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Monitoring equal employment opportunity at the workplace: The crucial role of the 1991 census

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes


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The fact that the 1991 Census of Population included a race and ethnic question followed evidence from the 1989 test Census that this was not likely to arouse strong public opposition - while the case for race and ethnic data in the Census was overwhelming. This article focuses on the necessity of the data for the proper implementation of the Race Relations Act 1976, especially in relation to employment. It demonstrates how the linking of race and ethnic manpower statistics in the Census to the analysis of local labour-market areas could provide employers with the means by which they can measure whether or not they are achieving genuine equality of employment opportunity under the 1976 Act. The article illustrates the recommended approach and shows the substantial effect upon the 'benchmark' data that results from analysing each major occupation group separately. Finally, the article notes some possible weaknesses in the 1991 Census data that will be available for monitoring equal employment opportunity in Britain.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coombes M, Hubbuck J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ethnic and Racial Studies

Year: 1992

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Pages: 193-213

Print publication date: 01/04/1992

ISSN (print): 0141-9870

ISSN (electronic): 1466-4356

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/01419870.1992.9993741


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