National Equality Standard

  • EY - Lord David Neuberger - Quote
  • EY - Sir David Bell - Quote
  • EY - Dr Vince Cable MP - Quote
  • EY - Sir John Parker - Quote
  • EY - Euan Clarke - Quote
  • EY - Albert Ellis - Quote
  • EY - Fiona Jackson - Quote
  • EY - Trevor Phillips OBE - Quote
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The National Equality Standard is a ground breaking initiative developed for business, by business, which sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria against which companies will be assessed.

Until now, there has been no industry recognised national standard for EDI in the UK, leading to a lack of clarity and inconsistency in the approach from industry. The National Equality Standard (NES) is a business led initiative designed to address this gap.

The NES has been developed by EY in partnership with:

BHP Billiton

Bright Ideas Trust


EDF Energy

Green Park

Lawn Tennis Association

Microsoft UK

National Grid


Pearn Kandola





It is supported by the Home Office and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was involved in its development and launch.

The collective ambition is that the NES will become the accepted standard for business across the UK and that we will make a significant and lasting impact on the way equality, diversity and inclusion is integrated into everyday business.

A NES Assessment will provide companies with a comprehensive and quality review of their EDI policies and practices, identify areas for improvement and provide implementation recommendations.

The objectives of the NES are to provide an assessment tool which:

  • Enables businesses to undertake a comprehensive assessment specifically focused on EDI
  • Consists of best practice standards that can be applied to any business sector or size
  • Provides a single reference point incorporating all elements of the Equality Act 2010
  • Aims to significantly impact upon the way EDI are integrated into everyday business activity across the country
  • Provides a pragmatic solution which helps organisations reach their aspirations in relation to EDI
  • Encourages continuous improvement which rewards ambition
  • Supports the private sector by providing one recognisable holistic framework for industry good practice
  • Enables companies to showcase their businesses as leaders in this field
  • Bridges the gap between legal requirements and best practice.

A fast-moving globalised labour market means an even more diverse workforce, which needs to be included in order to thrive and empower business. We believe the National Equality Standard will make a significant contribution to reducing inequality and, in turn, making the UK’s economy more competitive.


EY is currently hosting the National Equality Standard website and is working closely with our partner Microsoft to develop an interactive NES portal.