Supporting Employees’ Dietary Diversity

By Matthew Reymes Cole
23 Jan 2020

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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Food for Thought:

Supporting Employees' Dietary Diversity

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. Vegetarian meals and snacks aren’t necessarily suitable for vegans. However, they’re usually a couple of ingredients away from being right. A simple adjustment can make all the difference. i.e. removing cheese or mayonnaise.
  3. Set a good example. If you bring in food for you 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 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 with specific dietary requirements for religious reasons could claim against you if you fail to accommodate them, claiming 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.

Expert support

Struggling with equality and diversity in your organisation? Speak to one of our experts today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matt joined Croner in 2007 as an employment law consultant and has advised clients of all sizes on all aspects of employment law. He has worked within management positions since 2017 and currently overseas a team within the litigation department, whilst continuing to support a number of clients directly.

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