Press release

Publication of DWP research report 695: the feasibility of constructing a race equality index

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Government should publish information to understand how pro-active businesses are in promoting race equality in recruitment and promotion.

The National Employment Panel recommended that the Government should publish baseline information, in the form of a Race Equality Index, to understand in detail how pro-active businesses are in promoting race equality in recruitment and promotion. The index would be used to monitor progress by employers over time.

This report looks at the feasibility of constructing a Race Equality Index, by exploring the existing sources of evidence which might be used and any issues with using these sources. The following sources were found to be the most useful:

  • The Citizenship Survey, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, provides information on ethnic minorities’ experiences of job refusals and unfair treatment in promotion and these can be compared to the Great Britain labour force. Unfortunately the survey does not distinguish between experiences in the private sector and the public sector.
  • The Workplace Employment Relations Survey, commissioned by the Business, Innovation and Skills Department, measures the extent to which private sector workplaces adopt practices to promote good equal opportunities practices and could be used in an index. It is carried out intermittently, so could not contribute to an annual index.
  • The Labour Force Survey, a quarterly survey of the GB labour force, could be used to monitor the position of ethnic minorities within the labour force. This research suggests that the following outcome measures are used:
  • The under representation of ethnic minorities in private sector employment
  • The under representation of ethnic minorities in managerial occupations
  • The differentials in pay between ethnic minorities and the GB labour force

The report concludes that it would be possible to construct a Race Equality Index based on these three outcome measures from the Labour Force Survey and suggests assigning equal weight to each of these measures.

Notes to Editors:

  • The research was carried out by Professor Anthony Heath, Oxford University and Professor Yaojun Li, Manchester University.
  • The findings will be considered by the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group. This is a group of stakeholders who work with the DWP Ethnic Minority Employment team.