17 March 2022

Equality and diversity (E&D)

The improvement achieved means that we can pursue issues based on declared figures.

PCS within the defence sector seeks to ensure members in under-represented groups are encouraged and supported to play an active role in union structures, part of our campaigning activity and engagement with the employer.

The disproportional effect of Covid on protected groups is at the forefront of activities; this will become more important as the government removes all legal restrictions in place to control infection. Policy and guidance on attending the workplace must be agreed with PCS including individual risk assessments, with additional control measures agreed and recorded.

PCS continues to demand the formal Union engagement forum be reestablished. Positive engagement continues; the development and publication of guidance for the MOD to meet its legal obligations under the public sector equality duty. PCS continues to be directly involved in the working group undertaking this work including new guidance on the application of equality analysis.

The introduction of the MyHR system is hoped to improve declaration; you must all do this as this is vital to show statistical problems within the workplace. The improvement achieved means that we can pursue issues based on declared figures, something not possible previously.

The decision to withdraw access to work provision from government departments is of deep concern as there is still insufficient clarity from the MOD as to how they will fully meet the significant financial shortfall in terms of support to disabled staff. In line with conference policy, PCS proactively ensured we have representation on the MOD working group addressing this issue to keep members informed and involved.

PCS has fully engaged with and contributed to cross sector and departmental equality forums. Under Covid, the DSG team has been meeting virtually every two weeks and we would welcome greater participation helping to build a greater network of branch equality reps.