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Departmental Equality

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent steps his Department has taken to increase equality in his Department; and at what cost to the public purse.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

DECC is an equal opportunities employer and we have a published statement stating that DECC is committed to treating all staff and eligible job applicants fairly and without discrimination. In addition, DECC has a Diversity and Equality Strategy and a published Single Equality Scheme that has an action plan on how the Department can embed both equality and diversity in the Department. Our strategy statement sets out the Department’s commitments. DECC aims to ensure that nobody is treated less favourably because of their: age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or beliefs, employment status. For example, part-time staff should be treated the same as full-time employees.

The Department has taken a number of steps in the last year that may lead to an increase in equality. Some of these steps have direct costs attributed to them.

The Department has submitted its application to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index in September, which was at no cost.

A half-day disability awareness talk has been arranged to take place in December for all staff to increase the awareness of disabilities and how they can affect working practices at the Department. This was at a cost of £470.

The Department has rolled out a diversity e-learning programme to all staff at a cost of £8,235. DECC has advertised Whitehall-wide development programmes for staff who are under-represented in senior positions. This financial year, 13 DECC staff have commenced one of these courses at a cost of £19,500.

The Department ran an awareness session on disability for a group of senior staff at a cost of £2,796.

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