Government seeks 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.

The
report – Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market – also calls for the
Race Relations Employment Advisory Service within Acas to be doubled in size
and for greater transparency of data at employment tribunals to help highlight
repeat offenders.

Surinder
Sharma, director for diversity at Ford Europe, support the report’s findings.

He
feels currently 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. It is important
that they spend time and energy telling employers that it’s important," he
said.

Surinder
said Ford has increased its graduate ethnic minority applications from 6 per
cent to 33 per cent in two years by improving equality practices.  One-fifth of the graduates it recruited this
year were 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
will set up a taskforce chaired by the minister for work, Nick Brown, to take
the report’s recommendations forward.

Patricia
Hewitt, trade and industry secretary, 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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