NHS employers urged to consider ‘next steps’ to reduce workplace discrimination

A new report into the experiences of black and minority ethnic (BME) workers has called on NHS employers to improve fairness in the workplace.

According to the latest NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report, white people who are shortlisted for jobs with six of the NHS’ major UK organisations are up to three times more likely to be appointed than their BME counterparts.

The organisations that submitted data for the report include NHS England, NHS Digital, NHS Improvement, Health Education England (HEE), Public Health England (PHE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The report, which has been described as one of the most in-depth assessments of the experiences of BME workers in the UK’s public sector, found that BME people were ‘under-represented’ at senior levels within the six organisations.

It also found that BME workers were more likely to be entered into disciplinary procedures than their white counterparts.

In light of the findings, the NHS is calling on its arm’s length bodies (ALBs) to consider the ‘next steps’ for improving fairness at work.

Yvonne Coghill, Director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard at NHS England, said that “staff had a right to fair treatment.”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, added: “Making the health service in England a fairer place to work is good for our patients and good for our staff.

“That’s why an honest assessment of the status quo is important in both catalysing change and then enabling national and local bodies across the NHS to track much-needed improvements across the board.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Donna Martin is a Partner in the Employment team at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. She advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. As an employment law expert, Donna has significant experience in drafting employment contracts and handbooks, advising on grievance and disciplinary procedures and preparatory work prior to tribunals, including advising on the advantages and disadvantages of settling cases.