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Race And Sex Monitoring

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what information he has concerning the extent of race and sex monitoring, respectively, among major and minor industries, respectively.(2) how many and what percentage of the significant private sector employers visited by his Department's race relations advisory service since 1985, have introduced ethnic monitoring arrangements; and how many and what percentage were considering the introduction of such arrangements at the time of the visit.

No detailed information is available on the full extent of race and sex monitoring in the workplace. However for race in the period 1 April 1985 to 31 December 1987, of 374 major private sector employers visited by the Department of Employment's race relations advisory service, 126 (34 per cent.) have introduced or are actively considering the introduction of ethnic monitoring. No records are available to show the number who were already considering such arrangements prior to the visit being made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will institute an inquiry to ascertain the extent to which (a) race and (b) sex monitoring practices in major and minor industries, respectively, comply with the codes of the Commission for Racial Equality and of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what research projects he has commissioned to ascertain the response of industry to the introduction of sex and race monitoring systems; and if he will make a statement.

A research project will shortly be commissioned to investigate the benefits that accrue from the introduction of ethnic monitoring systems by employers. In so far as it does not detract from the central focus of the project, the research will cover gender and disability dimensions also.