Career progression should be based on merit. People from all backgrounds and walks of life should know that they will be able to progress in an organisation in line with their talents and commitment. Yet we know that the reality in the workplace is very different.
As Race for Opportunity showed as recently as 2009 in its report, Race to the Top , our British black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are simply not gaining the share of management or senior level jobs that their population would justify. Understanding why this is the case will be a major step forward to ending this inequality.
Leadership - business leaders have a huge role to play in creating and reinforcing the business need for a diverse and inclusive workplace. The absence of ethnic minorities in UK Board rooms also needs addressing. The Cranfield FTSE 100 report (page 21) reveals that ethnic minority male and female directors make-up only 5.5% of all directors in FTSE 100 companies.
Transparency and fairness in recruitment practices and procedures. In 2007/08 two thirds of White students (66%) found full-time or part- time employment within a year of graduating compared with 56.3% of BAME graduates.
Progression - Less than 1 in 15 ethnic minority workers in the UK hold a management position and on current trends, they constitute an even greater percentage of the future and emerging workforce.
Ethnic minorities currently make up 11% of the UK working-age population, 1 in 4 pupils in primary school education in the UK are from an ethnic minority background. Britain's current and future workforce is racially and culturally diverse and progressive employers recognise that it makes good business sense to understand, utilise and grow this pool of talent
- See more at: http://www.bitc.org.uk/issues/workplace-and-employees/race-and-gender#sthash.mtruzKfA.dpuf Race and migrant workers
In seeking to protect the health and safety of all workers, we know race is an important factor, particularly in terms of: differences in vulnerability the networks and communication channels language. Improving communications
HSE has launched and promotes a communications toolkit which is designed to help HSE staff identify diverse audiences, including migrant workers, and to provide practical advice on how best to communicate with them.
HSE has also launched and promotes an equality impact assessment tool to mainstream diversity in our day-to-day work. It is designed to help staff identify and minimise any potential issues around equality.
HSE has developed a migrant worker website providing advice and answers to some frequently asked questions.
Building the evidence base
We are building our web pages so we can share research findings and examples of good practice.
Working together, sharing intelligence and good practice
HSE's External Diversity Team monitor progress against the diversity priorities and the annual action plan.
Important points to note
There are no requirements in health and safety legislation for employers to ensure their staff are fluent in English. However, HSE recommends steps should be taken to ensure understanding of health and safety issues.
The law requires that employers provide workers with comprehensible and relevant information about risks and about the procedures they need to follow to ensure they can work safely and without risk to health. This does not have to be in English.
The employer may make special arrangements, which could include translation, using interpreters or replacing written notices with clearly understood symbols or diagrams.
Any health and safety training provided must take into account the worker’s capabilities, including language skills.
Workers who do not speak English may need to understand key words and commands relating to danger, eg 'Fire' and 'Stop'. Employers will need to ensure that this is communicated clearly and simply, and check understanding afterwards.