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Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to encourage the promotion, where it is merited on grounds of ability and performance, of black people employed in British industry and commerce.

Promotion based on merit alone is a central feature of any worthwhile policy of equal opportunity in employment which my Department, particularly through the work of the Race Relations Employment Advisers, encourages both employers and work people to implement. It will be open to the Commission for Racial Equality to deal with this matter, if it so wishes, by means of codes of practice, for which provision has been made in the Race Relations Act 1976. It is, of course, unlawful for an employer to discriminate on racial grounds by failing or refusing to promote an employee.