NHS trusts ‘must heed employment law duty over racial equality’
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned NHS trusts of their responsibility under employment law to protect ethnic minority workers from discrimination.
Susie Uppal, director of legal enforcement at the EHRC, stated that the public sector bodies play a “vital role” in promoting racial equality in the workplace and will face legal action should they be shown to be lacking in this respect.
The warning comes after the commission issued compliance notices to three NHS trusts over concerns that sufficient monitoring of fair employment standards was not being conducted.
These trusts will now be expected to show improvement or face punishment for breaches of the Race Relations Act.
Ms Uppal said: “Local NHS trusts have a legal obligation to take a lead on promoting racial equality and the commission will ensure that they fulfil that obligation.”
Last month, a report from the British Medical Association raised concerns that female NHS consultants are receiving significantly lower average annual salaries than their male counterparts.
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