity

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matthew Reymes Cole

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30 Oct 2018

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It may seem simple at first glance, but for many employers, being inclusive of employees’ dietary requirement and/or beliefs is often fudged. If your workplace serves food, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone is catered for.

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<div style="clear:both"><a href="https://croner.co.uk/media/1574/workplace-food-tips.pdf"><img src="https://croner.co.uk/media/1573/workplace-food.png" title="Supporting Employees' Dietary Diversity" alt="Workplace food tips" border="0"></a></div><div>Courtesy of: <a href="https://croner.co.uk/">Croner</a>.</div>

Here are a few tips on making sure your workplace is food-friendly for everyone:

  1. Make sure there is at least one vegan option, but ideally, provide a range of options for vegetarians and vegans.
  2. Remember that just because something is vegetarian, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is also vegan. Vegetarian meals usually aren’t far off, with simple adjustments they can usually be made vegan i.e. removing cheese or mayonnaise.
  3. Set a good example. If you bring in food for your team on a special occasion, or as an end of quarter reward, make sure you include vegetarian and vegan options.
  4. Watch out for bullying or harassment of your employees. Teasing of vegans in particular is common, but can cross the line and/or become offensive and abusive.
  5. To ensure this is dealt with properly, highlight your company’s bullying and harassment policy and make sure it is regularly reviewed and updated.
  6. Employees who have specific dietary requirements for religious reasons could claim against you if you fail to accommodate them, as this could be construed as religious discrimination.
  7. Similarly, employees who have specific dietary requirements for health reasons could bring a claim against you. Determine employees’ requirements at the interview stage.
  8. Make sure food is always labelled correctly for allergens to protect vulnerable staff.

About the Author

Matthew Reymes-Cole

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