Workplace Report July 2023

Equality news

Union accuses civil service of ‘racist bias’

The civil service has been accused of “racist institutional bias” in a letter from Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, after data revealed that White civil servants were twice as likely to be promoted as their non-White colleagues.

Serwotka’s letter to the Cabinet Office permanent secretary Alex Chisholm also claimed there were rising levels of racial discrimination, with nearly 10% of BAME civil servants reporting unfavourable treatment due to their ethnicity last year, compared to less than 5% a decade earlier.

“If the differences in promotion rates are not driven by racism, what is the explanation?” wrote Serwotka. “If you cannot provide a plausible alternative, then the civil service must admit there is bias in the system.”