The business case for equal opportunities


Correspondence should be addressed to Rebecca Riley, NIESR, London SW1P 3HE, UK; email:


It has long been argued that equality of opportunity brings business benefits and that it is in employers' interest to implement policy to promote equality of opportunity. Our analysis of the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004 found neither large and widespread business benefits, nor large and widespread costs associated with Equal Opportunities policies amongst the establishments that implement these. Given the net benefits to society of equal opportunities policies, this suggests that public and private benefits are likely to differ substantially and points to the need for policy intervention.