News in brief

Police proposes quotas

The Metropolitan Police Service is considering using a quota system to raise the number of ethnic minority officers in the force, its new commissioner has revealed. But Ian Blair, the UK’s most senior police officer, said positive discrimination would only be a “last resort” if other measures failed to increase the number of non-white personnel. He admitted that his force would fail to reach the Home Office target of 25% ethnic minority officers by 2009.

Data protection scam

Recruitment agencies are being targeted by bogus organisations sending notices demanding money to register under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Information Commissioner’s office has warned. Personnel Today exposed the data protection scam in 2003, after the magazine itself was targeted. The story prompted information commissioner Richard Thomas to write a best practice guide, which is available online.

Emphasis on equal pay

More needs to be done to explain to employers why carrying out equal pay audits makes good business sense, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The call follows a CIPD survey which found that 47 per cent of employers had no plans to carry out equal pay audits. The CIPD said equal pay audits exposed bias in the way organisations value female staff.

NHS opts for variety

The NHS hopes to encourage more people from a variety of backgrounds and professions to join the service, with the launch of its NHS Careers 2005 advertising campaign. It targets ethnic minority groups and is focusing on particular professions such as midwifery, radiography and mental health nursing.

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