Posted on July 19, 2004

Britain’s Rights Body Indicts Itself For Discrimination

Indo-Asian News Service, Hindustan, Jul. 15

A British organisation tasked with the mandate to ensure racial equality has accused itself of racial discrimination against its employees of Indian origin.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) accused itself of discrimination after discovering an internal bias against black and Asian employees.

Indian workers are significantly more likely to be the subject of disciplinary action, while black employees are 10 percent less likely to be promoted.

The CRE, which has promoted fairness in the workplace for nearly two decades, also admitted that it could be discriminating on grounds of gender, disability, religion, age and sexual orientation.

Unlike many big companies, the CRE’s “equalities agenda” does not cover these areas and does not collect the relevant statistics about complaints and promotions, which the annual report promised to rectify.

The CRE’s embarrassment at having to put its own house in order will be greeted with glee by the organisation’s many critics, who believe it is interfering and overzealous.

It will also be awkward for the chairman, Trevor Phillips, as he fights for the CRE’s survival.

The government plans to bring it and other anti-discrimination bodies under a single umbrella.