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The Race Relations Act - Fact Sheet - UNISON The public service


  • pg 1
									                                                   recruitment and career
What is the Race                                   progression of staff
Relations                                         Publish the race equality
(Amendment) Act                                    policy, along with the results
2000 about?                                        of assessments and
The law:
                                            These four actions are called specific
The Race Relations (Amendment) Act          duties.
2000 (RRAA) amended the 1976 Race
Relations Act by giving educational         The law is organised in the following
institutions (schools, further and higher   way:
education institutions) a statutory
                                                           General Duty
general duty to promote race                   Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
equality.                                          Promote equality of opportunity
                                                      Promote good relations

This duty has three parts to it:
                                                           Specific duties
      To eliminate unlawful racial                Have a race equality policy and
       discrimination                                         act on it

      To promote equality of
       opportunity                             Review policies               Monitor staff
      To promote good relations                and change                   and student
                                                   them if                   numbers by
       between people of different               necessary                   racial group
       racial groups

                                                   Publish the policy, assessments
In order to meet the duty, further and               and monitoring information
higher education institutions must:

      Prepare and maintain a race          How did the RRAA come about?
       equality policy
      Conduct impact assessments           The inquiry into the murder of Stephen
       (reviews) of policies on staff       Lawrence found a catalogue of racist
       and students from different          practices within the police force. From
       racial groups                        this inquiry, the following definition of
      Monitor, according to racial         institutional racism was provided:
       groups, the admission and
       progress of students and the         The collective failure of an
                                            organisation to provide an appropriate
and professional service to people
because of their colour, culture, or       Key points:
ethnic origin. It can be seen or
detected in processes, attitudes and       The RRAA is currently one of the
behaviour which amount to                  strongest equality laws in Britain,
discrimination through unwitting           and one of the strongest protections
prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness      that working people have.
and racist stereotyping which
disadvantage minority ethnic people.       The general duty is a positive duty,
                                           which means that institutions must
What the definition means:                 take active steps to achieve it.
                                           Institutions must be proactive, and not
Institutional racism is a form of racism   reactive.
that can occur in the way
organisations or institutions              The specific duties are a means by
operate. It is different from a person     which the general duty should be
being racist, because institutional        met. Institutions should have a race
racism is about racism in an               equality policy in place, conduct
organisation or institution’s policies     monitoring and impact assessments
and/or practices.                          and publish in order to show they are
                                           meeting the general duty.
Institutional racism can occur in terms
of employment or the service an            The aim of the general duty is to make
organisation or institution provides.      racial equality a central part of the way
                                           institutions function. This means that
Institutional racism can occur if
                                           race equality has to be built into all
policies are not acted upon. This is
                                           relevant areas.
because racism can happen
informally (attitudes, ways in which
a job is performed, behaviours) as         What does the law mean in
well as formally.                          practice?

The RRAA was created from the              Institutions must have a race equality
Inquiry, and provides practical ways       policy in place that is easily accessible
in which all public authorities can        to staff and students.
take steps to eradicate racism.
                                           Institutions should be conducting
                                           exercises in monitoring and impact
assessment, and publish these results           the institutions, and include
internally and externally.                      trade union and student union
To help institutions in doing this, the
following areas should be pursued:             Information on what the
                                                institution is doing on race
      Institutions must consult                equality should be easily
       widely internally and externally.        accessible. The test is: would a
       This means consultation should           prospective/current member of
       take place with staff at all             staff or student know where this
       levels, with students, trade             information is, and what it
       unions and student unions.               means for them?

      Effective equality training is a        Institutions should review their
       key part of ensuring that people         progress in race equality on a
       are aware of their rights and            regular basis. This is not just
       responsibilities. Staff at all           about compliance – but also
       levels of an institution should          about making sure that the
       receive proper training. In              legislation is put into practice in
       particular, staff with specific          such a way that benefits staff,
       responsibilities (e.g. recruitment       students and the institution.
       and selection) should receive
       specific training that is tailored      Institutions should ensure that
       to their job.                            people from different racial
                                                groups are aware of
      It is also important that staff          opportunities within the
       from different racial                    institution. Similarly, institutions
       backgrounds are provided with            should take the opportunity to
       appropriate training to help             celebrate good work in relation
       with career progression,                 to race equality.
       which is a key part of the law.
                                               Institutions should also be
      Institutions should have                 aware that a similar general
       equalities or race equality              duty will be in place for disability
       groups that are tasked with              in December 2006, and gender
       pushing forward work in race             in April 2007, and that a
       equality, such as target setting.        proactive approach in all the
       These groups should have                 equality areas is recommended.
       representation from all levels of
Although these are not the only areas
that should be followed, the above         Useful links
measures outline important areas for
institutions to pursue.                    UNISON Higher Education -
Sources of further information
                                           UNISON Black members -
CRE – Statutory Code of Practice on        http://www.unison.org.uk/blackmember
the Duty to Promote Race Equality -
http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/duty       UNISON Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
_code.pdf                                  Transgender members -

CRE – The Duty to Promote Race             UNISON women members -
Equality – A Guide for Further and         http://www.unison.org.uk/women/index
Higher Education Institutions -
http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/duty       UNISON disabled members -
_fehe.pdf                                  http://www.unison.org.uk/disabled/inde
UNISON/NATFHE - Implementing the           UNISON Bargaining Zone -
Race Relations Amendment Act               http://www.unison.org.uk/bargaining/in
http://www.unison.org.uk/education/hig     dex.asp

Race Equality Consultation and
Communication Report and Toolkit –

Commission for Black Staff in FE:
further education leading the way -

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