Cross Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce: progress report

Progress report from short life working group set up to provide a strategic and cohesive approach to tackling barriers to employment across the justice system and to support cross system learning.

Annex B: Terms of Reference

Role and purpose of the Group

The aim of this Group is to:

'provide a strategic and cohesive approach to tackling barriers to employment across the justice system and to support cross system learning. The group will also ensure there is a comprehensive picture of the current activity to address recruitment, retention and promotion across the sector'

To do this, the Group will work with Justice partners, representatives from minority ethnic groups and individuals to:

  • conduct a baseline audit of past and current initiatives and their effectiveness;
  • identify the barriers to employment and the experiences of employees working in the Justice system;
  • determine what support networks are in place for employees across the Justice system, and identify any gaps;
  • establish a clear mechanism for sharing good practice across the sector and an approach to enable peer challenge;
  • determine clearly defined measures of systemic racism in the workforce;
  • establish a process to monitor the implementation of equality strategies, with a clear link made between outcomes, action and impact;
  • ensure that action plans are developed, with a focus on continued improvement, for employment at all levels of seniority in relation to minority ethnic groups;
  • establish that fair work practices are in place across the Justice system and identify any gaps;
  • put in place effective and sustained systems to record the ethnicity of the workforce and analyse workforce data and surveys to show the variation in experience of employment by ethnic group, and;
  • develop a process to monitor the completeness of the data and to report regularly on any gaps in relation to Justice workforce issues for minority ethnic staff.

Term of the Group

There is a need to make a real difference – and at pace. Therefore, the Group will function as a short-life working group with the proposed life-span of 6-months.

This Terms of Reference is effective from October 2020 and continues until March 2021 or will continue until terminated by agreement between the members of the Group.

The inaugural meeting of the Group will be held in early October. The meetings will be monthly thereafter, as follows:

  • 02.12.20 – 1300 - 1500
  • 16.12.20 – 1000 - 1200
  • 25.01.21 – 1300 - 1500
  • 01.03.21 – 1300 - 1500
  • 29.03.21 – 1300 - 1500

The Group will provide progress reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the Justice Board on a monthly basis.

The intention of the Group is to publish a report, with findings and recommendations by March 2021, which will detail any ongoing work.

The membership of the Group will commit to:

  • attending all scheduled Group meetings where possible, and nominating a representative in their absence, and;
  • making timely decisions and taking action as necessary.

Members of the advisory group will expect:

  • that the Group may commission tasks from its members or potentially establish sub-groups to bring together the deliverables needed;
  • that each member will be provided with complete, accurate and meaningful information in a timely manner;
  • to be given reasonable time to make key decisions;
  • to be alerted to potential risks and issues that could impact the work, as they arise, and;
  • open and honest discussions.



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