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Equal Opportunities

Volume 78: debated on Monday 29 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is satisfied with the equality of opportunities in his Department in so far as they concern sex and race discrimination: and what advice has lately been given to staff in his Department in respect thereof by the officer designated as equal opportunities officer with responsibility for giving such advice.

Yes, on the basis of the information now available. The implementation of the programme of action on women in the Civil Service, announced on 9 February 1984, is being carefully monitored within my Department. As part of the process of ensuring equality of opportunity, as far as possible, we will be conducting ethnic surveys of all staff (under the Government's phased programme) to enable ethnic monitoring to be carried out.The Departmental equal opportunities officer has issued a number of instructions to all staff. They have set the Civil Service policy on equal opportunities for men and women, guidance on the procedures to be followed in cases of sexual harassment, the responsibilities of equal opportunities officers and the Civil Service race relations policy statement. In addition, the equal opportunities officer has circulated the report on race relations policies and procedures in the Civil Service to our civilian personnel management authorities drawing attention to the need to ensure that Departmental practice follows the recommendations of the report.