11 per cent of public-sector employers have set targets to increase the proportion of staff from ethnic minorities, despite the implementation of the Race Relations Amendment Act, according to a study by Unison.
The Act became law in April and puts a duty on all public-sector bodies to actively promote racial equality.
But Unison's survey reveals that only just over half of employers are satisfied that the ethnic diversity of their workforce represents the community that they serve.
More than one in three employers admitted that ethnic minorities were under represented in their organisation, and 39 per cent said the situation had not changed over the past year.
The report also states that only 14 per cent of employers have a system to address the promotion of under-represented groups, and just over one in five monitor their policies on harassment.
"There is a surprising under-representation of black and ethnic minority workers in the public sector. Employers should agree action plans to set targets and have a proper review system. They should develop policies and treat seriously harassment of black staff by service users and consistently monitor employment patterns," said Unison' general secretary Dave Prentis.
Socpo president Keith Handley said, "I am surprised and a little disappointed that only 11 per cent of public-sector employers have set targets to change and increase their black and ethnic minority workforce, as this is one of the key components of the Act.
"As well as improving the overall workforce composition, one of the key issues is to increase the number of black and ethnic minority colleagues in senior positions and to achieve this authorities need to have appropriate career progression and development policies in place."
The survey polled 440 public-sector employers in April.
By Paul Nelson