Edinburgh MSP says treatment of ethnic minority civil servants is racist

Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury has branded the treatment of Scottish Government civil servants from ethnic minorities as “racist” after an official report found they received less favourable appraisals and faced higher rates of discrimination, bullying and harassment.
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The report on the government race, recruitment and retention action plan also found ethnic minorities were under-represented, making up just 2.4 per cent of civil servants compared to five per cent of the population.

And only 56 per cent felt their current responsibilities were a good match for their experience and skills, in contrast to 75 per cent of white respondents.

Foysol ChoudhuryFoysol Choudhury
Foysol Choudhury
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Mr Choudhury said: “These figures are very disappointing and shine a light on the inequalities that remain within employment practices, and in our society. It confirms that people of colour are treated less favourably, which has nothing to do with their skills or talent, it’s simply racist.

“We need to eradicate the culture of bullying, racism and discrimination and only then will we see a true representation of our population in the workplace.

“Race has nothing to do with an employee’s talent. Every employee should be treated fairly based only on their abilities. Sometimes our personal biases and opinions of people, race or culture can deter our judgements, that’s why workplace managers need to be properly trained in both diversity and managing people well.”

The proportion of ethnic minority government staff is increasing – up from 1.5 to 2.4 per cent between 2015 and 2020 – and recruitment is also improving – up from 1.8 per cent in 2016 to 3.3 per cent in 2020. But the target of the proportion of ethnic minority staff matching the population share by 2025 is likely to be missed.

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And the ethnicity pay gap, at 7.27 per cent, is wider than the gender pay gap.

Mr Choudhury said: “The government needs to be the leading force in promoting and accepting diversity in the workplace. It should provide all staff with equal opportunities and ensure there is zero bullying and discrimination culture. The Scottish Government must take action now if they are to get anywhere near its 2025 ambition”.

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