EMPLOYMENT: COMMISSION STUDY PLUGS DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE.

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The most important business benefit of diversity policies is resolving labour shortages and recruiting and retaining high-quality staff, according to 42% of all respondents. The second most important benefit, cited by 38% of those questioned, was enhancing a company's reputation in the local community. And more than 26% of companies saw improvements in their capacity to create and innovate. "It is particularly worth noting that a lot of companies wish to go beyond legal requirements and lead the field in diversity issues", said Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

But it should also be noted that most of the companies taking part in the report, aptly entitled "The business case for diversity: good practices in the workplace", were based in the 'old' member states. Most examples of good practice were received from companies in the UK (about 31%), followed by Spain, Germany, Belgium (about 14% each), France (10%) and the Netherlands (7%). Some 65% of responses came from SMEs, which account for 90% of the...

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