CRE urged to name and shame racist employers

The Government wants to ‘name and shame’ racist employers in a bid to get
more ethnic minorities into work.

A report by the Government’s strategy unit calls on the Commission for
Racial Equality (CRE) to make greater use of its investigatory powers to put
the spotlight on employers with bad equality practices.

Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market also calls for the Race Relations
Employment Advisory Service within arbitration body Acas to be doubled in size,
and called for greater transparency of data at employment tribunals to spot
repeat offenders.

Surinder Sharma, director for diversity at Ford Europe, supports the
report’s findings. He feels the CRE does not do enough to help employers
improve their working practices.

"The CRE has got to increase its work with private sector
companies," he said. "The CRE needs to spend time and energy telling
employers that it’s important."

Sharma said Ford has increased its graduate ethnic minority applications
from 6 per cent to 33 per cent in two years by improving equality practices. A
fifth of the graduates it recruited this year are from ethnic minorities.

The report also calls for the Government to work more closely with employers
in cities with high ethnic minority populations, to improve recruitment and
retention rates.

The Government is to set up a taskforce – chaired by the minister for work,
Nick Brown – to take the report’s recommendations forward.

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said: "A successful, high
performing workplace recognises the value of tackling discrimination so that
the widest pool of talent can be harnessed.

"The breaking down of barriers that hold back ethnic minority staff in
the workplace can only improve an organisation’s performance and, in turn,
boost the economy as a whole."

By Paul Nelson

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