HC Deb 05 March 1991 vol 187 cc123-4W
Mr. Janner

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when his Department last conducted a survey of the ethnic origins of its employees; when it next plans to do so; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Widdecombe

The Department last conducted a full survey of the ethnic origins of its employees in June 1989. The survey was by means of a voluntary questionnaire. The data from the survey is routinely up-dated with information on new staff and leavers.

As part of our equal opportunities action plan and in common with other Government Departments, we are committed to improving the results of the last survey to achieve a 90 per cent. response rate. In consequence, some parts of the Department, where response rates were low, are currently conducting a resurvey.

Mr. Janner

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he has taken to recruit members of ethnic minorities in top grades of employment at his Department.

Miss Widdecombe

In addition to steps being taken by the Civil Service Commission on recruitment, the Department has developed an action plan on equal opportunities. This includes several initiatives, to improve the representation of staff from ethnic minorities at all stages from recruitment to promotion.

Mr. Janner

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many and what percentage of officers in each grade (1–7) and overall in the Department are(a) women and (b) from ethnic minorities, respectively.

Miss Widdecombe

The information for the Department at 1 February 1991 is in the table.

Grade Total Women Ethnic minority staff
Number Per cent. Number Per cent.
1 1 0 0 0 0
2 4 0 0 0 0
3 14 6 43 0 0
4 11 0 0 1 9.1
5 81 19 23 2 2.5
6 190 29 15 16 8.5
7 564 74 13 3 0.5
Others 85,434 57,925 68 3,295 3.9
Total 86,299 58,052 67 3,317 3.8


Ethnic minority figures are based on questionnaires voluntarily completed by staff (82 per cent. response rate to date).

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