Organisations fail to take race equality seriously

Virtually all employers charged with providing a race equality scheme under
the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 have failed to comply with the
legislation, a survey has revealed.

Public authorities were meant to have a full RES in place by 31 May 2002. A
year on, 96 per cent do not meet the minimum requirements of the RR(A)A,
according to a poll of 100 public authorities by law firm Field Fisher

"One possible explanation is that those drafting the RES reports did
not pay enough attention to the legislation itself, relying instead on
summaries and guidance," said Field Fisher Waterhouse partner Richard
Kenyon. "While some of this material is very helpful, it is possible to
miss the basic legal requirements without reference to the legislation."

A contributory factor was probably the Commission for Racial Equality’s
delay in finalising the code of practice and guidance, which were not ready
until just before the 31 May deadline, he added.

The CRE has warned HR practitioners in private firms delivering public
services that they too must comply.

The CRE’s chief executive Trevor Phillips said: "Even if the law does
not specifically cover private sector companies, we think it essentially
captures [those] that work for the public sector."

"Why should public money be spent in a way that is racially

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