Racial equality wake-up call for the public sector

Nearly
a third of public bodies have failed to fulfil race equality duties imposed on
them by the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000) (RRAA).

Research
by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), based on a survey of 3,338 public
authorities and educational institutions, shows that 30 per cent of public
authorities have failed to set targets for improving race equality.

Under
the RRAA, public bodies have a duty to make improvements on race equality
across their organisation.

The
study also finds that one in 10 of the organisations surveyed have done nothing
to comply with the law.  

Just
one-third of the UK’s public bodies are leading the way with focused action.

Trevor
Phillips, chair of the CRE, said the survey was an important wake-up call for
public bodies.

"Now
we have the numbers we can talk about what is really happening," he said.
"We can tell [public bodies] how to do it properly – then we will
concentrate on the bad guys."

Keith
Handley, vice-president for diversity at the Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development, hoped plans to create a single equality body responsible for
promoting diversity would help employers meet their duties under the RRAA.

Elaine
Way, president of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management,
welcomed the positive results highlighted in the health sector where 83 per
cent of respondents said they had a race equality scheme in place.

 "A significant percentage of employees
in the NHS are taking the job seriously. There is no room for complacency but a
large proportion of people are promoting the duty," she said.

www.cre.gov.uk

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