To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) Annual Staff Equalities Report 2019/20, published on 26 November 2020, if he will make an assessment of the reasons for the higher rates of (a) grievance, (b) investigation, and (c) conduct and discipline, and of the lower rates of grievance success for Black staff compared to white staff.
The reasons for the higher rates of grievance, investigations and conduct and discipline cases, and for the lower proportion of cases upheld for BAME staff compared to White staff in HMPPS are uncertain, however HMPPS is clear that the basis on which any case is initiated, along with the conduct and outcome of that case, must be fair and objective.
Work has recently been initiated to review the HMPPS and wider-MoJ grievance policies to ensure they are as clear and simple to follow as possible and to strengthen the guidance and supporting information, including on ensuring the investigation is done promptly and is objective, fair and independent.
HMPPS has also recently launched the Tackling Unacceptable Behaviours Unit which includes a confidential helpline to support staff in situations involving unacceptable behaviours. The MoJ High Profile and Complex Case Team continue to review lessons that can be learnt across the MoJ from grievance investigations and conduct and disciplinary cases and share these or the best practice identified with the business.