To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service Annual Staff Equalities Report 2019-20, published on 26 November 2020, if he will make an assessment of the reasons for the (a) ethnicity and (b) disability disparities in (i) staff appraisals and (ii) special bonuses.
In HMPPS the usual process for staff appraisal, the Staff Performance and Development Record (SDPR) assessment, was suspended at year end for 2019/20 due to Covid-19 with the intention of easing some of the administrative burden around the end of year performance management process at a difficult time.
Whilst analysis and comparison with previous years is not possible other than for ‘outstanding’ markings, it continues to be a concern that overall the proportion of BAME staff receiving ‘outstanding’ compared to white counterparts was lower, and that the proportion of disabled staff compared to non-disabled staff receiving an ‘outstanding’ marking was also lower. Similarly, with the award of ‘special bonuses’.
HMPPS is committed to ensuring a fair and inclusive performance management and special bonus process and is currently working to improve and strengthen the guidance, learning tools and support available to line managers and employees. It is also looking at the oversight and assurance around this, to ensure staff at all levels are treated fairly and objectively and recognised appropriately for their performance and the positive impact of their contributions.
The SPDR process has subsequently been suspended for the 2020/21 period due to the continuing impact of Covid-19, and HMPPS are taking the opportunity to review its approach to performance management going forward.