Last reviewed 14 April 2021

A new report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities concludes that, while the UK is not yet a “post-racial country”, its successes “should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries".

The report, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-report-of-the-commission-on-race-and-ethnic-disparities, was welcomed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

However, EHRC Chairwoman Baroness Kishwer Falkner, said: “While Britain has made great progress towards race equality in the last 50 years, there is still much more to do.”

Given that the report has been met with considerable criticism in some quarters, with TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady arguing that institutional and structural racism exists in the UK, in both the labour market and wider society, a new publication by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is timely.

It has joined together with Business in the Community (BITC) to issue practical guidance for signatories of the latter’s Race at Work Charter.

The Charter, set up in 2018 in collaboration with the Government, aims to tackle ethnic disparities in the workplace and signals an organisation’s intent to foster race inclusion.

“Meeting the BITC Race at Work Charter”, which can be found at https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/diversity/race-work-charter, offers practical advice to help employers to meet the Charter’s five calls to action and to tackle ethnic disparities in the workplace.

The five commitments in the Charter are:

  • appoint an executive sponsor for race

  • capture ethnicity data and publicise progress

  • commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying

  • make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and manager

  • take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

The guide also includes an appendix for small and medium-sized organisations, which may have fewer resources or lack dedicated HR support.

CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese said: “The CIPD was one of the first organisations to sign up to BITC’s Race at Work Charter and we recognise its value in making workplaces more inclusive and diverse at every level. We hope this new guide will be a useful supplement for signatories and help them to drive through change with confidence and at pace.”