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CPS response to follow-up review of Equality and Diversity in employment practice in the Crown Prosecution Service

15/12/2010

In response to the Inspectorate's report on the follow up review of equality and diversity in employment practice in the CPS, December 2010, Dale Simon, Director of Equality and Diversity at the Crown Prosecution Service said : "We are pleased that Her Majestys Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) has acknowledged the progress made by the CPS in terms of equality in employment within the CPS since the last Inspectorates review in 2006.

"This follow-up review shows that the CPS has maintained its commitment at the most senior levels to Equality and Diversity in its workforce.

"Since 2006, we have made very good progress in tackling the under representation of women, black and minority ethnic (BME) staff and disabled staff. CPS representation of women and BME staff is the highest of the civil service.

"In particular, the proportion of BME staff employed has increased by nearly a fifth and is significantly higher than the civil service as a whole and higher than the BME proportion of the overall workforce in England and Wales.

"However, there is no room for complacency and we are fully aware that improvements still need to be made to deliver equality outcomes.

"The CPS, like every public sector organisation, is facing challenging times and we recognise the need to support all our staff and in particular staff who may feel that their voices are not heard or who may have less positive employment experiences.

"We are committed to working closely with our staff networks and trade unions in order to improve our service to the public and our employees, by identifying areas of concern and taking appropriate actions.

"We understand from our staff survey results that morale and confidence is low in areas and we have therefore issued guidance to managers about taking action to significantly improve employee engagement as we move forward.

"Our Equality and Diversity Unit continues to look at practical ways to support staff, for example working with our Disabled Staff Network (DSN) members to identify issues and difficulties that affect disabled staff at work.

"As the Inspectorate recognises, one of our main challenges is to manage the implementation of our flexible working policies, which were instrumental in encouraging a more diverse workforce. These policies are currently being reviewed on an individual basis in order to make sure that business needs are paramount when making decisions about alternative working patterns.

"We are really satisfied to have made such progress since 2006, and we are strongly committed to continue to make progress in order to better support our diverse workforce."

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